Best Horseback Riding in California

This list represents the most popular horseback riding in California. Use this list to plan your next California horseback riding trip. Select a state and/or activity below to find even more top trails.

  • #1 Stuart Fork Trail to Emerald and Sapphire Lakes

    5 Reviews

    Weaverville, CA

    These tantalizingly named lakes lie at the end of a trail that crosses one of the largest alpine meadows in the Trinity Alps. There are numerous reminders of the gold mining activity that took ...
    •  3 days
    •  30 miles
    •  Guide

    These tantalizingly named lakes lie at the end of a trail that crosses one of the largest alpine meadows in the Trinity Alps. ...

  • #2 Caples Creek–Silver Fork Loop: Caples Creek Proposed Wilderness

    5 Reviews

    Kyburz, CA

    The proposed Caples Creek Wilderness is relatively small in comparison to the Mokelumne Wilderness to the south and the Desolation Wilderness to the north, but its glaciated topography, rugged ...
    •  5 to 6 hours
    •  8.6 miles
    •  Guide

    The proposed Caples Creek Wilderness is relatively small in comparison to the Mokelumne Wilderness to the south and the Desolation ...

  • #3 Big Meadow Trailhead to Echo Summit and Echo Lake

    2 Reviews

    Meyers, CA

    There are three beautiful lakes on this trip: round lake is only a 5.2-mile round-trip from the trailhead. dardanelles is 1.4 miles off the TRT and provides a 6.8-mile round-trip. showers lake ...
    •  17.5 miles
    •  Guide

    There are three beautiful lakes on this trip: round lake is only a 5.2-mile round-trip from the trailhead. dardanelles is ...

  • #4 Winnemucca and Round Top Lakes Loop

    4 Reviews

    Woodfords, CA

    Two picturesque, near timberline lakes with a stunning backdrop from the craggy summits of The Sisters and Round Top are the chief attractions of this loop. The wildflower displays along the ...
    •  3 hours
    •  4.8 miles
    •  Guide

    Two picturesque, near timberline lakes with a stunning backdrop from the craggy summits of The Sisters and Round Top are ...

  • #5 Barney Lake and Peeler Lake Trail

    2 Reviews

    Bridgeport, CA

    The Robinson Creek Trail is the most popular route through the Hoover Wilderness and into the Yosemite north country, and justifiably so. This relatively short, scenic trail leads quickly into ...
    •  5-10 hours
    •  16.4 miles
    •  Guide

    The Robinson Creek Trail is the most popular route through the Hoover Wilderness and into the Yosemite north country, and ...

  • #6 Upper Blue Lake to Fourth of July Lake

    2 Reviews

    Kyburz, CA

    This route from Upper Blue Lake is definitely the back way to Fourth of July Lake, since most visitors reach the lake from either the Woods Lake or Carson Pass trailheads near Highway 88. The ...
    •  5 hours
    •  9 miles
    •  Guide

    This route from Upper Blue Lake is definitely the back way to Fourth of July Lake, since most visitors reach the lake from ...

  • #7 Noble Lake

    5 Reviews

    Markleeville, CA

    Although Noble Lake lacks the pristine splendor of many High Sierra lakes, the hike to it offers sensational views of the volcanic Sierra Crest, glaciated Noble Canyon, and rugged alpine summits. ...
    •  5 hours.
    •  7.4 miles
    •  Guide

    Although Noble Lake lacks the pristine splendor of many High Sierra lakes, the hike to it offers sensational views of the ...

  • #8 Bull Run Lake

    4 Reviews

    Lake Alpine, CA

    Ascending a tributary ravine of the upper Stanislaus River, fording streams, traversing deep forest and lush meadow, the Bull Run Lake Trail passes through such varied and beautiful terrain that ...
    •  3 to 4 hours.
    •  7.2 miles
    •  Guide

    Ascending a tributary ravine of the upper Stanislaus River, fording streams, traversing deep forest and lush meadow, the ...

  • #9 Vernal and Nevada Falls

    4 Reviews

    Yosemite Village, CA

    Probably the single most scenic short hike in the Sierra Nevada, this wildly popular semiloop gets awfully crowded on summer days. But don’t miss it—for the sake of the superlative scenery, the ...
    •  6 hours, allowing extra time to enjoy the views.
    •  5.2 miles
    •  Guide

    Probably the single most scenic short hike in the Sierra Nevada, this wildly popular semiloop gets awfully crowded on summer ...

  • #10 Ojai Valley Trail

    0 Reviews

    Ojai, CA

    Though it sits on the edge of Los Angeles, a metropolitan area that is ever-changing and expanding, the Ojai Valley has retained its rural charm. Part of that charm is the rail-trail that follows ...
    •  9.5 miles
    •  Guide

    Though it sits on the edge of Los Angeles, a metropolitan area that is ever-changing and expanding, the Ojai Valley has retained ...

