In the waterpark haven of the Wisconsin Dells, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by how much there is to do. That’s why this popular horse and carriage ride has been delighting locals and tourists alike for over 50 years. Found on the appropriately named Canyon road, Lost Canyon Horse Tours began taking carriages of people around the longest and deepest mile of cliff-walled gorges in Wisconsin in 1956. The business changed hands to the Kissack families in 1967 and has remained with them to this day.
On arrival, you walk underneath a giant horseshoe to get to the gift shop and ticket office. Before your ride begins you have the opportunity to take pictures with and pet the horses that will be taking you around the Canyon. Each carriage holds around 15 people and you get a surprisingly comfy ride.
As your journey begins you quickly realize why it’s so popular. This high edged walls and complex rock formations are stunning. Every part of the journey has something interesting or beautiful to look at, you could easily get a pain in the neck from looking up. The sandstone ridges formed by rushing water still hold firm and look as if they were carved and sanded by master stonemasons.
Your friendly guide will tell you the history of the Gorge including how it was formed by melting ice in only a week (according to researchers) and how it was used by native Americans as a secluded meeting place. The guide also has the not so enviable job of traversing the very tight passageways with two hoses and a large cart full of people, at point’s it looked easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for our tour to pass through the neater parts of the gorge, but the well-practiced guide did so with relative ease, however the walls do carry the scars of less successful past attempts.
This attraction is made appealing by it being so very different to everything else around it. Yes, the extravagant allure of the water parks, boat-rides and highly stylized hotels are fun, but to take an hour out of your trip to get away from the hubbub and capture something unique is definitely worth a go.