Havasu Falls, Arizona – A One Of A Kind Adventure

 Havasu Falls – An Adventure Like No Other

What is Havasu Falls and why does everyone want to go?

Havasu Falls is a stunning beautiful waterfall that is located deep in the Grand Canyon. It is a part of the canyon that is owned and managed by the Havasupai Indian Reservation.

In order to visit Havasu Falls, you are required to obtain a permit from the tribe. Permits go on sale on February 1st of every year and the permits for the year generally sell out within the first 2 weeks.

Located on the Southwest corner of The Grand Canyon

 

VACATION RENTALS IN PEACH, ARIZONA – AIRBNB

 

Where is Havasu Falls?

Havasu Falls is located in the Havasu Canyon in Northern Arizona, on the west end of the Grand Canyon National Park. While it is in a canyon that feeds into the Grand Canyon, it’s not actually in Grand Canyon National Park. Havasu Canyon and Havasu Falls are part of the Havasupai Indian Reservation and are managed by the Havasupai Tribe.

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Havasu Falls is incredibly famous. Most people have heard that it is in the bottom of the Grand Canyon in Arizona, but don’t know much more about it. Many people want to visit the waterfalls every year and don’t know where to start planning their trip.
Start here. This is a basic outline of everything you need to know to see Havasu Falls.
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You must stay overnight at Havasu Falls

The Havasupai Tribe require that all visitors stay overnight in the canyon and as of 2019 they are requiring a minimum stay of 3 nights on each reservation. This is for your own safety due to the nature of the challenging 10 mile hike each direction.

If you have small children or have issues with hiking there is a helicopter service available for $85 each way to the falls. the short flights are first come first , there are no reservations needed.

 Helicopter service only operates on Thursday, Friday, Sunday and Monday.

 

HAVASUPAI HEHICOPTER FORUM – TRIPADVISOR

 

It is easy to spend 3 or more nights at Havasu Falls and exploring Havasu Canyon. There is a lot to see and do in the canyon. If you visit for only one night you will not have the chance to see much. You will take most of the day hiking to the waterfalls and will be too tired to explore when you arrive, then the next day you will have to leave.

How physically fit do I need to be to do the hike?

That’s a tough question. I consider myself to be in reasonably good physical condition and I found the trek back to the car to be incredibly challenging, especially since the hardest part is at the very end. If you’ve never walked 10 miles at one time in your entire life, this might not be the best time to try. But if you hike or bike or run fairly regularly, you should be totally fine.

No, you don’t. If you don’t want to hike in with your heavy pack you have a few options. First, you can hire a mule to carry your backpack. 

Mules can carry a maximum of 4 bags with a maximum bag weight of 32 lbs per bag. If you don’t want to walk you can ride a horse either to the Supai Village or all the way to the campground.

The maximum bodyweight to ride is 250 lbs and you’ll need to have at least some prior riding experience. 

You’ll need to reserve at least one week before your trip on the Havasupai website.

How do I reserve a pack mule?

This is new for 2019 – all pack mule reservations must be made online. After making your campground reservation you will have the opportunity to put in a waitlist request for a pack mule. There are new care standards so there may be fewer pack mules. If you don’t put in an immediate waitlist request, it’s unlikely that you’ll get a mule.

Also, people that reserve mules for round-trips get priority. If you only want a mule one-way you may have trouble securing a reservation. A waitlist request is NOT a confirmed reservation.

Most people camp in the Havasu Falls campground. You will need to bring all of your own equipment to stay here and you will need to carry that equipment with you while hiking. The tribe does offer the option to hire a pack horse to carry some equipment for an added fee, but it is best to prepare to carry your own equipment and food.

There is a Lodge/hotel that some people stay at in the canyon. It is in the village of Supai, Arizona which is about 2 miles away from Havasu Falls.

How to reserve the Havasupai Lodge permit?

Lodge reservations go on sale on June 1st and can only be made by telephone 928-448-2111 and 928-448-2201

You will pass through Supai on your hike to the waterfalls. The lodge is very basic, does not have many rooms, and offers no food.

What amenities are available in the Supai Village and campground?

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There are several restaurants in the Supai Village as well as a small store and a post office. We would NOT recommend waiting until you get to the village to stock up on groceries as they have a very limited (and expensive) supply.

Remember that the Supai Village is a 2 miles hike from the campground so it’s not really feasible to eat your meals in the village if you’re staying in the campground.

