logoFrequently Asked Questionslogo


What sets your services apart?

What is your typical schedule?

What do you need for a reservation?

What are the age and weight limits for horseback riding?

What if I’ve never been on a horse before?

What should we wear and bring with us?

Are gratuities appropriate?

What can we expect when we arrive?

What do you expect of us?

What will the weather be like when we arrive?

What happens in inclement weather?

When exactly do your sleigh and riding seasons begin and end?

Do you have gift certificates available?

Do you have lodging available?

How do we get to Leavenworth?

Why are your prices so unusual?

What legal paperwork is needed?



What sets your services apart?

As family owner/operators, and residents at this ranch, we have a direct stake in ensuring that your experience here be the safest and most enjoyable possible. The beautiful valley setting and forest here speak for themselves. When it comes to sleigh rides, we never tire of hearing that our sleigh route is the most scenic in the area. When it comes to horseback rides, we prefer to keep them small, so usually will only send up to six guest riders with a guide. We only use well trained, sound horses, and hear many favorable comments about their excellent condition. The skilled guides who work here know how to set horses and people at ease, and to prioritize safety. Their services are a central asset, naturally we think they’re the best guides around!

top of page

What is your typical schedule?

Most of the year, we only prepare the horses and have a guide available by reservation, so please do reserve in advance—directly from our sleigh page in the winter or by calling in spring and summer. For horseback riding, in summer we can usually schedule the first ride of the day at 10:00 am and the last about 4:30, and in spring and fall we often start at 11:00, with the last ride at 3:00. During sleigh season, rides are offered during the busiest weeks at 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30, though some days will be more limited.

top of page

What do you need for a reservation?

We have a two person minimum to set up a reservation (although if you would like to come solo, you could add on to a previously scheduled ride). When you’re ready to book, we’ll need to know how many adults and kids in your party, and the age of the kids. For sleigh/wagon rides, the online booking system will lead you through providing other information, which includes paying in advance by credit card. For horseback rides, we need a Visa, MasterCard or Discover number to hold the reservation. Please give us 48 hours' notice to cancel if you change your plans. For horseback riding, we'll also ask for the size of each adult and teen rider by height and weight, to make sure we'll have the right size horse and saddle available. Which brings us to…

top of page

What are the age and weight limits for horseback riding?

Age six is the youngest we can take on a trail ride (our insurance doesn‘t allow double riding, nor do we consider it safe). Age 4 and up can be on horse who is led around the yard for a few minutes ("Horsie Ride").  If you’re over 18, we don’t ask your age! But we have found that most riders age 70 or so and up are typically more comfortable with one of the shorter ride lengths.

For weight limits, first of all, no shame!  Our horses have a real climb on mountainous trails and we've learned to prioritize their back health with stricter proportion limits than you may see elsewhere.  Tall muscular riders may not make the size cut, and the rest of us, who often carry more insulation than we'd prefer, can hopefully recognize reasonable limits for hard working horses, without taking restrictions personally.
Heights are needed in the equation to estimate proper saddle choice and fit (so weight can be centered within the saddle seat as designed), and so legs will come far enough down the sides of tall horses for keeping balance.  In short: for comfort and safety of both horse and rider.

The top weight limit here is 230 pounds. That applies to riders 5'9" or taller. The lowest limit, for riders 5"4" and under, is 180#. Limits in between are graduated by ten pounds per inch of height, as follows: 5'9 230; 5'8" 220; 5'7" 210; 5'6" 200; 5'5" 190; 5'4" 180 (minimum heights for a given weight paired with the maximum weight for that height). If that still sounds limited, consider the U.S. cavalry used to have a weight limit of 140#!

Accuracy of sizes given upon reservation (give or take 5 pounds) is much appreciated, and sometimes essential to our ability to fulfill the reservation.
Only a few of our horses can carry riders at the limits discussed above, so we reserve smaller horses for riders at smaller sizes and then may not have extra larger horses available on any given day. We do have a scale and at check- in, occasionally need to ask a rider to step on, to clarify size-- when there appears to be a discrepancy between the size reported for reservation, and we're concerned that we may not have the right size horse available. If that sounds tough, it is, all the way around-- we hate having to ask that of anyone. So if possible, please check riders first on a scale at home before scheduling the ride, to avoid unpleasant surprises, for everyone involved. Thank you very much for the extra effort. 


top of page

What if I’ve never been on a horse before?

No problem. We have gentle, calm horses and will be happy to demonstrate basic cues for directing your horse once you mount up. Your guide will always be with you on the trail to answer questions and offer extra help. For a young child or nervous rider, the guide can also keep hold of a lead rope to their horse.  We have an excellent safety record, but as with all horseback riding, we can't offer any guarantees.
top of page

What should we wear and bring with us?

Please plan to bring and wear a face mask while signing in, inside our office, and while being assisted by our staff to mount, handle reins, adjust stirrups, and dismount. Kids (typically age 6-8) whose horse in being led by a guide may need to wear a face mask the whole ride. Otherwise, riders are welcome to remove their face mask for the duration of the ride, but we ask you to use a light string or yarn (we’ll have some available) so it stays conveniently around your neck, to reduce the likelihood that the mask drop to the ground while you’re also handling the reins.

Secure, sturdy shoes or boots are ideal. For horseback riding, you at least need a heel strap (no flip-flops or clogs)-- sneakers are fine. We also recommend long pants for riding, but that's up to you. We do provide riding helmets, which are required for kids and optional for adults on horseback rides. Brimmed hats need a chin tie to be worn on the trail, to ensure it won't blow off and startle a horse.  It’s a good idea to have an extra layer available in the car with you in case weather is cooler than expected, but whatever you choose to wear when you get on your horse needs to stay on until you get off.

