During the hey-day of the West’s ranching era, wide terraces in the Grand Canyon served as a refuge for cattle from winter storms. These benches — the “Esplanade” — vary in width from 200 yards to a mile wide, and thanks to the exquisite scenery and solitude, are an inviting location for this horseback riding trip in Arizona for winter camping and exploring.
Definitely not to be confused with infamously tedious donkey rides, this is a rigorous horse pack trip into some of the canyon’s least frequented drainages. It is rough going in this country, and riders often dismount to lead the horses through particularly treacherous stretches. You will quickly gain an appreciation for the amazing fortitude of these horses, and their instinctive skill negotiating the rugged trails.
Once the trail drops off the north rim, you are unlikely to meet anyone but the odd desert bighorn sheep, wary mule deer or perhaps glimpse a condor soaring overhead. The groups are small, and everyone must be a competent rider and be willing to lend a helping hand around camp. The few hardy souls who venture into the Winter Pastures will be rewarded by experiencing the grandeur of the canyon as the first explorer did.
With first-hand knowledge of the exciting tours we offer, the ride consultants at Equitours look forward to answering any questions you might have about this ride. We want to help make sure that you select the trip of your dreams. Please call or email and get ready to pack your bags for a wonderful adventure!