Hollywood cowboys ride their horses into the sunset; a true cowboy, however, rides a grizzly bear and then knocks the sun down with a single punch. End your week's Western with an appropriately iconic image with today’s Groupon: for $22, you get a 90-minute sunrise or sunset trail ride (a $42 value), departing between 5 a.m.–7 a.m. or 5:30 p.m.–6:30 p.m. at Bandit Outfitters’ Colossal Cave Mountain Park Riding Stables in Vail.
Once Bandit Outfitters has introduced you to your steed, saddle up and follow your friendly, knowledgeable guide on a leisurely one-horsepower stroll along the historic route of the National Mail Stagecoach. While taking in the scenic views of the pristine Sonoran Desert, you'll also pass a Hohokam bedrock mortar site and stroll through unseen ghost towns populated by coyotes howling mournfully after another day of roadrunner-catching failure. Perfect for celebrating the beginning of spring or the inevitable melting of an icy fortress of solitude, a leisurely paced horseback ride helps to clear out cobwebby lungs with fresh desert air and relive the rugged transportation of yore, before the time when forgotten gas refills could strand you in Cleveland long enough for you to get married and raise a family there. Call ahead to schedule a departure time.
Situated within Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Bandit Outfitters surrounds guests with 2,500 acres of painted desert scenery, groves of mesquite, and Old West ambiance. The outfit's guides lead intrepid visitors out into the rustic expanse, drawing them along through the foothills of the Rincon Mountains on top of lively quarter horses or inside a horse-drawn covered wagon. Guides lead both daytime excursions and sunset jaunts, which can include such cowboy-approved additions as live music or an Old West cookout complete with steaks cooked to order on a real mesquite grill.