Please plan to leave extra packs behind. A cell phone is fine to bring if you have a secure pocket for it. Also, for extra safety while riding, no tough straps (as for cameras and binoculars) around your neck or shoulders, please.

For sleigh rides, in addition to your face covering, please dress for the snow, and bring blankets to sit on, and put over your laps. Bonus points for printing your insurance waiver and filling it out in advance (but we will have those here, as well)! Please plan on securing any small items that you bring (cell phones, gloves) while on the sleigh as if they slide out of side pockets or are set down on the bench next to you, they can easily slide out and disappear in the snow. Just a heads up!

We have bottled water available here for purchase, but no snacks.

top of page

Are gratuities appropriate?

Although certainly optional, your guides always appreciate a tip in recognition of skilled, attentive service. For 2020, we ask you not to hand tips directly to your guide, but you’re welcome to put cash in a tip can, or let us know if you’d like a tip charged to your card. Thanks!

top of page

What can we expect when we arrive?

Please expect to be warmly greeted when you come to the office porch to sign in (which includes each adult reading and signing an insurance form, if not already completed). Then you’re welcome to wait in your vehicle or outside until it is time for your ride to depart. We do our best to be a healthy, non-smoking facility. When time to go, for sleigh or wagon rides, someone will escort you to your sleigh or wagon. You’ll enjoy the beautiful mountain valley setting here.

For horseback riding, we will meet near the hitching rails and the head wrangler will assign riders to horses for your party, based on size, experience, and attitude! If you’re a return customer and have a request for a specific mount, just ask ahead and we will do our darndest to accommodate you.  Our saddle horses are mostly Quarter horse blends, some part draft, and one Fjord. The riding trails are single file, and at a walk, as you climb up into the mountains. All tack here is Western style.

top of page

What do you expect of us?

Tolerance of corny jokes. Beyond that, we sure appreciate it when you arrive fifteen minutes before the scheduled ride time, enough for signing in and other last minute details, so the ride can depart on time. We want you to be comfortable here, so please let us know if you have any concerns.

top of page

What will the weather be like when we arrive?

It’s an excellent question, we’d like to know too! But weather can change quickly in the mountains. We’re usually a few degrees cooler up here than downtown Leavenworth, meaning more snow in winter and more temperate in summer.

top of page

What happens in inclement weather?

We’re usually happy to take you out on a ride in a light rain, though in the case of a thunderstorm we would need to cancel. Also, our trail may be too muddy, slushy or icy during or after a heavy rain or thaw/freeze. We stop riding up the hill when above 95 degrees in the summer, and stop running sleighs if below 5-10 degreesIf conditions are unsuitable and we need to cancel, we would call you (and e-mail if you reserved through the online booking system) as soon as we could make that determination. Then there would be no charge to you, and you would be refunded 100% of any pre-payment. Refunds through the credit card system may take 5 business days to go through. If you’re wondering about iffy upcoming weather, feel free to give us a call-- weather systems can travel a bit differently in our little valley, and we can give you our best assessment. If you would want to cancel because of weather, please check the advance forecast and provide 48 hours’ notice. Thank you!

top of page

When exactly do your sleigh and riding seasons begin and end?


The seasons vary a bit each year with the weather, it really depends on trail conditions. Typically, we begin horseback riding right around the first of April, by offering a 4 mile loop up the Eagle Creek valley and back. As the snow and mud dry off the steeper trails, we’ll climb into the forested hills for the 3 mile offering, then add other trails by early May, typically. The season runs through late October, sometimes with temporary closings near the end of the season if the golden autumn days shift to sloppy wet weather.

Sleigh rides begin with the first snow cover, which we plan on having by the first week in December, although sometimes we can offer Thanksgiving weekend sleigh rides as well (wagon rides, otherwise). By early March, we usually enjoy seeing the bare patches of ground spread across the sleigh trail!

top of page

Do you have gift certificates available?

Yes, we offer gift certificates in any amount, which you are welcome to pick up here, or simply call in with a Visa or MC number and we can mail one anywhere.

top of page

Do you have lodging available?

Nope, just the horse activities. For dozens more lodging options in the area, from the unique and luxurious (Pine River Ranch, Abendblume, Mountain Home Lodge), to full service hotels (The Icicle Inn, the Enzian Inn) to small and affordable (Mrs. Anderson’s lodging house) among many fine choices, see “Lodging” at Leavenworth.org.  During peak times in town (such as December weekends) when rooms are scarce, try the Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce at 509-548-5807 as they keep some track of area vacancies.
top of page

How do we get to Leavenworth?

At the web site link above, click on “Getting Here” (listed under “Local Information”) for maps and directions to Leavenworth from every direction. Then see our "Map and Directions" page (on the left) to find the ranch here, just a 15 minute drive from town in summer.

top of page

Why are your prices so unusual?

Well, we simply offer the best value around! Oh, you meant the odd cents. Our horseback prices take into account the 8.3% sales tax to be added on, so that total will generally come out on the even dollar.

top of page

What legal paperwork is needed?

When you come in, all participants age 18 and up will need to read and sign the Riding Insurance Form or the Sleigh Insurance Form, as appropriate. If you like, you can print the form out at home and sign it before you come in -- this can be particularly useful so parents can sign their kid's form in advance, if the parent won't be present here at the ranch

top of page
 
Only 2 1/2 hours from Seattle!
Please reserve in advance!
509-548-7798
or toll free at 1-800-221-RIDE (7433)
Email us
ranch@eaglecreek.ws