However, we do recommend buying your last meal in the village before you begin the long 8-mile trek back to your car.

After cooking over your camp stove for 3 days a giant heap of cheesy nachos really hits the spot!

There is also a fry bread stand right at the entrance to the campground. We heard a lot of people rave about the fry bread but we felt it was a tad underwhelming.

IF CAMPING

 

The Havasupai Indian Reservation is a very remote wilderness area. Be prepared that during your visit you will not have access to flushing toilets, running water, shops, hospitals, or other things you depend on in day to day life. Carry first aid with you and know what to do in the event of an emergency.

You will need to carry all of your food into the canyon and carry all of your trash out of the canyon.

The Havasupai tribe that lives in the canyon is isolated from the rest of the world but they are very proud of their canyon home. Take some time to learn about the Havasupai people

The entrance fee will be $50 per person, up from $35. The camping fee will be $25 per person per night, up from $17, and the environment fee is doubling to $10 per person. Taxes are additional. All visitors pay the entrance fee, whether they are camping or staying at Havasupai Lodge

First of all, ALL Reservations will be for 4 Days / 3 Nights. It is $100/Night for Monday-Thursday night, and $125 for Friday/Saturday/Sunday night.

Secondly, ALL Reservations will be made at HavasupaiReservations.com DO NOT CALL!

Thirdly, be SURE you are up for a Multi-Night Backpacking experience. If this is your FIRST Multi-Day Backpack Trip…we recommend that you take AT LEAST one Overnight Backpacking trip prior to Havasupai. This is not a good environment to learn about Overnight Backpacking. Please come prepared with some previous Multi-Day Backpacking experience.

And Finally, entrance onto the Havasupai Reservation is conditioned upon the Tourist’s consent to the Tribe’s civil regulatory and civil adjudicatory jurisdiction. By entering onto the Havasupai Reservation, non-Indians consent to the Tribe’s civil regulatory and civil adjudicatory jurisdiction. Tourists consent, contractually, to the Tribe’s civil jurisdiction by possessing an entrance permit to visit the Reservation.

From Las Vegas, take the 93 South towards Kingman, Arizona and then head east on Route 66. After 57 miles, turn left on Indian Road 18. Drive for 60 miles until you reach the end of the road. There is a large parking lot with bathrooms at the trailhead.
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How much does it cost to visit Havasu Falls?

The Havasu Falls 2020 pricing schedule has yet to be announced so stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks! In 2019 the campground reservation cost was $100/night for weekday nights (Mon. – Thurs.) and $125/night for weekend nights (Fri. – Sun.) So the total cost for a Havasu Falls camping permit was between $300 – $375 per person depending on what nights of the week you stayed. It’s likely the price will increase in 2020.

How long does it take to hike to Havasu Falls?

The hike from the parking lot at Hualapai Hilltop to Havasu Falls is ~10 miles. It should take 4-6 hours depending on your level of fitness.

What is the weather like at Havasu Falls?

BEST KAYAKING AND WATERSPORTS IN ARIZONA

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Zion National Park Utah

Utah’s First National Park – Bucket List!

Zion National Park without a doubt is a national treasure. Located in Utah is a must for anyone.

The virgin river flows to the Emerald Pools, which have waterfalls and a hanging gardens. Also along the river, partly through deep chasms, is Zion Narrows wading hike.

Follow the paths where ancient native people and pioneers walked. Gaze up at massive sandstone cliffs of cream, pink, and red that soar into a brilliant blue sky. Experience the wilderness in a narrow slot canyon.

Zion’s unique array of plants and animals will enchant you as you absorb the rich history of the past and enjoy the excitement of present day adventures.

The Zion Wilderness is a spectacular network of colorful canyons, forested mesas, and striking deserts. In 2009, over 124,000 acres of Zion National Park was designated as wilderness.

This designation will ensure that 84% of the park will continue to be a place where nature and its “community of life are untrammeled by man, a place where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”

Depending on your travel style, you may approach visiting a National Park, like Zion National Park, differently than other families. They range from camping, to to hotels nearby to National Park Lodges can create a difficult decision. 

 Best Western Hotels & Resorts are a good option when visiting Zion National Park, they seem to have great values in the area. We are always looking for clean and affordable accommodations.

