A six day riding holiday in three distinct regions in Oregon Valley covering vineyards, mountain forests and Pacific Coast beaches. Riding through the lush fertile vineyards, traversing rugged pine clad mountains and fast riding along beautiful golden beaches in small, intimate groups. Riders need to be experienced as there are some long trots and canters - with the emphasis being on riders with recent riding fitness.

There is a temperate Mediterranean feel to the weather, with dry cloudless summers, cool evenings and low humidity, perfect for riding as well as the grapes! The horses are well trained and English saddles are used. Accommodation along the way is a mix of cosy guest houses. Fresh local and often gourmet meals are provided and two vineyard trips are also included.

Please Note: The opinions expressed in these reviews are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Unicorn Trails Ltd. These reviews are "directly from the horses mouth" and unedited. Unicorn Trails may make additional comments for clarification clearly identified in red.

Review received from JD of Edenbridge on 09/06/2017

Ride Summary

What was your overall impression of the holiday
Excellent - first class accommodation and food and exciting riding. The Pacific coast is fantastic and exceeds expectations
Unicorn Trails sales staff
Professionalism     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Friendliness     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Speed of response     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Efficiency     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Knowledge     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Other(please specify)     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Riding tour leader
Professionalism     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Horsemanship     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Pacing of Ride     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Concern for Safety     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Leadership     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Friendliness/availability     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Knowledge of local Culture     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Knowledge of local Flora/Fauna     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Concern with Environment     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Language skills     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (X) N/A
Additional Comments Great knowledge of the local vineyards!
Horses and Tack
Condition of Horses     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Condition of Tack     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Performance of Horses     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Additional Comments
Meal Quantity     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Meal Quality     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Meal Punctuality     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Camping Equipment     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (X) N/A
Hotels/Lodges/Inns     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Hygiene standards     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Transfer arrangements     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Other office staff     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Other ride staff     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Weather     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Was this trip accurately described to you beforehand?     (   ) NO     (X) YES
Please give more details to explain your response
Was there anything you should have known and were not told?     (X) NO     (   ) YES
Please give more details to explain your response
What could we do to improve this ride? Perhaps bigger mounting block for those of us who ride the big horse and who are not great at mounting
How would you rate the difficulty of this ride out of 10 where 1 is very easy and 10 is very advanced? 5
Please explain why you scored it as you did A lot of up hill and scary down hill riding.
Would you recommend Unicorn Trails to your friends?     (   ) NO     (X) YES
Please give more details to explain your response
May we use you as a reference for other people wishing to go on this ride?     (   ) NO     (X) YES
Any other comments
Unicorn comments Thanks for the feedback and really pleased you had a great time on this fab ride!

Day 1
We recommend an overnight in Portland (airport hotel if arriving late) or Carlton (if arriving early) the night before day 1 if travelling from far or outside the USA. Please contact us to arrange this if needed.

Meeting at the ranch for 11am for the start of your adventure over the coming six days.  After meeting your horses, today's ride will wind its way through the vineyards and wine valleys of this region, crossing rolling hills in the picturesque valley of Willamette stopping at one of the vineyards to sample the fruits and labours of this local winemaker.  Tonight you will stay in McMinnville, in a beautiful Colonial Style home, decorated with antiques and art. The bedrooms are individually and tastefully furnished with ensuite bathrooms.

Day 2
After a good nights sleep and fabulous breakfast, get ready to saddle up for two days riding in the Coastal Range Mountains.  These mountains are at once rugged and mellow, forested by groves of deciduous trees lining the waters of the Nestucca River along with towering Douglas Firs.  This is Oregon's oldest forest. A picnic lunch will be brought to the riders out on the trail. Another night at McMinnville and dinner is in downtown McMinnville.

Day 3
Riders will be picked up outside the accommodation at 10:00am, with bags ready to load into the truck to drive to Carlton Hill Vineyard to start the day's ride, enjoying wooded trails and views of vineyard land in the foothills of the Coastal Range. Lunch will be on the trail. Finally after the ride, travel one and half hours to the coast, where the horses have a field they overnight in. The next two nights are in lovely beach side condos in the quaint village of Neskowin.

Day 4
Breakfast for the next two mornings is anytime between 8:00am and 9:30am. Riders will be collected from their accommodation at 11:00am and after saddling the horses at the field they will be trailered to Bob Straub State Park for a day of riding the sand dunes, Nestucca River trail and beach riding. Picnic lunch will be brought out to riders in the park. Horses and riders will be transported back to Neskowin, the horses are stabled in a field across from the village of Neskowin.

Day 5
After breakfast riders will be collected at 10.30 to start the day's riding on the expansive Neskowin beach where there are some great sea rocks and caves.  Lunch will either be in your apartment, at the field or on the trail depending on the weather. After the afternoon ride you will be driven back to the valley to your accommodation for the next two nights in Carlton in Wine Country Cottages. 

Day 6
The final day's riding will be in the rolling terrain and vineyard countryside and riders can enjoy their last views of the spectacular Willamette Valley.  After lunch there will be another wine tasting with the opportunity to purchase some wine.

Day 7
Breakfast in your accommodation and depart for your onward journey.

Reading List

We're avid readers here at Unicorn Trails and have selected several books connected to this ride. If you're interested in reading more about the area before you travel, or want to get into the cultural background, here are some suggestions that may inspire you.

Oregon-Trail-Oxford-Worlds-Classics  by Francis Parkman Jr
Explorers-Guide-Oregon-Wine-Country  by Sherry L Moore, Jeff Welsch


Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.

