If you’re vacationing to Los Angeles or perhaps live in the area and are looking to have a stay-cation and do all the touristy activities in the city, I have a great one to add to your list. Last weekend as part of a faculty event for my apartment building USC hosted 40 or so kids on a horseback-riding excursion to the Hollywood sign. Now I have already made the hike to the Hollywood sign last year, but I can tell you that after that sweaty and strenuous experience, I was way more excited this time around to just sit back and let the horse do all the work.
The ride we went on was an hour long, but the ranch also has a two-hour option plus a few other specialty rides you can look into as well. My horse was named Sugar and her sweet demeanor definitely lived up to the name. She was very mellow and cooperated easily and I could allow myself to relax and just enjoy myself on the ride and not worry about her. Having a well-behaved horse is a huge part of the experience, so if you do choose to go you can take my word for it and request to have Sugar; she won’t disappoint. The guides were also very friendly and helpful, and even went around on the ride and took pictures of everyone, which was especially kind given that there were 40 students all wanting personal photos on their own phones. But they helped with a smile and didn’t even seem to mind.
Additionally, the views were really quite beautiful. I forget sometimes that just twenty-minutes away from the city, nature does still exist. My only complaint is that since L.A. just has so much smog, the mountainsides were sometimes covered by a haze that distracted a little from the view, but of course that’s not exactly a problem that the ranch can fix. On a brighter note, towards the end of the ride as we headed back to the ranch we saw amazing views of the Hollywood sign and snapped some great photos.
Overall, it was an incredibly enjoyable experience and I would recommend anyone who has the opportunity to take the leisurely route on horseback to the Hollywood sign, instead of trying to hike it. Don’t get me wrong, hiking is fun, but the heat will get to you and it’s not an easy hike like you might think. (Maybe we were just out of shape too, but still). I give it 5/5 stars and encourage everyone, tourists and L.A. natives alike, to try it out!