Zion National Park Map

Mileage Chart – Zion National Park
Mileage from Zion National Park (East Entrance)
miles
km
Mileage from intersection of highways 9 & 89. (Mt. Carmel Jct.)
miles
km
Mt. Carmel Jct. (highways 9 & 89)
12
19
Zion National Park
12
19
Bryce Canyon National Park
72
116
Bryce Canyon National Park
60
97
Red Canyon – Dixie National Forest
59
95
Red Canyon – Dixie National Forest
47
76
Cedar Breaks National Monument
57
92
Cedar Breaks National Monument
45
72
Grand Staircase (entrance)
18
29
Grand Staircase (entrance)
6
9.7
Coral Pink Sand Dunes
23
37
Coral Pink Sand Dunes
11
17.7
Dixie National Forest (Cedar Mountain)
34
55
Dixie Forest (Cedar Mountain)
22
35

Mileage from Zion National Park to Cities

Mileage from Zion National Park to the junction of highways 9 & 89 (East Zion)

Cedar City, Utah
82
132
Cedar City
67
108
St. George, Utah
55
89
St. George
67
108
Page, Arizona
100
161
Page, Arizona
88
142
Las Vegas, Nevada (airport)
183
295
Las Vegas (airport)
195
314
Flagstaff, Arizona
218
351
Flagstaff, Arizona
206
332
Moab, Utah
308
496
Moab, Utah
296
474
Salt Lake City, Utah (airport)
320
515
Salt Lake City (airport)
308
496
Albuquerque, New Mexico
475
764
Albuquerque, New Mexico
463
745

 

RESERVE AN  -A FRAME – CABIN IN ZION NATIONAL PARK

Another option within Zion National Park is the cabin portion of the Zion Lodge. The accommodations are very similar, but they have exterior entrances for and a bit more privacy. They are just as updated as the Lodge rooms, but have a bit more space and are all at ground level. Depending on you travel style and budget, this could be a good option for families with small kids, as it’s easy to enjoy the night air just beyond your door once the kids have gone to sleep.

COWBOY CABINS WITHIN THE PARK

RESERVE COWBOY CABINS ZION NATIONAL PARK

Everybody’s budget is different when they travel. Even when we’re traveling for work on somebody else’s dime, we are careful to make budget-friendly choices and to keep with the means that we’ve always operated in. 

TEN GREAT AFFORDABLE HOTELS NEAR ZION NATIONAL PARK

What is Wilderness?

Wilderness is a rare, wild place where one can retreat from civilization, reconnect with nature, and find healing, meaning and significance. Knowledge, respect, and understanding for these wild and undeveloped places will ensure that they remain spectacular for years to come. 

THE NARROWS – ZION NATIONAL PARK

AN INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCE.

The indians call the canyon through which it runs “Mu-koon’-tu-weap” or Straight Canyon. Entering this, we have to wade upstream; often the water fills the entire channel, and although we travel many miles, we find no flood plain, talus, or broken piles of rock at the foot of the cliff.

The walls have smooth, plain faces and are everywhere very regular and vertical for a thousand feet or more, where they seem to break back in shelving slopes to higher altitudes;

and everywhere as we go along we find springs bursting out at the foot of the walls, and, passing these, the river above becomes steadily smaller; the great body of water, which runs below, bursts out from beneath this great bed of red sandstone; as we go up the canyon, it comes to be but a creek, and then a brook.

The Zion Narrows Hike

The Narrows, or more formally, the narrows of the North Fork of the Virgin River, has become one of the most famous hikes in the world, and for good reason.

It is Zion’s hallmark hike. For beginner and intermediate hikers, it can be quite a challenging adventure.

Fit, experienced hikers will be wowed by the soaring sandstone walls and the novelty of walking IN the river for miles at a time.

 

Whether done as an overnight through-hike, from the top down as a dayhike, or from the bottom up, the Zion Narrows hike is a classic not to be missed.

STAYING IN SPRINGDALE, UT

We loved our stay at the Best Western Plus Zion Canyon Inn & Suites. Despite having the longest name ever, it was a very short distance to the Park entrance.  This has been on our minds as the hotel to stay  when visiting Zion National Park.  Highlights of staying at the BW Plus Zion Canyon Inn include HUGE rooms, free breakfast each morning, a very nice hot tub and pool area, and fire pits for guest use.  And  a patio for enjoying the sunset.

The location of the hotel was exceptional. Located just outside the main Zion National Park entrance, we were surrounded by the incredible cliffs of Zion Canyon. Also, at the hotel entrance was a Springdale Shuttle Stop to take guests to the entrance of the park, so you waste no time if you only have one day in Zion.