Horses & Riding

There are a wide variety of horses, they vary from Irish Connemara ponies, Connemara cross, Mustang and Thoroughbred to Draft crosses. All are ridden in English saddles and are well trained excellent trail horses. The riding is in three distinct areas, rolling vineyards, mountain ranges and Pacific Coast beaches.

Rider requirements

Riders should be comfortable catching, grooming and tacking up horses.
Riders need to be a good intermediate to advanced rider comfortable with long trots of up to 15 minutes and fast canters. This ride also needs a good degree of riding fitness as tehr are hard gallops over a variety of terrain and riders are in the saddle for up to 5 hours.
Riders may have to mount and dismount on the trail.

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 16 st/225 lb/102 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

Accommodation is in small Inns, Bed and Breakfasts and rental condos or homes at the beach, all with generous hospitality with a great feel for the Pacific Northwest. Bedrooms have double beds, so if two people want to share and not share a double bed, will have to have a triple room, supplement for extra bed applies, please see detailed prices.

The meals are fresh, often gourmet and two wine tastings are included in the holiday as are picnic lunches. Alcoholic drinks are not included.

Vegetarians, pescatarians and gluten free diets are catered for, vegans are more difficult and should check before booking that their requirements can be met.

Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.

Climate Summary

Temperate rainforest. Mediterranean type climate with dry hot summers, cooler evenings. Season is May to October, with May and June having fresh springlike weather and chance of showers but it is definitely greener in May and June. July, August and September can be hotter, in the 90's during the day but still cool at night. Autumn comes in September to October and October can be showery.

Climate Chart
Health (ride specific)

No specific health requirements.

Film and Camera Equipment

Batteries need to be bought beforehand but possible to charge phone and cameras in the evenings with suitable adaptors.

Packing List

• Riding Helmet - we strongly recommend that you wear a properly fitted riding helmet of the current standard which is PAS015 or BSEN1384. A limited number of helmets are available at the stables if you do not have your own with you. A protective vest if you wear one normally.
• Jodhpurs - jodhpurs, breeches or other comfortable trousers (jeans may rub and can also be quite hot)
• Raincoat - it is always a good idea to pack a waterproof/ windproof jacket!
• Riding Boots - it is important to have correct shoes or boots for horse riding. Jodhpur or ankle boots with a rubber sole are recommended but sturdy shoes with a definite heel are acceptable (such as walking boots)
• Half Chaps - these are great when worn with ankle boots and help prevent the stirrup leathers rubbing against your legs
• T-shirts and long-sleeved shirts
• Sunhat
• Sunglasses
• Fleece - for cooler weather
• Warm layers - at times the evening temperature drops significantly
• Casual Clothes - for evenings.
• Water Bottle and tie strings - it's very important to drink a lot of water when it's hot, especially when doing physical activities
• Personal Items - toiletries, any medicines you require and please be sure to take insect repellent and plenty of sun cream
• Camera and Spare Batteries/Charger - an absolute must! It is also a good idea to take a camera case you can strap around your waist or onto a belt for whilst you are riding


6 days/6 nights/6 days riding on set dates, up to 5 hrs riding per day, groups on request.

Departure Dates

2017: 8, 15, 29 May; 12, 26 (full) June; 10, 17, 31 (full) July; 7, 14, 28 Aug; 11, 18 (relaxed pace) Sept; 2, 9 Oct

Single supplement must be paid if booking alone.
No of   
Riding days Product item description £
2017 - 6 nights7d/6n6double pp, full-board2,025
2017 - 6 nights7d/6n6single supplement419
2017 - 6 nights7d/6n6Separate bed supplement189
No of   
Riding days Product item description
2017 - 6 nights7d/6n6double pp, full-board2,295
2017 - 6 nights7d/6n6single supplement479
2017 - 6 nights7d/6n6Separate bed supplement219
No of   
Riding days Product item description $
2017 - 6 nights7d/6n6double pp, full-board2,649
2017 - 6 nights7d/6n6single supplement549
2017 - 6 nights7d/6n6Separate bed supplement249
No of   
Riding days Product item description SEK
2017 - 6 nights7d/6n6double pp, full-board21,849
2017 - 6 nights7d/6n6single supplement4,535
2017 - 6 nights7d/6n6Separate bed supplement2,059

Seals at the beach, bald eagles and sometimes elk in the mountains and forests.

Other Information

Fast riding through three distinct regions of mountain forest, beach and vineyards for fit intermediate to advanced riders. Suitable for non riding partners who can hire a car.

Other Country Information

The USA has 4 main times zones - Eastern Standard Time (EST), Central Standard Time (CST), Mountain Standard Time (MST) and Pacific Standard Time (PST).
Vermont is on EST, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah are all on MST, California is on PST.

Weights and measures are imperial although weight is always expressed in pounds, not stone. The US gallon is 3.8 litres in contrast to an imperial gallon which is 4.2 litres.

Mobile telephone: In 2015 3G is widely available throughout the US in cities, towns, villages and along main highways with AT&T having the best overall coverage and T-mobile offering better speeds in cities. 4G is beginning to be available in cities. There are still a few rural areas which have no GSM reception but do have the older CDMA telephone networks. To be able to call from these areas we recommend buying a cheap Verizon phone from eg Walmart (from $13) and topping up with credit. Almost all hotels and airports offer free wifi connection.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
Carlton, Oregon at the ranch for 11 am on Day 1. A transfer from Portland can be arranged - approx. 1.5 hr journey.
Can be arranged from Portland airport/hotel at an extra cost of approx. $140 per car.
Flight Guide:
Portland (PDX)
£650-£850 return from London
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