Betty and Rusty Hastings, your hosts at Betty's Trail Rides, have been helping people realize their favorite Arizona Moments on horseback for twenty one years. People from all over the world have ridden with them individually, and in groups or tours. The Hastings have worked very hard to ensure that their guests will enjoy their time at Betty's Trail Rides. Guests are mounted on safe, dependable and sure-footed horses with knowledgable, trained guides, travel over the most scenic trails, and have the best information on the history, native plants and animals of the Sonoran Desert, all of which will insure that you have the best guided horseback ride in Arizona.
Much of the Hastings' life and background have led up to this exciting call in life.Betty's parents were lapidaries who owned a gem shop in Morristown, about forty-five miles northwest of Phoenix. Much of her childhood was spent camping on the desert while hunting for gemstones to be made into jewelry for the family's shop. During this time, Betty frequently stayed with an elderly Indian couple who lived on the desert, and taught her about native plants and how to use and prepare them for food and medicine. This is an interest which she still pursues today and shares this knowledge with her guests.Betty is a graduate of Arizona State University and has taught school for many years in Arizona and southern California, concentrating on rural areas. Her most interesting teaching adventure was the six years she spent on the Havasupai Indian Reservation in the bottom of the Grand Canyon teaching and serving as school administrator. The main way people who live there go in and out of the canyon is by horseback. It was during these years that Betty perfected her horseback riding ability and developed her dutch oven and campfire cooking techniques, both of which she readily shares with the people who come to ride and stay at her horse camp at Mitchell Springs near Phoenix.Rusty is a native of Clemanceau, Arizona, which was later called Cottonwood. His parents were miners and road construction workers. His dad also worked on ranches and was a chuckwagon cook. Rusty became a cowboy at the age of twelve and took part in the last two long cattle drives in Arizona. He had ridden horses since he was a little kid. He has worked for most of the ranches around Castle Hot Springs and Lake Pleasant .
During the depression of the 1930's, Rusty's family mined gold in Morgan Wash about seven miles west of Lake Pleasant. He was featured as Arizona's Youngest Gold Miner in national news when he hit a strike which netted him about ninety dollars. He said he was a "rich kid for awhile. A quarter in them days looked as big around as a wagon wheel."As an adult, Rusty continued his cowboy career, but also worked on road construction and for several years owned a riding stable with two hundred horses in South Dakota. While living there, he also played General George A. Custer in an outdoor pageant featuring the life of Crazy Horse from the viewpoint of the Sioux Indians.Rusty and Betty were married in 1983 and the couple moved to the Havasupai Indian Reservation where Rusty (at that time retired) "played cowboy and Indian" and packed supplies for them and their horses into the canyon.In 1991 Betty's Trail Rides was established, and the couple have enjoyed riding with people from all over the world.