You won't be bothered by a long narration from the tour guides, though they try to point out facts about the park. Instead, they lead the single-file line of horses through the park. The ride makes for a very relaxing almost solitary outing, with your stallion doing all of the hard work and you getting to drink in the scenery. Our favorite part was trotting on the beach. It can be hard to reach the sandy shores in Big Sur by foot, and this was the capper to our ride. The crashing waves against the craggy cliffs was stunning and it gave a unique perspective to exploring the park.
Don't worry if you aren't much of a horse-riding expert. You get a mini lesson before the trek on how to sit properly and direct your steed. We took the longest tour option, the 2.5-hour Redwood Roundup, though you can ride for as little as an hour. Every tour goes to the beach, so you can't go wrong with any of them. Prices range from $50 to about $70 per rider.
[Photo: Jennifer Kester]