Best Horseback Rides in Las Vegas

Get away from the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas and enjoy an original experience in the desert. A horseback riding tour will show you a different side of Sin City.

Lorena Morales

Lorena Morales

11 min read

Best Horseback Rides in Las Vegas

Chica montando a caballo | ©Oleg Didenko

Las Vegas is much more than casinos, big hotels and shows. A few kilometers from the metropolis lies a huge desert full of life. In the past, this was the territory of cowboys, miners and bandits, while today it is the realm of numerous animal species.

In my opinion, a horseback ride is one of the best attractions in Las Vegas. You will be immersed in nature and finish the ride with a hearty breakfast or barbecue dinner that will make you feel like a true pioneer.

1. Sunset horseback ride with dinner

silhouette of two people on horseback| © Ashlyn Smith
silhouette of two people on horseback| © Ashlyn Smith

Would you like to ride at sunset through the canyons and prairies of Nevada? Have you always dreamed of dining by the fire as the sun leaves the far west? This excursion is the answer to your wishes.

A car will pick you up on the famous Las Vegas Strip and take you to the desert. Normally you will be able to choose between two time slots: between 14:00 and 15:00 (in winter) or between 16:00 and 17:00 (in summer).

Before returning to your hotel, you will enjoy a cowboy-style barbecue with juicy barbecued meat, the ideal way to end the day. Vegan options are also available.

  • Duration: about 5 hours
  • Price: between 150 € and 200 €.

Book a sunset horseback riding tour from Las Vegas

2. Horseback riding along the Outlaws Trail

two horses walking| ©Forest Service, USDA
two horses walking| ©Forest Service, USDA

The Nevada desert was once traversed by the Outlaw Trail, an inaccessible route that was used by adventurers and bandits of all kinds. Without the worry of ambush, the ride is much more enjoyable. You will see prairies, wild burros and the typical reliefs of the Wild West.

A vehicle will pick you up at your hotel and accompany you to the ranch located in the Moapa Valley. Once there, the guide will explain the rules of the tour and give you some useful tips about the horses. Don't worry, they are very docile and are used to the presence of tourists.

The tour takes place in the morning - you will be picked up around 7:00 - and ends with a well-deserved breakfast with pancakes, sausages, eggs, fried potatoes, toast, coffee and orange juice. Vegan options are also available.

  • Duration: about 5 hours
  • Price: about 120 €.

Book a horseback ride on the Outlaws Trail

When is the best time to go horseback riding in Las Vegas?

man touching a horse| ©glenemy
man touching a horse| ©glenemy

Spring and fall are the best seasons to go horseback riding in the desert. More specifically, the most recommended time corresponds to the months of May, June and September, when the sun is somewhat less intense than usual.

Las Vegas is located in the middle of the Nevada desert and, therefore, has some peculiar climatic characteristics. If you are planning a summer vacation, you should know that highs easily reach 40 degrees.

In any case, if you visit Las Vegas in winter you will have to face inclement weather, especially at night, when negative temperatures can be reached. During the day, the maximum is around 10º. You will need to bring a jacket and/or a wool sweater.

Can I ride a horse if I have never done it before?

man on a horse| ©Don
man on a horse| ©Don

Yes, these excursions are designed for a wide public and, consequently, use docile and tame horses. In any case, it is important to keep in mind a few elements:

  • It is important to establish an empathetic bond. In general, it is advisable to let the horse get close to you and this may take some time
  • For horses, the nose is an important and delicate point, so you should avoid petting them there. You can only do this if the quadruped knows you well
  • Do not approach them from the front, they may interpret your presence as a danger
  • Avoid sudden movements
  • Do not shout, if you use a calm tone of voice you will have no problems
  • If you do not know the horse perfectly, do not stand at the back
  • Horses can be frightened by sudden noises, always keep this in mind. Fortunately, in the desert this is not very common

Don't worry, the guides are experienced and will give you all the information (and help) you need.

How does the horseback riding route work?

group of people on horseback| ©vegasstek
group of people on horseback| ©vegasstek

To ensure a safe and efficient route, the ride is done in single file. Even if you know how to ride a horse perfectly well, you will not be allowed to gallop or run.

If you are looking for adrenaline, I recommend another activity: an ATV tour in Las Vegas. You will drive an ATV in the Mojave Desert.

