Horseback Riding at Red Horse Mountain Ranch
At Red Horse Mountain Ranch, horseback riding during your vacation is an everyday experience, if you choose to do so. Our riding program is designed to be a memorable experience for everyone. You’ll have miles of trails, a knowledgeable wrangler, a trusty horse, and the ability to go wherever your skills can take you during our horseback riding vacations!
Before you arrive you will be paired with a horse for the week, chosen for you based on the information you provide on your Activity Form. We furnish each rider with a saddle and tack for their entire stay. Riders have at least two opportunities for exhilarating, western-style horseback riding each day. There are rides scheduled throughout the week for all skill levels. All horseback rides leave from the valley floor and travel to unique vistas, viewpoints, or peaks. Advanced riders must complete the advanced test, allowing us to evaluate your ability to control your horse and to make sure you and your horse are a good match.
Find out more about our horseback riding policies
Red Horse Mountain Ranch has been a Dude Ranch Foundation Horse Safety Program member since it’s beginning. The program is a reflection of a proactive approach by the Dude Ranch Foundation to promote safe horse programs through educational opportunities and continual evaluation of safety procedures and skills.
The Dude Ranch Foundation Horse Safety Program ensures member ranches maintain the responsibility of providing guest riders enjoyable horseback riding vacations while exercising the highest degree of care. Each DRA ranch must be re-certified every three years. The owner, operator or manager must attend educational seminars to complete or update current certification. Be sure and look for the Dude Ranch Foundation Horse Safety Logo before you book your next dude ranch vacation.
On Monday morning, all first-time guests, including children, will have an orientation at the Barn, followed by a scenic ride. We also have a ride specifically designed for returning guests. At the orientation, you will learn the Barn Rules and the basics of controlling your horse. We want to make sure you are comfortable with the horse and saddle we’ve chosen for you. If you have any questions about your horse, feel free to ask a wrangler. If you need to borrow boots or a hat, we have everything you might need at the Tack Barn. Helmets are available and required for anyone under the age of 13. We highly recommend helmets be worn by all riders, especially for more advanced rides, and we have plenty to choose from.
Scenic horseback rides are offered every day. These are relaxed, walking rides that take you through beautiful scenery, over variable terrain. Scenic rides typically follow most of the same trails the advanced horseback rides do, just at a more leisurely pace, so don’t worry, you’re not missing any views! If you are concerned about heights, please talk to the Barn Manager the day before so you can be informed of what the terrain will be like the next day.
Each child in the program, 3 years old and up, will have their very own horse for the week. Kids start off their week learning the ropes and meeting their horses during a barn orientation, just like their parents. They’ll be fit to their saddles and taught how to control their horse. Every morning the Kids Program, or “KP” as we call it, enjoys a horseback ride that progresses through the week from the valley floor to rolling hills and more inclined trails. We even ride to a meadow where we have lunch and play games. The rides are geared towards the age group involved. The little buckaroos (ages 3-6) will enjoy horseback riding while being led by a wrangler for a little extra guidance.
Your child’s horse will be chosen for them based on the information you provided on the Activity Form, so the more information you provide the better. Parents and children over age 11 may join the Kids Trail Ride if space is available, but we do recommend giving the younger kids an opportunity on their first day of riding to experience the orientation on their own. Little cowboy and cowgirl boots are available to borrow, and we require each child to wear a riding helmet, which is also provided.
The Advanced Horseback Ride is a combination of walking, trotting, and cantering and is offered a number of times throughout the week. This ride is absolutely exhilarating and, as always, your safety is most important. Even an accomplished rider will tell you that every horse is different and it takes a little time for you to get to know each other. We make sure you and your horse are ready to kick it up a notch before heading out on the trail. All riders wishing to do the Advanced Ride, regardless of riding experience, will be tested by our wranglers in the arena beforehand, allowing us to evaluate your ability to control your horse and stay in the saddle at faster gaits. The Advanced Rides are only available in the mornings, since typical afternoon heat during the summer can be too much for the horses to handle.
