Trails for Equestrians

Enjoying our valley from the saddle is possible within four out of five of trail systems. All of our trails are multiuse so please exercise caution among mountain bikers and hikers sharing the trail and make your presence known. We also greatly appreciate your efforts to clean up after your horses at parking areas.

The following list is provided roughly in the order of their popularity with equestrians.

Easy to Moderate Rides (generally in order of popularity)

The Fay-Luther Trailhead offers ample parking for trailers and connects you with lots of terrain to explore. Your ride begins in open terrain which leads to trails meandering through pine forest and hills with views. Horses are not allowed between Valley View Loop and Jobs Peak Ranch Trailhead due to foot bridges and easement restrictions through private land.

This 5.2 mile trail gently climbs and wraps around a large hill with continuous views of the Pine Nut and Carson ranges. Be aware that, although not heavily trafficked, this trail is also popular with mountain bikers and hikers.

Parking: The Pinyon Trailhead is a one-way design that accommodates horse trailers parked parallel on the right side. Additional space is available along the road shoulder or the opposite side of Pinenut Road 2.

The Jacks Valley Loop and lower Clear Creek Trail are generally beginner level rides. Above Jacks Valley Road, the Clear Creek Trail has some modest drop-offs and there are bridges that riders should walk their horse across for safety. There are some poor sight line corners on the trail so be prepared for other trail users here. Keep in mind these trails, especially above Jacks Valley Road are heavily used by mountain bikers. 

Parking: The only parking for horse trailers down low is at the Jacks Valley School Trailhead on the north side of the fenced solar panel area. Parking at the top of the trail at the Spooner Summit Trailhead is possible but heavily used and often full of autos.

Horses are allowed everywhere including the flat terrain of River Fork Ranch. Steep side-hill riding is common throughout and about 70% of this trail system was constructed with a trail dozer to increase trail tread width and provide a safer equestrian opportunity. Three areas are more narrow:
  1. Short sections just above the Eagle Ridge Trailhead (which can be by-passed by staying on the old road portion)
  2. Most of the lower 1.8 miles of the Sierra Canyon Trail (which can also be bypassed using the old road section)
  3. Over a half mile in lower Genoa Canyon, by far the most challenging section for horses. Scout this section of trail ahead of time to determine if you are comfortable riding here. This section is narrow with extremely steep drop offs and limited passing areas. You may have to back up your horse if you encounter another horse. Walking your horse is a safer option here. If you don’t have a trained trail horse, this section is not for you.
Parking: The main equestrian parking area is signed along Eagle Ridge Road at the junction of Timberline Road just below the Eagle Ridge Trailhead. The trailhead parking just above here is for autos only with no turnaround for trailers. There are also no turnarounds available at the Sierra Canyon access or Genoa Canyon access points. Though not signed, a secondary parking area near the bottom of Sierra Canyon is along the east side of Jacks Valley road across from Centennial Drive, however riders should be comfortable loading and unloading here with passing traffic of 25-35 m.p.h. Additional parking areas in and around Genoa on public roads are also possible but limited.