There are fewer activities that really bring winter joy like a sleigh ride in the snow. Bundled up in warm clothes, toes toasty in boots and hands snuggled by mittens, the jingle of the bells and swish as the runners glide over the driven snow … such a dreamy experience (especially with your BAE). So where to go?
1. Lone Mountain Ranch in Big Sky, Montana
Hop into a large, green and red sleigh for a chilly but memorable holiday adventure. The sleigh is pulled by 2,000 pound draft horses to the remote and rustic North Fork Cabin. If you purchase the daytime ride, you will be served hot cocoa and baked goodies around a warm and inviting fire. If you purchase the nighttime dinner ride, not only will you get prime rib with all the fixings, but your meal will be accompanied by live music from a cowboy.
2. National Elk Refuge in Jackson Hole, Wyoming
If you love wildlife, take this ride to the National Elk Reserve where you will see an abundance of elk, but may also see eagles, trumpeter swans geese, foxes, bison, deer and wolves. Over 5,000 of the 11,000 elk from the Jackson herd visit this 25,000 acre refuge each winter. The sleigh ride is offered by Double H Bar Inc, and runs from December through April. The hour-long ride has been a century-long tradition!
3. Mountain Springs Lodge in Leavenworth, Washington
Hop aboard this giant red sleigh pulled by 2 large draft horses and head out to the wilderness. Take your choice from three different packages; there’s one to suit everyone. The breakfast sleigh ride offers a hearty country breakfast, and then you head out on the ride at about 9:00. On the daytime ride you can enjoy the ride plus hot cider by the fire. The dinner ride leaves at about 4:00 and heads up to Beaver creek Lodge, where you’ll be served an scrumptious dinner of filet mignon and smoked salmon.
4. Rocky Mountain Sleigh Company in Park City, Utah
Park City is known for its fabulous skiing, but it’s also a wonderful area for sleigh rides. The Rocky Mountain Sleigh Company will take its passengers on a peaceful, quiet ride through the meadows and countryside along the Weber River to a rustic cabin. You can choose take the sleigh ride only, or choose a dinner ride where dinner will await you and includes pot roast or chicken with all the trimmings.
5. Thunder Bay Resort in Hillman, Michigan
A true “over the river and through the woods” experience, but you won’t be going to grandmother’s house. Thunder Bay Resorts offers a ride over the Thunder Bay River and through the forest to a cozy log cabin. You’re likely to see many types of wildlife along the way, such as elk, deer, eagles, foxes, wolves, and geese. At the cabin, cozy up to the fireplace as chefs prepare your meal. Meals include crown roast of pork, shrimp cocktail, roasted potatoes along with several other comfort foods. It also includes scrumptious desert selections and samplings of 5 to 7 local wines.
6. Two below Zero in Frisco, Colorado
Hop on board a wagon-sleigh pulled by two sturdy horses as you sit back, relax, and take in the snow-capped mountains and the frosted pine trees. In 20 minutes, you’ll arrive at a lovely warm cabin where you’ll be served a three-course Colorado meal that includes southwestern soup, your choice of top sirloin or marinated chicken breast, vegetables and a baked potato. Top that off with a slice of warm apple pie as you sit and listen to live country music. Then, hop back on board for the 20 minute sleigh ride back to base.
7. Rapp Corral in Durango, Colorado
Take an intimate ride in a small sleigh pulled by a single horse as you ride along Hermosa Cliff and Haviland Lake, and also through parts of the San Juan National Forest. Sip on a cup of warm rich hot cocoa before you take off for the 45-minute ride, then warm up by the cozy campfire. During the Christmas season, kids can get a ride with Santa, who will personally deliver your gifts to your child.
8. Bogus Creek Outfitters in Meridian, Idaho
From December through February, hop on board a three-horse open sleigh to a wonderful cabin in the Boise National Forest. Your sleigh riding experience includes the open air ride through a winter wonderland to a cabin where you can warm your body while you wait for a three-course meal, which includes grilled steak, prawns, and plenty of fixing to go with them. The cowboy crew will tell a few tall tales and sing a few songs to entertain you. Rides last about 2 hours and you can depart at 6 PM or 8:30 PM.
9. Nestlenook Farm in Jackson, New Hampshire
This 65-acre Victorian estate is a veritable winter destination spot. Starting at the end of November, there are several types of sleigh ride packages to choose from. Take the Jingle Bell Chocolate Sleigh tour and get transported in style to local stores to sample or buy chocolates. Or, hop on board a custom heated and upholstered Austrian sleigh for a ride around the grounds. It has a 3-acre ice skating rink that can be enjoyed separately or as part of a sleigh riding package. Adventurous sorts might also want to snowshoe on their many snow trails.
Are you off to hitch a ride?