Book your off-road tour in Las Vegas

Is this activity recommended for kids?

child watching horses| ©Melanie Dretvic
child watching horses| ©Melanie Dretvic

It depends on the age. The most common is that these excursions do not admit participants under 6 or 7 years old. Before booking the tour, I advise you to read the details carefully. In any case, there is no shortage of attractions dedicated to the youngest members of the family:

  • Shark Reef Aquarium, the aquarium of the Mandalay Bay hotel. The particularity of this environment are the tunnels that cross the water tanks and allow you to see sharks, turtles and hundreds of colorful fish at close range. I recommend buying tickets to the Shark Reef Aquarium in Las Vegas in advance (3950 S Las Vegas Boulevard)
  • M&M's World, the giant store of the famous chocolates housed in the Showcase mall. You can customize your M&M's with a special printer (3785 South Las Vegas Boulevard)
  • Madame Tussauds, the famous wax museum. Its special feature is the Marvel Universe 4D, a movie with breathtaking special effects. The cheapest ticket costs about 35 euros (3377 S. Las Vegas Boulevard, Suite 2001)

This list lists just a few of the many attractions. For more ideas, I recommend you read the post that lists the 10 things to do in Las Vegas with kids. You will discover that Sin City is not only a destination for adults...

Book your ticket for the Shark Reef Aquarium in Las Vegas

How should I dress for horseback riding?

woman in red shirt on horseback| ©hatterasanna
woman in red shirt on horseback| ©hatterasanna

For horseback riding, it is not necessary to wear (or buy) specific clothing. The helmet will be provided by the agency and, otherwise, you only have to take into account some small precautions:

  • It is an outdoor activity and, in these cases, the watchword is comfort. Wear appropriate clothing because you will spend several hours in nature
  • Although the desert surrounding Las Vegas is hot, the thermal amplitude is very marked. To avoid getting too hot (or too cold), dress in layers!
  • Avoid shorts and skirts. The constant rubbing of bare skin against the saddle and the horse's body can turn your ride into a nightmare. Jeans will prevent chafing and rashes
  • Always wear closed shoes and don't wear necklaces, earrings or anything that can get caught in trees and bushes
  • Don't forget sunglasses and sunscreen to protect exposed skin.

What happens if the route is cancelled due to bad weather?

lightning in the sky| ©Tom Stetson, W7CTS
lightning in the sky| ©Tom Stetson, W7CTS

There are usually two options for any excursion of this type: a full refund or a change of date.

In either case, there is little or no rain in the Nevada desert and it is very unlikely that the tour will be cancelled due to a storm. In the rare event of rain, you can try your luck at a casino or visit the following attractions:

  • The Mob Museum, to retrace the history of organized crime in Las Vegas and the measures taken by the state to combat it. It also has a bar that recreates the speakeasy (illegal bars) of Prohibition. The reviews are excellent! (300 Stewart Avenue)
  • Try the best restaurants in town. In Sin City you can opt for Wing Lei (famous for Imperial Peking duck and Maine lobster wok), Estiatorio Milos (specializing in Greek recipes and Mediterranean flavors) or Mizumi (a very refined Japanese), among others
  • Visit the Titanic exhibit in Las Vegas. You will see more than 200 elements recovered from the famous ocean liner, such as the monumental staircase that welcomed passengers
  • Defy gravity. Put on a special suit and fly in a wind tunnel. Companies like Vegas Indoor Diving organize this type of experience
  • Relax with a good massage. I recommend reading the article that lists the best spas in Las Vegas.

Book your ticket for The Mob Museum of Las Vegas

What can you see on this type of excursion?

horses eating on the savannah| ©MegRuth Stay
horses eating on the savannah| ©MegRuth Stay

The Wild West is an extreme territory and home to many species, both animal and plant. Read on and discover what you will see during your horseback ride.


Nevada's Desert National Wildlife Refuge is located a few miles north of Las Vegas. It was created in 1936 to protect the wildlife that lives in this area. On a horseback ride you may encounter the following animals:

