There’s a reason why many people wish to experience what it’s like to be a cowboy—the lure of the American West alongside its gorgeous wide-open spaces. The scenic countryside is indeed powerful, but beyond the scenery, you’ll also find fun, appropriately-themed museums, delicious dining, historical landmarks, and new age experiences.
With that in mind, here are different ways you can explore the world west through the eyes of a cowboy and modern-day traveler, helping you make the most out of the experience.
Go Horse Riding
Horse riding is one of the most popular and authentic forms of transport in the wild west. The real-life cowboys from park tours can introduce you to different trails, geology, and comprehensive history of the Zion National Park, allowing you to explore and enjoy this majestic landmark to the fullest—all while riding a horse!
You can also saddle up on a mule for a ride along the Grand Canyon, exploring natural wonders like famous rock formations and gallop through stunning cactus gardens, just like how they’d do it back in the old Western days.
Ride a Covered Wagon
One of the best ways to explore the wild west is by traveling the same path as pioneers through Yellowstone Park, learning more about the west’s different trails and Native Americans. You can go on morning and night expeditions and explore the many areas of the wild west in style. You can make the experience even better by staying in an Indian Lodge, helping you feel like a real cowboy on the road.
Raft Down the Salmon River
If you’re looking to cool down while sticking down to a cowboy or Western-themed journey, rafting down the Salmon River is one of the best and most refreshing activities you can do. It’s usually a four- to six-day adventure coasting rapids down the renowned Middle Fork in the Salmon River, offering the best of the wet Western wilderness. In this 100-mile journey, you get to enjoy the surrounding wildlife, soak in relaxing hot springs, admire vast canyons, and more.
Hiking in New Mexico
No trip to the Western side of the United States is complete without visiting the beautiful New Mexico. There are several ways you can familiarize yourself with the varied and stunning terrains of the state’s scenery on foot. The place boasts over 50 hiking trails tucked away in mountains, foothills, and canyons, ideal for all hikers of different levels. Climb peaks, go through the alpine scenery, admire the wildflowers, discover abandoned mining pits, and enjoy the experience of the real wild west.
Visit Western-themed Museums
One of the best ways to enjoy the wild west is by exploring some of the best arts inspired by the west while you travel across the American frontier. Plus, it’s one of the most accessible activities that you can also squeeze into your itinerary, allowing you to learn more about the history of each location you visit while giving you the chance to explore more of the place. From cowboy museums to weapon museums, there’s something for everyone.
Travel by Rail
The Grand Canyon Railway is one of the most iconic railroads in the west. It was initially established in 1901, serving as the best way to travel in pre-automotive America, and since became one of the country’s most remarkable train journeys. Take a ride in this historical vehicle and bask in some of America’s stunning landscapes along the 65 miles to the South Rim. The rails cars have been regularly restored to their 1920s grandeur while keeping the depot sticks to its original 1910 construction.
Plus, it takes you on a journey across the Grand Canyon, allowing you to enjoy the beauty of the west in comfort and style.
Explore Western Ghost Towns
If you’re looking to get a “feel” of what it is like to live in the west, exploring Western ghost towns is a great way to do just that. A great example is the true-blue ghost town, Goldfield in Arizona, just along the famous Apache Trail, featuring historical goldmines, Western-themed museums, antique trains, and staged gunfights. There are plenty of Western ghost towns throughout the country, so check out your state’s destinations to see if your place has one.
Thanks to Hollywood shining light on Western movies, the west is enjoying a revival. If you feel inspired to see the “wild west” for yourself and see it feels like to live like a cowboy, explore the activities mentioned to enjoy an authentic wild west experience. It is also a great once-in-a-lifetime adventure trip with your loved ones and family.