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By Karen

Updated May 24, 2024.

Horseback Riding in San Francisco 2024

Horseback riding in Golden Gate Park has closed down again, this time due to complaints about how the horses were being treated. See SF Standard article about the disturbing details.

The city is currently looking into a replacement for Chaparral Ranch to provide horseback riding services to the park.

Hopefully there won't be too long of a gap; in the past decades, many years have gone by with no horses in the park!

In the summer in 2017, riding in Golden Gate Park reappeared briefly, only to disappear again. Another brief appearance happened in the winter of 2019.

But in the summer of 2020, the horses returned, but it has ended again in May of 2024.

Info on previous riding activities in the park

The latest company to provide horseback riding in Golden Gate Park is the Chaparral Ranch

Horseback riding lessons and trail rides are available, and are located at the Bercut Equitation Field.

It's just off the Chain of Lakes Drive that runs through the park between 41st Ave (south side) and 43rd Ave (north side). See map below.

Cowboy leading horse for riding in Golden Gate ParkChaparral Ranch Horses in the Park

Chaparral Ranch is providing the horseback riding in Golden Gate Park, and now also on Ocean Beach nearby.

They're based in Woodside, down the Peninsula, and they also do trail rides there, as well as at Camp Mather in Yosemite.

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

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

Guided Tours

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

Before the trail ride begins, there's a lesson on how to ride and control your horse, so no experience is necessary.

Horseback riding in Golden Gate Park, Equitation Field riding ringRiding Ring at Bercut Equitation Field.

Hours and Prices

Horseback rides are every day except Wednesday. 

See chaparralcorporation.com for more info and booking.

  • 60 minutes (age 8 and up): $80
  • 15 minute pony ride: $20 (ages 3-6)
  • 60 minute for little kids (3-6): $45

They also do horse camps for kids and riding lessons, both Western and English style (for everyone) .

Something new: 90 minute ride on nearby Ocean Beach, $125.

Helmets are available, (and required for riders under 18).

Long pants and closed-toe shoes required to ride.

Must be at least 8 years old for park trail rides (and 10+ for the beach rides).

There are 15-minute pony rides for kids, too. Ages 3-6. 

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 (in 2017)

We were fortunate to be able to go on one of the rides in 2017 when they became available in Golden Gate Park again.

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

More photos from our horseback ride in the park.

Horseback riding in Golden Gate Park, little girl with horse

Horseback riding in Golden Gate Park, Rosie the horseRosie

More to explore in Golden Gate Park...

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