Every morning the wranglers have your horse saddled and waiting for you when you decide to ride. The wranglers will make sure you are comfortable and properly equipped before you get on your horse and head out on the trail. If you need a few pointers, don’t hesitate to ask your wrangler for a little help. We have a variety of scenic riding trails, all of which leave the valley floor and climb into the surrounding mountains. Enjoy riding through pastures, along with wide open trails, on open hillsides and ridges, and through narrow, wooded paths. We recommend you bring your camera for this one.
On certain days of the week, an all-day horseback ride is also available. You will experience the backwoods, creek basins, and breathtaking views from mountain ridge lines. A lunch will be provided for you to take in your saddle bag. Be prepared for any type of weather on this ride. The weather may not be the same atop the ridges as it is down in the valley, so it’s best to dress in layers. Typically, most all-day rides climb and descend a total of 5,000 feet in elevation. The ride takes approximately 6 hours, returning back to the ranch in the mid-afternoon.
Family Horseback Rides give parents with kids ages 3 and over a chance to ride together while at the ranch. As always, the wranglers will make sure you and your children are comfortable and properly equipped before heading out on the trail. The little buckaroos (ages 3-6) will enjoy the ride while being led by a wrangler, depending on their ability. Family rides are often shorter than most trail rides, for the sake of the younger children, but we always have time to stop for pictures.
Our goals while you’re here are for you to become comfortable with your horse, and improve your riding skills, so we offer horseback riding lessons and evening clinics at no extra charge. All you need to do is sign up. Talk with your wrangler at the lesson and let them know what you hope to accomplish. Horseback riding lessons are a great way to improve your technique and work on your horsemanship during your week stay at the ranch. We hope everyone can experience an exhilarating advanced ride if they’re up to it, and this is a great way to gain your confidence to meet the challenge!
Challenge Course & Climbing Wall
The challenge course is unlike any other experience you will have while on vacation at Red Horse Mountain Ranch. We take great pride in having our staff and course nationally certified. These elements range from ground to high elements like a 300 foot zipline. There truly is something for everyone, and we practice what we call “challenge by choice.” This means you choose to participate in only the elements that you feel comfortable doing.
The course is designed to challenge you and your group mentally and physically with each element progressing in difficulty. The challenge course is a fantastic way for all ages to build confidence, work as a team, and achieve new heights never imagined. Each one of our challenge course facilitators is trained and professionally certified to provide a fun and safe climbing environment.
Before you get started, you will receive a safety orientation and get properly fitted with a helmet and harness. We start on the ground with stretching and work as a group with creative problem solving games. As your team moves on and is oriented, you may try your hand at any of our high challenges, ranging from the 63 foot climbing wall, to leaping from a platform 30 feet in the air in an attempt to catch a trapeze, aided by your team, balance, and inner strength.
As with most of our adventures, all of the climbing and challenge course equipment will be provided. There is no need to bring your own climbing harness or ropes, however if you would like to bring your own chalk bags or climbing shoes, please do so. Guests are encouraged to wear comfortable athletic type clothing and sneakers, you may also want to include sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen.
The Kids Program will also venture to the challenge course each week, giving the children more elements which are not done with adults. Parents may want to take the opportunity to see their children during this time and arrangements can be made for you to join the kids. The Challenge Course is a must do during your vacation!
Get your swimsuit out for the MegaZip! This is one ride you won’t soon forget. After a short hike up the single track path to the platform, and maybe a breather at the top, your guide will securely clip you in and then send you off on a 30 mile per hour, 1500 foot long, thrilling ride that splashes down into our spring fed pond! It’s the perfect way to end the week, especially on a hot summer day.
There are no age restrictions for the MegaZip!, but the cable for the zipline under typical conditions can only accommodate guest weights from 50 pounds to 240 pounds.
Experience the outdoors in a whole new way. Red Horse Mountain Ranch offers a variety of mountain biking trails, from a leisurely ride through the woods, to the thrill of pushing your mental and physical limits climbing and descending more demanding trails. Our full suspension mountain bikes provide a fluid and comfortable ride and let you cover a variety of terrain.
