It’s Not a Movie Set: Horseback trail ride in Moab

For an unforgettable Western family travel experience, take a trail ride on horseback in the backcountry of Moab, Utah near Arches National Park.

The rugged towers and sweeping desert cut by the meandering Colorado River create a quintessential Western dreamscape that seems strangely and intriguingly familiar like we’d stepped foot onto the massive set of a Hollywood Western film. In fact, this has been the location for many Western programs and movies over the years.

Riding a horse on the backcountry trails takes you from observer to participant within this Western experience – which is especially enriching for city slickers like us – being engulfed in the extraordinary beauty and allure of the landscape, guided by horse.

We booked our trail ride through Hauer Ranch and were deeply pleased with the experience. We visited in the middle of summer when daytime temps exceed 100 degrees so we were a bit concerned about how the experience would be. We scheduled our ride for late afternoon so we could experience sunset in this extraordinary place and, hopefully, feel some cooler temperatures. We were very surprised how pleasant the temperatures turned quite quickly once the sun starts its descent. The ride was roughly 2 hours – a perfect length of time.

This was the first trail ride for our daughter who is 6 years old. She rode Barney, who apparently is well trusted for carrying precious cargo. He also reportedly carried Hollywood director George Lucas’ daughter when she was only a few years old.

Our kind and pleasant cowboy guide enthralled us with stories of the many television shows and movies that had been filmed in Moab – some of them right there on the ranch where we were riding, and he even played a small part as an extra in the HBO show Westworld. We need to rewatch it so we can find him!

Hauer Ranch provides a great experience and the sunset ride is highly recommended. There really is nothing like riding off into the sunset in a place like this.

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