Banff Trail Riders https://horseback.com Banff Trail Riders | Banff Horseback Riding | Banff, Alberta Tue, 18 Sep 2018 16:53:12 +0000 en hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 https://horseback.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Banff-Trail-Riders-Brand-Logo-150x150.jpg Banff Trail Riders https://horseback.com 32 32 Banff Horseback Ride With A Cowboy Cookout BBQ https://horseback.com/banff-horseback-ride-with-bbq/ Tue, 15 May 2018 05:51:46 +0000 https://horseback.com/?p=8708 If there are two things we know best, it's a horseback riding in Banff and a good old fashioned cowboy bbq. We've combined both in a family friendly experience known as the Cowboy Cookout.

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We know that you want to make the most of your precious vacation time, and agreeing on what to eat for dinner isn’t always the easiest part of your holiday.  So, why not combine both and add a little fun to it?

If there are two things we know best, it’s horseback riding in Banff and a good old-fashioned cowboy bbq – at Banff Trail Riders, we’ve combined both in a family friendly experience known as the Cowboy Cookout.

When descending into Calgary International Airport and on your way to Banff from Calgary, you’ll probably have noticed the farmland that stretched as far as the eyes can see. These prairies are home to some of the most fertile soils and grazing areas around, so it’s no surprise that Alberta produces some of the best beef found in the industry. It’s also no surprise, that this farmland has a community and culture attached to it that we’re famed for.

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Activity with reward is probably the best kind around – and let’s be honest, it’s not hard work for you or your horse to be strolling through vibrant Rocky Mountain valleys while watching for wildlife and passing canoes on the Bow River.

And if you’re still not hungry by the time you arrive at 3 Mile Cabin, we’re sure our games and interactive activities will do the trick.  Try your hand at lasso, horseshoe, and other western games.

If there’s some non steak lovers in the family, that’s perfectly fine – we have plenty of options including vegetarian ones to suit dietary needs.

Delicious Steak on the Cowboy Cookout in Banff, Canadian Rockies with Banff Trail Riders

Throw horseshoes on the cowboy cookout with Banff Trail Riders

A Cowboy Cookout with Banff Trail Riders is a family friendly activity that is good for all ages. If kids are under the age of 8 or not ready to ride a horse, they’re welcome to jump in our wagon and meet the horseback riders at the cabin. This is still a great way to enjoy a similar route and everyone gets to eat at the BBQ together.

Wagon Ride on the Cowboy Cookout in Banff, Canadian Rockies with Banff Trail Riders

Book now, saddle up and come along for the best horseback riding with Banff Trail Riders!

Horseback Ride to a Cowboy Steak Cookout with Banff Trail Riders
Family Fun

Ride & BBQ Cookout

Get a taste of the mountain air with a horseback ride along the base of Sulphur Mountain in Banff, to a delicious cowboy cookout BBQ meal at 3 Mile Cabin. First you'll ride along the Bow River while watching for wildlife and enjoying the spectacular scenery. Midway through the ride,
per person
May-Sep, Sept-Oct
11:00am, 4:00pm, 5:00pm
3 Hours
Wagon Ride on the Cowboy Cookout in Banff, Canadian Rockies with Banff Trail Riders
Family Fun

Wagon Ride & BBQ Cookout

Take a relaxing wagon ride along the Bow River. Re-join the horseback riders in the group for an authentic cowboy dinner. Arrive at 3 Mile Cabin to enjoy genuine western hospitality and some tasty comfort food. But before digging in, work up an appetite with a few western-style games, like
per person
May-Sep, Sept-Oct
11:00am, 4:00pm, 5:00pm
3 Hours

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Horseback Rides that Cross Rivers in Banff National Park https://horseback.com/horseback-rides-that-cross-rivers-in-banff-national-park/ Mon, 14 May 2018 06:08:38 +0000 https://horseback.com/?p=8622 By far and large, some of our best horseback rides in Banff are the ones that cross the cool, glacial and spring-fed waters that flow through the Bow Valley. Banff Trail Riders offers two river crossing rides that take guests through one of the most beautiful parts of Banff National Park.

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By far and large, some of our best horseback rides in Banff are the ones that cross the cool, glacial and spring-fed waters that flow through the Bow Valley.

Accessible, historical, and tranquil, these rides are sure to impress. Starting at our Banff Springs Corrals near the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Banff Trail Riders offers two river crossing rides that take guests through one of the most beautiful parts of Banff National Park.

These rides are unique in their own right, with a river crossing as it has been done for centuries. A horseback ride in Banff with flowing waters passing under your feet, around your horse’s hooves, and probably into your horse’s mouth, seizes a moment of multiple natural elements coming together in the Canadian Rockies that is truly unforgettable.

Cross the Spray River on the Sulphur Mountain Ride

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Both our 1 hour Spray River, Banff Horseback Ride and our 3 hour Sulphur Mountain, Banff Horseback Ride give guests the unique experience of crossing the Spray River, while also viewing the jaw-dropping force of the Bow River as it cascades over Bow Falls.

