Horse Back Riding and Pony Rides in Griffith Park

  • 01 of 03

    Horse Back Riding in Griffith Park

    Horses in Griffith Park
    Horses in Griffith Park. M Cheung/Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0

    Horses are a big part of the Griffith Park landscape. You can take your kids for a pony ride, go on a guided trail ride or ride on your own.

    Horseback Riding in Griffith Park

    Griffith Park is an enormous park, with 6.5 square miles of urban wilderness and lots of trails to explore it on. 

    Adults will find plenty of specially marked trails, fire and patrol roads in Griffith Park for horseback riding and it's a great way to feel like you got outta town without going very far. Two privately-owned stables are inside the park, and a few more are close enough that they can take you riding in the park.

    This YouTube video will give you an idea of what a horseback ride in Griffith Park is like.

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  • 02 of 03

    Griffith Park Pony Rides

    Getting Ready for a Pony Ride at Griffith Park
    Getting Ready for a Pony Ride at Griffith Park. Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks

    Generations of Los Angeles kids have grown up enjoying the Griffith Park Pony Ride, with horses suitable for children up to 13 years old (or weighing 100 pounds or less). The price is less than the cost of some premium coffee drinks. They're open daily except Mondays and holidays at 4400 Crystal Springs Drive.

    Kids have been going crazy over this attraction since 1948. In fact, I know several adults who would do it if they could. They even have miniature covered wagon rides just to amp up that cute factor.

    Online reviewers have mixed reactions to the pony rides. Some of them love it, especially the parents of toddlers who have the time fo their life riding a horse for the firs time. Others complain about "unpleasant smells." I'm guessing they must be city slickers who don't want to think about the fact that horses can be smelly animals and they have to "do their business' somewhere. To decide whether it's for you, check some of these reviews on Yelp.

    Get...MORE all the details at the Griffith Park Pony Rides website.

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  • 03 of 03

    Horse Riding and Stables in Griffith Park

    Horseback Riding Stables at Griffith Park
    Horseback Riding Stables at Griffith Park. ©2010 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.

    If you like to watch horses as well as riding them, the Los Angeles Equestrian Center hosts horse shows and the annual Tournament of Roses EquestFest, which showcases the riders who will be in the parade.

    If you are going riding for the first time, be prepared for a "horsey" smell when you arrive. Most companies have weight limits for riders, and they may weigh you before letting you ride. Some of them will accommodate heavier riders, but they may charge extra if you are above their weight limit. If you weigh more than 200 pounds, call ahead to discuss your options. 

    You will have to wear a helmet to ride. It's the law. Bring some sanitizing wipes, so you can clean it before you put it on. You can also expect your muscles to be sore afterward, even after a short ride. But don't let all the discourage you.

    If you want to do the riding yourself, try these companies:

    Sunset Ranch Hollywood is located near the Hollywood Sign on the west side of the park. Their location allows...MORE them to do a unique trail ride through Beachwood Canyon with Hollywood sign and city views from the top of Mount Hollywood. They offer day and evening rides and riding lessons and have been running sunset dinner rides for more than half a century.

    Griffith Park Horse Rental at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center at 480 W. Riverside Drive offers trail rides every day and special sunset rides on Fridays and Saturdays that include dinner at a Mexican restaurant. Riders must be at least 6 years old and 4 feet tall, but the littler ones can go on a hand-held ride while their parents walk alongside.

    Diamond Bar Stables offers guided trail rides, dinner and night rides. They're at 1850 Riverside Drive in Glendale.

    Rocken P Stables are also in Griffith Park. No reservations are required for their basic trail rides; you can just show up (with cash, the only form of payment they will accept). They offer a daytime Hollywood Sign ride, dinner rides, and two-hour sunset rides through Griffith Park at twilight, by reservation and with a minimum of three people required. Their address is 1850 Riverside Drive in Glendale.