Experience a Banff horseback tent trip – without having to “rough it.”
Why? Well, this form of camping (which could also be described as ‘glamping’) allows visitors to see the best of the off-the-grid, wild, and remote locations of Banff National Park without sacrificing luxury. Banff Trail Riders operates three well-maintained campsites complete with heated outdoor showers, wash stations, clean outhouses and a large kitchen tent. And at night you’ll sleep in comfort in A-frame canvas tents set on raised wooden platforms with comfortable cot beds and thermarests.
Perhaps the best part of all though – an on-site cook for the whole stay, preparing hearty cowboy cuisine before sitting around the crackling fire under the stars. Along with the history, routes, stories and culture, our cowboy and cowgirl guides know backcountry hospitality better than anyone.
We offer two different horseback riding tent pack trips to suit guests, both offering the luxury of being in the backcountry away from other campers, sounds, and cell service. Both of our trips start at Mount Norquay after meeting and parking at Warner Stables and taking the Banff Trail Riders shuttle up the mountain. The main difference between both though, is how long guests are wanting to explore the backcountry.
Mystic Valley Tent Trip
Our 3 Day, 2 Night horseback riding vacation is the perfect taste of the far unknown.
On Day 1, you’ll mount up for the ride to Mystic Valley Camp where you will spend the night. Along the way there will be a stop for lunch along 40 Mile Creek. It’s only day one and you’re already more deeply immersed in the backcountry than most Banff visitors will ever get. This is truly disconnecting and rediscovering pioneer past – without the burden of roughing it. Night one is spent at Mystic Valley Camp which is a location that holds strong First Nations significance. Here you’ll be treated to night one of this rustic, yet well-equipped experience.
After a hearty ranch style breakfast on day 2, mount up for a stunning day ride to Mystic Pass or Mystic Lake. You will spend another full day of the trail and a cowboy trail lunch will be served along the way at one of these spectacular vistas, so you can sit and enjoy while admiring the mountain views.
You’ll enjoy one more night at Mystic Valley Camp, before topping off this trip with a leisurely 9 mile ride along 40 Mile Creek back to the Mt Norquay Corral, stopping for lunch along the way.
Cascade Valley Tent Trip
Looking for the ultimate wilderness adventure? The six-day tent trip completes a circle loop to all three campsites with stunning day rides over high alpine passes and visiting spectacular alpine lakes.
On Day 1 you’ll pass through the cool, craggy peaks of Brewster Mountain and Cascade Mountain (with a lunch stop along the way where Stony Creek meets the Cascade River), then head down into Stoney Creek Camp. This historic camp was named by the First Nations people and is deeply historically and culturally significant. It’s only day one and you’re already more deeply immersed in the backcountry than most Banff visitors will ever get.
On Day 2 a day ride is taken toward the headwaters of Stoney Creek up the Dormer Pass Trail, with lunch enjoyed on the trail part way through the day. The Dormer Trail area is a favorite haunt of Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, who are often grazing in the high meadows, proving ample opportunity for pictures. We’ll then return to Stoney Creek Campsite where you can freshen up with a hot shower and tuck in to another delicious dinner prepared by the on-site cook.
On Day 3 you’ll mount up in the fresh morning air and ride the 10 miles to Flint’s Park Camp, with a stop for lunch on the banks of Cascade River. This stunning camp is one of the highlights of the trip, located in the fertile valley bottom with an open, grassy ridge providing sweeping views of the awe-inspiring Rocky Mountains.
Flint’s Park Camp was one of the original outpost areas used by the wardens as a base for patrolling in the early days of the park. Due to the wide-open terrain, it’s likely you’ll spot some wild creatures wandering around. It is located within the Bison Free Range Zone, a totally unspoiled region where herds of Bison have been reintroduced for the first time in 140 years.
Day 4 allows us the opportunity to explore the area around Flints Campsite. Whether you’re a hiker, photographer, or fisher, this area has a lot to offer. The area around this post has some of the most pristine wilderness our backcountry has to offer and it’s all yours with none or rarely another person in sight.
Day 5 is our last morning at Flint’s Camp it’s time to say goodbye to this stunning campsite but the trip is far from over! Once saddled up, the ride from Flints Park to Mystic Valley is a highlight of the trip and can include Rainbow Lake, the stunning 40 Mile Pass, Vermillion Range which runs to the east and Sawback to the west. Before we set off, guests have the opportunity to observe the historic art of horse packing, using the famous diamond hitch. When everything is securely in place, we ride to Mystic Valley for the final night. Along the way, you’ll stop for a lakeside lunch enjoying the tranquil beauty of Rainbow Lake.
On Day 6 arise early and say goodbye to your pristine backcountry surroundings – it’s time to head back into Banff and rejoin civilisation. On the last day of your Rocky Mountain backcountry adventure, you’ll mount up for the mount up for the leisurely 9 mile ride along 40 Mile Creek, with a lunch stop along the way. This scenic ride is the perfect time to reflect on everything you have experienced in the last 6 days.