On a hot summer day, expect to stop in the river a little bit longer as your horse splashes water onto its belly, gets a drink, and allows you, the rider, the opportunity to enjoy this view for just a bit longer with the company of your horse.

While river crossings may not have been anything unique to the pioneers that settled the Bow Valley, for us, it’s certainly a treat. Take a photo and take it in – this Rocky Mountain experience is one to treasure.

Horseback Trail Rides in Banff, Canadian Rockies with Banff Trail Riders

So, what makes these two river crossing rides different? Well, the first obvious difference is time. While we definitely recommend the 3 hour horseback ride to capture a birds-eye view of Banff as you ride along the base of Mount Rundle, we understand sometimes schedules don’t allow for longer rides.

Perhaps a 1 hour ride is just what you need to fulfill your Rocky Mountain horseback experience, and that’s okay! Our one hour Spray River Banff horseback riding trail ride is equally as immersive and takes you along the Fairmont Banff Springs’ golf course while giving guests an unforgettable perspective of the ‘Castle in the Rockies’.

Of course, topped with the added excitement of crossing the Spray River, the one-hour ride is just a small portion of our longer half-day Sulphur Mountain Ride that also runs up 2/3rds of the way up the Sulphur Mountain with return views of Rundle Mountain.

Horseback Ride Fall Banff Trail Riders

After your ride, check out the very hotel you viewed from an entirely different perspective. The Fairmont Banff Springs is a historical icon to the start of tourism in Banff, and definitely worth a visit. River crossing trail rides in Banff are found with Banff Trail Riders and both our one-hour and three-hour half-day tours give an unforgettable Rocky Mountain experience in Banff National Park.

Horseback Ride near the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel with Banff Trail Riders

Book now, saddle up and come along for the best horseback riding with Banff Trail Riders!

Horseback Ride Spray River Banff Trail Riders

Spray River Ride - 1 Hr

Cross a tranquil river on horseback and then admire an enchanting Rocky Mountain waterfall. The one-hour Spray River Ride gives you a great introduction to the untouched wilderness that can be found just outside the Banff town-site. Breathe in the pine-spiced mountain air as you approach the roaring Bow Falls.
per person
May-Oct
10:00am, 11:00am, 12:00pm, 1:00pm, 2:00pm, 3:00pm, 4:00pm, 5:00pm
1 Hour
Horseback Ride Fall Banff Trail Riders
Limited Space

Sulphur Mountain Ride - 3 Hrs

It’s hard to believe how much spectacular Rocky Mountain scenery is packed into this three-hour excursion. Visit a famous landmark hotel, spot elk or coyotes in the brush, and then cross the tumbling Spray River in this half-day adventure. From snow-capped mountains and sparkling waterfalls to roaring rivers and thick
per person
May-Oct
9:30am, 1:30pm
3 Hours

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A Banff Horseback Ride With A Cowboy BBQ https://horseback.com/banff-horseback-ride-with-a-cowboy-bbq/ Tue, 24 Apr 2018 02:16:47 +0000 https://horseback.com/?p=8608 If there are two things Alberta knows best it's cowboy culture, and steak. Renowned for its 'Alberta Beef', the province has made a name for itself with its award-winning beef ...

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Cowboy Cookouts Are For All Ages

If there are two things Alberta knows best it’s cowboy culture, and steak. Renowned for its ‘Alberta Beef’, the province has made a name for itself with its award-winning beef, farming techniques, and of course the culture that comes with it. There is no better way to experience both a Banff horseback ride and a cowboy BBQ cookout than by joining us at our Warner Stables in Banff.

Wagon Ride on the Cowboy Cookout in Banff, Canadian Rockies with Banff Trail Riders

Go By Wagon or Horseback

Whether everyone rides a horse or some of the family choose to take the wagon, we all meetup at our 3 Mile Cabin for an unforgettable BBQ.  When you arrive, you’ll work up an appetite with some cowboy games like horseshoe and lassoing, while our backcountry cooks get to work cooking up a delicious backcountry meal. This is the best way to experience life as an Albertan cowboy or cowgirl.

Banff Horseback Cowboy Cookout, Banff Trail Riders

Riding A Horse To 3 Mile Cabin?

This is the midway point of your ride. Gentle and great for anyone over the age of 8, you’ll trot on your horse or ride in a wagon along the Bow River as its turquoise glacial waters flow by with common sightings of muskrats and beavers. This area is a wide open river valley that is like nowhere else in Banff National Park. Take in the bird sightings, peaceful quiet environment, vibrant and lush mountain scenery, and feel free to ask our guides questions about our horses, riding and life in Banff.

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Making your way to Sundance Canyon, the views never stop – passing bikers, hikers, and canoes compliment the ample recreational opportunities of this area. It cannot be emphasized enough how alive this area truly is – the sights, sounds, and fresh mountain air overwhelms senses and makes this experience and all Banff National Park moments into memories.

