Horseback Riding

A black background with a white graphic of a person riding a horse

There are no facilities at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park for horses or pack animals. Horses are only allowed in the North Rim Campground or on the North Rim Road during transport in a trailer. Horses are not allowed on the South Rim.

Deadhorse Trail

The Deadhorse Trail on the North Rim is the only area open to horses or pack animals for day use, recreational riding within the park. No permit is required. Horses must be trailered to the trailhead at Kneeling Camel Overlook. Trailers must be parked at this overlook as well.

The Deadhorse Trail is located at the east end of the North Rim road, near the Kneeling Camel Overlook. It is easy to moderate with a round trip distance of 5 miles (8 kilometers). The first part of the trail follows an old service road, which after .75 mile (1.2 km) passes a stock pond that is usually dry. Continue on another 1.5 mile (2.4 km) until the stock fence and then turn right (south) and ride .25 mile (.4 km) along the fence until the canyon's rim. Deadhorse Gulch is reached via the large side drainage located east of the trail's end. Elevation ranges from approximately 8000' (2460 m) to 8200' (2525 m).

Nearby Access

Horseback riding is permitted in the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area west of the National Park. Contact the Bureau of Land Management for more information.

Horse Use Regulations

  • Any other use of horses or pack animals is prohibited unless authorized by a grazing use permit approved by the superintendent.
  • All hay used for livestock feed or bedding must be certified as weed free in compliance with Montrose or Gunnison County Standards.
  • Grazing is prohibited.
  • There are no hitching posts available along any trails or at trailheads.
  • Picketing, hobbling or tying livestock to natural features, such as trees, bushes or rocks, is prohibited.

Last updated: May 20, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

102 Elk Creek
(GPS/physical address = 9800 Highway 347, Montrose, CO)

Gunnison, CO 81230

Phone:

970-641-2337

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