  • Wild burros were brought to Nevada in the 16th century to be used as work animals. Because of their strength and carrying capacity, they played a crucial role in the westward expansion of the United States. They are very intelligent animals and have a coat of different colors, they can be gray, almost white, black or brown
  • Roadrunner, a large, slender bird with a very long tail. It spends most of its time on the ground and when it runs, it can exceed 30 km/h
  • Coyote, the opportunistic predator of the desert. It feeds on practically everything: rodents, lizards, small snakes, hares, birds, but also carrion, insects and some plants. It can be seen mainly at dusk and at night. You are more likely to see it if you choose the first excursion. If you are fascinated by this animal, I also recommend another activity: a trip to Zion Wilderness Park from Las Vegas
  • Desert Bighorn sheep, recognizable by their characteristic curved horns. When you're riding the horse, note the steep terrain and slopes that are its natural habitat. It withstands the most extreme temperatures and can go long periods without drinking
  • Mojave Desert Tortoise, a species that survives the most extreme temperatures by staying underground for long periods of time. If you see it, don't hold it in your hand. When it feels threatened, the tortoise empties its bladder. In such hostile territory, this loss of fluid could be fatal
  • Jackrabbit, the black-tailed jackrabbit. It is recognized by its large ears, which have a dual function: to detect approaching predators and to disperse heat
  • Athene cunicularia, one of the smallest owls in North America. It has very long legs and spends most of its time on the ground, where it finds its favorite prey: insects and small mammals
  • Mule Deer, larger and more robust than a traditional deer. You will recognize it by two features: the black forehead that forms a kind of mask and the large ears
  • Gray fox, a solitary animal with mostly nocturnal habits. At first glance it may look like a coyote but if you look closely, you will notice that it has a bushy tail and shorter legs
  • Bald eagle, the symbol of the United States. They are usually in Nevada between December and February. A pair of binoculars will allow you to admire their flights and glides.


The desert has an extreme climate: scorching during the day while temperatures plummet at night. Despite this, trees, shrubs and (above all) succulent plants grow on the rocks and arid soils of the region:

  • Teddy Bear Cholla, a robust, cylindrical cactus covered with thick golden spines. Stay away, they are easily removed and can stay in the skin
  • Larrea tridentata, a very common shrub in the deserts of Nevada. It has small leaves covered with a waxy coating that prevents moisture loss. When it blooms, you will recognize it by its yellow petals
  • Joshua Tree. It is actually called Yucca brevifolia but got its name from the Mormons who saw a resemblance to the hand of the biblical patriarch of the same name asking God for help. It is found mostly in the Mojave Desert
  • Mesquite, halfway between a large shrub and a small tree. It belongs to the legume family and played a crucial role for both Native Americans and pioneers. Its beans fed thousands of settlers during desert crossings
  • Opuntia chlorotica, a blue-green succulent with rounded leaves. The thorns become darker as the years go by

This list gathers the main ones, counting only the succulent plants easily exceeds 20 species. By the way, if you like nature, I recommend a visit to the Las Vegas Natural History Museum.

Reserve your ticket for the Las Vegas Museum of Natural History

Are there other outdoor activities worth doing?

group of people together| ©El Coleccionista de Instantes Fotografía & Video
group of people together| ©El Coleccionista de Instantes Fotografía & Video

Of course there are! The wilderness surrounding Sin City and the city of Las Vegas itself allow for a myriad of activities any time of year. The list below lists the main ones:

  • Hiking Mount Charleston. If you have a rental car, you can reach this mountain range just a few miles from the city. One trail that is not particularly challenging is the Mary Jane Falls trail. It is about three kilometers long and ends with a splendid panoramic view of the surrounding canyons
  • Piscinas, the perfect option to escape the heat. Most of those found in Las Vegas allow entry even to those who are not staying in hotels. Among the best, it's worth mentioning Liquid Pool (if you're in the mood to party, 3730 S Las Vegas Boulevard), The Cosmopolitan (3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South) and The Tank, best known for the pool with a real shark (separate, of course). Located at 129 Fremont Street
  • Kayak tour on the Colorado River. An air-conditioned bus will pick you up at your hotel and escort you to the Black Canyon. The river descent is a worthwhile adventure. For more information I recommend you to read the post about the Hoover Dam tours from Las Vegas. Some include this activity
  • Water activities on Lake Mead. Agencies like Boating Lake Mead rent jet skis, paddle surf and electric boats.

Book your Hoover Dam tour from Las vegas

Tips for a horseback riding tour

person on horseback| ©Joe Pallas
person on horseback| ©Joe Pallas
  • In most cases, helmets are only mandatory for children under 12 years of age. However, I recommend that you ask for it
  • You will spend a few hours in the desert, a very extreme place. Although you will not be visiting during the middle of the day, bring sunscreen to avoid sunburn
  • Riding a horse puts a strain on the muscles of your back, pelvis, legs and arms. To avoid soreness, you can do some stretching before getting in the saddle. Turn your head clockwise and counterclockwise, bring your knee to your chest and hold your leg up for 10 seconds, spread your legs apart and touch the ground. These simple movements are very helpful
  • Before starting the activity, the guide will ask you about your level of preparation. Don't lie, the guide will assign you a horse suitable for your level.