Delicious Steak on the Cowboy Cookout in Banff, Canadian Rockies with Banff Trail Riders

Mealtime comes just in time after games and time enjoying the forest air. BBQ steak to your liking, potatoes, in true cowboy cookout fashion – this will be a meal to remember. Not a steak lover? Not to worry! Dietary restrictions and vegetarian options are always welcome as well. After our stomachs are full and our arms are tired from perfecting the perfect lasso, it’s time to make our way back to Warner Stables. Evening cookout visitors are treated to spectacular sunsets as the sun makes its way down perfectly between mountains.

Wagon Ride on the Cowboy Cookout in Banff, Canadian Rockies with Banff Trail Riders

Book now, saddle up and come along for the best cowboy horseback riding with Banff Trail Riders!

Horseback Ride to a Cowboy Steak Cookout with Banff Trail Riders
Family Fun

Ride & BBQ Cookout

Get a taste of the mountain air with a horseback ride along the base of Sulphur Mountain in Banff, to a delicious cowboy cookout BBQ meal at 3 Mile Cabin. First you'll ride along the Bow River while watching for wildlife and enjoying the spectacular scenery. Midway through the ride,
per person
May-Sep, Sept-Oct
11:00am, 4:00pm, 5:00pm
3 Hours
Wagon Ride on the Cowboy Cookout in Banff, Canadian Rockies with Banff Trail Riders
Family Fun

Wagon Ride & BBQ Cookout

Take a relaxing wagon ride along the Bow River. Re-join the horseback riders in the group for an authentic cowboy dinner. Arrive at 3 Mile Cabin to enjoy genuine western hospitality and some tasty comfort food. But before digging in, work up an appetite with a few western-style games, like
per person
May-Sep, Sept-Oct
11:00am, 4:00pm, 5:00pm
3 Hours

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The Most Popular Banff Horseback Ride, Bow River Trail https://horseback.com/most-popular-banff-horseback-ride/ Fri, 13 Apr 2018 15:21:28 +0000 https://horseback.com/?p=8573 Trotting beside the very river that has sculpted and shaped the Bow Valley since the last ice age is a powerful thing. This is the Banff Trail Riders’ Bow River Ride ...

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The most popular Banff horseback ride follows beside the very river that has sculpted and shaped the Bow Valley since the last ice age.

Its turquoise glacial waters twist through and around an ecosystem unique to this area while the surrounding mountains provide vibrant and endless vistas. This is the Banff Trail Riders’ Bow River Ride. The one hour ride is our most popular adventure, and also our most accessible one, and it’s found right at our doorstep.

Starting at our Warner Stables in Banff, a place that has a historical presence itself with the establishment of Banff’s only and one of North America’s largest horse outfitters, this trip will take you through a wetland ecosystem unique to this area, past the Cave and Basin National Historic Site (where Banff and Canada’s National Park system was founded) and along the Bow River itself. Spotting wildlife is very common as this area is a favourite among birds, beavers, elk, deer, muskrats, and more. Overwhelm your senses with us while the flora, fauna, and sounds of wildlife come from every direction in our protected playground that is Canada’s first National Park.

Ride along the Bow River on a horseback ride with Banff Trail Riders

Our Banff Bow River Horseback Ride is popular for many reasons but what most guests don’t expect, is the diversity in the ecosystems of this area. You won’t find another place like it in Banff. This is partly due to the hot spring waters from the Cave and Basin percolating the soft ground below – it’s also because of the flat lands capturing meltwater and providing a haven for grass, bush, and water-dwelling birds like cranes, ducks, and geese. Under the Rocky Mountain sky, listen to the many sounds that populate the area – it’s alive, flourishing, and waiting to be explored on our Banff Horseback Rides.

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This trail ride may be just what you need to fix that urge for a western-style experience – but if you’re yearning for more, be sure to check out any of our other horseback adventures ranging from longer Banff horseback trail rides to multi-day horseback riding vacations.

Horseback Rides in Banff, Canadian Rockies with Banff Trail Riders

Take a guided horseback ride along the Bow River with Banff Trail Riders in the Canadian Rockies
Most Popular

Bow River Ride - 1 Hr

Treat yourself to a relaxing one-hour ride that takes you past some of the most awe-evoking scenery in Banff National Park. Ride along the tranquil Bow River – an area home to wildlife in amongst the thick marshes and grassy meadows. And if you look up, you might spot an
per person
Apr – Oct
9:00am, 10:00am, 11:00am, 12:00pm, 1:00pm, 2:00pm, 3:00pm, 4:00pm, 5:00pm, 6:00pm
1 Hour

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Where Our Horses Go On Holiday https://horseback.com/where-our-horses-go-on-holiday/ Wed, 28 Mar 2018 20:45:25 +0000 https://horseback.com/?p=8390 Ever wondered where the Banff Trail Rider horses spend winter? It's a pretty sweet gig – work six months of the year, then run free, eat, and hang with your buds ...

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Ever wondered where the Banff Trail Riders’ horses spend winter?

It’s a pretty sweet gig – work six months of the year, then run free, eat, and hang with your buds for the other six months.

