Utah is home to a great diversity of climate, with an elevation ranging from 2,000 feet above sea level to 13,500 feet above sea level. This drastic change in elevation makes Utah the ideal habitat for many kinds of plants and animals. As you drive from Zion to Bryce Canyon National Park, you will be climbing from a 3,000 foot elevation in Zion to a 9,000 foot elevation in Bryce Canyon, and the scenery will change from sagebrush and juniper trees in bright red dirt to aspen and ponderosa with plenty of bright green grass. Even here at Rising K Ranch, the elevation changes from 6,000 feet at the ranch itself to about 9,000 at the lunch area.
Quite obviously, the temperatures in Utah also vary quite drastically along with the climate. For example, Rising K Ranch is often about 15 degrees cooler than Zion National Park itself, and gets another 10 degrees cooler by the time we get to the high meadows on the Mountain Ride
During the warmer months of May-November, you can expect most of the larger wildlife such as deer, elk, and mountain lions to be up at 8,000 feet and higher. They come back down to Rising K Ranch itself from about December-April.
At our 6,000 foot elevation, Rising K Ranch is able to stay open all year long (with the exception of the Mountain Ride in the winter.) During the hottest month, which is usually July, you can expect the high temperature to be about 90 degrees, which makes it easy to ride even in the middle of the day. Even so, it is very nice to ride horses here either earlier in the morning or towards sunset.
During the coldest month, which is usually January, the high is usually about 43 degrees with a low of 22 and there is usually about 10 inches of snow on the ground. This makes 11AM-3PM the best time of day for a ride, and even on a cold and snowy day the Cedar Trail Ride is the perfect way to spend about an hour and a half during the winter. Just bundle up warm and enjoy the sound of hoofbeats in the snow! During the winter, the half day ride is fun only if it is a sunny day and at least 50 degrees.
Whenever you come out here to Utah, especially the Zion or Bryce Canyon National Park area, I hope you will drop by for some great horseback riding that you’ll always remember!