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“The highlight of our Taos vacation” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of A.A. Taos Ski Valley Wilderness Adventures

A.A. Taos Ski Valley Wilderness Adventures
Parker, Colorado
Level Contributor
66 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“The highlight of our Taos vacation”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 July 2013

Big Al Johnson made our horseback riding excursion the best part of our trip to Taos! Our party consisted of myself (an experienced rider and horse lover), my husband (who hates horses and heights), our 17 year-old daughter (inexperienced rider), our 12 year-old son (inexperienced rider), my 62 year-old mother (with a bad back and knee), and my 61 year-old mother-in-law (with a bad hip). Al took the time to inquire about our previous riding experience and matched riders with appropriate horses. Yes, Al spends some time teaching people how to safely ride a horse. This seems much more responsible than the places I have gone that put you in a saddle, hand you the reins, and off you go. Once we mounted up, we headed out and were treated to some truly gorgeous scenery. Al's assistant, Rob, was our trail leader and he kept up friendly conversation throughout the ride. We stopped at one point to get pictures and then made our way back to camp. This is a steep mountain ride taken at a leisurely pace. If you are looking to take a horse for a wild gallop across flat land, you need to book with a different company (although in my experiences, most horse rental companies do not allow people to risk injury to themselves or the horses, so if you want to ride Secretariat, buy your own horse). This is a cash-only business, so make sure you have plenty of cash on hand for the fee plus a tip. An absolutely unforgettable experience!

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank HeatherPuckett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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40 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Denison, Texas, United States
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“very restricted ride”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 March 2013

Big Al was very strict on this trip which made it less fun. After many and lengthy orientations we finally got started. it was a pretty ride but only trails and no open meadow riding. Bi Al was very demanding and overbearing. I would not do this again.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Mark T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tulsa
Level Contributor
24 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Big Al Snowmobile Tour - Taos”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 March 2013

Well..this is a tough one. I wasn't particularly happy showing up at 12:15 and waiting until 1 PM to actually walk down to an overcrowded Dodge Ram Truck with a homemade customized camper shell. All the kids had to stand in between the adults in the bed of the pickup and 4 other adults had to ride on a tailgate. I would guesstimate that Al violated a few laws and his insurance policy.

That said, Big Al is a bit of an eccentric cowboy in the summer with his horse tours and cowboy in the winter on his snowmobiles. My two sons, a friend and his son took this tour. The tour is beautiful and extremely safe. Big Al spends an inordinate amount of time teaching everyone how to operate a snowmobile, trains all on the operation, but spends way too much time starting every snowmobile, driving them into position when he obviously had capable help in his assistant. We had 15 snowmobiles in our group; so time stood still waiting on Al to get each snowmobile started and in position. Also, he had to put each and every snowmobile back into position when the tour was compolete.

Big Al is extremely concerned about safety. I would have preferred a tour where we could open them up a big vs. running them at a steady 10 mph. He constantly stopped on the way up and down to make sure that we didn't speed. We did one official stop of 10 minutes for pictures; which needs to be improved. I've ridden snowmobiles before; did a trip to Colorado with friends who owned their own snowmobiles. If you are expecting excitement; avoid this tour. If you are looking for a beautiful tour in the snowy outdoors and a bit timid about operating a snowmobile, this is your tour. Al will do a fantastic job. Finally, I thought the price was a bit high. We shelled out $240 plus tip for 2 Adults and 3 boys ages 10-13 for a 2 hour tour.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
7 Thank scrooged_ducks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level Contributor
131 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“Big Al will delight!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 January 2013

We had a great time on our first snowmobile adventure. Big Al is a real life Cowboy Caricature and quite a delight. First on foremost on his mind was our safety and I really appreciate that - the views were amazing and the tour was first rate. I would highly recommend a snowmobile adventure with Big Al and my family and I will place ourselves in his care for future summer adventures as well!

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank JRC_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
170 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Well worth the money for the views”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 January 2013

I had been searching for this under Big Al's which is how I had found it on TSV website. We took the snowmobile tour and had a great two hour ride. Big Al is a hoot from his description of the "shuttle" (Pope Mobile) to the way he gives out instruction and shows you how to care for the machines. Very informative and the care that he puts into making sure that everyone has a good time and is unscathed after the trip. Then, off you go up and down the sides of the mountain to the peak overlooking the ski mountain. At that point, you stop for picture taking and head back down. Very well worth the $70 for your own machine or $90 for two to ride one. Small children and older individuals all enjoyed the trip.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank Retiringonaboat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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