Who wouldn’t want this life? At Banff Trail Riders, that is the life of our 300+ horses each year. At the end of the season, we transport them back to our full-section of land (640 acres) where they get their shoes taken off and roam free in the wide-open Alberta foothills. While they’re out here, they get care and attention under the watchful eyes of Tyler Ritchie. Tyler is our lead backcountry wrangler who is in charge of the herd during the winter, and the horses know him well.

They also know the sound of the tractor every day – with the sound of the tractor and Tyler riding behind the wheel.  That’s equal to the dinner bell ringing and all 300+ horses come charging towards the hay. Approximately 800 1,200 lbs hay bales per year, in case you were wondering. Tyler does more than just put dinner on the table for his animals – he is the guy that fixes the fence when a moose has taken it down, he’s the guy that comforts the horse and gets it the care it needs when it’s had an accident (think of it like kids on a playground – once and a while, someone gets hurt), and he’s the guy that makes sure the shelves are stocked with the supplies needed make this operation run.

He’s also the guy that notices when the horses start to shed. Horses shedding is an exciting time for us cowboys and cowgirls – it’s a telltale sign that spring is on the way. In late February, the horses start to lose their winter coats as the days get longer and warmer and we start to prepare for the best time of year – the summer season and the move of horses to our stables in Banff National Park.

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Moving Our Horses Back to Banff

Before we transport our precious cargo of 27 horses at a time (using two horse trailers at a time, one that holds 12 horses, another that holds 15), we must check each horse’s health, trim their hooves and give everyone a good once-over. Much like human fingernails, horses’ hooves grow, and they need to be trimmed back for their health. To assist, we enlist student farriers from the local Olds College every March to come to the ranch and learn from us. Here we give each horse new shoes and individual care and attention to get them in tip-top shape to head back to their office.

Warner Stables Banff, Canadian Rockies

It’s a real-life Alberta story – grazing at the ranch on the foothills for their off-season with backcountry wranglers whose life is 100% all about the horses, their pride and joy. Come spring, the excitement gears back up again and the herd is brought back to Banff. Most people dream of having an office in the Rocky Mountains, and that’s the reality for these lucky steeds. After they’re brought to Banff, each horse is fitted with a custom saddle that fits like a glove, providing maximum comfort for the animals. You’ll probably notice a piece of tape on each saddle with the horses’ name on it – this helps us match horse to saddle, but a few of our guides know all 300 horses by name.

Now the horses are ready for duty – whether it be for our  Banff horseback vacations with our tent trips and lodge trips, or our Banff horseback rides ranging from 1 hour along the Bow River, to a 3 hours climbing Sulphur Mountain, or the our Cowboy BBQ Cookouts that include a steakfry at our 3 Mile Cabin.  Each horse has a personality and fit for different aspects of the business, and we make sure both the horse and our guests are happy.

We’re ready for a Banff horseback ride – are you?

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6 Tips for Horseback Riding in Banff https://horseback.com/6-tips-for-horseback-riding-in-banff/ Fri, 16 Mar 2018 15:07:23 +0000 https://horseback.com/?p=8150 Love the idea of a horseback riding trip in Banff but you have no horse-riding experience? Don’t sweat it. While getting in the saddle for the first time can be a little nerve wracking, it’s not as difficult as you might think. It won’t take you long to get the hang of it and by the end of thee day, you’ll start to relax and enjoy the ride. Take a read through some important tips from horseback riding experts to keep in mind for your first backcountry trip.

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So, you love the idea of horseback riding in Banff but you have no horse-riding experience? Don’t sweat it.

While getting in the saddle for the first time can be a little nerve wracking, it’s not as difficult as you might think. It won’t take you long to get the hang of it and by the end of thee day, you’ll start to relax and enjoy the ride.

Here are some important tips from horseback riding experts to keep in mind for your first backcountry trip.

1. Approach Your Horse Carefully

Horseback Riding in Banff, Canadian Rockies with Banff Trail Riders

“Be vocal when walking around horses, especially when approaching their backsides.” says Stan Walchuk, Jr., a writer for Canadian Horse Journal. “Horses that are dozing or feel threatened may kick out if startled. Never unexpectedly touch the backside of a horse that cannot see you.” Remember, a horse is a prey animal so when they feel threatened their instinct is to bolt.

How should you approach a horse? Since the horse’s eyes are on either side of its head, you should walk towards it slightly from the side. Walk towards its left shoulder (that’s the side it is used to being approached from), making sure that the horse sees you.

Speak calmly to reassure it, then hold your hands out to let it sniff your fingers. Then, reach out and gently stroke the horse on the shoulder. If you have a treat (such as a carrot or apple) to give to your new best friend, always hold your hand out flat to avoid getting your fingers nipped.

2. Don’t Forget to Breathe

Horseback Rides in Banff, Canadian Rockies with Banff Trail Riders

“My best advice for any rider, on any horse, in any situation, is to breathe.” says blogger and equestrian Anna Blake.

“When we are uncertain, our breathing becomes shallow and restricted, our body tenses, and that warns the horse to be nervous.” she explains.

Taking a few deep breaths will help both you and the horse to relax. “Breathing softens our body and literally cues the horse than everything is okay,” says Anna.

