Archive for the ‘Extended Day Ride’ Category

Top Five Grand Teton Horseback Riding Trails

Posted on: August 13th, 2014 by DryRidge No Comments

#4: Dead Horse Pass

Dead Horse Pass, one of our favorite Grand Teton horseback riding trails

It’s been a busy summer of horseback riding in the Grand Tetons, from fabulous sunny days with clear views of crags and peaks, and lush candy-colored wildflower meadows, to three days of thunder showers. You can’t have sunshine every day, but when it rains there is something magical about riding in the clouds, and above the clouds.

 

Riding in the clouds

With a day at home drying out tents, I want to tell you about another of our favorite extended day rides, Dead Horse Pass.

Your guess

is as good as mine,

whose dead horse

the pass was named after!

View from Dead Horse Pass, one of our favorite Grand Teton horseback riding trails

Dead Horse Pass is one of our favorite Grand Teton horseback riding trails because we travel a variety of terrain, from wildflower meadows along our favorite mountain stream, Badger Creek, to a rolling mountain ridge, and a steep and rocky trail to the pass. Once we tie up, a short hike takes us to a point overlooking Lake 1031, not so mysteriously named for its elevation. The lake is at the head of Bitch Creek and this alpine perch is the perfect spot for a picnic. In that clear high mountain air we sometimes see a bald eagle lazily soaring on thermals.

DRO Dead Horse Pass-2

The return trip is along the same trail, but remember the views are always different as we head home, and you never know when you might see a cow moose and her calf lunching in a willow bottom, or a black bear busily eating huckleberries, or a Dipper standing on a rock doing its dipping dance. So join us for an extended day ride to Dead Horse Pass.

Previous riding experience is recommended. Riding time: Approx. 6 hour

Happy Trails!

DRO Dead Horse Pass

 

Natural History On Horseback

American Pika

Pika with food

If you hear a sharp chirp when you are riding or hiking near a rock slide or talus slope in alpine regions above timberline, it’s likely an American Pika, Ochotona princeps. The short calls are uttered as an alarm. The pika is a small member of the rabbit family, with short, stout bodies and big round ears. They have no visible tail. Their fur is buffy brown, to brown and black so they easily blend into their rocky habitat. Look in the direction of the chirping vocalization and you may see one perched on a boulder. Pikas are herbivores; they feed on grasses and wildflowers. Their grass-lined dens are hidden in rock crevices.

Pikas do not hibernate. They remain active throughout winter. During summer months, they dry grass and wildflowers in the sun and then cache the dried forage in piles under rocks. During lean years, these caches become an essential food source.

Pikas live in colonies, and will alert each other with a warning call when a predator is near. Even though they live in colonies, each has its own territory and will defend their den and the surrounding area from neighboring pikas.

Click on this link to see video and slideshows of the American Pika.

 

 

 

Top 5 Grand Teton Horseback Riding Trails

Posted on: June 18th, 2014 by DryRidge No Comments

Green Lake in Jedediah Smith Wilderness, Idaho horseback riding

# 3-Green Lake

Tucked in behind the steep east side of Green Mountain is Green Lake, another of our favorite Grand Teton horseback riding trails. The trail leading to this high mountain lake begins on a densely vegetated slope, where snowberry and serviceberry are just beginning to bloom. Later in summer huckleberries will be ripe for picking.

Horseback riders taking a break among wildflowers on Green Mountain Trail, Teton Mountains, Jedediah Smith Wilderness, Horseback riding in Wyoming

 

The trail opens onto the broad face of Green Mountain; by mid-July the wildflowers are breathtaking.

“When the white wild carrot blooms across the face of the mountain I feel as if I’m drifting on a cloud.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trail leading down to Green Lake, Teton Mountains, Jedediah Smith Wilderness, Horseback riding in Idaho and Wyoming

 

 

 

A steep switchback trail drops down to the lake, where fishing, lounging,

and dipping toes, if you dare,

in the cold mountain water, are permitted. For riders who want to venture further, we explore the smaller lakes and subalpine meadows above Green Lake.Upper Green Lakes with Little's Peak in the background

Portions of the trail are steep and rocky so riders must have previous riding experience.

Natural History On Horseback

Red-tailed Hawk

A perched Red-tailed hawkA common raptor seen in our area is the Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis). A screeching kee-arr often alerts you to the bird soaring overhead. When an intruder enters the nesting territory the pair will often circle, making a shrill chirping sound. But the typical adult Red-tailed Hawk’s distinctive red tail is the best field mark. When you drive through the countryside, look for the bird perched on telephone poles, fenceposts, and in trees at the edge of an open field. Red-tails typically build their nests in the crown of a tree so they have a favorable view of their territory. They primarily eat small mammals, but they also eat birds and carrion. Mated pairs typically stay together until one of the birds dies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To learn more about identifying raptors view this video from Peterson Field Guides:

Top 5 Grand Teton Horseback Riding Trails

Posted on: May 1st, 2014 by DryRidge No Comments

#2 – Crow’s Nest

Arrowleaf BalsamrootWe all have spring fever here at Dry Ridge Outfitters! Springbeauties are blooming as fast as the snow melts, the horses are fattening on green grass, and Kevin and I are itching to saddle up for a ride into the backcountry.

One of our favorite Grand Teton horseback riding trails is the Crow’s Nest. The trail gradually gains Dry Ridge, known for its abundant wildflower meadows and quiet aspen groves. One of the early wildflowers to bloom along the trail is Arrowleaf Balsamroot; the bright yellow flowers create a striking landscape against the blue sky.

