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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 of Banff, Canada. 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. Join the adventure, start exploring, and get inspired with Banff Trail Riders!
Generally, each Banff Trail Riders' regular 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. You can 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 also 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.
The tour includes two nights accommodation at Stoney Creek Camp and a fully catered menu. The craggy peaks of the Palliser Mountain Range provide a stunning backdrop at this wilderness camp. And when night falls, relax by the campfire while listening to the murmur of nearby Stoney Creek.
At the end of a full day of riding and exploring, you’ll bed down in well-equipped tents 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. 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. The three-day tour commences at 08:30 at the Warner Stables on Wednesdays. The ride returns to the stables at 17:00 on Fridays. Please meet at the Warner Stables, the big red stables located at the end of Sundance Road in Banff. There is plenty of free parking at the site. Please arrive at 08:30 on the morning of your tour.
The adventure will begin at Warner Stables at 08:30 (there's free parking at the stables and it's fine to leave your vehicle for the duration of the tour.) Banff Trail Riders will 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 team of horses will safely 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. Once you've met your friendly guide and the trusty horse Banff Trail Riders has specially chosen for you, then you'll mount up for the 13-mile ride through the stunning scenery of Elk Lake Summit. Banff Trail Riders will take you by van to the very fringe of the front country, the trailhead corral at Mount Norquay.
This will be the launching point to heading completely off the beaten track into Banff's wildest places that most tourists will not get to see. The climb to Elk Lake Summit is jaw-dropping, you'll be wide-eyed with awe at the larger-than-life mountains with their jagged edges piercing the sky. 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 Riders' catchphrase) as these sure-footed beasts carry you safely down even the most difficult backcountry trails.
Later, you'll pass through the cool, craggy peaks of Brewster Mountain and Cascade Mountain, then head down into Stoney Creek Camp (stopping for lunch at Elk Pass Summit along the way). 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.
Life at camp is simple, yet comfortable. It is a rustic, yet well-equipped camp that is shadowed by the jagged peaks of the Palliser Mountain Range and you'll always be able to hear the gentle murmuring of the nearby creek. Banff Trail Riders 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, you will gather around a crackling fire to watch the stars and share stories. Then, it will be time to curl up in your sleeping bag in your canvas tent with cot, heater, and Thermarest and get some sleep - the adventure has only just begun.
Stoney Creek Camp is the jumping off point for many different rides into the backcountry, each more spectacular than the last. You will be traveling along the trails that were once used by the wardens to patrol the boundaries of Banff National Park, the true outskirts of the Canadian wilderness. Your guide will create a customized ride for your group today, tailored to your interests and experience. This ensures that your adventure is a bespoke, VIP experience that is just right for you.
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 civilization. It gives you a sense of the immense scale and power of nature in the Rocky Mountains. A cowboy trail lunch will be served along the way, so you can sit and enjoy while admiring the mountain views. After a full day of exploring, you'll arrive back at Stoney Creek Camp to settle back into your comfortable, familiar heated tent for the night - after another tasty camp dinner.
You will arise early and say goodbye to your pristine backcountry surroundings - it's time to head back to Banff and rejoin civilization. Most of Banff Trail Riders' 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. You'll top off this trip with a thrilling eight-mile ride from Stoney Creek Camp to the Minnewanka Pack Station, stopping for lunch by the riverside along the way.
Then, it will be 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 three days deep in the Canadian Rockies. The shuttle will be waiting to take you back to Warner Stables for approximately 17:00, where you'll say goodbye to the new friends with whom you shared this unforgettable adventure into the wild.
With about 300 horses in the stables, Banff Trail Riders is able to pinpoint the absolute perfect horse for any rider. That means if you’ve never been riding before, Banff Trail Riders will be sure to pair you with the most mild-mannered horse available so you can enjoy the experience. After all, Banff Trail Riders wants both seasoned horsemen and horsewomen as well as new riders to have the time of their lives.
No experience is necessary for this holiday. If you've never been riding before, then Banff Trail Riders will be sure to pair you with the perfect horse so you can enjoy a comfortable ride. The guides will also provide a brief riding instruction prior to the ride. For the foreign visitors, an understanding of basic English for the horseback rides is required so that you can understand simple instructions from the guides.
All of Banff Trail Rideres' rides are located in Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada.
You will be fully catered with breakfasts, lunches, and dinners during the horse riding trip. These expeditions take you deep into the backcountry, where you'll stay at well-equipped campsites featuring an on-site cook and other basic facilities. That way you can experience Banff National Park like a pioneer without having to "rough it".
For this organizer you can guarantee your booking through BookHorseRidingHolidays.com. All major credit cards supported.
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