This is one of the simplest yet most effective things you can do to make your horseback riding experience a little easier. (Also, Anna adds that smiling will help you to relax too.)

3. Pay Attention to Your Horse’s Ears

Horseback Riding in Banff, Canadian Rockies with Banff Trail Riders

Nancy also shared some great advice with me for knowing what your horse is thinking: just look at their ears. For example:

  • If they prick forward and focus in one direction, they might have spotted a deer or another type of animal further along the trail or in the trees.
  • If their ears go flat back, it’s typically because the horse behind them is tailing too close or trying to pass them.
  • If one ear is forward and one is back, most likely they are listening to you.

For a more in-depth read on horse body language and what it means, check out this long and comprehensive guide from Equus Magazine.

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4. Don’t Ride Too Close

Canadian Rockies Horseback Rides with Banff Trail Riders

Tailgating isn’t just a dangerous practice when you are driving, it is also something you should avoid when riding a horse. When the horses get too close together they can annoy each other and this can possibly cause the horses to get spooked.

“Leave one to two horse lengths between horses.” Pat Barriage of the Horse Industry Association of Alberta explains in her 40 Top Tips for Trail Riders. “Make sure you can always see the heels of the horse in front of you from between your horse’s ears.”

Be extra careful when an obstruction on the trail forces horses close together.

5. Listen to Your Trail Guides

Courtney Marshallick, a former trail guide in Virginia and a horse blogger at AnEquestrianLife.com, recommends listening carefully to your trail guides. “They know the horses and the area, and they will keep you safe.”

Before you embark on your ride, the guides at Banff Trail Riders will give you some instruction on how to control your horse and how to give it commands. Courtney explains that people enjoy horseback riding much more when they learn how to work with their horse and control it.

“There needs to be the understanding that horses are animals, not ATVs or bikes, and they need a confident leader to control them,” she says. “Otherwise you end up with the situations of horses stopping to eat with the rider as a helpless onlooker.”

Also, she adds that if your horse gets spooked it is important to know how to take charge of the situation. If you are ever unsure, just ask your Banff Trail Riders’ guide for assistance.

6. Break in Your Boots Beforehand

Cowboy Boots at the Trail Riders Store in Banff, Canadian RockiesAnd if you’re travelling into the backcountry on a backcountry horseback riding vacation, one of the best things you can do to save yourself from foot pain on your first ride is to start breaking in your cowboy boots early, says Nancy Brown, an Equestrian travel writer who reviews horseback riding vacations at WritingHorseback.com.

“I’d highly recommend that you buy the boots as soon as you “think” you are committed to the trip.” says Nancy. “Give yourself time to break in the boots around the house and on the street. You’ll be breaking in other body parts in the saddle, so be comfortable in your boots.”

Nancy also offers some wise advice for keeping the blood flowing to your feet and preventing strain. “After a few hours of riding, drop your stirrups (your wrangler will explain what I’m talking about in more detail, but this means taking your foot out of the stirrup) and do a few ankle rolls.” This will stimulate your circulation and keep your ankles supple, which is important on those long rides.

Keep these tidbits of wise advice from horse experts in mind during your first ride in the backcountry. With these tips, you’ll be able to have a successful and safe journey and enjoy your experience so much more. Happy trails to you!

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Experience a Banff horseback riding trip – without having to ‘rough it’ https://horseback.com/banff-horseback-riding-pack-trips/ Tue, 13 Feb 2018 20:33:19 +0000 https://horseback.com/?p=8350 The best way to camp in Banff's backcountry is on a summer horseback tent trip where you can see the best of the off-the-grid, wild, and remote locations without sacrificing luxury. Camp in backcountry style with heated tents, an on-site chef and professional guides away from other campers, sounds, and cell service.

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Experience a Banff horseback riding pack 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. Each A-frame tent is a canvas unit with raised cot beds, heater and thermarest.

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.

While befriending the noble steed which you ride on to your campsites, you’ll get the opportunity to question your guides about the area, and of course the food they’ll be cooking up.

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.

Horseback Tent Trip in Banff, Canadian Rockies with Banff Trail Riders
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Stoney Creek Campsite - 2 Nights

It is a rare experience these days to be able to completely disconnect from all of the distractions of life and get lost in the backcountry. On this trip, you’ll venture deep into the secluded Banff backcountry and through the wilderness on horseback - walking in the steps of the
per person
Jun-Sep
Wednesday
Campsites
Horseback Riding Trip in Banff, Canadian Rockies
Limited Space

Cascade Valley Campsite - 5 Nights

Hop in the saddle and explore the deep, wild forests of Banff. Our experienced guides make this tent trip easy and comfortable, so you can relax and focus on the jaw-dropping scenery around you. When night falls you’ll be warm and cosy as you curl up in your A-frame canvas
per person
Jun-Sep
Monday, Friday
Campsites

Our 3 Day, 2 Night horseback riding vacation is the perfect taste of the far unknown.

On Day 1, you’ll venture towards Elk Lake Summit where you’ll have lunch with just the guides, horses, and you. Already, you’ll be at a spot that very few tourists venture out to. This is truly disconnecting and rediscovering pioneer past – without the burden of roughing it. Night one is spent at Stoney Creek 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.

