3 Days
Duration
Wednesday
Departs
Campsites
Lodging
9yrs+, 250lbs limit
Riders
Jun-Sep
Season

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.

Sleep on a comfortable camp cot on a backcountry tent trip

You’ve never camped in a place like this before. As you ride along the trail, you’ll pass old growth pine and spruce trees draped in thick moss, giving the place a mystical fee. And for the entire way, you’re treated to stunning, unobstructed views of the Rocky Mountains.

On this trip, you’ll venture deep into the secluded Banff backcountry and through the wilderness on horseback – walking in the steps of the First Nations and the founders of Banff National Park.

But this style of camping is’t ‘roughing it’. At the end of a full day of riding and exploring, you’ll bed down in A-frame canvas tents on a raised wooden platform with plenty of rustic Old West charm. Your camp will be fully catered and you’ll dine in the big kitchen tent on delicious, hearty meals prepared by an on-site cook.

At night, you’ll gather around the glow of the campfire with your new friends and share songs and stories before falling asleep listening to the sounds of the forest from your classic canvas wall tent – similar to those used by the trail riders of Banff’s past.

Included
  • 2x nights accommodation
  • A friendly horse for every rider
  • Basic horseback riding instruction
  • Trail fees
MEALS
  • Fully Catered Menu
Transport Options
  • Meet at Warner Stables (Banff)
Day 1

Backcountry ride to Mystic Valley Camp

The adventure begins at Warner Stables at 8:30am (please do not arrive any earlier than 8:30am). There’s free parking at the stables and it’s fine to leave your vehicle for the duration of the tour. We’ll hand out the slickers and saddle bags and you will leave all of your gear with our guides. Your sleeping bag and pillow should be packed in a soft sided bag (the traditional “duffel” style of cowboy packing).

A separate string of mules will deliver your belongings to the camp for you so that you can ride unencumbered. When you arrive, your “duffel” will be waiting for you so that you can grab it and settle into your tent. Be sure to check the “What to Bring” section of our website when packing your bag.

Once you’re all checked in, we will take you by van to the very fringe of the front country, the trailhead corral at Mount Norquay to meet your friendly guide and the trusty horse we’ve specially chosen for you. Then 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.

One of the aspects of these tours that guests often rave about is the connection they forge with their hooved companions. At the end of the trip, you’ll have a new four legged best friend. You’ll learn to “trust your horse” (a Banff Trail Rider’s catchphrase) as these sure-footed beasts carry you safely down even the most difficult backcountry trails.

Life at camp is simple, yet comfortable. We will cook up a feast of hearty, homemade cowboy cuisine and gather around in the main kitchen tent, which acts as the communal hub of the camp. In the evening, we will gather around a crackling fire to watch the stars and share stories. Then, it’s time to curl up in your sleeping bag in your canvas tent with cot and thermarest and get some sleep – the adventure has only just begun.

Day 2

Day Ride into the Backcountry

After a hearty ranch style breakfast, 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.

There’s no feeling quite like being deep in the Canadian wilderness like this. No matter which direction you headed in, you could wander for miles in pristine, unspoiled wilderness without seeing another building, person or trace of human civilisation. It gives you a sense of the immense scale and power of nature in the Rocky Mountains.

After a full day of exploring, you’ll arrive back at Mystic Valley Camp to settle back into your comfortable, familiar heated tent for the night – after another tasty camp dinner.

Day 3

Return to Warner Stables

Arise early and say goodbye to your pristine backcountry surroundings – it’s time to head back into Banff and rejoin civilisation. Most of our guests are reluctant to leave the isolated, tranquil beauty of this off-the-beaten-track spot.

Unfortunately, every adventure has to come to an end. We’ll top 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.

It’s time to say goodbye to your guide, your new friends and your horse. (Many guests say that the bond they formed with these gentle animal companions was something they will never forget!)

You’ll have plenty of wild Banff backcountry stories to tell and you will have earned the bragging rights to say that you spent 3 days deep in the Canadian Rockies. The shuttle will be waiting to take you back to Warner Stables for approximately 5pm, where you’ll say goodbye to the new friends with whom you shared this unforgettable adventure into the wild.

Included
  • 2x nights accommodation
  • A friendly horse for every rider
  • Basic horseback riding instruction
  • Trail fees
MEALS
  • Fully Catered Menu
Transport Options
  • Meet at Warner Stables (Banff)
The three-day tour commences at 8:30am at the Warner Stables on Wednesdays. The ride returns to the stables at 5pm on Fridays.
The tour includes two nights accommodation at Mystic Valley Camp and a fully catered menu.
Please meet at Warner Stables, the big red stables located at the end of Sundance Road in Banff. When you arrive, please check-in for your ride at the office in the east barn which has signs for ‘Warner Stables’ and ‘office’. There is plenty of free parking at the site.
Please arrive at 8:30am on the morning of your tour (please do not arrive any earlier than 8:30am).
A detailed list will be provided in your booking confirmation of all items that you should bring with you, but you can also take a look at the list of items here.
No experience is necessary and if you’ve never been riding before then we’ll be sure to pair you with the perfect horse so you can enjoy a comfortable ride. Our guides will also provide a brief riding instruction prior to the ride.
Each campsite has six A-frame canvas tents set on a raised wooden platform. Each tent has two single cots and a stove. All camps are fully catered and include live-in cooks, who all love to show off their backcountry culinary skills. Gather inside the big kitchen tent to dine on succulent steak or chicken. There’s plenty of table space inside too, including room for card games when the sun goes down.