The open slope offers panoramic views of the west side of the Teton range. The ridge lies between Badger Canyon to the north, and North Leigh Canyon to the south. When I’m riding to the Crow’s Nest, I feel like I’m looking right down the spine of the Tetons.

 

family stops for a photo on the way to Crow's Nest, Grand Teton Horseback Riding Trails

We stop about 1000 feet below the peak of the Crow’s Nest and picnic. It’s a good place to rest on a log and savor the breathtaking views of the Teton range. Depending on your riding ability, the return trip can loop down into Badger Canyon below the headwaters of Badger Creek. You might catch a glimpse of a moose snacking on the leaves and twigs of a willow bush (What Moose Eat!). Finally, we climb the Bear Walk Trail back onto Dry Ridge.

 

All smiles horseback riding across Badger Creek in the Grand Tetons

Depending on the year, Kevin and I start riding to the Crow’s Nest in late June or early July. Check back soon to read about more of our favorite horseback riding trails in the Grand Tetons.

Natural History On Horseback

3clla2The Western Springbeauty (Claytonia lanceolata) is a rich food source in spring. Deer, elk, and sheep graze on the leaves and flowers. The tubers are prized by grizzly bears. Raw, the tubers taste a little like a radish, cooked they taste a little like a boiled potato. The wildflowers were also a source of food for Native Americans. Read about Sacagawea’s ‘parcel of roots’ given to Meriwether Lewis on the banks of Hungry Creek.

Happy Trails!

Top 5 Idaho Horseback Riding Trails

Posted on: February 22nd, 2014 by DryRidge No Comments

#1 – Tin Cup Pass

Idaho Wildflower - Idaho Horseback Riding Views

Hollyhock

Nope it’s not spring time in the Tetons yet! BUT it won’t be long now before you can saddle up for an Idaho Horseback Ride.

In the meantime, we’ll be sharing blogs on our top 5 favorite Idaho Horseback Rides, as we start planning for another spectacular summer in the Tetons.  We hope you’ll check back to see them all.

The first of our favorite rides is Tin Cup Pass.  The trail begins from the North Leigh trail head along Tin Cup Creek. As we cross the open meadows, you’ll want to stop and admire breathtaking views of Beard’s Mountain and the Big Hole Mountain Range which is on the west side of the Teton Range or Teton Valley, Idaho.  At our highest point, we will enjoy a relaxing picnic in the cool shade of a mature fir tree while gazing upon one of the most panoramic views of the Tetons offered.

After lunch an option might be to walk to the top of Green Mountain viewing all the high mountain lakes of this area. This is not a loop ride and very suitable for almost all riding abilities.  Learn more about the Idaho’s Tin Cup Ride here.   Yep….this is one of the views! Really awesome!

 

Idaho Horseback Ride-Tin Cup Pass

The Grand Teton

Kevin and I start taking the Tin Cup extended day ride around the 1st week of July. It differs each year depending on how much snow is left in the high country. The wildflowers can be so awesome!

Columbine

Columbine

Happy Trails!!!

Teton Horseback Riding Thanksgiving

Posted on: November 28th, 2013 by DryRidge 1 Comment

Thanks for all the Great Teton Horseback Riding Memories

Teton Horseback Riding with Kevin & Deb Little

A Teton horseback riding outfitting business is very rewarding. Kevin and I have been very blessed over the last 16 years. We have met some really special people. Horseback riding in the Grand Tetons packs every moment with memories that will last a lifetime. Along with these memories come special friendships that will fill eternity.

We want to express a heartfelt  thanks to these many acquaintances and now grand friends.

We hope your day is full of great joys. Our many, many thanks for riding the Tetons with us.

 Kevin & Deb Little - Wintertime!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

Horseback Riding in Idaho – Our Favorite Trails

Posted on: November 15th, 2013 by DryRidge No Comments

HORSEBACK RIDING IN IDAHO

EVERY TIME you saddle up for Horseback Riding in Idaho, you experience the variety that the Grand Tetons offer.

Horseback Riding in Idaho to Green Mountain

A Spectacular view of the Grand Tetons

VARIETY, people say, is the spice of life! I’d like to spend the winter sharing some of my favorite 2013 Horseback riding in Idaho experiences. I hope my readers will agree that Idaho and Wyoming offer some of the most scenic horseback trails in the United States.

 

My favorite: Green Lake Extended Day Ride

This is a beautiful high mountain lake, deep blue green waters where the fishing is abundant. The prime time to visit these high lakes is mid-to-late July. Riding through the wildflower meadows is something only horseback riding in Idaho can offer. Every time I ride through Green Mountain’s wildflowers I say to myself “it just doesn’t get any better!”. But…..then we wander further gaining elevation for views of the upper lakes. Small waterfalls and meadows fill your camera card FULL!

Green-Mountain-Horseback-riding-in-Idaho

Wildflowers on the Green Mountain Extended Day Ride

Whether summer or fall an Idaho horseback ride to Green Lake is something you don’t want to miss. This fall we experienced a whole new perspective. Although it was a snowy week for trail riding, especially up in the higher elevations, I think it was one of the prettiest views I’ve ever experienced. Green Lake Basin is located on the western slope of the Tetons in the Jedediah Smith Wilderness/Targhee National Forest. Check out this mirror image!

 

upper-green-lake-horseback-riding-in-Idaho

Upper Green Lake

Perhaps I’ve teased you enough! You will have to come and ride with us.

See you on our next post of Horseback Riding in Idaho-Our Favorite Trails !