Day 2 is an adventure tailored to you – Stoney Creek Camp is the jumping off point for many rides in this area, as this was mainly used by Banff Park Wardens for patrolling the Park boundaries. Length and scenery are to the decision of you and your guide – surprises like wildlife? That’s nature’s choice.

Canadian Rockies Horseback Rides with Banff Trail Riders

Day 3 could see you riding back to Banff, or for those on our longer Banff horseback riding pack trip this day brings us to an area that is new and unique to Banff National Park – Flints Camp has wide-open terrain that is the location for the Bison Free Range Zone, an area of the park where bison have been reintroduced to the park and are now roaming for the first time in over 140 years. The wide-open area also makes it a good one for spotting wildlife, and is one of the original outpost areas used by wardens to patrol the park in the early days. Eat up, sit around the fire, and enjoy your heated tent under the stars.

Horseback Riding Campsites, Banff, Canadian Rockies

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.

Horseback Riding Trip in Banff, Canadian Rockies

Day 5 is your custom day. Like the three-day trip, your guide will create a custom VIP experience tailored to your backcountry desires and take you on as much or little adventuring you’d like. The trip is yours, relax, hike, or ride as much or as little as you’d like.

The end of our trip is Day 6 and it is, unfortunately, the day when you must part from your steed who you’ll have grown a strong bond with by now, your guides who will feel like family, and the backcountry which has been your home-away-from-home. Our last day is a 17-mile ride from Flint’s Park Camp to the Minnewanka Pack Station with a lunch stop at the meeting point of Stoney Creek and Cascade River. Reflecting on the past six days, you’ll ride to the Lake Minnewanka area where your shuttle will take you back to Warner Stables for around 5:30pm to 6pm.

Banff Trail Riders’ horseback riding trips are the best way to camp in the backcountry of Banff National Park – each trip is uniquely remote, adventurous, and scenic. Camping in the backcountry, without the burden of camping. Our heated tents, on-site cooks, and friendly guides will provide you with a memorable experience that will make any trip to Banff National Park unforgettable.

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Finding the Perfect Group Getaway at Sundance Lodge https://horseback.com/finding-the-perfect-group-getaway/ Fri, 02 Feb 2018 00:46:09 +0000 https://horseback.com/?p=8296 Some might say that the key to a great group getaway is a place just to yourselves, activities for all ages, and might involve a good old' guitar around the campfire.
Others are looking to sleep late in Egyptian cotton sheets, spend the day by the fire with a good book, and play intense card and board games into the night. But everyone can agree you need great food!

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Some might say that the key to a great group getaway is a place just to yourselves, activities for all ages, and might involve a good old’ guitar around the campfire.

Others are looking to sleep late in comfortable beds, spend the day by the fire with a good book, and play intense card and board games into the night. 

But everyone can agree you need great food!

Sundance Lodge is Banff’s closest backcountry lodge and offers hot showers, flushing toilets, solar power, private rooms, and amazing food – true luxury in the backcountry. Rocky Mountain culinary creations fresh from the chef’s kitchen in a long table, group dining setting. When the dinner bell rings, you’ll know it’s time to eat up.

This place is great for group buyouts because all rooms are upstairs with bunk beds and a double or single bed. Downstairs you’ll find our common areas, kitchen, fireplace, games, couches, and of course the guitar.

Your mode of transportation into Sundance Lodge? Well, that’s up to you. Fat biking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing are all ways you can access the lodge making it Banff National Park’s only lodge with so many transport options to reach it. For more information on these, check out our blog post on ways to get to Sundance Lodge.

Dining at Sundance Backcountry Lodge in Banff, Canadian Rockies

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For centuries, the fire has brought people together sharing stories, conversation, and connections around the world. Whether it’s outside around the campfire, or inside around the fireplace at the lodge, groups come together in an unforgettable setting in Banff National Park’s backcountry, making memories that last a lifetime.

‘Disconnect to reconnect’ is a phrase we hear in wellness travel, and there is no better way to describe guests’ connections to each other and the wilderness at Sundance Lodge. When was the last time you went without technology, Wi-Fi, or cell service for two or more days? It’s a liberating feeling, and also surprising how quickly you’ll forget about not being connected. 

Stay at Sundance Backcountry Lodge in Winter in Banff, Canadian Rockies

Enjoying Sundance Lodge comes with spending quality time outside – the journey in is roughly two to four hours (on your choice of a 10 or 16 kilometre track-set trail) through the forests of Sundance Canyon. Following Brewster Creek, several scenic viewpoints are enjoyed as guests glide, ride, or stomp along the track-set trail.

You’ll know you’re close when you smell the fresh baking waiting for you at the lodge – enjoy a cold beer, glass of wine, and the reward of reaching your home away from home in the backcountry. 

Banff Log Cabin

Relax, unwind, and enjoy the lodge – after your three-course dinner, head outside and look up at the night sky – a million stars can be seen which is a sight rare to anyone who ventures from an urban destination.  Stomp around with our snowshoes, take some photos, and enjoy complete silence and night sky.

