Sedona, a tiny city in the Coconino National Forest of Arizona, is surrounded by an enviable expanse of natural beauty which, even for the endlessly beautiful American Southwest, is quite special. It’s a land that may be familiar from Hollywood Westerns, and the endless plains and snowcapped mountains all around the region just beg to be explored on horseback. It is a much more peaceful and less invasive way to appreciate the natural beauty that lies all around this remarkable region of the state.
Sedona town itself is a great base from which to explore further afield and there are some excellent horseback riding experiences available within an hour’s drive. Nearby cities like Prescott and Flagstaff have good stables and are therefore considered for this list. Here are the best three horseback riding experiences within easy reach of Sedona, based on a variety of factors including the value for money, health and safety record of the providers, and the good treatment of the horses.
FROM $89/per person
Camp Verde is one of the best-known spots for horseback riding experiences near Sedona. The gentle, rolling countryside in this part of Arizona is perfect for a relaxed trek into nature, with the possibility of wide-ranging views as far as the Sedona Red Rocks and even towards Flagstaff. This intriguing tour with Wild Western Horseback Adventures – which receives consistently high ratings from guests – also includes a rather unexpected surprise: African wildlife. The trek follows the perimeter of a pen of some Texas Longhorn cattle and there may be chance to see the giraffes and zebras of a nearby wildlife park as well.
From $100/ per person
A little further out from Sedona is Prescott, which can be reached by car in an hour or so. The drive is well worth it too, with this ride really getting into nature, crossing creeks, trekking through forests and up hillsides along the way. There are various trails available, suitable for varying levels of horseback riding ability. The main aim of this company’s treks is to explore and appreciate the wilderness, away from traffic and the trappings of modern life. Tours are available daily.
From $375/ per person
Another horseback riding alternative if you’re running out of time in Sedona and need to get back to the Phoenix area for a flight, is in Scottsdale. You can explore the extensive Arizona desert spaces of this upscale horse ranch before returning to the estate for high tea or a BBQ lunch. The price may seem steeper on this particular tour, but that’s because it’s a five-hour experience, making it ideal for anybody looking for a much more immersive and engaging horseback riding experience. Tours run daily and start in the morning.