Saddle UpBig Island
Horseback riding is unquestionably one of the Island of Hawai‘i’s premiere attractions. The Big Island’s diverse terrain, eye-popping vistas, and wealth of working cattle ranches make it an exciting location for horseback adventures. There are miles of open range to explore and no shortage of horses for hire. Because of this, the adventure you have will vary depending on the ranch you ride.
Paniolo Adventures, located on Ponoholo Ranch, specializes in open-range rides on its 11,000-acre working cattle ranch. Situated on Kohala Mountain, the views, particularly at sunset, are stunning. If you’re up for a workout, try a 4-hour open-range trot through high country terrain with fabulous panoramic views.
Parker Ranch, in Waimea, was founded in 1847, and is one of the oldest and largest cattle spreads in the United States. Expect to comeacross plenty of historic sites on a ride over this 150,000-acre working ranch.
Waipi‘o Ridge Stables is well known for its horseback tours of Waipi‘o Valley. The valley, known for its uncommon beauty and rugged terrain, is probably best seen on the back of a horse. One tour heads along the rim of the valley and then follows a stream in the rainforest to a hidden waterfall that can be viewed only on horseback.
Another company, Waipi‘o on Horseback, conducts guided horseback rides over the valley floor. Riders are transported into the valley in four-wheel-drive vans, where they saddle up for a narrated journey through the history, legends and wild beauty of this revered Hawaiian valley.