Experience needed: Beginner riders welcome.
What to bring: Seriously sturdy clothing.
Who shouldn’t go: Vegans.
Maybe you’ve mastered Angry Birds. But slingshotting a sparrow through the air is nothing compared with herding 500 head of cattle up a California mountainside.
If you’re ready to take the challenge, sign on for a spring or fall cattle drive at the V6 Ranch, in Monterey County’s Diablo Range. The four-day drive puts you up on a quarter horse, helping wranglers urge cows and calves and steers across the V6’s 20,000 acres. Each drive can handle 25 guests, and beginning riders are welcome (as are the kind of experts who bring their own horses). Food is from the V6 chuckwagon; there’s ample opportunity to hone riding and roping and campfire-ghost-storytelling skills. But maybe the biggest draw is the V6 itself. This little-known corner of California is spectacular—especially the drives’ base camp atop 3,600-foot Mustang Peak, with views east to the Sierra and west to the Santa Lucia Range. $750 for 3 nights, including meals; v6ranch.com