A person rides along the coast at sunset with Chanslor Stables, Bodega Bay
Chanslor Stables, Bodega Bay

Sonoma County on Horseback

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Whatever your dream about horseback riding might be, you'll probably find it in Sonoma County:

  • Cantering swiftly on a beautiful beach at sunset, hair streaming behind you, waves crashing alongside? Yep.
  • Comfortably astride a gentle horse that's picking its way through a thick forest, the only sound that of a persistent woodpecker seeking dinner? Sure.
  • Trotting smoothly alongside a fast-moving early-spring stream fed by a 25-foot waterfall high above? You bet.
  • Riding alongside neat rows of lush grapevines. Of course.

A group horse back rides through the trees in Sonoma County
There are many parks where you can ride a horse

For the most part, horseback riding can be done all year long in Sonoma County, though it can get a bit muddy in winter. Even so, smack in the middle of January or February plenty of sunshine is bound to come along and dry up the trails.

Here's an alphabetically-arranged list of Sonoma County companies that provide trail rides:

Chanslor Stables

A girl kisses a horse at Chanslor Stables, Bodega Bay
Chanslor Stables

Chanslor Stables, a working western horse ranch, offers guided horseback trail rides with breathtaking ocean views. Follow miles of trails that take you to lofty mountaintops, grassy meadows, coastal dunes, or along the beach. Private rides are available, including a private picnic ride. Information: 707-589-5040 

Horse 'n Around Trail Rides

Horse 'n Around Trail Rides offers a 60-minute sand dunes ride that provides panoramic views of the Bodega Bay harbor and Sonoma Coastline; a 90 minute beach ride that includes the dunes and harbor views, plus riding along a long stretch of beach; and trail rides on the Hagemann Ranch Trout Farm, an incredible family-owned ranch with gorgeous views of the rolling coastal hills. Information: 707-875-3333

The Ranch at Lake Sonoma Horseback Riding

A group rides horses with a view of the lake behind them with The Ranch at Lake Sonoma Horseback Riding, Sonoma County
The Ranch at Lake Sonoma Horseback Riding

The Ranch at Lake Sonoma offers guided scenic horseback rides with stunning views overlooking the Dry Creek Valley, Lake Sonoma, and the rugged Rockpile wine region. Located just 15 minutes from downtown Healdsburg, The Ranch offers a wilderness experience on horseback, wandering through Sonoma County's largest 17,000-acre park. A variety of trail rides are available, from those suitable for timid or first-time riders to more challenging treks for thrill seekers. Information: 707-494-4449

Rollin F Ranch

A group rides next to vineyards in Sebastopol with Rollin F Ranch, Sonoma County
Rollin F Ranch

Rollin F Ranch outside of Sebastopol offers a one-hour scenic horseback tour of a private working ranch in the heart of Sonoma County Wine Country. Owned by the Fiddler family for more than 100 years (four generations), Rollin F Ranch grows Pinot Noir and Petite Sirah wine grapes, organic Gravenstein apples, and wild blackberries, with vegetable and flower gardens scattered around the ranch. Enjoy views of the local mountain ranges as you ride through vineyards, huge oak groves, and woodlands. Information: 707-480-0800

Sonoma Valley Trail Rides

A group rides in front of vineyards in Sonoma Valley with Sonoma Valley Trail Rides, Sonoma County
Sonoma Valley Trail Rides

Explore a beautiful winery by riding through the vines on seasoned, gentle horses with the help of an experienced, friendly guide from Sonoma Valley Trail Rides. As an option, after your ride you can enjoy a world-class wine tasting and/or picnic designed especially for you. Rides are available at winery venues or at an art and nature preserve, with horses suitable for riders of all levels of riding experience. Riders must be 12 years or older; weight limit 225 pounds. Thanks to the valley's temperate climate, trail rides are offered year round. Information: 707-343-5511

Triple Creek Horse Outfit

Two people ride alongside vineyards in Jack London State Historic Park, Sonoma County
Jack London State Historic Park

Triple Creek Horse Outfit, located in Sonoma Valley's Kenwood, offers guided wine-country rides at Jack London State Historic Park (where the celebrated author lived and maintained his Beauty Ranch) along 20+ miles of trails. This state park boasts some of the finest riding trails in the world, past acres of vineyards producing grapes for premium wines, through open oak woodlands and through shady groves of tall redwoods. Information: 707-887-8700

Thunderbird Ranch

Enjoy vistas of lush green vineyards, the Russian River, and picturesque rolling hills horseback riding on more than 600 acres in beautiful Alexander Valley. Trails are available for every level of rider, either English or Western. Bring a lunch and enjoy a picnic at the ranch after your ride. Box lunches are available at the nearby Jimtown store (with advance reservations). Information: 707-433-3729

On Your Own

If you have your own horse, these state and county parks offer equestrian trails:

Sonoma County Parks

California State Parks

Written by Sonoma Insider Suzie Rodriguez.