Q: Should I book in advance or can I just show up?
A: All rides need to be booked in advance, usually at east 12 hours before the start of a tour, 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. We have limited internet and spend most of the days outside, therefore it might be a while before I can get back to you (text works the best if you need a quick response).
Q: Do you have weight limit?
A: Our weight limit is 250 lb. Accuracy of heights and weights given upon reservation (give or take 10 lb) is very important and sometimes essential to our ability to fulfill the reservation. We have horses/saddles of different sizes and strive to ensure our horses do not carry more weight than they can safely and comfortably handle, but we have limited horses that can carry riders over 200 lb. If there appears to be a discrepancy of what was listed on your reservation we do reserve the right to check your weight at check in and refuse services without a refund if you fall outside of the weight restrictions. Please do not make us get out the scale, it’s awkward for everyone so we appreciate your accuracy.
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. You do have to be able to mount/dismount on your own, using a mounting block, and ride balanced. We implement this as a safety precaution in the event of an issue arising with a rider or horse during the ride that would require a rider to dismount on the trail. 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: 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.
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.
We strongly recommend making your reservation ASAP since they might not be able to accommodate you on short notice!
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 considered 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: 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 of a rider for the 1 hour tour is 9 years old, for the 2 hour tour it's 10, and for the half-day trip it's 12 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).
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.
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 you sell gift vouchers?
A: Yes, we do. Here is how it works:
If a booking can have different prices based on the date/time (ex. shoulder season), the price of the voucher will be the highest possible price for that booking.
Guided Trail Rides into Alaskan Backcountry
Denali Horseback Tours