Each campsite is surrounded by an electric fence that keeps curious critters out and there are meticulously cleaned outhouses. Crystal clear water is supplied by nearby glacial streams, which is then filtered for drinking.

Daypacks, backpacks or other bags are not allowed, but your rain gear will travel with you on the horse and your guide will help you attach it to the saddle. If you would like to bring saddlebags please fill them with only those essential items that you would need during the day. Fanny packs (a small pack that ties around the waist) also work well. We have a limited supply of saddlebags available free of charge which are available for pick up upon check-in (sorry, no earlier).
All backcountry trips are subject to a 30 day cancellation/change policy and no refunds will be given on any trip in progress. In case of unforeseen circumstances we strongly recommend that all guests purchase travel, health, and cancellation insurance prior to their trip.
Gratuities are customary and very much appreciated.
Included
  • 2x nights accommodation
  • A friendly horse for every rider
  • Basic horseback riding instruction
  • Trail fees
MEALS
  • Fully Catered Menu
Transport Options
  • Meet at Warner Stables (Banff)
  • Rates are based on double occupancy and a single room supplement is available for an additional fee.
  • Guests participating in backcountry riding will need to be 9 years or over and a maximum of 250lbs.

 Banff Trail Riders is committed to the health of our horses and the safety of our guests, which means that the minimum age and maximum weight requirements are strictly enforced. As part of the check-in process, guests may be required to confirm their current weight on a scale and provide proof of the child’s age. In the event that these requirements are not met, the booking will be forfeited without a refund.
  • Please note that children will not be paired with an adult – they must ride their own horse.
  • For our foreign visitors we require an understanding of basic English for our horseback rides, so that you can understand simple instructions from our guides.
  • Children aged 15 years and under must have someone 18 years and older with them.
  • For safety purposes helmets are mandatory to be worn by all backcountry riders under 18 years of age. Helmets are optional but recommended for backcountry riders aged 18 years and over.
  • Riders must wear sturdy closed toed shoes – no open toe shoes or shoes with big heels.
  • All adult riders must sign a waiver prior to the tour. A waiver must also be completed by the parent or legal guardian of any rider under the age of 18 (documentation may be required to confirm the signatory’s authority).
  • Riders must be physically capable of controlling the horse during the ride without assistance and for the health and safety of all riders we regrettably cannot accommodate any disabilities or special needs riders. We recognize that disabled riding is a unique and respected skill set that we at the barns do not have the appropriate equipment or skills to safely execute.
Included
  • 2x nights accommodation
  • A friendly horse for every rider
  • Basic horseback riding instruction
  • Trail fees
MEALS
  • Fully Catered Menu
Transport Options
  • Meet at Warner Stables (Banff)

Included
  • 2x nights accommodation
  • A friendly horse for every rider
  • Basic horseback riding instruction
  • Trail fees
MEALS
  • Fully Catered Menu
Transport Options
  • Meet at Warner Stables (Banff)
Afternoon Ride to Stoney Camp on the Stoney Creek Backcountry Tent Trip with Banff Trail Riders in the Canadian Rockies
Saddle Up for the Stoney Creek Backcountry Tent Trip with Banff Trail Riders in the Canadian Rockies
Elk Lake Lunch Stop on the Stoney Creek Backcountry Tent Trip with Banff Trail Riders in the Canadian Rockies
Sleep on a comfortable camp cot on a backcountry tent trip
Stoney Camp relaxing by the fire on the Stoney Creek Backcountry Tent Trip with Banff Trail Riders in the Canadian Rockies
Wash Station at Stoney Camp on the Stoney Creek Backcountry Tent Trip with Banff Trail Riders in the Canadian Rockies
Coffee Time in the Kitchen Tent at Stoney Camp on the Stoney Creek Backcountry Tent Trip with Banff Trail Riders in the Canadian Rockies
There's lots of time to relax and enjoy your time at the campsite
Each campsite has one family tent that can sleep up to four people
Tent Cots at Stoney Camp on the Stoney Creek Backcountry Tent Trip with Banff Trail Riders in the Canadian Rockies
Returning to Camp on a Backcountry Trip with Banff Trail Riders in the Canadian Rockies
Take a backcountry day ride on a backcountry tent trip
Lunch at Elk Summit on the Stoney Creek Tent Trip with Banff Trail Riders in the Canadian Rockies
Each backcountry ride includes stops along the way to stretch your legs
Removing boots in the tent on the Stoney Creek Backcountry Tent Trip with Banff Trail Riders in the Canadian Rockies
Experience the thrill of riding in the backcountry with Banff Trail Riders
Ride along picturesque forest trails in Banff National Park on a backcountry tent trip
Enjoy delicious picnic lunches on a backcountry trip with Banff Trail Riders
Enjoy delicious trailside lunches in Banff National Park on a backcountry trip
Soak in the scenery of Banff National Park on a backcountry trip