Q: Should I book in advance or can I just show up?
A: All rides need to be booked in advance, no walk-ins. Reservations need to be secured with a payment. The number of riders for most tours is limited to four so I recommend booking early. Please call, text, or email us if you have any questions.
Q: Where are you located and do you provide transportation?
A: Denali Horseback Tours is located about 12 miles north of the Denali Park entrance in the small town of Healy. Once a reservation is secured, I'll email you a confirmation, including detailed driving directions. We don't provide transportation. If you don't have your own vehicle, you can contact Denali Transportation (www.denalitaxishuttle.com). It is a local 24hr shuttle service and they can be reached at 844-907-4387 (their driver Angel's cell number is 907-388-5600; please don't call late at night) or by email at ride@DenaliTransportation.com. We strongly recommend making your reservation ASAP since they might not be able to accommodate you on short notice. Keys to Denali is one of 2 local car rentals. You can call them at 1-800-683-1239, 1-907-683-KEYS, or 1-907-378-4584. Their web site is www.denalidomehome.com/Car-Rental-Denali.html. Second one is Alaska Auto Rental; phone: (907) 457-7368, website: www.alaskaautorental.com
Q: Do I have to know how to ride a horse?
A: There is no horse experience needed, however horseback riding is a physical activity so our guests should be somewhat physically fit and be able to mount (using a mounting block) and dismount a horse, as well as ride balanced. Our one hour tour is recommended for novice riders, kids under 10 years old, and riders with health limitations (please consult a doctor before booking a tour if needed).
Q: What kind of clothes do I need to wear?
A: Alaskan taiga can be brushy so wear long pants and dress in layers (extra layer and rain gear is recommended - these items can be attached to your saddle). All riders should wear boots or close-toed shoes, preferably with a small heel. Sandals, flip-flops, clogs and open-toed shoes are not allowed.
Q: Can I ride the same horse as my child? Do I have to ride with my child?
A: Sorry, no riding double. Minimum age for a rider is 6 years old. On shorter rides I can pony/pull your child's horse if needed, so he/she doesn't have to worry about steering. All children are required to wear helmets (provided by DHT). If you don't want to go riding with your child, that's ok, as long as you sign a release for him/her.
Q: Do you have weight limit?
A: No, my horses vary in size/strength and I do have couple draft horses that can accommodate larger riders. You do have to be able to mount/dismount on your own, using a mounting block, and ride balanced. We would appreciate approximate heights and weights of all riders in advance (as well as levels of riding experience) so we can plan which horse and saddle to use for which rider.
Q: What time should I show up for the ride?
A: If the ride starts at noon - be there at noon. There is no need to arrive early since we won't be ready for you till your start time.
Q: What if we're late for the ride?
A: If there are others scheduled for the tour, we won't be able to wait for you and you'll be consideres a no-show. If it's only your party going riding and you let us know by the scheduled start time, we might be able to wait (how long depends on the length of your tour) and take you on a shorter ride. Full price will still be charged. Please be aware that we might not be able to answer the phone when getting horses ready. If you leave a voice mail, it might be few hours before we'll be able to listen to it. Text works better because we might be able to respond to it quicker.
Q: How long is the half-day trip?
A: This trip is about 4 hours long and is recommended for more experienced riders, since most people don't handle such a long saddle time very well. We take a longer lunch/snack break at an old abandoned trapping cabin, where we dismount and stretch our legs. Bottled water and a small snack are provided; for lunch tours we recommend bringing your own lunch.
Q: Do you take reservations for just one person?
A: Sometimes a rider wants to ride, but can't find any friends to join them. If another group can't be found and the rider would still like to go out alone, we charge an extra 25% solo trail ride fee. This fee does not apply if we can add the solo rider to another group.
Q: Do we get to trot and canter?
A: Our trails are either too boggy due to tundra (and permafrost) or too rocky for faster gaits, so our rides are walking only.
Guided Trail Rides into Alaskan Backcountry
Denali Horseback Tours