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. Today’s Groupon lets you end your week's Western with an appropriately iconic image: for $18, you get a 90-minute horseback trail ride (a $37 value) from Bandit Outfitters' Colossal Cave Mountain Park Riding Stables in Vail. The 90-minute ride, with helmets provided, begins at the La Posta Quemada Ranch in Colossal Cave Mountain Park.
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. As you take 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.
A leisurely paced horseback ride lets you 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. Schedule your ride on October 22, 23, or 29–31 and stay into the night for the park's haunted Halloween Howl, with hayrides and candlelight tours through the park's historic ranch and cave, as well as a hay maze and seasonal games.
Parking is not included. Children must be 7 years or older to ride.
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.