- Free permits are required for overnight horseback pack trip
- Willis Creek-Sheep Creek is a 5-6 hour ride through magnificent scenery including Indian petroglyphs
- Rock Springs Draw-Paria is a 6-8 hour ride along a former cattle trail following the Paria River
- Rock Springs Draw-Snake Creek is a 7-8 hour ride along a former cattle trail to Snake Creek Canyon
Horseback pack trips offer the chance to be at one with nature, discovering birds, animals and wild flowers in spectacular scenery. Horseback riding can take visitors to some almost inaccessible places from dense forests to imposing plateaus. If you do not have your own horse, several stables in the area offer trail rides from 1½ hours to full day and overnight horseback pack trips.
Horseback riding is best between October 1 and March 30, weather permitting.
Permits are required for overnight horseback pack trips, obtainable free from any Visitor Center.
Where to Go on Horseback Pack Trips
Willis-Creek – Sheep Creek
- 5-6 hours – beginners to experienced riders
- Pass through Sheep Creek in the Paria River drainage area to Willis Creek where Indian petroglyphs can be seen. The creek is barely wide enough for a horse to pass through. Pass the grave of Elijah Averett after whom Averett Canyon was named
Rock Springs Draw – Paria
- 6-8 hours – intermediate to experienced riders with some hiking involved
- From Rock Springs Draw follow Johnson Hole Trail, the former trail used to drive cattle and sheep to the Paria River. Rest at Crack Springs then continue up the river to see Indian petroglyphs
Rock Springs Draw – Snake Creek
- 7-8 hours – intermediate to experienced riders
- From Rock Springs Draw follow Johnson Hole Trail, the former trail used to drive cattle and sheep to the Paria River. See the Indian ceremonial caves at Snake Creek Canyon and see the rock which gave the canyon its name
Rock Springs Draw – Sam Pollock Arch
- 8-9 hours – experienced riders
- From Rock Springs Draw ride into Death Valley then through Stone Donkey Canyon to Sam Pollock Arch where an ancient Indian cave is located
Lower Gulch-Horse Canyon-Escalante River-Silver Falls
- 25 miles one way – for very experienced riders. Usually takes 4-5 days.
- Begin at the Burr Trail and follow the Lower Gulch. Cross King Bench and descend the hazardouse route into Horse Canyon. Ride along the Escalante River, looking out for quicksand and dense willow, then ride up Silver Falls Canyon (dry in late spring).
Guided Tours and Rentals
There are several specialist companies in the area offering a wide choice of horseback pack trips with professional guides. Checkout the outfitters listed below.