Amarillo, Texas is cowboy and cowgirl country where your once in a lifetime experience begins. Imagine yourself mounted atop a majestic American Quarter Horse meandering through the Palo Duro Canyon. Surrounded by Texas rocks and crags you can almost feel the spirit of the Comanche Indians lurking around the corner. What would it feel like to saddle up a Palomino to courageously lead your posse through Bobcat Pass Wilderness in Red River, NM. in search of outlaws? Or, how about guiding a hunting party outfitted on horseback in Santa Fe’s 230,000 acres Pecos Wilderness high country at 11,000 ft. in search of Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, mule deer, bear and cougars? The wind whispering through the trees, your horse’s spirit speaking to your heart's desire and your own imagination taking you to yesteryear. Don’t just imagine it—live the dream.
River Pilot provides a cowboy and horseback riding experience immersed within a road trip through the historic west. This tour is ideally suited to provide just enough “saddle time” to quench your cowboy or cowgirl thirst while enjoying the sights and sounds of Amarillo, Texas, Red River and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Intermediate and experienced riders will enjoy the varying terrains and scenic splendor. View the interactive map
Your tour begins in Amarillo, Texas, located on Route 66, the largest city in the Texas Panhandle. Amarillo provides all the sights, sounds and smells familiar to cowboys and cowgirls. The city is home to the American Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame honoring legends of the breed and is a hidden gem of western art and memorabilia. Just down the road is the world renowned Big Texan Steak Ranch where you will be rewarded with a FREE 72 oz. steak if you can inhale it in one hour. Although Amarillo is part of the great plains, nothing prepares you for the breath taking views of the Palo Duro Canyon. What better way to view the canyon than on horseback followed by a picnic lunch near the rim of the canyon catered by Cowgirls Catering? Feeling like a “Big Texan”, top off your night at the Coors sponsored Ranch Rodeo and western dance.
Next stop: historic Red River, New Mexico, where early explorers, fur trappers and prospectors first discovered the area naming it River City. As homesteaders outnumbered prospectors, the area morphed into today’s “mountain playground”. On your way, you will witness the majestic and panoramic views of Cimarron Canyon and the Palisades while driving through a section of the Enchanted Forest Circle Drive. En route, you will enjoy the historic and haunted St. James Hotel & Restaurant and when you roll into Red River, a mouth watering steak dinner awaits you at the Famous Texas Reds. On day four, your professional guide will lead you on an ultimate outdoor ride in the spectacular Sangre de Cristo Mountains. You will settle into an adventure of true western hospitality at its best with great horseback riding in the beautiful Valle Vidal. Your personal guide will take you through breathtaking scenery where you'll see a variety of wildlife and experience the land where the deer and elk play. After a day as a cowboy or cowgirl, you top it off with an authentic Mexican dinner at Sundance Mexican Restaurant.
Next stop: Santa Fe, New Mexico,—The City Different—where you will enjoy the world renowned travel destination nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Santa Fe is unparalleled in historical richness, artistic and cultural uniqueness and natural beauty. En route, you will travel the second half of the Enchanted Forest Circle Drive which will take you through Taos, New Mexico, to enjoy brunch and experience historic Taos. Later, as you arrive in Santa Fe, you begin by stretching your legs in a guided walking tour followed by high tea at the Inn of the Governors. Your final day in the saddle is in 230,000 acres of the Pecos Wilderness High Country. At 11,000 ft, it feels like cowboy and cowgirl heaven.
Three awesome days in the saddle under the big blue sky, in three uniquely different environments surrounded by history, art, culture and the deafening silence only a cowboy or cowgirl could imagine. This tour is designed to give you sufficient fodder for a journal of tall tales to pass on to your children, grandchildren and friends. Why imagine what could be. Saddle up and live the dream with River Pilot’s Tex NewMex cowboy and cowgirl experience! River Pilot Tours - "Come Along For The Ride"
Note: The final day in the tour itinerary is the departure day. No activities are planned unless otherwise specifically included at time of booking.
Approximate Total Driving Miles: 750
Average Hours Horseback Riding Per Day: 5
Riding Conditions: Canyons, open plains, mountains, high altitude
Riding Difficulty: Moderate - must be intermediate to experienced rider
Horseback Riding Venues: 3 locations
Amarillo, Texas: Desert and canyons
Red River, New Mexico: Mountain & meadows
Santa Fe, New Mexico: Arid mountain & pastures
Highlights During Tour:
Amarillo area: American Quarter Horse World headquarters and museum, dinner at world famous Big Texan Steak Ranch, Coors Ranch Rodeo and Western dance, horse back riding on Los Cedros Ranch located on rim of Palo Duro Canyon (north America’s second largest canyon), ride with cowboys, Route 66, Cadillac Ranch, Kwahadi Indian Museum tour, Kwahadi Indian Dancers entertainment
Red River area: Lunch at historic and haunted St. James Hotel, horseback riding at Bobcat Pass Wilderness in the Sangre de Cristo mountains, country and western dancing at local saloon, scenic drive of Enchanted Circle
Taos and Santa Fe area: Brunch in scenic Taos, New Mexico, Taos Pueblo (U.N. World Heritage Site), Rio Grande Gorge, historic walking tour of Santa Fe, horseback riding in Pecos Wilderness, Loretto Chapel and Miracle staircase, dining at Santa Fe restaurants
Minimum Departure: Tour departs with a minimum of 8 persons
Insurance: Travel insurance required