OTHER ACCOMODATIONS IN SPRINGDALE, UT

Tip:  when you’re choosing where to stay at Zion National Park, consider the parking options and proximity to shuttle stops. Cars aren’t allowed in the main Zion Canyon most of the year, so you’ll be taking the Zion Shuttle at some point, no doubt. Try to be close for ease of entry.

You’ll find many other hotels and even a few B&Bs in Springdale, so choose the option that’s right for you.

VACATION RENTALS IN SPRINGDALE ,UT – AIRBNB

If you’re booking last minute, you may find that Springdale is fully booked. You can also look in the town of Hurricane, UT for a good place to stay when visiting Zion National Park.

HURRICANE , UT

True, you’ll have a little more of a drive, but even from the town of Hurricane, there are shuttles available into Springdale and the Zion main entrance.  When you’re traveling with the family and trying to make things fit a budget, there are lots of options for hotels if you just broaden your search a bit.

HURRICANE, UT SHUTTLE SERVICES AND THINGS TO DO IN HURRICANE

ACCOMODATIONS IN HURRICANE, UT – AIRBNB

STAYING IN MT CARMEL JUNCTION 

On the eastern side of Zion National Park, you’ll find the small town of Mt Carmel Junction. There isn’t much there except for some small hotels, a ranch and some outfitters for tourism. This is an ideal location if you want to have one home base but experience both Zion and Bryce Canyon

 

Bryce Canyon National Park

Options in Mt Carmel Junction include the Best Western East Zion Thunderbird Hotel, the Zion Mountain Ranch, and a few others.

ACCOMODATIONS IN MOUNT CARMEL JUNCTION, UT – VRBO

 

SHUTTLE SERVICES IN CARMEL JUNCTION AND THINGS TO DO WHEN VISITING

STAYING IN KANAB, UT

 

ACCOMODATIONS IN KANAB, UT – VRBO

KANAB, UT SHUTTLE SERVICES AND THINGS TO DO IN KANAB

Like I said, it’s not a huge town. If you want more options you can head south a bit to Kanab. This is also going to put you into the middle of some of the coolest sandstone formations in Utah. The town is bigger and has more national brand options (if you’re traveling with points).  You’ll also find a much more of a town for exploring and lots of tourist options beyond Zion National Park.

ZION LODGE

 

The Zion Lodge. Located at the trail head for the Emerald Pools and across the street from the horse corral, when you consider where to stay at Zion National Park, if being IN the park is important to you, this is your option.

CAMPING IN ZION NATIONAL PARK

Camping

Zion National Park has three campgrounds. South and Watchman Campgrounds are in Zion Canyon. The Lava Point Campground is about a 1-hour drive from Zion Canyon on the Kolob Terrace Road.

RESERVE A CAMPSITE AT LAVA POINT

There are no campgrounds in Kolob Canyons. Camping is permitted in designated campsites, but not in pullouts or parking lots. Camping is popular; all campgrounds are often full by mid-morning.

ABOUT WATCHMAN CAMPGROUNDS  

ABOUT SOUTH CAMPGROUNDS

From mid-March through late November the campgrounds are full almost every night. Reservations at South Campground and Watchman Campground 

There are few trees to provide relief from the heat. Some campsites get shade for part of the day, but many get no shade at all. Summer temperatures exceed 95°F (35°C) and lows rarely dip below 65°F (18°C); staying cool is a challenge.

Remember these temperatures and the possibility of a sunny campsite when planning. The Virgin River runs along the edge of each campground; there are a few riverside campsites.

All campsites are drive-up and allow a maximum of two vehicles. Only one RV or trailer is allowed. Any RV including motorhomes, cabover campers and camper vans, or any trailer including 5th wheels, pop-up campers, and cargo or boat trailers are vehicles and count toward the limit. Each campground has overflow parking for excess vehicles. Each campsite allows a maximum of six people and two tents; plan accordingly. Hammocks are allowed but are limited to the footprint of the campsite. Check out time is 11:00 a.m.

Comfort stations provide flush toilets, cold running drinkable water, and trash containers, but no showers or electrical outlets. Each campsite has a picnic table and fire pit with attached grill. Quiet hours are 10:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. Pets are allowed on a leash no longer than six feet. Hiking in the park with pets is allowed only on the roads and Pa’rus Trail.

Springdale is adjacent to Zion Canyon; pay showers, small markets, firewood, laundromats, a limited medical clinic, and restaurants are available. Springdale can be reached from the campgrounds by car, foot, bicycle, or free shuttle (February through late November).