We welcome guests to explore and enjoy our beautiful little paradise situated on Brewster Creek, just outside the townsite in Banff National Park.

Sundance Lodge Winter Log Cabin in Banff, Canadian Rockies
Group at Backcountry Sundance Lodge with Banff Trail Riders

Rent A Log Cabin

For a winter getaway your group won’t soon forget – the entire backcountry lodge to yourself. Sundance Lodge offers backcountry comfort and complete privacy for groups of up to 26 – family, friends, corporations, weddings and other special interest groups to enjoy this massive log cabin to themselves. When booked as a
per booking
Jan-Mar
2:00pm
Overnight

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Follow an Old Backcountry Route on this New Horseback Ride https://horseback.com/introducing-the-erling-strom-trail-lodge-trip/ Fri, 12 Jan 2018 21:55:25 +0000 https://horseback.com/?p=8257 The connection with Erling Strom at Banff Trail Riders meet with curiosity and convenience. Both curious about what was out there to explore and show guests, and both keen to provide convenience for guests on trips.

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Banff Trail Riders dates back almost as long as Erling Strom’s early days of exploring the Banff backcountry… well, almost.

Erling Strom was a prominent man in the Bow Valley, operating the (then) Canadian Pacific Railway’s Mount Assiniboine Lodge until 1975. Banff Trail Riders was founded in 1962 so both definitely have crossover, although Erling Strom was certainly exploring the area on his skis long before in the early 1900’s.

The connection with Erling Strom at Banff Trail Riders meet with curiosity and convenience. Both curious about what was out there to explore and show guests, and both keen to provide convenience for guests on trips. Halfway Lodge was constructed by Erling Strom in the 1920’s as a stopover spot for guests he led trips with en route from Banff to Mount Assiniboine. Now cared for by Banff Trail Riders, the lodge still serves as a means for accommodation and rest in a comfortable, remote, and peaceful environment for our Banff horseback riding vacations.

Canadian Rockies Horseback Rides with Banff Trail Riders

Starting the trip at Warner Horseback Riding Stables in Banff, you’ll meet your guide with a hat and guide with four legs. Both will become like family for you on the trip, both will show you the best of what is in Banff’s backyard, and both the cowboy cowgirl guide and horse create Banff’s best backcountry lodge experience.

Are you keen to follow in Erling Strom’s footsteps (or at least his horses)? Read more about the Erling Strom Trail Horseback Riding Trip.

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Fresh mountain air, pine trees, wildlife, flowing rivers and creeks, and a gourmet hot lunch beside the water all accompany the journey to the first stop – Sundance Lodge. This is luxury in the backcountry – no sleeping bags, hot dogs, or outhouses here – just delicious meals by the chef, warm showers, and Egyptian cotton sheets in private bedrooms. Sundance Lodge spoils you, but that’s okay – you’re on holidays.

Ski in Lodge Banff, Canadian Rockies

Day 1 rides to Banff’s closest backcountry lodge, and is a great introduction to what lies beyond town, in Sundance Canyon. This ride is nine miles and takes about 6 hours after departing Warner Stables at approximately 9:30 am. Fresh baking, friendly lodge staff, and cold beer will be waiting upon arrival. Relax and enjoy a glass of wine by the fire after a delicious dinner and dessert.

Day 2 sees us hopping back on our noble steeds and on the trail for 5-6 hours over 9 miles or so. We’re on our way to the historic Halfway Lodge which is now a two-story lodge thanks to a surprise entry from a bear through the original roof! You’ll be following the footsteps of early explorers as we ride the Erling Strom Trail to a lodge built by the man himself in the 1920’s. Lit by propane lanterns and candles, this dramatic and elevated lodge serves up fine backcountry cuisine with this gorgeous retreat in a rustic, yet comfy Rocky Mountain setting.

You’re not going to want to leave the peaceful haven of Halfway Lodge, but on Day 3 we meander along the Brewster Creek, and make our way back to Sundance Lodge for another night and professionally prepared cuisine. Reflect on the unique experience of Halfway Lodge over a glass of wine after a hot shower.

Sundance Lodge in Banff, Canadian Rockies

On our last day, we depart the place that now feels like home due to the warm hospitality of your hosts. Wake up one last time in warm down duvets, gather around for a delicious breakfast, and wave goodbye as we begin our ride back to Banff. Day 4 treats us with a sandwich, baking, and snacks for lunch beside the river as we descend back down into the Bow Valley along the river, making our way to Warner Stables.

Banff Trail Riders’ Erling Strom Trail Lodge Trip is one of the best ways to accessibly, conveniently, and luxuriously experience Banff’s backcountry. Saddle up, step out, and be our guest on this unique experience found nowhere else in Banff National Park.

