Culture / Travel / Holiday

Dashing Destinations to Experience a Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride This Holiday Season

These Winter Wonderlands Make Spirits Bright

BY // 11.17.21

Sleigh rides are an iconic part of the holiday season, but not incredibly attainable here in Texas. So we looked beyond the Lone Star State to find the wintery scenes of our dreams. 

 

Sleigh ride in Big Sky Montana. (courtesy Lone Mountain Ranch)

Big Sky, Montana

Located in Big Sky, Montana, dreamy Lone Mountain Ranch is a renovated, 100-year-old destination comprised of 27 log cabins, making it a quaint escape for travelers seeking an abundance of outdoor activities. They offer horse-drawn sleigh rides through a winter wonderland under starry skies to a cozy oil-lantern-lit cabin for a prime rib dinner. A local will even serenade the dinner while strumming a guitar. 

 

Park City, Utah

The Snowed Inn Sleigh Company is located on the slopes of Park City Mountain Resort overlooking the snowy town in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains. Horse-drawn sleigh rides up the snowy slopes of the ski resort are offered to the property’s lodge. After a cozy ride up the mountain, guests delight in a gourmet dinner and live entertainment. The current talk of the town in Park City is the new Pendry Hotel opening in Canyons Village this winter.

 

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Jackson, Wyoming offers holiday sleigh rides through its National Elk Refuge (courtesy National Elk Refuge).

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Near Jackson Hole’s town center is the National Elk Refuge where during the winter months thousands of elk gather. Imagine a town center where elk mingle with visitors and locals alike. Although no reindeer will be spotted on this winter escape, The National Elk Refuge often has been known to have bison, bighorn sheep, and bald eagles roaming about. Jackson Hole Vintage Adventures takes guests out to the National Elk Refuge with a team of draft horses pulling a sleigh through the snow.

 

Sun Valley, Idaho

Take a trip back in time through the snow-laden hills of Sun Valley, Idaho on a classic horse-drawn sleigh ride. Soaring across postcard-perfect scenery and powdery landscapes, this classic experience culminates with your arrival to a cozy, rustic winter oasis at Trail Creek Cabin restaurant. 

 

Sandpoint, Idaho

As a blanket of white transforms North Idaho, visitors at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch enjoy scenic horse-drawn sleigh rides or wagon rides powered by one of the ranch’s draft team of horses. Louie and Lonestar; Jake and Julie; Queen and Justice; Doc and Duke; Major and Fancy; or Cash and Cole will make you feel like a child again as they plod and jingle through a two-mile loop trail of dense forests in the foothills of the Cabinet Mountains with views of the Selkirk Mountain Range. If Old Man Winter hasn’t moved in and there isn’t enough powder for a sleigh ride, the ranch team simply switches the sleighs from runners to tires. 

 

Breckenridge, Colorado offers a multitude of sleigh ride options (courtesy Breckenridge Tourism Office).

Breckenridge, Colorado

There are several opportunities to dash through the snow from the comfort of a sleigh while taking in the mountain views in Breckenridge. Two Below Zero’s Scenic Sleigh Ride is a one-hour experience complete with hot cocoa and homemade cookies (and schnapps for the adults).  Golden Horseshoe Tours offers a cherry-red scenic sleigh ride pulled by Belgian draft horses. Your wranglers will ensure you’re nestled under a cozy blanket before heading out through trails of powdery snow in the White River National Forest. Breck Stables offers a 35-45 minute sleigh ride that takes you up Breckenridge Ski Resort and offers evening views of the town. You can even opt for a dinner and a sleigh ride option that culminates at Spencer’s Steak House at Beaver Run. Golden Horseshoe Tours allows you to take a sleigh ride back in time to an 1800s mining camp where you’ll be entertained by a dinner show created to transport you back to the mining days.

 

Sleigh rides are offered to guests of Sleigh Rides at The Residences at Aspen Valley Ranch.

Aspen, Colorado

The Residences at Aspen Valley Ranch offers expansive space for celebrating the holidays with friends and family. Plus, they offer complimentary sleigh rides for all guests staying on property. The experience concludes with s’mores under the stars, après ski, and more. Guests can even visit the horse barn to have an up-close and personal meet and greet with the horses pulling the sleigh. 

 

Granby, Colorado

Snow Mountain Ranch, a premier spot for setting sights on the Rockies, offers daily 45-minute-long public sleigh rides through the end of the year. Horse-drawn sleds depart from Snow Mountain Ranch to take guests on a journey past frosted pines and scenic vistas, all ending at a crackling bonfire with hot chocolate. Private holiday sleigh rides are also available for families. 

 

Beachwood, Ohio

Nestled in the woods of Geauga County, is an 1820s log cabin that is home to Ma and Pa’s Gift Shack. Starting Thanksgiving weekend through the winter months when snowflakes start flying, Ma and Pa hitch the horses to the sleighs and offer rides throughout the woods. Once complete, the sleighs return to the cabin for a warm fire, providing guests with Ma’s famous cookies, hot chocolate, and maple Coffee. They also offer romantic night rides for those special engagements or an unforgettable night out. Many Ohio visitors who take part in the sleigh ride activity stay at closeby Hotel Indigo Cleveland Beachwood.  

 

Newlyweds often use a horse-drawn sleigh for a getaway after the ceremony at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.

Lake Louise, Alberta

Tracing a path beneath dramatic glaciers and snow-capped mountains in Canada, horse-drawn holiday sleigh rides at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise allow you to sit back in cozy, upholstered seats and soak in the spectacular scenery of the iconic Lake Louise along the way. Marvel at the ice falls at the end of the lake or the glow of the hotel on an evening ride. This tradition has become a favorite for newlyweds, opting for a two-seated sleigh inside of a getaway car after nuptials.

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