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Horse back riding Bryce vs Zion

Worcester...
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129 posts
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Horse back riding Bryce vs Zion

Will be at both. Anyone one done both and which was your preference and why. Plan to take my 11 year old daughter. If you have only been on one what did you like/dislike. Thanks

Ohio, USA
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for Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce, Arches National Park
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1. Re: Horse back riding Bryce vs Zion

My wife and I did the rides at both Zion and Bryce back in 2007. In Zion we did the half-day Sand Bench trail and at Bryce Canyon we also did the half-day ride into the main amphitheater. The outfitter at both parks is Canyon Rides, an excellent outfitter:

http://www.canyonrides.com/index.html

We much preferred the ride at Bryce Canyon over the ride at Zion.

The Sand Bench Trail at Zion is sort of sandy, deep in some places, so it was a slow go. The scenery along the trail was not that great. There were some nice views at the end of the trail, but nothing spectacular. It was just a ho-hum ride.

At Bryce Canyon, you are riding down into the hoodoos of the main amphitheater, so the views are amazing the entire way. You see the formations up close and personal. The ride is also a little more thrilling due to the nature of the trail since it is exposed and has some drops (fear not, these horses and mules are well trained; besides they want to get home safely just as much as the riders and wranglers).

With both rides, the wranglers were top rate and took excellent care of their "dudes."

BTW, they use both horses and mules at both Zion and BC (at least they did when we made those rides). I rode a mule at each park and my wife rode a horse.

Worcester...
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2. Re: Horse back riding Bryce vs Zion

Thank you

Kipling. SK
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for Zion National Park
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3. Re: Horse back riding Bryce vs Zion

Well I have not taken either of the trailrides, but I have more or less hiked both trails. The sandbench in Zion is shunned by hikers in the park, so in a way, taking the trail ride in Zion is like discovering an undiscovered portion of the main canyon, which offers a nice view upcanyon past the court of patriarchs to the north, and a nice view downcanyon over canyon junction and the area covered by the Parus trail.

In Bryce, you can experience the hoodoos quite easily from the hiking the basic trails, so with the trail ride, you are not seeing much more except for some extra below the rim territory and a good view of the hoodoos from below, instead of above.

In the end, I would stick with the recommendation provided by Ohiohick. Most contributors on this forum seem to agree the trail ride at Bryce is better from a scenery standpoint. The company at each park is the same, so you should not receive any advantage to service and the human factor at either location. If I had any say in the matter, I would simply suggest to take whatever ride fits in with your schedule.

Edited: 02 March 2014, 03:29
Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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4. Re: Horse back riding Bryce vs Zion

Did it at Bryce. Watched at Zion. I'd choose Bryce again for sure

Edited: 02 March 2014, 05:36
Worcester...
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5. Re: Horse back riding Bryce vs Zion

Thank you

Milwaukee
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6. Re: Horse back riding Bryce vs Zion

I have done the half-day rides in both Bryce and Zion park. The outfitters/guides were both great, and the scenery was lovely on both... but I preferred Bryce by a pretty big margin, for the same reasons OhioHick noted. The switchbacks are a little unnerving, so consider that fact if you or your daughter have any concerns about that - but the ride is fabulous.

Since, as Widmarsh notes, the ride at Bryce covers trails that can be reached on foot... if you do plan to hike both parks, I'll offer one alternative. Mecham Outfitters is just outside of Bryce; they will take you through a slot canyon just barely wider than your horse and then up to a ridge for views of Bryce's rim. This ride may have been my favorite of all three, and complements the scenery of the parks beautifully. You can't go wrong with any of these - ENJOY!!

7. Re: Horse back riding Bryce vs Zion

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