Horseback Riding

Introduction

This page is designed to give you general information on equestrian trails. It also gives approximate time needed for each trail. The estimated times do not allow for side trips and stops. Always carry a map of the area and take plenty of water for your pack and saddle stock.

  • 1 – Ken’s Lake Trail
  • 2 – Pack Creek Trail
  • 3 – Seven Mile Trail
  • 4 – Onion Creek Trail

Regulations

Bureau of Land Management Lands

Equestrians are required to feed weed-free hay to pack and saddle stock while using BLM land. Although horses are not restricted to designated roads and trails, resource damage is lessened when all riders stay on the same route.

Pack and saddle stock are allowed at any BLM campground (BLM requests that you pick up the waste as a courtesy to other users). However, certain campgrounds are more suitable for pack and saddle stock trailers. These are: Goose Island, Ken’s Lake, and Hittle Bottom Campgrounds.

For additional information contact the Bureau of Land Management at 435-259-2100.

Forest Service Lands

  1. Know your stock.
  2. Take supplemental and weed-seed-free feed.
  3. Use nosebags and mangers when feeding your horse stock hay, pellets or grain.
  4. Stay on the trails and avoid shortcuts.
  5. Be courteous and yield to others when you can.
  6. Travel in small groups.
  7. Use highlines and tree saver straps. Do not tie directly to tree.
  8. Keep stock at least 200 feet from shorelines and streams.
  9. Break up and scatter horse manure and fill in pawed holes.
  10. All trails open to horse use.
  11. Do not camp at trail heads.
  12. Camping with pack and saddle stock is not permitted in developed campgrounds.

For additional information contact the Manti La Sal National Forest at 435-259-7155.

Canyonlands National Park

Pack and saddle stock may be taken on all backcountry roads and in Horseshoe Canyon. Cross-country travel is prohibited. Pack and saddle stock include horses, burros or mules. All other domestic animals are prohibited in the backcountry. All pack and saddle stock use requires a backcountry permit, which may be obtained at district visitor centers.

Lack of water is a limiting factor for pack and saddle trips in Canyonlands, as only a few areas have reliable sources. Contact the park for recommended destinations.

Feed

Stock must be fed pelletized feed for 48 hours in advance of and for the duration of the trip in order to prevent the spread of exotic plant species. Animals may not be left unattended and must be staked at least 300 feet from water sources and away from vegetation where possible. Park vegetation may not be consumed. Animals may not be unstaked and hobbled.

Day Use

Day use permits are unlimited and free of charge, except in Horse/Salt Creek and Lavender Canyons in the Needles District, where day use is limited to seven animals per day. In these areas, permits are available through the reservation system and fees are charged. In all other areas of the park, including Horseshoe Canyon, group size must not exceed ten animals and ten people.

Overnight Use

Overnight trips must stay at designated vehicle camps. Permits are $30. All manure and feed must be packed out from the campsites. The group size limit is seven people and ten horses for the Needles and Island in the Sky, and five people and eight horses for the Maze and Orange Cliffs. Overnight use is not allowed in Horseshoe Canyon.

Canyonlands National Park Contact Information

Park Headquarters
435-719-2313

Island in the Sky District
435-259-4712

Needles District
435-259-4711

Maze/Horseshoe Canyon
435-259-2652

Tips for a Safe Ride

  • Always carry a map of the area
  • Stay on established trails and routes and other areas open for equestrian use. Be aware of prohibited areas.
  • Know which roads are open to vehicle & stock use.
  • Be prepared to provide water for your stock.
  • Cutting switchbacks and taking shortcuts ca destroy vegetation and cause others to use unauthorized routes.
  • Respect and be courteous of others who want to enjoy the lands you are enjoying.
  • Be considerate and honor other’s desire for solitude and a peaceful outdoor experience.
  • When riding, be especially cautious around hikers and bikers.
  • Whenever possible, use existing campsites designated for saddle stock. Camp on durable surfaces and place tents on a non-vegetated area. Do not dig trenches around tents.
  • Camp at least 200 feet from water and trails.
  • Hold saddle stock 200 feet from lakes, streams, huts and camping areas.
  • Avoid damage to vegetation when tethering your saddle stock. Do not tie saddle stock to trees, small limbs saplings or shrubs. Use highline for tethering.
  • Use corrals, paddocks or hitching rails where provided.
  • Report lost pack and saddle stock immediately.
  • For cooking, use a camp stove. They are always preferable to campfire in terms of impact on the land.
  • Observe all fire restrictions. For campfires, use only fallen timber. Gather firewood well away from your camp. Do not cut down trees.
  • Let fire burn down to a fine ash. Ensure the fire is completely extinguished. Leave your surroundings as you found them.
  • Do all you can to help protect the forest, lands and waters that mean so much to you.
  • Inquire with local land management personnel for information on such considerations as access, weather conditions, snowpack, available feed, high-use areas and wildlife considerations.
  • Know the techniques required in the backcountry before heading out.

Overnight Boarding Facilities

OK RV Park & Canyonlands Stables

3310 Spanish Valley Drive
Moab, UT 84532
435-259-1400

Old Spanish Trail Arena

3300 Spanish Valley Drive
Moab, UT 84532
435-259-6226

Red Cliffs Lodge

Note: Overnight boarding available with paid lodging.
24 stalls & arena.
Highway 128 – Milepost 14
Moab, UT
435-259-2002

Veterinary Services

Moab Veterinary Clinic

4575 Spanish Valley Drive
Moab, UT 84532
435-259-8710

Trail Etiquette

Bicyclists

  • Yield to horses & hikers. Move off trail on downhill side and stop.
  • Talk to horseback riders & hikers.
  • Stay a safe distance from horses (10-15 ft).
  • Avoid sudden moves and loud noises near horses.
  • Pass at slow speed.

Equestrian

  • Yield to others moving faster than horses.
  • Move off trail when stopping.
  • Talk to bikers, hikers & horseback riders.
  • Never frighten others with horses.
  • Clean up manure, from loading areas.

Hikers

  • Yield to horses. Move off trail on downhill side and stop.
  • Talk to horseback riders.
  • Stay a safe distance from horses (10-15 ft).
  • Avoid sudden moves & loud noises near horses.

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