Wild horses are a powerful symbol of the Old West, but you won't see them unless you know where to go. Thirty-five years ago Dianne Nelson started the Wild Horse Sanctuary on 5,000 acres in Shingletown, Calif., east of Redding.
At the time, she had rescued 80 horses that had been rounded up and were about to be destroyed. Today, about 300 wild horses and burros call the sanctuary home.
How wild are they? Some are descendants of the original herd; others have been rescued from Bureau of Land Management property and other areas, according to a spokesman.
Starting in May, visitors can take two- and three-day trips to the sanctuary with a stay at Wild Horse Camp. Nelson and other volunteers lead riders on horseback along trails flanked by stands of manzanita, oak and pine to see the animals up close. Spring is a good time to go, when wildflowers and grasses are up and young foals stay can be seen among the mares.