Horses, Trail Rides, and Wide Open Spaces
Located just west of Loveland, Colorado, (and an easy drive from Fort Collins and Greeley), Sylvan Dale offers horseback rides through gentle terrain to extended climbing rides with ridge-top views. Our 3,200 acres offer a “don’t fence me in” riding experience for all ages and abilities. Lots to do, no pressure to do it: head up Sulzer Gulch shaded by cottonwoods; explore the old wagon trails on Alexander Mountain; climb the rocky slopes of Eagle Ridge; ride across the meadows on Green Ridge; or catch the breathtaking view from the Rim Ride.
For your safety, all rides are guided by a qualified wrangler and geared to the least experienced rider.
Scenic Trail Rides
- 1 hour — $43/rider
- 1½ hour — $55/rider
- 2 hour — $65/rider
- 3 hour — $85/rider
- Lead-around rides — $12
A safe and fun first-time-in-the-saddle experience for the little buckaroo (3 times around the arena)
“Chow Down” Rides: Available to groups of 6 or more by advance reservation
- Dinner Ride — $79/person
- Breakfast Ride — $73/person
- Overnight Pack Trip — $250/person
Please note: “Chow Down” rides are subject to an administrative fee of up to 20%.
To make reservations or learn more about our Adventure Riding program, please call 970-667-3915 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2020 Riding Programs*
- 6-lesson package – $235/student (minimum 3 students)
- Spring Session: Cancelled for 2020
- Fall Session: *September 5th – October 31st (No Classes October 3rd & 4th, due to on-ranch vacation guests)
- Saturdays, 9:00-10:30 FULL, 11:00-12:30 FULL, 1:00-2:30 FULL, 3:00-4:30 FULL
- Sundays, 9:00-10:30 FULL, 11:00-12:30 FULL, 1:00-2:30 FULL, 3:00-4:30 FULL
*Due to the present concerns of COVID-19, this start date is subject to change, based on the restrictions set forth by both the county and state.
- Basic horsemanship and riding instruction
- Hands-on ground work and riding skills
- Graduation Trail Ride for the last session
For more information about this special package, call Karen: 970-667-3915 (x11) or email email@example.com.
(For Trail Ride reservations or information, please contact the Front Desk at 970-667-3915 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)
*Riding instruction available during spring and fall only.
We are certified through the Dude Ranchers’ Association Horse Safety Program. We also belong to the American Quarter Horse Association as well as the Colorado Dude and Guest Ranch Association. We’re in good company … and so are you!
- All riding adventures will be accompanied by a Sylvan Dale Ranch wrangler
- Trail riders must be at least 7 years old
- Weight limit — 240 lbs.
- No double riding
- No smoking
- No riding under the influence
Our horses are known for their quality and responsiveness.
Unlike most recreational riding facilities, the majority of our horses are born, raised, and trained on-Ranch. We’ve had registered horses with the American Quarter Horse Association every year for over 50 years. Every spring we welcome new foals into the herd. They learn the ropes under the gentle hand of our professional horse trainer Barry McAleenan, who’s never met a Sylvan Dale horse he didn’t like!
You’re sure to find a responsive mount awaiting you at the tie rail. We’re very proud of our Heart-J Herd and we expect that you’ll appreciate their beauty and kind dispositions.
Each time you mount up, you become a partner with your horse. Your mount is counting on you to communicate with the cues he understands. He can only respond if you “speak his language.” Therefore we ask every guest to learn a little horse psychology; whether you saddle up for a one-time ride or stay with us for the entire week. Riding instruction may be just a brief orientation, or it can be more extensive depending on your length of stay.
Our wranglers are friendly horse professionals who delight in sharing their knowledge with you. They will provide what you need for a safe and enjoyable horseback riding experience, and their knowledge of the history, wildlife, and vegetation will expand your appreciation and enhance your ride.
When you come for your business retreat, let our horses build your team. We offer facilitated team development activities centered around horse interaction.
To start the day off right, schedule a breakfast on the trail, or end the day with a steak ride on Eagle Ridge. If an afternoon break is what you’re looking for, saddle up for a scenic trail ride.
If you’re planning a group event, consider including a scenic trail ride for your guests. A “lead-around” ride is a big hit for the little buckaroos (ages 6 and under). Our horse-drawn interpretive wagon ride is a fun and educational activity for all ages.
When you register for your summer Dude Ranch Vacation, sign up as a Heart-J Rider. You can look forward to daily riding instruction to help build your riding skills so you can enjoy more challenging and longer rides, with jogging and loping on the trail. Rise and shine for the early morning breakfast ride and saddle up for cattle drives and an overnight pack trip to Cow Camp. Then put your skills to the test at the Friday afternoon Gymkhana, it’s all part of the package!
Your youngsters (ages 6–12) will benefit from daily horsemanship classes and trail rides. And, because we’re committed to family time, we offer trail rides for the whole family each afternoon.
If you’re into the “city slicker” experience, make plans for one of our cattle weeks, when we move the herd to their summer range on the National Forest.
Stopping in for a Bed & Breakfast get away? You can check ride availability at the front desk when you arrive, or call ahead for reservations.
If you live in the Loveland, Fort Collins, Boulder, Greeley area, you have the benefit of a wide variety of riding adventures year ’round. Scenic trailrides, overnight pack trips, breakfast rides, dinner rides, evening rides, lead-around rides, and western horsemanship instruction. If you are an advanced rider, check out our Adventure Rider Program. Upon passing the riding assessment, you will be eligible for seasonal cattle work and special horsemanship clinics.
- Call ahead for reservations
- Wear long pants, boots, and a hat
- Check in at the Ranch office 15 minutes before departure to make payment and sign a waiver
- Have a great ride!