Preserving The “Western” World
Folks from all over the world travel to Colorado in order to experience the raw beauty of the Rocky Mountains. Many choose to explore the area on horseback and Sombrero Stables is the largest guided ride provider in the state. Sombrero was created in 1958 by Rex Ross Walker (right) and his late brother-in-law, Pat Mantle. Here’s the story: Rex, a native of Texas, had developed an intense interest in horses and traveled to Colorado when he was 11 years old in order to spend time on a ranch.
Later, while still in college Rex met Pat Mantle, a native of Colorado fresh off the family ranch. Together they scraped together enough money to purchase 16 horses and thus began the Sombrero legacy. The first Sombrero stable was located at the current Estes Park site. In those days, trail rides went for $1.25 and competition was stiff with over a dozen other riding stables in the area. Lots of enthusiasm, buckets of sweat, and endless determination fueled the fire that led to Sombrero’s growth and expansion over the years.
Rex chose to settle into the Estes Park area along with his wife, Queeda (Pat’s sister). Queeda played an active role in the development of the business from the beginning of its existence.
Over the years Sombrero has expanded from the Estes Park Stable, which opened in 1959. It was only a year later that the Grand Lake stable was added. Over the years, additional Sombrero locations have been added including Meeker, Steamboat Springs, Allenspark, the stable at Snow Mountain Ranch, and the Hi-Country stables.
Today, we run major trail operations out of the four most popular locations. Estes Park and Snow Mountain operate year round, while the Hi Country Stables (Moraine Park and Glacier Creek) are open seasonally throughout the summer.
Key players in the operation have increased as well, and the business now includes other family members: Mark and Freda Bishop, and Donald Broom. A number of long-term employees on the Sombrero team have also contributed to our growth and success. Sombrero Stables and Hi-Country Stables, Inc. offer visitors the opportunity to experience riding–as the early settlers did–in the natural beauty of the Colorado Rockies. You won’t find any souvenir shops or commercialism at our stables. We have taken care to preserve the land in anticipation of sharing the natural splendor of the Rockies with guests for generations to come. Many of our operations are conducted on public lands under special permit from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management or the National Park Service.
“An artist’s brush couldn’t have painted a more spectacular landscape. Come ride the Rockies with Sombrero and Hi-Country, Inc. to see for yourself.” –Rex Walker