From March through mid-November, the park-wide camping limit is 14 nights. An additional 30 nights is permitted the rest of the year. These limits apply to all park campgrounds.

There are three campground within the park, only two of which are full amenity campgrounds. If you’re figuring out where to stay at Zion National Park and camping is your goal, within the park you can either stay at the main entrance (Springdale area, West) or to the north within the Kolob Canyons entrance. DISCLAIMER: we’ve not camped within Zion NPS so cannot officially recommend either option.

Knowing the landscape of the area, camping at either the South or Watchman campgrounds is going to be quite exposed. There aren’t a lot of trees, especially not any thick, bushy trees, so even if you manage to get a campsite without a neighbor right there, you won’t have a lot of privacy.

 

THE BEST WAY TO ENJOY ZION NATIONAL PARK IS IN A CAMPER

MANY PEOPLE CHOOSE TO FLY TO LAS VEGAS RENT A CAMPER AND DRIVE THE 170 MILES TO ZION NATIONAL PARK

CAMPER RENTALS

Where to Rent A Camper

 

SOME BACKPACKING SUGGESTIONS

When you’re traveling with kids, dining and feeding hungry littles is at the forefront of your mind a good portion of the day. It’s important to be prepared and have a plan, no matter the gambit of activities you have planned in Zion National Park.  Our number one tip: bring your own snacks, and remember that waste-free snacks are best. also there are many drinkable stream and manmade water outlets, so bring some reusable water bottles.

DINING AT ZION LODGE

There are two options for purchasing food within Zion National Park and both are located at the Zion Lodge.  The Red Rocks Grill is located above the lobby in the main Zion Lodge building.

It does both a fresh buffet and salad station as well as fine dining menu style. There was a time when dining in National Parks was just as disappointing as dining in theme parks, but in places like the Zion Lodge and Paradise Inn at Mount Rainier National Park, they’ve really stepped up their game with sourcing and operating like a normal nice restaurant would. 

Also good to know, the Red Rocks Grill has a bar and serves alcoholic beverages. When you talk about visiting Utah, there are a lot of questions and conversation about alcohol laws in the state. Yes, they do have alcohol and yes, they also have weird Utah beer. Both are available at Zion Lodge. 

There is also a quick service cafe attached to the Zion Lodge, the Castle Dome Cafe, located near the Zion Shuttle stop. This is good for sandwiches and burgers, but the price point doesn’t match the experience. For the same prices or cheaper you can enjoy a nice, sit-down service restaurant at the Red Rocks grill and eat out on the rooftop deck looking out at the Zion Canyon walls. You choose.

Wilderness Permits:

Fees & Passes

How To Use The Shuttle System
There are two shuttle routes. The Zion Canyon Shuttle connects the Zion Canyon Visitor Center to stops at nine locations on the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. The Springdale Shuttle has nine stops in the town of Springdale. The Springdale Shuttle will take you to the park’s Pedestrian Entrance near the Zion Canyon Visitor Center. You may get on and off as often as you like. Riding the shuttle is free.
Buses are wheelchair accessible.

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Click here for additional Traffic and Travel Tips
Tune your radio to 1610 AM for additional information.

During the busy season the free buses run from early morning to late evening, as often as every seven minutes. Times and intervals change with the seasons. Current schedules are posted at each shuttle stop, at park visitor centers, and in the
Map and Guide.

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Take Your Time
Buses run frequently throughout the day, as often as every seven minutes. You do not need to rush to catch one. Take your time to plan your visit. Use the exhibits outdoors and the information inside at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center to make the most of your time. Ranger presentations at the Zion Human History Museum are a great way to learn more about the park before you ride the shuttle up canyon. The bookstore has maps and publications that can augment your visit.

 

Easiest Ways to Get to Zion National Park

Zion National Park is just 2.5 hours from Las Vegas, 4 hours from Salt Lake City and 6 to 7 hours from Los Angeles. You can drive to the park, but during the park’s busy season (from April to November), the main canyon is accessible only by shuttle.

Flight Map

Air Travel

When traveling by plane, the closest airport near Zion National Park is McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, which is 170 miles from the park. Salt Lake City International Airport is the next closest, and it’s 311 miles from the park.

If you fly into Salt Lake City, you can take a connecting flight into Saint George, Utah or Cedar City, Utah. Saint George is just 49 miles from the park, and Cedar City is 60 miles from the park.

