WHAT? You've never heard of the Red Rock Ride? Well... neither had we until I saw the ad in Trail Rider magazine. Now, I'm on my way to being an expert! My sister and I have dreamed for many years of doing a ride out West. We'd researched the dude ranches, the Chief Joseph Ride, the Outlaw Trail Ride (now defunct, I believe), renting horses in National Parks, you name it. While we have our own horses and ride all over Ohio with them, hauling them out West just wasn't a feat we wanted to tackle. Our horses, no matter how much we conditioned them, would never be ready for a western adventure or to haul that far. But then... then, we discovered R3!
After suffering through a TWO YEAR wait list and coming up with an extra $2,500 EACH, plus airfare, plus two nights hotel, plus extra spending money, (thank God for that two year wait list), my sister and I will travel to Utah via Las Vegas this May to live our western adventure dream. We'll ride Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Thunder Mountain, the Butch Cassidy trail, Paria Canyon and the Roaring Springs trail of the Grand Canyon. We'll ride over 100 miles through some of the most beautiful landscapes in America, camping and staying in tiny cabins during our weeklong all-inclusive adventure.
Our Red Rock Ride journey actually began way back in 2016 when I called Canyon Trail Rides to inquire about all the dirty details. From this call I learned the following -
- The Red Rock Ride is only scheduled for 6 weeks out of every year - 3 in late spring and 3 in late summer / early fall.
- The number of riders taken each of these weeks is limited.
- All the rides for 2017 sold out in 2016.
- We could get on the 2017 wait list, but good luck on someone cancelling an adventure of this caliber.
- The earliest we could get in on a ride would be 2018 - and that was only if... we were fast enough.
- Ride reservations open up for the following year in mid-March of the current year. (of course, I called in May...)
- If you are not sitting on your computer, all information and credit card in hand when the registration opens, you can forget about booking your ride.
- A $1,250 deposit is required at time of booking.
- 40 minutes. That's the amount of time it took all 6 rides for 2018 to sell out when my sister booked us in March of 2017. 40 minutes.
On the day registration was to open, my sister was on her computer at home, while I watched on my computer at work for the registration to go live. We were on the phone with each other reporting what each saw from our ends. Just after 9am our time, registration opened up and after countless mishaps with her credit card company thinking her card was being hacked, we finally secured our ride spots... and in the nick of time. Within 40 minutes all rides were listed as SOLD OUT. I think we both sat on the phone and cried together. We cried because we weren't real sure we had gotten in and we cried because we thought we had gotten in.
We've always dreamed about riding out West. We've waited two years for this ride. We've saved our pennies, we've purchased stuff we probably won't need, we've joined a Facebook group of R3 veterans and newbies just like us, we've researched, we've talked on the phone to the proprietors, we've booked our hotel and airfare, we've talked about it weekly, we are shipping our own saddles to Utah to make sure we are comfy, WE ARE READY! Red Rock Ride, the sisters are comin' for ya!
Registration for 2019 rides opens on March 15th at 8am Mountain Time.