While visiting Denver in late June, my 11 year old daughter and I wanted to go on a trail ride. We are both experience western style riders, but we understand that a trail ride is just that. We weren't expecting to trot or canter, so we were not disappointed in the pace of the ride.
First, the 12 Mile Stable website did not clearly state that a park entrance fee ($9) was required since the stables are located inside of Cherry Creek State Park. The website also wasn't clear about a $2 charge per rider if paying with a credit card. When I suggested they make these charges more visible, the employee only charged $30 per rider instead on $35. Kudos for trying to work that kink out.
Next, we arrived at the suggested 20 minute prior time from our scheduled 4:00 pm ride. Our one hour ride did not begin until 4:23. Once the ride began, we had to stop for one of the employees to catch up due to an uncooperative horse. The other employee reassured us the waiting time wouldn't count towards our tour time.
Finally, the tour actually began at 4:30. The trail was mostly a flat surface through natural grass and grain lands and very little shade. The scenery was beautiful and Pike's Peak was just visible in the distance, but the ride was somewhat boring. The two employees on the trail ride made pleasant conversation and the horses appeared to be well maintained. However, the trail ride ended at 5:15, so it was 45 minutes instead of the 1 hour on the website description.
Overall positives: beautiful scenery, pleasant trail guides, pleasant horses
Overall negatives: unexpected park entrance fees, late start, shortened ride length
I would not visit 12 Mile Stables again for a 1 hour trail ride
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