By Car 

If you plan to travel by car from Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Saint George or Cedar City, here are some easy and quick directions to Zion National Park. 

From Las Vegas (163 miles from Zion) or Saint George (40 miles from Zion):

  • Jump on Interstate 15 north
  • Take exit 16 and stay right on State Route 9 East for 33 miles
  • Stay right to continue on State Route 9 East in La Verkin, Utah for 20 miles
  • Stay on State Route 9 East into Zion National Park

From Salt Lake City (307 miles from Zion) or Cedar City (57 miles from Zion):

  • Jump on Interstate 15 south
  • Take exit 27 and stay left on State Route 17 South for 26 miles
  • Stay left on State Route 9 East in La Verkin for 20 miles
  • Continue on State Route 9 East into Zion National Park

For additional directions to Zion National Park, please visit our maps page.

Zion National Park Visitor Centers

Once you arrive at the park, you can stop at one of the two visitor centers to obtain all of your necessary permits, learn about park activities, receive restaurant recommendations and view transportation schedules. The Zion Canyon Visitor Center is located at the south entrance of the park near Springdale.

The Kolob Canyon Visitor Center is located off of Interstate 15 at the west entrance of the park.

 

ENJOY THIS MAGICAL DESTINATION

– A BUCKET LISTER FOR SURE –

CHRIS

Get On Your High Horse! – Big Sky, Montana

SO YOU WANNA BE A COWBOY!

 

A Montana Dude Ranch Vacation Like No Other

 

The Bar W Guest Ranch is a year-round dude ranch near Glacier National Park, ready to treat you to true Montana hospitality from the moment you arrive until long after the sun sets.

Nestled between two pine-covered ridges in an idyllic setting at the base of Spencer Mountain, the Bar W Guest Ranch is located just a stone’s throw from the town of Whitefish, Glacier National Park and Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort.

THINGS TO DO AT GLACIER NATIONAL PARK

 

RESERVE THE BAR W GUEST RANCH

PRICES STARTING AT $99 PER NIGHT

 

 

THINGS TO DO AT WHITEFISH MOUNTAIN

 

The Bar W is a small ranch that can host up to 40 guests per week. Guests have the option of arranging 3-night or 6-night package stays, arriving and departing Sunday-Wednesday, Wednesday-Saturday, or Sunday-Saturday.

Horseback riding is core to a week at the Bar W and with our proximity to public land, we are able to ride on close to a million acres.

Other ranch and area activities are boundless as we provide our guests a full western themed vacation complete with skeet shooting, archery, fly fishing, roping, cattle drives, rodeo games, wagon rides, square dancing, cookouts and campfires.

 

RESERVE THE BAR W GUEST RANCH

PRICES STARTING AT $99 PER NIGHT

 

Or you can always just sit back and relax and let Montana surround you with its big skies, amazing wildlife and simple serenity.

They are conveniently located just north of Kalispell and Glacier Park International Airport, which is serviced by several major airlines, including Alaska Airlines, Allegiant, American Airlines, Delta Airlines and United Airlines.

CATCH A CHEAP TO GLACIER PARK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

AIRFAIRWATCHDOG

 

All of this and more is what you can expect from a ranch vacation at the Bar W Guest Ranch, where people arrive here as guests and leave as family.

Montana Horseback Riding

See the full stable of horseback offerings below

A Week Of Trail Rides And Horse Trekking

As a weeklong guest at the Bar W dude ranch, you have access to our all-inclusive horseback riding program. Varied rides and horse treks leave daily and let you saddle up for some of the most exciting, yet relaxing outings into the Montana mountains that you could imagine.

Take your trusted mount over the foothills, into the mountains, across lush wildflower meadows, and to unspoiled viewpoints and back country lakes surrounding Glacier National Park and Whitefish, Montana.

Sway through the Kootenai National Forest on horseback to the pleasant rhythm of creaking leather and clopping hooves.

Tie your horse to a wilderness hitching post near a vivid aquamarine lake with wide, sandy beaches that let you soak in the cool mountain sunlight.

Enjoy a horseback riding program in the Montana wilderness that forms the core of our weekly guests’ experience as well as the highlight.

Trail Riding At The Bar W

Most of our daily horseback rides cater to our weeklong ranch guests, where all rides are included as part of the all-inclusive experience.

However, if you are Interested in a trail ride but don’t have a week to spend with us, we have some options that may suit you. See below for more information.

