Horseback Rides, Pack Trips Get Your Giddy Up On in Telluride

Breathe in the earthy smell of leather, listen to the clip clop sounds of horseshoes on dirt and relax into the quintessential spirit of Rocky Mountain West with a horseback trail ride or pack trip during your Telluride vacation. Whippersnappers of all ages and skills are welcome to saddle up with either of Telluride’s premier outfitters, Rides with Roudy (hint: rhymes with howdy) and the Circle K Guest Ranch. Both outfitters are based about a 45-minute drive outside Telluride and require advance reservations and check-in at least 15 minutes before the ride is scheduled to depart.

Rides with Roudy, Norwood: Roudy is a Telluride institution in his own right, being the town’s most famous and photographed horseman for more than four decades. Enjoying semi-retirement, Roudy offers one- and two-hour trail rides on the Nelson Warren Homestead in Norwood on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Views from Norwood include the San Juans, San Sophias, Wilsons and Utah’s LaSalle range. Roudy recommends the one-hour ride at 1 p.m. for beginners and kids.  The two-hour ride leaves the barn at 10 a.m. Custom rides and pack trips available on request. Roudy offers sleigh rides in the winter.

Circle K Guest Ranch, 10 miles south of Rico: One-hour to full day rides start at just $25 for a one-hour ranch ride for kids under 7 years of age. Adult trails rides start at $44 per person for an hour; a four-hour full day ride costs $119, extra time is $25 per hour. One of the best values is a two-hour trail ride at the ranch including lunch and shuttle van from the Town of Telluride (8 a.m.) or Mountain Village (8:30 a.m.) for $125 per person. Guest cowpokes are back in Telluride by 2 p.m. The three-hour East Fork ride on Lizard Head Pass includes a snack midway and amazing high-altitude scenery for $125 per person; shuttle from Telluride is an additional $30.  Circle K’s professional and experienced wranglers also offer 2, 3 and 4-day pack trips starting at $2200 for 1-2 guests, plus $1300 per additional rider. (All Circle K prices quoted are from the 2014 season; check the website for 2015 rates).  Mention the ages and skills in your posse and let the reservation specialists at Latitude 38 Vacation Rentals book the best horseback trip for you and your group.