Brown’s Park


Our horse riding holiday is based in Browns Park, a 40 mile square region situated at the north-west corner of Colorado, bordered by Utah and the Wyoming state lines it is an isolated mountain valley on both sides of the Green River, approximately 25 miles below Flaming Gorge Dam.


Fremont, Shoshoni, Ute, Blackfeet, Sioux, Cheyenne, Arapaho and Navajo native Americans used the area. The 1776 Dominguez-Escalante Expedition and in1805 Lewis and Clark Expedition all passed through. By the 1830s it became a favorite location for fur trappers. After discovery of gold in California, the valley emerged among ranchers as a favorite wintering ground for cattle. By the 1860s it acquired a reputation as a haven for cattle rustlers, horse-thieves and outlaws. During its heyday, the Park allowed for most “outlaw deeds” except murder. Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch returned repeatedly during their careers. Even the notorious Tom Horn operated from here.


Located in semi-arid country, a deep yellow and beige landscape is studded with sage brush and twisted pinons, rising up to jagged ledges and buttes, dipping into sandy washes and canyons. Our outfitters are a 7th generation family based near the Cold Springs Mountain who still run a real rawhide cattle outfit where their ancestor Charlie Sparks put his roots down in 1885. For those seeking an out-of-the-way refuge, few places in the West deliver the solitude, history and beauty. Fifty miles from the nearest sign of civilization, it’s easy to understand the past and present allure of Brown’s Park.

There are a myriad of trails across the area. Visit John Jarvie’s homestead, see the dug-out where the outlaws often stayed and conceived the Train Robbers Syndicate in 1896. Visit Pot Creek, Diamond Mountain and ride Crouse Canyon – all steeped in western lore. Near to Lodore Canyon are the Indian corn cribs and in Irish Canyon, petroglyphs remain from the Fremont culture. For those wanting a challenge, try scaling the cedar-strewn Matt Trail for a spectacular view of Brown’s Park. The habitat is home to elk, mule deer, otter, coyote, beaver and the refuge serves as a nesting area for migratory waterfowl and approximately 200 species of birds can be found here.


Accommodation: tents; Duration: 7 days/6 nights; Group size: 4 – 6; Departures: May-August; Cost: £ POA