Fantastic Trail Rides & Where to Find Them

August 15, 2022

It’s the last few weeks before school starts and you’re scrambling to find ONE LAST vacation. Instead of staying at a fancy hotel or going to an overpriced theme park, why not take your whole family, two legs and four, for a camping experience or a day trip to a fantastic trail ride?

Sunset Horse Rise with 4 People on Sand

Do you have a preference between mountain, beach, or prairie riding? Maybe you do one a lot more than the other. Whatever your fancy, we’ve got you covered on where to go and what to bring.

Keep reading for more info on some of our favorite trail rides on the West Coast!

What do I take on a trail ride?

Even if you are going on a day trip to your favorite trail or a weekend camping trip to the beach, there are a few safety essentials that need to be added to your pack. Even experienced backpackers have the essential tools they carry with them when they’re on a hike. Treat your trail ride like a hike for your horse. You never know what could come up, so you should be prepared with at least the basics.

Camping inside tent looking out to horses

Before you head out on the open trail, here are 6 things you need to remember to pack:

1. First Aid kit (for both you and your horse)

Have you ever been in a situation where you had a cut and ended up wiping the blood off on your jeans? A small first aid kit for both you and your horse in your saddle bag will be helpful if an accident happens to either you or your equine friend. Don’t know what to put in your horse’s first aid kit?

Check out our Easy DIY Horse First Aid Kit blog post.

2. Whistle

A whistle is a very important item to keep in your saddle bag. If you get lost, people are more likely to hear the sharp sound of a whistle than your voice. You also won’t wear yourself out calling for help if you are in trouble for a long period of time. If your horse isn’t used to the high-pitched sound of a whistle, make sure that you are on the ground holding onto them before you blow it.

3. Snacks

You don’t have to bring a whole picnic, but it is always a good idea to bring some snacks and maybe a small sandwich with you when out on the trails. If you get lost, you’ll have human-safe food with you already. If you want to go the extra step, bring a plant identification guide with you. It can tell you about all the different plants in your area along with if they’re edible or not.

4. Water

Always bring your favorite water bottle with you! You can attach it to your saddle without having it bump against you or your horse. Some saddle bags have a built-in water bottle holder, but you can get creative and tie some baling twine around the handle too. If you want to be extra prepared, you can get a water bottle that has a built-in filter. This would allow you to fill it up at any creek spot without having to worry about any sort of debris getting into your body.

5. Knife or Multitool

A pocket knife is useful on a normal day, but a pocket knife or a multitool on the trail can make all the difference. It is a weapon, a tool, and a wine opener all in one. What more do you need?

6. Small flashlight

Do you plan on being on the trail after dark? Take a flashlight. You don’t have to haul around a huge light in order to see well in the dark. Get one that can comfortably fit in your pocket. Make sure you keep extra batteries on you and check the flashlight before you go out.

9 Horse-safe trails on the West Coast

Horses Trail Rides Forest PNW

1. Whiskeytown National Recreation Area; Whiskeytown, CA

Facts you need to know:

  • Camping is available.
  • There are no corrals, tie posts/rails, or water troughs onsite.
  • Bikers and hikers use trails too.
  • An entrance pass is required.

2. Pebble Beach Equestrian Center; Pebble Beach, CA

Facts you need to know:

  • Offers guided rides with their rescue horses.
  • You can bring your own horse.
  • Call in advance for details about riding your horse on the trails.
  • They offer lessons and training.
  • Kid-friendly
  • No camping available. You will have to stay in their hotel and make a reservation for your equine friend as well.

3. Hollyridge Trail to Hollywood Sign; Hollywood, CA

Facts you need to know:

  • Only Canyon Drive entrance has a parking lot.
  • Do not go to the Beachwood Gate. It was permanently closed in 2018.
  • Make sure you set out on this trail early in the day. It can get really hot and there is little to no shade along the trail.
  • This is only a day trail. There is no camping available.
  • The trail may be narrow at some spots. This is not a trail for a green horse.

4. The historic Oregon Trail; La Grande, OR

Facts you need to know:

  • There are several different entrances to ride on the Oregon Trail.
  • The Oregon entrance is in La Grande, OR. It is the Blue Mountain Segment and runs 17 miles.
  • There are no campsites along the trail.

5. Bullards Beach State Park; near Coos Bay, OR

Facts you need to know:

  • AMAZING camping area.
  • There are 8 campsites with 2-4 corrals on each site.
  • There are trails for beginner horses up to experienced horses.
  • There is lots of beach access.
  • Make sure you make a reservation. There are a few sites that are first come first serve.

6. East Applegate Ridge Trail; Jacksonville, OR

Facts you need to know:

  • No fees
  • No camping
  • Hikers, bikers, and equestrians are all welcome.
  • The trail is 5.6 miles long.
  • Directions to the trailhead are on the website.

7. Klickitat Trail; Klickitat County, WA

Facts you need to know:

  • No camping available.
  • The trail is 26.6 miles long.
  • Check for snow conditions before you go. Hikers have reported snow on the trail in June.

8. Park Butte Lookout Trail; near Concrete, WA

Facts you need to know:

  • There is lots of snow in June. Try hitting this trail in August.
  • 7.2 miles
  • Bikes, hikers, dogs, and equestrians are all welcome.

9. Lewis River Falls Trail; near Cougar, WA

Facts you need to know:

  • The trail is open from April through November.
  • Check weather conditions and snowpack before heading out.
  • This trail is 8.6 miles long.
  • The area is popular for camping. There are no designated camp spots and no tie posts/rails or water troughs.

Your safety is important to us! Before you head out on your next adventure, stop by your local Wilco Farm Store to pick up last-minute essentials!

We would love to see your horse photos, use #mywilcolife on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and tag Wilco Stores.