Canadian Rockies Horseback Rides with Banff Trail Riders
Limited Space

Erling Strom Trail Lodge - 3 Nights

Ride through Alberta’s Wild West, tracing the paths that the early pioneers used while exploring these untamed forests. On this trip you will follow the Erling Strom Trail, a path forged through the dense Banff forests by renowned explorer Erling Strom in the early 1900s. Amidst dense fragrant pines and
per person
Jun-Sep
Wednesday
Lodge

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How to get to Sundance Lodge in Winter https://horseback.com/how-to-get-to-sundance-lodge-in-winter/ Tue, 02 Jan 2018 20:17:14 +0000 https://horseback.com/?p=8158 Banff's closest backcountry lodge is accessed by three unique ways in winter and the best part is all can be done with no previous experience! In this article we’ll give you the advice you need to know on routes to the lodge, three different winter methods of transporting yourself there, and a great backcountry map app to track progress via your smartphone.

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How will you get to Sundance Lodge?

Banff’s closest backcountry lodge is accessed by three unique ways in winter and the best part is all can be done with no previous experience! Our guests love the accessibility of the track-set trail leading to Sundance Lodge almost as much as the baked goods and hot drinks that welcome them upon arrival. In this article we’ll give you the advice you need to know on routes to the lodge, three different winter methods of transporting yourself there, and a great backcountry map app to track progress via your smartphone.

Relaxing at Sundance Backcountry Lodge in Banff, Canadian Rockies

Before you decide on your method of transportation, you should also think about which route(s) you’ll take as there are a couple to choose from. A 10-kilometre trail from Healy Creek begins the journey via a new bridge over the wintery waterway that comes from Sunshine Village. To get to this trailhead, you’ll need to drive from Banff to the Sunshine Village access road, about 10 minutes from town. The other route is accessed from the Cave & Basin National Historic Site. This 16-kilometre journey goes along the Sundance Canyon Trail which starts from the Cave & Basin – enjoy an extra 6 kilometres along the scenic Bow River. A third option you could do if your group has two vehicles is leaving a car at the Cave & Basin and starting the journey at Healy Creek then finishing at the Cave & Basin on your way out.

Now for the three unique ways to get yourself to our off-the-grid backcountry retreat. Cross-country skis, snowshoeing, and fat biking will get you to Sundance Lodge in the winter and each offer their own excitement. All of these equipment types can be rented from Snowtips-Backtrax in downtown Banff. Although the trail is a gradual up-hill most of the way in, it is a welcomed downhill on the way out if you’re on skis or fat bike.

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Cross-Country Skiing

Are you a skier but never cross-country skied, or are you a beginner at both? Either way, this is an easy option for any skill level and our guides track-set the trail for you to keep your skis in line. Meaning, a machine goes along the trail carving two grooves in the snow for cross-country skis that help to guide skis and ease the sliding process. When picking up your skis, ask the rental shop for a couple quick tips on gliding your skis and check out this YouTube video on how to cross-country ski. Pro tip: if the snow conditions are wet and sticky, make sure you get the rental shop to spray the bottoms of your skis with their Jig-a-Loo juice.

Cross Country Ski to Sundance Lodge in Banff, Canadian Rockies

Snowshoeing

Winter hiking in Banff can otherwise be described as snowshoeing. The best winter hikes in Banff are accessed with this centuries-old form of transportation and is yet another way to access Sundance Lodge. With no experience necessary, snowshoeing is an easy and thoughtless way to get to Sundance Lodge that makes the experience more about the journey and leaves time for conversation with those you’re travelling with.

Skiers at Sundance Lodge in Banff, Canadian Rockies
Photo Credit: A.V. Wakefield, Highline Magazine

Fat Biking

The newest trend in winter sports and not one that you would have found a hundred years ago (unlike skis and snowshoes) is fat biking. Sundance Lodge is the only backcountry lodge in Banff National Park that can be accessed via fat bike. Low pressure, large surface area tires allow for the bikes to ride through winter landscapes effortlessly. Conditions dependent, you’ll want to take advantage of this method with a heavy snowpack. Anyone who is proficient at mountain biking can get on a fat bike and ride through the transformed forest that would otherwise be a summertime playground. Fat biking from Sundance Lodge downhill can feel like a controlled roller coaster with deep snowpack surrounding the trails seemingly acting as cushions. If you are questioning whether this is the right way for you to get to the lodge, it might be best to take one out for a spin first before committing to the whole journey on a fat bike.

Photo Credit: A.V. Wakefield, Highline Magazine

Banff’s closest backcountry lodge is also Banff’s most diverse in ways to get there in winter. Your one-stop-shop for all equipment rental, heat packs, snacks, and some light gear is Snowtips-Backtrax on Bear Street in Banff. Another pro tip for tracking your progress is the Topo Canada Maps App (iOS) that has all backcountry trails in it and tracks you via GPS. Make sure you download the maps to Sundance Lodge for offline use.

Skiers at Sundance Lodge in Banff, Canadian Rockies
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Ski and Stay Sundance Lodge

For those seeking a remote getaway from the norm, Sundance Lodge is the perfect retreat! Powered by solar power and kept warm by wood heat, this cozy lodge adds a touch of home to the backcountry. Sitting on a gentle bend of Brewster Creek with the massive Sundance Range as
per person
Jan-Mar
2:00pm
Overnight

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