  • #11 Big Pine Lakes Basin

    3 Reviews

    Big Pine, CA

    This out-and-back day hike or overnight backpack trip visits two of the Big Pine Lakes, resplendent in their mountain basin hemmed in by the 14, 000-foot Palisade Crest, home to the Sierra Nevada’s ...
    •  6 to 7 hours, but the basin makes a better backpack trip of 2 or 3 days.
    •  9.6 miles
    •  Guide

    This out-and-back day hike or overnight backpack trip visits two of the Big Pine Lakes, resplendent in their mountain basin ...

  • #12 Laurel Lake and Lake Vernon Trail

    2 Reviews

    El Portal, CA

    This relatively low-elevation loop, a good early-summer conditioner, visits two fairly large lakes—Laurel and Vernon—both good rainbow-trout fisheries. If you hike only to Laurel Lake, you go ...
    •  2-3 days
    •  24.8 miles
    •  Guide

    This relatively low-elevation loop, a good early-summer conditioner, visits two fairly large lakes—Laurel and Vernon—both ...

  • #13 Santiago Peak via Holy Jim Trail

    3 Reviews

    Corona, CA

    Under good conditions, you can trace the coastline from Point Loma to Point Dume, spot both Santa Catalina and San Clemente Islands, and scratch your head trying to identify the plethora of ...
    •  9 hours
    •  16 miles
    •  Guide

    Under good conditions, you can trace the coastline from Point Loma to Point Dume, spot both Santa Catalina and San Clemente ...

  • #14 The Cool to Canyon Loop

    1 Reviews

    Auburn, CA

    Linking rolling, pastoral grasslands with the raw, rugged American River Canyon, this loop trail embraces two very different, but very classic, faces of Gold Country foothill scenery. Rising ...
    •  3 hours.
    •  6.2 miles
    •  Guide

    Linking rolling, pastoral grasslands with the raw, rugged American River Canyon, this loop trail embraces two very different, ...

  • #15 The Quarry Loop

    3 Reviews

    Auburn, CA

    The scenery along the lower American River Middle Fork’s canyon is not always pretty, but it has a rough-and-tumble kind of charisma borne of its gold rush legacy. Preserved today as part of ...
    •  4 to 5 hours.
    •  9.3 miles
    •  Guide

    The scenery along the lower American River Middle Fork’s canyon is not always pretty, but it has a rough-and-tumble kind ...

  • #16 Hole-in-the-Ground Loop Trail

    2 Reviews

    Soda Springs, CA

    Hole-in-the-Ground is one of the premier rides in Tahoe. Well-designed and technical singletrack takes you up ridge tops to sweeping views of Castle Peak and beyond. Miles of smooth, hard-packed ...
    •  3-4 hours
    •  16.8 miles

    Hole-in-the-Ground is one of the premier rides in Tahoe. Well-designed and technical singletrack takes you up ridge tops ...

  • #17 Tenaja Falls

    2 Reviews

    Lake Elsinore, CA

    With five tiers and a total drop of about 150 feet, Tenaja Falls is the most interesting natural feature in San Mateo Canyon Wilderness. In late winter and spring, water coursing down the polished ...
    •  1 hour
    •  1.4 miles
    •  Guide

    With five tiers and a total drop of about 150 feet, Tenaja Falls is the most interesting natural feature in San Mateo Canyon ...

  • #18 Needles Lookout

    4 Reviews

    Porterville, CA

    Climbing a granite pinnacle on airy stairways and catwalks to a fire tower overlooking the vast expanse of the Kern River drainage, this trail serves up the thrill of extreme rock climbing without ...
    •  2 to 3 hours.
    •  4.6 miles
    •  Guide

    Climbing a granite pinnacle on airy stairways and catwalks to a fire tower overlooking the vast expanse of the Kern River ...

  • #19 Twenty Lakes Basin

    4 Reviews

    Lee Vining, CA

    This alpine basin studded with lakes and ringed by spectacular mountains should appeal to hikers seeking exceptional scenery without the stiff elevation gains required of most lakes in northern ...
    •  4 hours
    •  4.3-7.3 miles
    •  Guide

    This alpine basin studded with lakes and ringed by spectacular mountains should appeal to hikers seeking exceptional scenery ...

  • #20 Kibbie Lake Trail

    1 Reviews

    El Portal, CA

    Were it not for the long drive to the trailhead, Kibbie Lake would be a popular dayhike. At 4 miles distance and only about 700 feet between its trail’s high and low points, Kibbie Lake is a ...
    •  3 hours-2 days
    •  8 miles
    •  Guide

    Were it not for the long drive to the trailhead, Kibbie Lake would be a popular dayhike. At 4 miles distance and only about ...