Horseback Riding in San Francisco

After an absence of decades, horseback riding came back to San Francisco, if only briefly!

Pot a Gold Adventures provided horseback riding in Golden Gate Park and McLaren Park during the spring and summer of 2017.

We were hoping horseback rides would become a permanent fixture, but it looks like that isn't going to happen. They didn't return for the summer of 2018 and the future status is unknown at this point.

Horseback riding in Golden Gate Park, line of horsesA Ride in Golden Gate Park

Guided Tours

Horses were available at the Equitation Field on Chain of Lakes Drive, in Golden Gate Park, and a guide took riders on a trip through the park trails.

Horseback riding in Golden Gate Park, Equitation Field riding ring

The horses and guides were the same as the ones up in San Francisco's Camp Mather in the Sierras every summer. (

Getting to Equitation Field

Map of horseback riding area in Golden Gate Park, Equitation Field
Map data (c) OpenStreetMap contributors, CC-BY-SA

By Bus or Muni: 

The 5-Fulton bus runs along the northern edge of Golden Gate park. Get off at 43rd Avenue and head into the park on Chain of Lakes Drive.

The N-Judah Muni streetcar runs parallel to the park two blocks south. Best stop: 40th Ave, then take 41st Ave to Chain of Lakes Drive.

By Car:

There's free parking at the Equitation Field, as well as another free lot across the street.

Our Ride

We were fortunate to be able to go on one of the rides while they were available in Golden Gate Park. We saddled up at the appointed time; and they had steps so we city folks could get up on the horses. The horses were very patient (as was the staff).

Horseback riding in Golden Gate Park, mounting the horse

We did a one hour ride, which took us west towards the ocean and past both windmills. The horses were good-natured plodders, following nose to nose with only occasional attempts to eat the grass.

Horseback riding in Golden Gate Park, line of horses on a trail

A very relaxing ride; a couple of times crossing a street, but the cars stopped, so no problems. The only problem was getting off the horse; the less said, the better (my problem, not the horse's, who stood patiently while I struggled).

Our Guide

Horseback riding in Golden Gate Park, our guide, Dylan

Dylan was our leader, very friendly and helpful. A real cowboy; he was the 2016 bull-riding champion of Alaska.

Horseback riding in Golden Gate Park, Dylan's championship belt buckle

Hours and Prices

Below is information about the horseback riding program that was here in the summer of 2017.

Horseback rides were available daily, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, with a 7:00 pm sunset ride as well. Their sign said walk-ins welcome, but they recommended reservations for the weekends when they were busy.

  • 1/2 hour: $40 ($30 SF residents)
  • 1 hour: $60 ($45 SF residents)
  • 1.5 hours: $80
  • Sunset rides $25 more
  • 15 minute pony ride: $20 (walk-ins)

Helmets were available, but not required. No open-toed shoes or sandals.

Ages 5 and up could ride. There were 15-minute pony rides for kids, too, that weren't mentioned on the website.

Horseback riding in Golden Gate Park, little girl with horse

Here's hoping horseback riding comes back to San Francisco!

Horseback riding in Golden Gate Park, Rosie the horseRosie

More to explore in Golden Gate Park...

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