Exhilarating rides through the Idaho Panhandle National Forest on select off-road trails offer novice, intermediate and advanced riders great vistas and overlooks of the Coeur d’Alene Mountains. Trails are mostly single track and you’ll be traveling by shuttle to the trailhead. The trails travel through forests and across ridge lines, include creek bottoms and mountain sides, as well as sustained uphill and downhill sections. You’ll be passing through old tree stands and along open meadows. Although not an adventure for the younger children, usually an athletic teenager can ride on this adventure.
Mountain Biking Orientation
Whether you have been riding your whole life or you aren’t even sure what hand brakes are, the mountain bike orientation at the Bike Barn is a great way to meet with our mountain bike guides and familiarize yourself with our bike ﬂeet. Make sure to bring a cup of coffee and an extra layer, as it can be a little chilly some mornings. The orientation consists of a brief description of the bikes we ride as well as a hands-on explanation about shifting and braking. After that we will ﬁt helmets and head out to the “trail simulator” for some fun and learning on a safe, low-speed course. This gives riders an opportunity to get an idea of some of the obstacles we might encounter on the trail, as well as work on body position and play some fun balance games.
Other Bike Tours
The Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes is a 72-mile paved trail spanning the Idaho panhandle between Mullan, a mountain mining town near the Montana border, to Plummer, a prairie town near the Washington border. It is one of the longest continuous paved bike paths in the United States. Our guided cycling trips will leave from Harrison, Idaho, an approximately 10 minute drive from Red Horse Mountain Ranch. After being fitted with safety equipment and a bicycle, we’ll be off on our ride along the Coeur d’Alene waterway.
The 3D archery course, designed for all levels of shooting abilities, is a fun family or group event that will put your archery skills to the test. Our guides will take you through a forested archery course consisting of life-sized 3D targets hiding just off the trail at a variety of distances and challenging angles. We’ll provide you with a bow and a quiver full of arrows, and all you have to bring is your sense of adventure!
The course is outfitted with Genesis compound bows in both youth and adult sizes. A few traditional recurve bows are also available. You will receive plenty of instruction from your guide to get acquainted with our top of the line archery equipment.
After the sun has warmed up the fresh water in our surrounding lakes, there is no better place to spend an afternoon than in a kayak! Kayaking allows you to move swiftly through the nearby lake and river systems in your own craft or with a partner. Our ocean kayaks are wide platform, difficult to overturn and cut easily through the water, a great combination for paddlers of all levels, including children. If you’d rather go for a swim, though, feel free to dive on in! Our guides will help you get back in the saddle.
Thompson Lake is part of the Coeur d’Alene Chain Lakes system. It’s a shallow lake located approximately 3 miles from the ranch, rich with birds and other wildlife, and also has a good population of bass, panfish, and pike. Because the lake is shallow, sunlight is capable of reaching 99% of the bottom, which in turn, creates an energy rich environment, supportive of native and introduced wildlife.
The tours provide a relaxing and tranquil experience for you to enjoy. Your kayak cuts through the water easily, gliding you along in the sun, while you watch osprey, waterfowl, beavers, deer, bald eagles, an occasional moose, and other animals in their natural habitat.
Sporting clays is the closest thing to actual field shooting of all shotgun sports. Rather than having clay birds thrown from standardized distances and angles, as with skeet or trap, sporting clays courses are designed to simulate the hunting of ducks, pheasants, other upland birds, and even rabbits. Targets are thrown from various angles and distances, and different sizes of clay targets are used to give the shooter the experience of actual hunting conditions. Action packed and exciting, sporting clays has quickly become one of the top participation sports in the country and it’s a sure bet for an enjoyable outing.
You’ll be participating in a safely controlled environment and there will be plenty of instruction on gun safety and shooting technique. Shooters are provided the opportunity to have a lot of fun, learn some things about shooting, and hone their skills. There are 5 stations, each providing their own unique targets, simulating the movements of different waterfowl and even a rabbit. Shooters start in small groups and move from station to station.
