A Pit Stop a Day (Day 14): Grand Teton Horseback Ride

Setting off on our 1 hour trail ride through the Tetons.

On Day 14, we treated Nate and Calvin to a horseback ride through the Tetons (something they’d been wanting to try since Glacier National Park). Luckily, Colter Bay Village has stables on-site, making it easy!

We made reservations at the Activities Center near the Colter Bay Village store (be sure to sign up ASAP: we signed up the night we arrived and got the last three slots for the entire weekend). For our 9 am ride, we were told to be at the stable at 8:45. Our ‘wranglers’ were very friendly and experienced horsemen and women, and took us through the ropes. We were each told which horse we’d be riding (they decide based on temperment, experience of the rider, age, etc) and mounted one by one.

It took about 20 minutes to get everyone on their horse and lined up, then we set off down a narrow trail for our 1 hour ride. The horses were well trained, and everyone (even my kids…first time riders) easily managed their horse. We followed our wrangler single-file (another wrangler made up the rear) and they told us information about the surrounding area and the horses as we rode.

The wranglers made sure to keep family groups together.

The ride took us past a great view of the Tetons, a small pond where you can often spot moose (we didn’t) and the side of Jackson Lake (where we saw Toby canoeing with Grandma). The kids enjoyed the experience of controlling their own stead, and had fun bonding with their horses (named Quarter and Chuck Norris…mine was Claire).

The one hour ride was just about enough for us. Much longer, and we’d get sore and the kids might have gotten bored. The scenery was beautiful, and being horseback afforded a different view (not to mention new trails). We’d definitely do it again!

Note: Kids have to be eight years old to ride. Younger kids can ride a pony in the stable area (with an adult present). Backpacks are not permitted, and you’ll want to move things from back pockets (or the saddle will do it for you en route).

Extra Tip: Bring water. We made the mistake of thinking we’d have no place to put it, but the wranglers issue saddle bags and/or water bottle holders for those who ask for them. The trail meanders through some exposed sections of valley, and the morning was warmer than we anticipated!

Date last visited: July 2010.

Distance off the interstate: About 30 minutes from Hwy 89.

Bathrooms: Pit toilets located at the stables. Be sure to go before trail riding!

Costs: One hour rides cost $35 per person. (Canoe rentals, which Toby did instead with his grandparents, are $18/hour.)

Food Services: None. Two restaurants (one cafeteria-style) are located nearby in Colter Bay Village.

Directions: The stables are just past the tent village at Colter Bay Village Resort. From anywhere in the park, take Teton Park Road to Colter Bay, and follow the signs.

Up Next: We drive from Grand Teton National Park to Utah and enjoy a stay at Westgate Park City.

About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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  1. Your objective is to keep the horse’s attention on you without making any loud moves. So before something else gets his attention, you want to make just a little bit bigger move to get his attention back to you–jiggle a whip, raise a hand, or walk in a little closer or a little farther back from that shoulder line. his head down and starts eating grass or whatever, you’re going to have to be loud with your actions to get his attention back. You’ll startle him, he’ll run from your “attack,” and it will take longer for him to trust you.

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