In June 2017 the Ponderosa Chapter of Back Country Horsemen of Washington held a very successful hands-on seminar about trailhead camping with horses. Our goal was to help participants become more comfortable camping with their horses.

Riverside State Park was the perfect venue for such a seminar. It provided a location close to Spokane and the rural environment that allowed us to simulate being in a remote area. While it is great to have the wonderful equestrian campground as provided at Riverside State Park, this is not always available. Therefore the need to learn some backcountry skills. Participants learned how to highline their horses and care for them through the night.

We viewed several ways that people have chosen to camp from sleeping in the back of a trailer to trailers with living quarters and motor homes. An information book was provided, and discussions took place, on subjects such as safety, Leave No Trace, trail etiquette, knots, land manager requirements (such as permits and weed free hay), good locations to camp in the area (including Riverside State Park), what we should take with us, selecting a camping partner, crossing state lines with horses, how to feed and care for our horses overnight and of course the benefits of belonging to Back Country Horsemen.

We also previewed some of the equipment needed to use pack animals, our next step in enjoying camping with horses.

That night we had a bonfire (leaving no trace that the fire was ever there) with smores and stories.

It is our desire that more equestrians take the opportunity to camp with their horses and expand the areas that they ride. For more information about Ponderosa BCH go to or

Ken spends many hours horseback riding and boating in the park. Since his property adjoins the park his daily access is a way of life. Ken is a founding member of RSPF and has been a key contributor in representing the equestrian interests and facilities in the park. Ken is also involved with Friends of Mt. Spokane State Park, Lake Spokane Association and Back Country Horsemen of Washington.

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