Trot Del Norte County’s Lush Landscape on Horseback

Giddy Up in Crescent City, California with a Horseback Riding Adventure Among Tall Redwood Trees or Along Sandy Pacific Ocean Beaches

Saddle up for an equine ride through Del Norte County’s idyllic outdoors. Choose a sandy saunter or a redwood forest ride near Crescent City, California and make some unforgettable memories. You can chart your own course or enlist a local expert to explore Old California’s way north country on horseback.

Photo by Lynnette Braillard

BOOK A GUIDED HORSEBACK RIDING TOUR

Hand over the reins to Crescent Trail Rides. Let them guide you over serene waters and fern-covered paths or along majestic dunes with ocean views. Lorie, owner of Crescent Trail Rides, and her friendly team have a stable of gentle giants to suit your whole crew for a guided horseback riding tour. We asked Lorie for some of her tips and advice:

How long have you been in the trail riding business?

Answer: I’ve been doing this for over 11 years now. I love the joy that horseback riding brings. I get to see people checking big things off their bucket list and it’s so much fun.

What advice can you give for people trying to decide between a beach or redwood forest ride?

Answer: They are both great. It depends on what you want to see because the scenery is so different. The trail through the redwoods has more ups and downs and definitely has that ‘forest magic’ feeling as you ride under the trees. The beach trails include the dunes, wooded areas, meadows, and of course the shoreline. There is a lot of variety there.

Who is your favorite?

Answer: Of my trail horses, Brittany and Danny are great with the first-timers who are a little unsure about riding. I trust them a lot. Duke and Drake are my hard workers, out almost every time we go.

If I have my own horse, what other trails near Crescent City do you recommend?

Answer: Del Norte County has lots of trails. Mill Creek is really nice and Tolowa Dunes State Park has good options too. Old Mill Road in the park has a view of Lake Earl along the way. You ride in the trees and along the beach.

TOUR & TRAIL RIDING TIPS

Choose the timing that works best for your group, from 1 and ½ hour tours up to three hours. The pace is kept to a comfy walk so you can really breathe in the beauty. And of course, there are plenty of photo-op stops along the way. Lorie and her team require long pants and closed-toe shoes and recommend layers for the ever-changing coastal climate. Ages six and older are welcome.

EXPLORE THE TRAILS AND B.Y.O.H. (BRING YOUR OWN HORSE)

Saddle up your own “mane” squeeze and make your own trail adventure with a redwood ride or stay to the shore.

Gain a heightened perspective as you wander through dense yet ethereal ancient forests atop your steadfast steed. Little Bald Hills in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park is a sublime place to start. Featuring old-growth redwoods and a Douglas-fir grove, you may spy wildflowers in the summer months on this 10-mile out and back.  Along the way, there is a horse camp so you can backpack in and explore more corners of the forest. Need more wildflowers? Check out the 9-mile Mill Creek horse trail. We hear it is also a great place to spy elk. Trot on over to the Rellim horse trail to spy woodpeckers and warblers from your saddle.

Photo by Nate Wyeth

HORSEBACK RIDING ON THE BEACH IN DEL NORTE COUNTY … FROM CRESCENT CITY TO KLAMATH, CALIFORNIA

Who doesn’t love a good gallop in the salt air along crashing waves? Just steps away from the Crescent City Harbor District is South Beach where you can ride for miles. Further north, you’ll find the sand dollar-sprinkled shores of Crescent Beach. Pack a picnic with your pack animal and watch a vibrant sunset. Take in cormorants and pelicans in flight above you as you trot along the tides of Hidden Beach in Klamath, California. Get wild with your trusty steed on Gold Bluffs Beach, an excellent place to view wildlife like elk.

For an ecological wonder and equine dream, saddle up for Tolowa Dunes State Park. Wooded lakes sprawl into marshes and open meadows which give way to rolling dunes. The sunset on Kellogg Beach is a must, along with agate hunting. Plan an overnight escape and stay in the park’s horse camp.

Whether you have your own horse or hire a local professional tour guide, a Del Norte County trail ride on horseback is an outdoor experience of a lifetime — bucket list check!

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