Please note: The following riding tips, policies and restrictions are for your safety and the safety of those around you. Violation of any of the following may result in the immediate loss of riding privileges.
Tips for Riding in the Mountains
- This is not an amusement park ride. You can fall off! Listen attentively to and follow all wrangler instructions to ensure a safe and enjoyable ride for everyone
- Horseback riding is not necessarily easier than walking. Though you are sitting in the saddle, you are using a tremendous number of thigh, back and abdominal muscles, which you may not use on a daily basis, making new riders prone to soreness and fatigue even on short rides
- If you have never done an all day ride, this is not the time to start unless you are in very good physical condition. Start with shorter rides and work up to it; your body will thank you
- If you have problems with your knees or hips, you should talk to your doctor before getting in the saddle as riding tends to put a lot of pressure on these joints, especially when you are in steep, mountainous terrain
- Horses have a tremendous capacity to learn and follow your instructions, but remember that they are living, breathing animals with minds of their own
- There are a number of elements, unique to mountain riding, that make the experience incredibly enjoyable, but demand your attention and caution. These elements include, but are not limited to: inclement weather, wild life and insects on or near the trail, travel over rough terrain and unpredictable reactions by the horse to sounds, sudden movements, unfamiliar objects, persons or other animals
- Safety is our number one priority, and as a result, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone who we do not believe to be mentally or physically prepared to handle the horseback ride.
- Swan Mountain Outfitters – Glacier Division reserves the right to cancel a ride at any time
- Full payment is required for all advanced reservations
- A full refund, less a 3% cancellation fee, will be granted with at least 24 hours’ notice of cancellation. Within 24 hours of the ride, the trip becomes non-refundable
- Riders must allow an extra 45 minutes for paperwork, safety speeches and demonstrations, adjustment of equipment, etc. For example, a group going on a two hour ride, will actually spend approximately two hours and forty-five minutes with us. All times listed on this website are the check in times. Your party must arrive at the corral by this time and can expect to depart on the trail ride approximately 45 minutes after the stated check in time
- Glacier National Park can be crowded during peak season. This means that getting through the entrance gates, finding parking, and traversing from the east side to the west side (or vice versa) can take longer than expected. Please allow plenty of time for your activities as refunds will not be granted for late arrivals. Also, due to increased visitation to Glacier National Park during the summer months, occasionally the National Park Service has to manage entry into the Park via a “one car in, one car out” policy. If this happens, it is critical that you have a copy of your confirmation so that you can prove your need to enter the Park. Please print or download a copy of your confirmation and bring that with you. Note there is little to no cell phone reception in the Park, so you will need to be able to access the confirmation offline.
- Food and drink are not provided for any rides inside Glacier National Park, however we provide a boxed lunch at our Crown of the Continent Discovery Center if you do not bring your own. Also, Sperry Chalet has a full service kitchen available to Sperry All Day riders. Lunches are available for $15 on the half day and all day rides out of our West Glacier Corral.
- Pack animals are available to haul gear up for guests of Granite Park or Sperry Chalet. Pack animals can carry a maximum of 150 pounds, but gear must fit in standard packing equipment (manty or pack paniard) and must be evenly divided on either side of the animal so that the load rides safely for packer and horse.
- Pommel bags are available for guests to carry minimal gear with them on a short duration ride (4 hours or less). Pommel bags have two small pockets each measuring about 4 inches wide by 6 inches tall and 2 inches deep. They are ideal for a water bottle, an EpiPen or other medication, keys or a wallet.
- Saddle bags are available for guests to carry minimal gear with them on a longer duration ride (primarily all day and overnight treks). Saddle bags have two small square pockets each measuring about 12 inches wide by 12 inches tall and 4 inches deep. They are ideal for a lunch, a first aid kit or small toiletry kit or a camera.
- Soft items like jackets can be rolled up and tied to the back of the saddle as long they don’t rise up above the cantle of the saddle.
- For more detailed information on saddle bag capacity please read our pdf Bringing Your Personal Gear on the Ride
- No children under the age of seven on the West side (Apgar, Lake McDonald and West Glacier Corrals)
- No children under the age of eight on the East side (Many Glacier Corral)
- No children under the age of ten on any full-day ride or overnight ride.
- The absolute maximum weight allowed on one horse is 250 pounds, this is for the combined weight of the rider and any gear carried with them in their saddle bags.
- Riders under 6 feet tall should not weigh more than 225 pounds
- No riders with physical limitations that prevent them from safely operating their own horse
- No riders with fear of horses and/or heights
- No double riders
- No smoking or alcohol permitted on any of the rides
- No firearms or bear spray on the ride
- Safety helmets are mandatory for riders under the age of eighteen
- Safety helmets are available and recommended for riders eighteen and over. Helmet waivers are required if you choose not to wear a helmet
- Long pants are required.
- Boots are recommended, tennis shoes suffice, sandals are not allowed. At a minimum your shoes must fully enclose your toes, foot, and heel up to the ankle bone. The heel strap on crocs does not count as an enclosed heel. No crocs.
- Video cameras, cameras, cell phones, and other hand held devices may not be used while riding. You may mount a go-pro to your helmet.
- No backpacks, purses or fanny packs can be worn while riding. Additionally, no straps can be worn around the neck (i.e. camera straps, binocular straps, etc.). Pommel bags and/or saddle bags are provided to carry minimal gear with you on the ride.
- All riders must stay on the approved trail at all times
- Horses are to be ridden at a walk at all times and riders must maintain proper spacing between horses
- It is absolutely prohibited to feed or touch any of the wildlife in Glacier National Park
- It is absolutely prohibited to remove anything from Glacier National Park (i.e. rocks, plants, etc.)
Most importantly, obey your wrangler at all times; don’t ruin the ride for everybody else.
** HEADER PHOTO BY TRAPPER BADOVINAC