I have been doing this blog for quite awhile now, and I have had the pleasure of doing many exciting things. This past weekend I was fortunate enough to go on a horseback ride with Cowboy Trail Rides, and it certainly deserves its place among the most fun things I have done in all this time!
As you know, I particularly enjoy doing things that might not immediately come to mind when you think about Las Vegas. Well, I am sure not many people consider letting their inner cowboy come out when visiting here, but if they don’t, they are definitely missing out! Taking a ride with Cowboy Trail Rides is one of the most fun things you could possibly do while visiting the city, or if you are a resident who has been here for years.
We decided to go on the Sunset BBQ Ride, which is about a 1.5 hour tour by horseback (or mule) which would give us an incredible view of Red Rock Canyon as the sun began to set behind the mountains. We arrived about the same time as the other riders who came on a bus provided by Cowboy Trail Rides, from their respective hotels. After filling out some paperwork and the ever important safety briefing, we were about to take our ride!
Our guides for this trip would be Robert and Mikey, two young but obviously experienced cowboys. They asked about our riding experience and paired us with a horse (or mule) that would best suit our ability. Then they helped us get on board and we were ready to kick things off!
I was on Casanova, a big but very gentle horse who expertly guided me through the trails. Although I am not an expert rider, he was easy to handle, and even as we climbed some hills or came down them, I always felt safe with him. All of the animals were great, but had their own unique personalities. Some, like mine were content to just to go with the flow. Some of the others like to pass other horses by creating their own shortcuts through the trails. We all got a big laugh when Dustin or one of the other horses would make their way to the front. Basically, we were just on auto pilot as they all knew where they were going.
Our group was small, about 12 people, who had come from all over the country for the ride. Turns out, this is a pretty popular tour for those who are ready to get off the beaten path when coming to Vegas. In fact, there were several people making a return visit to Cowboy Trail Rides. It’s easy to see why, because everything we experienced was top notch.
As we enjoyed the beautiful views, we got to know the other riders, our horses, and Robert and Mikey too. I would like to give them both a huge thanks for making the trip even better than it otherwise would have been. They were very friendly and patient with all of us. They had plenty of stories to share about the area, our rides, and anything else that came up during our time together. You could tell it wasn’t just a job for them. This is their life. And for a few hours, we all felt the same!
As fun as the ride was, it eventually had to come to an end. And after 90 minutes, that was just about the right amount of time for us. However, just because the ride was over, that didn’t mean the fun had to stop. Just as we entered the final turn to where we would return the horses, we were greeted by a singing cowboy who was situated on a cliff up above. What an awesome touch!
We dismounted our rides and headed over to the grill. Nothing beats a great cowboy dinner after a long ride! I opted for the chicken, and others had either steak or salmon. It was topped off with some salad, corn on the cob, grilled potatoes and of course beans. Not only were the portions generous, but this was some truly great food! I am sure cowboys living on the land years ago never had it this good! It was a little chilly as evening settled in, so I washed it all down with a warm cup of hot chocolate. As we all ate, we talked about what a great time we had.
As we ate, we were entertained by the singing cowboy who took requests and told us about his experiences. It was a great backdrop to dinner and a perfect topper to what had already been a memorable trip.
It is clear that Cowboy Trail Rides had thought everything through and were not mailing anything in. Many times on trips in Las Vegas, it seems like they are just out to get your money. And while any business needs to do make money to survive, you never got the feeling that that is all they are about. They clearly want to make sure you leave with a fantastic memory of your time with them. And we sure did!
But……it wasn’t over yet. As we finished dinner, they fired up the pit and out came the marshmallows and cookies! Being from Panama, I had never roasted marshmallows. How fun it was to put them on the stick and roast them in the fire while listening to music. I put the toasted marshmallows between a couple of delicious cookies and enjoyed a wonderfully tasty treat!
The evening finally came to an end and we said goodbye to our fellow travelers. We stuck around a few minutes to tell the staff how much we appreciated them as well talk to the owner, Big Jim. Jim’s name fits. He is a big guy, but like the rest of his staff, he was as nice as could be. He told us about the different rides offered, and the experience he wants his guests to have. Clearly it is a labor of love for him, and it had showed the entire day. I can’t say thanks enough to him for giving us a great memory that we will never forget. We will definitely be back, and surely with friends or family in tow. It would be crazy not to share this with people we are close to!
Another great thing about Cowboy Trail Rides is that they have a ride to suit almost anyone. For us, the Sunset BBQ tour was perfect. But they also offer a shorter ride for those with less time or perhaps wanting to just start a little slower. There are also longer rides for those wanting to make a full day of it. You can see all the options available on their website HERE.
If you have a large group, they also have group rates. I can’t think of a better way to spend some time out of the office getting to know your co-workers or teammates.
Cowboy Trail Rides is the perfect example of why I love my job. Great times, great people and great fun!by