Our Sporting Clay course makes good use of thick brush, steep terrain and other natural features, making the shooting both challenging and realistic. We provide everything you need including shells, different types of shotguns in several gauges, shooting glasses, ear protection, vests, pouches, and, of course, a guide and trapper. No matter your skill level, you’ll have a great time and we even throw in a little friendly shooting competition!
The fishing pond is stocked with smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, crappie, brook trout, and perch. You can try your luck with a fly rod or conventional fishing tackle provided at the pond. If you have your own gear, you are more than welcome to bring it along. Kayaks and row boats are also available. You can adventure to the pond in the early morning before breakfast, after dinner, or anytime during the day. Youngsters under the age of 14 are required to be with either a guide or a parent. Fishing at the pond is catch and release only, so make sure to take a camera to document your success. You do not need a fishing license.
Fly Casting Lessons
Fly Casting Lessons are scheduled a few times throughout the week. Casting lessons can be fun and beneficial to anyone, whether you’ve never held a fly rod, you’re trying to improve your technique, or you’re getting ready for your guided fly fishing trip.
Guided Fly Fishing Trips ($)
Fly fishing trips on the nearby legendary St. Joe River are offered for an additional fee. Please click the link for more information. See more…
Golf at the Ranch
During the week, you’ll have the opportunity to chase a golf ball around one of our local 9 hole courses just a half hour drive from the ranch. A staff member, clubs, and carts are provided so you don’t have to bring anything with you, but you are certainly more than welcome to. Transportation is provided and the group will leave the ranch just after breakfast, returning for lunch.
The Coeur d’Alene Resort
It’s one of the best-known icons in golf – the Famous Floating Green on the 14th hole. You arrive by wooden boat, greeted by your personal forecaddie. The lake is a gorgeous backdrop – as well as a formidable challenge. The expertly groomed course compliments your game. The superb attention to service makes you a VIP every time you play. The experts at Golf Digest, Golf Magazine and Conde Nast Traveler agree – this is one of the world’s best golf experiences.
Designer Scott Miller’s vision was to create a golf course that offered a stimulating round of golf, immersing players in a pristine park-like environment. The result is fairways that play from tee to green on a lush carpet of Bent Grass, accented with beds of brilliant red Geraniums, acres of Junipers and the mountain water challenges of Lake Coeur d’Alene and Fernan Creek.
The 6,803 yard par 71 course boasts a view of the lake from every hole and is designed around four distinct geographic features: an expansive lakeshore, a forested ridge, gently rolling woodlands and Fernan Creek. Former PGA Tour Professional, Chip Beck, called The Coeur d’Alene Resort Course one of the finest he has ever seen, lauding it as a course playable for families, yet challenging enough to test the pros.
Enthusiasts wanting to take advantage of the course have a few options. We highly recommend contacting the ranch and the resort far in advance to make reservations for your tee time. Drive time from the ranch to the resort is approximately 1 hour. More information regarding the course and rates can be found at www.cdaresort.com/discover/golf or by calling (855) 703-4648.
Circling Raven Golf Club
Voted North Idaho’s Best Course and a Golf Digest Top 100 Course, Circling Raven Golf Club offers an enthralling 18 holes to conquer. This beautiful, 7,189-yard course meanders through the rolling hills of Northern Idaho, as it’s nestled among 620 acres of wetlands, woodlands and Palouse grasses. And, when you’re through with the day’s game, head to Twisted Earth for a cocktail and bite to eat.
Golfers wanting to take advantage of Circling Raven have a few options. We highly recommend contacting the ranch and the resort far in advance to make reservations for your tee time. Drive time from the ranch to the resort is approximately 1 hour. More information regarding the course and rates can be found at www.cdacasino.com/golf or by calling 1 (800) 523-2464.