 

RESERVE THE BAR W GUEST RANCH

PRICES STARTING AT $99 PER NIGHT

 

 

Horseback Riding For Weeklong Guests

 

A stay at a dude ranch wouldn’t be complete without all-you-can-ride horseback outings. We form the whole ranch experience around putting you in the saddle as often as you want.

Not only that but since we’re sited just outside Glacier National Park minutes from Whitefish, Montana, you’ll find yourself swaying through some of the most incredible views in the United States. You’ll even get to peer into Canada on some of your rides.

Rides For Weekly Guests Include

Canadian border ride: Hoof it to the border for iconic views of two nations’ natural treasures. Ride along the shores of Lake Koocanusa, a beautiful aqua blue-green lake with wide, sandy beaches where you can recuperate from your saddle time.

Getting to the trailhead is almost as pretty as being on the trail! Timberline trails: Head into the Montana mountains on horseback for rides that will stick with you for a lifetime. You ride through open prairies surrounded by rugged peaks, fragrant wildflower meadows, and even soar above timberline to see what Mountain Life is all about. The ridge lines are calling!

Horseback Riding For Day And Local Guests

Not everyone can spend a whole week at the ranch, which is why we provide trail rides as often as possible based on availability and trail conditions.

We currently offer two-hour and half-day rides on trails through the woods and into the mountains. Your trail ride adventure begins as our wranglers match you to one of our sure-footed horses, followed by an orientation designed to help you feel confident on your horse.

At the Bar W,  emphasis is always placed on your safety and the welfare of the horse. Children must be at least seven years old for our day-trip horseback rides. It can be difficult for kiddos.

Once your reservation is confirmed.

Call the Ranch – (406) 863-9099 – And make reservations for trail riding and other activities.

“I suggest 14 days prior, it’s always better to play it safe. 

These kids are not 7

It’s recommended contacting the ranch within 7 days of your desired outing to check availability of trail rides on the date and time that works best for you.

Horseback Riding Pricing For Day And Local Guests

2-Hour Trail Ride
(Days and times based on availability.)
  $85 per guest
Half-Day Trail Ride
(Sundays, 4-person minimum.)
 $110 per guest
Cowpoke Pony Ride
(Kids under 7, 30-minute ride)
  $60 per child

RESERVE THE BAR W GUEST RANCH

PRICES STARTING AT $99 PER NIGHT

 

 Two-Hour Trail Rides Or Half-Day Rides

 

If you’re not staying at the ranch or are a local, you can still experience the thrill of Montana horseback riding near Glacier National Park. Sited only 10 minutes from Whitefish, our ranch is easy to get to and impossible to forget.

With a 90-horse herd born and bred in Montana, we often have extra horses and wranglers available for two-hour or half-day rides through wooded mountain trails to iconic Big Sky destinations.

We offer trail rides to day guests based on availability and trail conditions. Reservations accepted a maximum of seven days in advance.

Day riders just take a sip of Montana wilderness on horseback, and you’re probably going to want more. We hand weekly guests the bottle with no need to drink responsibly. This is one time it’s encouraged to drink it all in.

Choosing Your Horse

Our experienced wranglers hand-select a horse for every rider based on age, weight, riding ability, and overall riding style.

If this is your first time in the saddle, we’ve got great mounts for learning.

Seasoned loper? You’ll ride a horse that’s more ready to run and take on advanced terrain.

Wherever you’re at in your horseback riding journey, we’ll meet you with a horse that suits you well and give you the confidence you need to take your riding to the next level.

You’ll forge a bond with your horse and feel at ease enough to call it your own throughout the week.

Horseback Riding Lessons

Horsemanship always leaves room for improvement — even for the most seasoned riders. For weeklong guests, you’ll have every opportunity to increase your knowledge and capabilities.

Your lessons will be personalized to your riding level with other similar riders. With a maximum of four riders per wrangler, you’ll never feel like you’re getting left in the trail dust, even if you are a greenhorn.

Watch as your ability to communicate with your horse, steer, and generally feel in charge of your trusty mount increase throughout the week in a genuine, authentic, and first-rate learning environment.

We group riders of similar abilities throughout the week so you never feel out of place.

Horseback Riding Lessons

The Bar W Guest Ranch offers a diverse horseback riding program and some of the best training available anywhere. If you want to enhance your horsemanship skills, our lessons are perfect for adults and children of any age.

