Fossil, Oregon
Fossil, Oregon

Wilson Ranches Retreat offers our guests a unique opportunity to go horseback riding in Oregon. Immerse yourself on our authentic working cattle ranch by joining the Wilson family on a scenic horseback ride, cattle drive, pasture move, riding for strays or checking fence lines as the Wilson family done has for seven generations.

Riding horseback in an aspen grove
Unrivaled Natural Beauty

Wilson Ranches Retreat is in a geologically and historically rich area of Wheeler County. As you ride the high desert hills of Eastern Oregon your senses will be awakened by the breathtaking views and big-sky horizons in all directions. Look up as there may be a red-tailed hawk flying over or a great horned owl looking down from the aspen above. Rein your horse in a cattle trail or blaze your own as you weave through the juniper trees and sagebrush.

Six on horseback riding on a grassy plain
Where the West Comes Alive

A ranch ride offers incredible opportunities for wildlife viewing and seeing nature unfold with bunch grass valleys and hillsides blanketed in wildflowers in the late spring and through the summer. The quarter horses are incredibly sure footed and apt in the rocky terrain on Wilson Ranches. Ride through the history of the Old West where the early homesteaders and the Wilson family have carved out their lives on the trails you will ride.

Saddle Up for Adventure

Little Buckaroos
We will lead your little buckaroos on their first ride in the Butte Creek Valley.
Butte Creek Valley Ride
Experience the wonder of the Butte Creek valley and travel back in time on this horseback ride.
Cowboy Up!
Saddle up for a ride into the hills, while absorbing the beauty of our high desert range.
Open Range Picnic Ride
Set out on a romantic adventure through our breathtaking countryside.
Oregon High Desert Trail
Our ranch ride offers incredible opportunities for wildlife viewing and seeing nature unfold.
Riding for the Brand
Join the Wilson family for a half-day in the saddle working an authentic cattle ranch.
True Grit Ranch Ride
Join us for a full-day ride through rough country made for tough character.
Cowboy Boots for All

Gear Up

Varied sizes of cowboy boots, cowboy hats and saddle bags available for your ride.

Guests riding quarter horses

Saddle Up

The ranch quarter horses are ideal for both experienced and beginner riders.

Girl saddled on a horse

Little Buckaroos

Children ages six and older may participate in scenic ranch rides. Available Mar-Nov.

leather and rope
Straw hats on a post

What to Wear

Being properly outfitted will increase your comfort and confidence in the saddle.

  • Cowboy hat or cap (should fit snugly or have stampede strings)
  • Western shirt or long sleeved shirt (protect your neck and arms against junipers, dust and sun exposure)
  • Cowboy scarf or bandana
  • Jeans or long pants
  • Boots (smooth sole with heel, pull-on preferred)
  • Gloves
  • Layers: Sweatshirt, vest, jacket, rain gear (extra layers can be secured with your saddle strings)
  • Winter clothing: Winter cap, waterproof gloves, heavy jacket, rain or snow pants (from October through June the weather can be cold and windy)

What to Bring

  • Guests are welcome to bring a bike or riding helmet
  • Canteen/Water Bottle
  • Camera
  • Toiletries (sunscreen, lip balm, personal care items)
  • Sunglasses
  • Purses, backpacks and other valuables should be left in your vehicle
Group on horseback riding through an open range


Our guided riding packages are tailored to meet the needs of every level of rider. Join us for one to several hours in the saddle exploring the high desert hills and our surrounding area. For a richer experience, our half-day and full-day ranch rides provide full immersion into the life of a working cattle rancher.

Horseback Riding Policies

  • Wilson Ranches Retreat wrangler(s) accompany guests on all rides
  • All riders must be able to demonstrate their ability to safely and consistently rein their horse
  • For rider safety and the health of our horses we do not allow double riding
  • To stay seated in your saddle, no alcohol consumption is allowed prior to/or during a ride
  • To ensure your ride does not turn into a range firefighting experience, there is no smoking permitted
  • For your safety, the maximum weight allowance for riders is 225 lbs
  • As a family operation we rarely have enough hands to return a fatigued or uncomfortable rider to the corral. Should you be joining a cattle drive or large group, please be discerning with your ability to ride long distances and be in inclement weather
  • Rides may be cancelled due to weather or any other unsafe conditions (thunderstorms)
  • Should we have any extreme temperatures the rides will be directly after breakfast or in the evening
  • All activities subject to safe and appropriate weather conditions
  • As a working cattle and hay ranch we occasionally have scheduling changes due to unforeseen circumstances
  • For your safety and the safety of others, DO NOT go near the horses when they are tied up to the fences at the corral
  • For your safety and the safety of others, DO NOT get on or off your horse without an employee of Wilson Ranches Retreat, LLC or Wilson Ranches H&H, LLC holding your horse

Under Oregon Law, ORS 30.687 to 30.697, an equine professional is not liable for an injury to or the death of a participant in equine activities resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities.

Cancellations must be received for morning rides by 6 pm on the day of arrival. Evening rides need to be cancelled by 10 am. If notice is not provided, then the guest is responsible for the cost of their ride.

Group Horseback Riding