The Kids Program is available during our summer all-inclusive Family Vacation Weeks. The program is designed for ages 3 to 10, but anyone is welcome to participate. At Red Horse Mountain Ranch our kid-friendly environment lets you see your children’s confidence bloom as they experience our wealth of exciting adventures. Imagine watching the joy in your child’s face as they soar 50 feet in the air on the flying squirrel, command a horse on scenic trail rides, and, with a little help from the guides, scramble 60 feet up the climbing wall and ring the bell at the top! Kids learn to kayak, shoot a bow and arrow, ride a horse, go for bike rides, and can even go plinking on the shooting range. We’ll keep them safe so you can relax, knowing they are in good hands with our wranglers. You are welcome to join in their fun or wander off to find your own adventures.
If you have any questions about our Kids Program, please drop us an email to [email protected] or call us at (888) 689-9680. We’ve been entertaining children for over a decade and we can guarantee the yours will have a blast. New friends will be made, adventures abound and the kids will hit their pillow so hard at night they may snore. Be ready for the tears you’ll see on Saturday when the time comes to hit the road, but only until next year!
Kids Trail Ride
Each child in the program, 3 years old and up, will have their very own horse for the week. Kids start off their week learning the ropes and meeting their horses during a barn orientation. They’ll be fit to their saddles and taught how to control their horse. Every morning the Kids Program, or “KP” as we call it, enjoys a horseback ride that progresses through the week from the valley floor to rolling hills and more inclined trails. We even ride to a meadow where we have lunch and play games. The rides are geared towards the age group involved. The little buckaroos (ages 3-6) will enjoy horseback riding while being led by a wrangler for a little extra guidance.
Your child’s horse will be chosen for them based on the information you provided on the Activity Form, so the more information you provide the better. Parents and children age 11 or older may join the Kids Trail Ride if space is available, but we do recommend giving the younger kids an opportunity on their first day of riding to experience the orientation on their own. Little cowboy and cowgirl boots are available to borrow, and we require each child to wear a riding helmet, which is also provided.
Kids Morning Arena Lessons (ages 3-6)
Our goal is to make horseback riding something each child loves and remembers. Part of this is the opportunity to feel the exhilaration of changing gaits, controlling their horse, and having the chance to bond. During their week at the ranch, the little buckaroos will learn all about their horse and step into the arena while being led by their wranglers.
Family Horseback Riding Lessons (ages 7 and up)
These lessons are a perfect setting for the kids to learn more about riding while spending some quality time with the family. Your children will have the opportunity to see, feel, and grow in their confidence and horsemanship skills. These horseback lessons often include a short trail ride to put their newly learned skills to the test.
Horseback Riding for Young Adults (ages 11-20)
All riding opportunities available to parents on the ranch are also available to children age 11 and older. This includes our scenic rides, horseback riding lessons, advanced riding, and all day rides. Please see or horseback riding page for complete details of our full riding program.
The Pottery Barn is always a big hit with the kids, giving them a chance to work with paint and ceramics, and do other fun crafts. Kids can choose from a number of pre-made ceramic figurines, cups, mugs, plates, bowls, and other items to paint. After items are painted, they are dipped in glaze, fired in the kiln, and are ready to take home by the end of the week. It’s a great way for the kids to make something fun and take home a souvenir from the ranch.
During the afternoons the Kids Program will have other fun adventures they’ll be doing like the challenge course and climbing wall, a zipline, kayaking, .22 rifle plinking, painting horses, and maybe a few other things we want to be kept secret. What follows are just a few of the other adventures we have available for children…
Sporting Clays are a 25 round course done with 12 and 20 gauge shotguns. This is typically an afternoon adult adventure. In the past some kids have been able to attend because they are older and can understanding the requirements for safe gun handling and manage the recoil of the shotgun. Most of these kids have had prior experience with a shotgun. It is possible for a child to be included in Sporting Clays if approved by the ranch manager, and parents of course.
Our double and single track mountain biking trails are an absolute thrill and not to be missed. The mountain bikes are sized to allow for 60 inch tall riders, so if your child meets this requirement and is up to the challenge, we will certainly include them in the fun.