We begin by matching you with one of our trained horses based on your ability. During a riding lessons, you learn basic horse safety, how to groom and saddle your horse, the proper riding posture, controlled gaits, stopping, and turning. Our lessons are perfect for riders of all abilities as all private lessons are tailored specifically to the rider’s needs.

Lessons are offered year-round based on availability. We accept reservations for lessons a maximum of seven days in advance. During the summer months, availability is limited and lessons are mostly offered on weekends and select weekdays. 

Rates

Horsemanship
(60 min)
$60.00
Roping Hay Bales
(30 min)
$35.00
Barrel Racing & Pole Bending
(45 min)     
$65.00

Learn Rodeo Skills

Throughout your week at the dude ranch, you’ll put together horseback riding skills worthy of a rodeo queen or king. Then, with your fanbase of new friends and family cheering you on, you’ll ride in the end-of-week rodeo for some friendly competition.

Whether your goal is to just have fun or to win, you’ll learn the ins and outs of pole bending, cattle sorting, barrel racing, and other arena sports to see how you fare.

RODEO At The Bar W

 

RESERVE THE BAR W GUEST RANCH

PRICES STARTING AT $99 PER NIGHT

Once your reservation is confirmed.

Call the Ranch – (406) 863-9099 – And make reservations for trail riding and other activities.

“I suggest 14 days prior, it’s always better to play it safe. 

 

Weekly guests work all week to improve their rodeo skills, and enter a rodeo competition at the end of the week that pits them against each other. In a non-threatening, friendly way you can take as seriously as you want.

With several events aimed at testing your steed’s fancy footwork, you’ll see how your horsemanship measures up in a fun arena atmosphere.

Barrel Racing

This timed event tests your skills and tactics of riding as fast and as in control as possible.  Clover-leaf pattern barrel racing will have you loping across the arena with your eyes always on the next barrel.

Family Horseback Riding

 

Bar W has the most extensive kids’ program of any dude ranch in Montana.

Small fries 3 and under will mostly take lead-rope rides around the ranch while under our babysitters’ care, but the fun really begins for cowpokes ages 4 to 6.

For them, pony rides, arena games on horseback, and horsemanship lessons drive the experience.

And for junior wranglers up to age 11, the world opens up. Many junior wranglers choose to do the same rides as their parents, while others choose to hang back with other kids for shorter rides and rodeo arena games.

 MESSAGE FROM THE OWNER

The Great Western Family Vacation

At the Bar W, we believe experiences are meant to be shared and consider children to be the heart of the ranch. We’ve designed an impressive cowpoke program for cowpokes ages 4-6 years along with our Junior Wranglers 7 years and older.

Throughout the week children can immerse themselves in the rich history of cowboy culture that they’ve read about in books or watched on TV. The kid’s program is designed to allow parents the freedom to experience all we have to offer while being confident that their child is receiving the best care and making lifelong memories with our children’s counselors.

After one of our Horsin’ Around sessions, your cowpokes can explore the ranch or play games in our game room, complete with a pool table and darts. In the West, ranch life starts at a young age; whatever your age, the Bar W has a great vacation waiting for you.

 

RESERVE THE BAR W GUEST RANCH

PRICES STARTING AT $99 PER NIGHT

 

Every Age Is Welcome

 

Small Fries (Under 3)

For the small fries, under three, we offer limited babysitting (based on availability) so the adults can enjoy the trails together.

Babysitting rates are $20/hour for the first child and additional children (under 3 years) are $10/hour. Age appropriate ranch activities and fun are offered!

Cowpokes (4-6)

Cowboys and cowgirls under seven can become official Bar W Cowpokes. Our Cowpoke program allows kids to enjoy horseback riding and experience a variety of Montana oriented activities.

Cowpokes will enjoy pony rides, arena games on horseback, horsemanship lessons, scavenger hunts, Montana bingo, arts & crafts, and even can become a “Montana Picasso” as they paint a horse!

Junior Wranglers (7-11)

Junior Wranglers, age seven to eleven, will enjoy rides with adults as well as special Junior Cowpokes Rides for any child that does not want to do longer rides with their parents.

Junior Wranglers will enjoy miles of trail rides and games in the arena. Lead by counselors, each cowpoke team will experience great adventures including horseback riding, swimming, fishing, and exploring Montana country.

BUILD YOUR FAMILY BRAND!

Handcrafted out of iron by an authentic Brand Inspector, these custom brands can be preordered to arrive before your stay with us, or we can ship to you.