When a sleigh bell rings and no one is listening, snow ceases to glisten and reindeer revert to their elk form. Preserve the holiday spirit with today's Groupon: for $30, you get a horse-drawn sleigh ride for two from Yosemite Trails Pack Station (up to a $60 value). Click here to see Yosemite Trails' current sleigh-ride schedule.
Located at the southern entrance of Yosemite National Park, two-horse open sleighs dash through eye-catching stretches of winter wonderland as visitors feast their eyes on tree-lined paths during 45-minute adventures. Passengers swathe themselves in warm blankets and Christmas lights while a cowboy ranch hand steers the sleigh, which can accommodate up to 15 people. Journeys depart hourly, and after reaching their midpoint at the Pack Station guests can exchange pleasantries with fellow sleigh riders while sipping hot apple cider around a camp fire. Today's old fashioned sleigh ride for two allows parents to treat their kids to a day of backseat carriage driving and couples to create new memories evoking their childhoods.
Yosemite Trails Pack Station
Just 2 miles from the southern entrance of Yosemite National Park sits a post that passed from homesteader to cowboy to Mike and Sherry Knapp, who dubbed it Yosemite Trails Pack Station 70 years ago. Since then, three generations of Knapps have run the station, but it remains as isolated and wildlife rich as it was in 1966. Today, Larry Knapp and his team still raise cattle as well as american quarter and american paint horses in the Sierra Nevada mountains, getting them acclimated to the rocky terrain so that they can safely carry patrons on trail rides. Trails wind through Big Creek, the Vista Pass, and even venture into Yosemite’s Mariposa Grove, thick with millennia-old redwood trees. Days on horseback often culminate in cowboy cookouts with hot dogs, s’mores, and photos of ex-boyfriends roasted over the campfire. When summer fades to winter, guests can still enjoy the mountain-lined horizon on sleighs drawn by belgian draft horses.