3D Archery Trail
This one has always been an absolute favorite with the kids. Our recurve and kids compound bows begin with pull back weights around 15 pounds, so most kids 10 and up will have no trouble being able to launch their arrows at the 3D (and sometimes moving) archery targets. It’s a fantastic mile long trail with a number of stations along the way. There are certain days on the schedule we’ve set aside just for families to enjoy.
Kayaking is one of the afternoon trips for the kids. If you decide to take your kids on a different day, they can still come along as long as they have an adult in the kayak with them. Kids Kayaking day is something they won’t want to miss and it’s been a real big hit with the kids.
This 1500 foot zipline lands in our pond right here on the ranch! It’s a great way to cool off at the end of the week in summertime. The cable for the zipline under typical conditions can accommodate guest weights from 50 pounds to 240 pounds. If you’re child meets this requirement they are good to go.
Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes Bike Tour
This adventure begins and ends in Harrison, Idaho and goes along Lake Coeur d’Alene. The trail is flat and paved. There is a hill to go down in the beginning and to ascend back up at the end, back to the bike shop. The bike shop rents bikes for kids, along with tandem bikes and trailer attachments. If you’re child can operate a brake and is comfortable on a bike, more than likely they will love this adventure.
Q: What if my children are 6 and 11? Does this mean that they will not be riding the first day together?
A: We highly recommend giving your younger child the chance to meet their horse, our staff, and other kids their own age on the first day. However, you definitely know your kids better than we do, so if you feel it necessary for their older sibling to join them in the Kids Program, we absolutely will agree. Our goal is for them to feel comfortable from the first day.
Q: I have a child that would be included in your Kids Program but their riding experience is very good. Would they have to be in the Kids Program the entire time?
A: Our Kids Horseback Riding Program is designed as an introduction to horses and trail riding. Occasionally a child has a higher riding skill level than most. Even if your child has been riding for a while, please understand this would be a new horse, new terrain, and maybe a completely different experience than they’re used to. Also, we’re just overly cautious when it comes to kids riding horses. Our suggestion is to be as thorough as you can when filling out their Activity Form. We would like to meet the your child, see them ride, and let them get a feel for the ranch prior to giving any unrealistic expectation. Some 8, 9 and 10 year olds can be included in the some of the adult scenic rides, depending on their skill levels and the terrain that day. If you have any questions about this policy, please give the ranch manager a call prior to making a reservation. Our goal is always for every child to have a learning and growth experience while at the ranch!
The key to a great family dude ranch vacation is making sure there are plenty of things to do, and Red Horse Mountain Ranch is no exception. Although riding horses is front and center at Red Horse, the kids won’t miss out on plenty of other activities, and parents are more than welcome to join in with the Kids Program as they see fit. The KP wranglers will offer kayaking, challenge course and climbing wall, zipline, arts and crafts, pottery barn, .22 rifle plinking, and many other activities.
There are also lots of other non-guided things for your child to do when they are not with the Kids Program. The library at the ranch is filled with books, games, puzzles, and other things to keep kids entertained during the evenings between meals and evening activities. The evening entertainment on the ranch is also designed with children in mind, including campfires, s’mores, singing, music, races, and scavenger hunts. Not only will they enjoy hanging out with the KP wranglers, but they always seem to make plenty of other friends their age.
Each little buckaroo at the ranch is scheduled with their own horse and saddle, just like mom and dad or their big brother or sister. In fact, RHMR is one of the few ranches that allows kids ages 3-6 to experience real horseback trail riding. The ranch will have a knowledgeable wrangler walking right alongside each horse and child as they venture on their daily horseback ride. After their orientation, where they learn about being around horses and have a trail ride on the valley floor, the kids have the opportunity every morning to head out on the trail.
Some afternoons during the week there are also family rides, where you can all ride as a family together. Knowing your child is well taken care of by the KP wranglers can give you and your family the opportunity to take on more challenging rides such as the scenic and advanced horseback riding.
Red Horse Mountain Ranch is the perfect blend for families during the months of June, July and August while the Kids Program is in full swing. Although making new friends from all over is pretty cool, the best part for the kids is, without a doubt, the chance to blossom and grow while they are here and to connect with family on a deeper level.
