Full Moon and Sunset Rides: Horsebacking in L.A.

— by Caroline on Crack


Sunset Ranch

I’ve always wanted to go horseback riding, especially the Sunset Dinner Ride with Sunset Ranch…even though I don’t know the first thing about getting on a horse and staying on.

Every year when I start to think about what I want to do for my birthday, I consider doing the dinner ride. How much fun would that be? On a Friday night, go on a sunset ride through Griffith Park to a Mexican restaurant in Burbank’s Equestrian Rancho district where you actually hitch your horse to a post and then drink margaritas, eat and be merry.

You’d get back to the ranch around 10:30pm with still plenty of time to carry on the urban cowboy theme at the Saddle Ranch Chop House in West Hollywood. But you might want to stay off the mechanical bull due to any saddle burns you may incur from your previous ride.

Sunset Dinner Rides to Viva Fresh Mexican Restaurant (where dinner is about $6-$12 a person) take about 90 minutes. Reservations are required every night except Friday night when you have to sign up at 4:30.

There seem to be mixed reviews about the ride where people complained about being required to overtip or that the rides are too long. But otherwise, most writeups name the Sunset Ranch dinner ride as the thing to do on romantic dates or for unusual birthday celebrations.

You can make a reservation for a dinner ride of up to 55 people (!) on any night except Friday. Under 10 riders, cost is $75 a person; 10+ riders is about $50 a person.

3400 N Beachwood Drive
Hollywood, California 90068
(323) 469-5450

Cost: $60 a person (with recommended 20-25% gratuity, dinner cost not included)

Los Angeles Horseback Riding

For a different experience, try a horseback ride during a full moon with Los Angeles Horseback Riding, which Los Angeles Magazine has dubbed the best riding stable in L.A. The ranch’s next full moon ride will take place from March 11th-17th, the last full moon of the winter.

The ride is about 90 minutes long in Topanga Canyon going through the Santa Monica Mountain Backbone trail, so you may see lots of wildlife. Rates aren’t listed on the site but you have to call to make reservations anyway as the maximum for group rides is six people to keep it small and manageable. If you want your own little party, the ranch can accommodate a private group of up to 15.

For directions, click here.
2623 Old Topanga Canyon
Topanga, California 90290
Reservations: (818) 591-2032

For either ride, make sure to wear long-sleeve shirts, long pants and flat, comfortable shoes appropriate for the trip, meaning no flip-flops or high heels. The full moon ride won’t let you bring purses and packs, only a camera and your driver license.