Take a look at our reviews on TripAdvisor and see what other families have to say.
Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes
The Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes is a 72-mile paved trail spanning the Idaho panhandle between Mullan, a mountain mining town near the Montana border, to Plummer, a prairie town near the Washington border. It was created through a unique partnership between the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, Union Pacific Railroad, the U. S. Government, and the State of Idaho. The trail takes you from high mountain splendor, through the historic Silver Valley, into the chain lakes region, along the shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene, over the Chatcolet Bridge to Heyburn State Park, and finally climbs to the Palouse prairie: an adventure for the entire family! Multiple developed trailheads provide entry points, and there are scenic waysides along the route for picnicking.
Our guided trips leave from Harrison, Idaho, a 10 minute drive from Red Horse Mountain Ranch. Guests are fitted with safety equipment and a bicycle from the Cycle Haus in downtown Harrison, and then we’ll be off on our ride along the Coeur d’Alene waterway. All ages are welcome to go, and there are even trailers you can rent for the little buckaroos. A few recumbent bicycles are also available.
The Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes leads through protected marshlands, offering cyclists a glimpse of wildflowers, eagle and osprey nests, deer, occasional moose, elk, and a variety of ducks and other wildlife. This is also a great extended trip for families that stay in the region before or after their vacation at Red Horse Mountain Ranch.
Hiking at the Ranch
Fitness Hiking and Morning Stretch
Each morning before breakfast, a short brisk hike and our morning stretch routine are offered as a wonderful way to wake up those tired muscles. Our guests have commented how the early morning activities really help get the blood flowing. However, sleeping in is also highly recommended by many!
Self Guided Hiking
If fitness is not your primary concern, or you would just like to experience the trails by foot, you may do so by stopping in the Trading Post to find out which trails are open for the day. Since the lodge is near the valley floor you can expect some hills, but we will help you capture the views without stretching your physical abilities too much. There are certainly trail running options as well. A trail map and ranch radio will be provided.
An Amazing Off-Ranch Adventure
To an experienced fly caster, the St. Joe River is the epitome of a western slope trout stream. Its clear cold waters flow over shallow cobblestone flats into rock-studded pocket pools, and there are riffles around every bend. Numerous native trout are willing to take a dry fly, and with perfect conditions, you may be rewarded with an epoch evening hatch. But you don’t have to be a well-seasoned angler to enjoy the St. Joe River. Your guide will teach you different fishing techniques and how to imitate specific natural fly hatches. Float trips are guided from comfortable boats specially designed for fly fishing and allow you to cover many miles of river in a single day. The scenery on “the Joe” is breathtaking. You will experience an adventure you are sure to remember forever!
Wild and Scenic Designation
Flowing from the west slope of the Bitterroot Mountains on its 140 mile journey to Lake Coeur d’Alene, the legendary St. Joe River is classified as a National Wild and Scenic River. Its emerald-tinted waters are so clear you’ll see the river bottom over 20 feet below the surface. This classic fishery is home to a tremendous population of native Westslope cutthroat trout that can grow over 20 inches long. This classic Idaho river offers a variety of different hatches, including stoneflies, mayflies, caddisflies, and terrestrials, producing high fish counts and offering amazing action at times.
Booking your Trip
Float boat fly fishing on the St Joe River is available from Memorial Weekend through the summer, depending on river flows and water temperatures. We recommend pre-booking your fishing trips before you arrive to ensure availability. Fishing trips are usually full day adventures departing from the ranch before breakfast and returning at the discretion of the angler and guide. You might be late for dinner if the bite is on! But don’t worry, we won’t let you go hungry.
White Pine Outfitters will be your outfitters for this trip, and Red Horse Mountain Ranch will make all the arrangements for a perfect day on the water. The guides love to fish and know where the best opportunities will be, so rest assured you will be placed in the best position possible. Fly casting lessons are available at the ranch prior to your trip, and all the necessary gear is provided. Don’t hesitate to bring your own though, if you prefer.