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Hop in the saddle and explore the deep, wild forests of Banff! This is Banff Trail Riders ultimate trip, which completes a circle ride visiting all three of their camps with stunning day rides over high alpine passes and visiting alpine lakes. The experienced guides make this tent trip easy and comfortable, so you can relax and focus on the jaw-dropping scenery around you. As you ride down the spectacular trails, your guide will weave entertaining tales of the history of Canada’s rugged backcountry and what it was like to live and work in the great Canadian West. You’ll also learn about the diverse wild creatures that call this unspoiled mountain paradise home.
The tour includes two nights accommodation at Stoney Creek Camp, two nights at Flints Camp and one night at Mystic Valley Camp. The accommodation is based on double occupancy room and a single room supplement is available for an additional fee. 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. 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 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 craggy peaks of the Palliser Mountain Range provide a stunning backdrop at this wilderness camp. When night falls, you can relax by the campfire while listening to the murmur of nearby Stoney Creek.
Surrounded by the limestone cliffs of summit ridges, the valley features alpine wildflower meadows and rockslides inhabited by marmots and pikas.
The six-day tour commences at 08:30 at the Warner Stables on Mondays and Fridays. The ride returns to the stables between 17:30 and 18:00 on the sixth day. You need to arrive at 08:30 on the morning of your tour. The meeting point is 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.
In the morning, you’ll have a washstand with hot water for freshening up and a hearty, homemade meal prepared for you in the kitchen tent, the perfect fuel to give you energy for a day on the trail. When night falls, you’ll be warm and cozy as you curl up in your A-frame canvas tent set on a raised wooden platform. Listen to the gentle hush of the forest as you fall asleep.
No experience is necessary and 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. 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.
The adventure begins at Warner Stables at 8:30 am. (There’s free parking at the stables and it’s fine to leave your vehicle for the duration of the tour.) You will get slickers and saddle bags and you will leave all of your gear with the guides. A separate team of horses will safely deliver your belongings to the camp for you so that you can ride unencumbered. Once you’ve met your friendly guide and your trusty horse, you’ll mount up for the ride to Stoney Creek Campsite passing through the cool, craggy peaks of Brewster Mountain and Cascade Mountain. After a hot shower, enjoy a feast of hearty, homemade cowboy cuisine in the main kitchen tent and relax around the fire to watch the stars and share stories. Then, it’s time to curl up in your sleeping bag in your warmed canvas tent with cot and thermarest.
A 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.
Mount up 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.
Whether you are a hiker or photographer this area has a lot to offer. You could ride along the valley bottom amidst the wildflowers, birds and butterflies or climb high above the treeline – no matter which direction you ride in you will be surrounded by some of the most incredible scenery in Canada. This camp is the jumping off point for many different rides into the backcountry, each more spectacular than the last. Your guide will create a customized ride for your group, tailored to your interests and experience. This ensures that your adventure is a bespoke, VIP experience that is just right for you. At the end of the day you’ll return to the familiar camp to relax and chat around the campfire once more.
On the 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.
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. 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. The shuttle will be waiting at the Norquay Corral end point 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.
This holiday will take place in Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada.
During this holiday, you will be served fully catered meals. 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.” From juicy steaks grilled over a campfire to plump Cornish game hen matched with a side of fluffy mashed potatoes, all the food served during a Banff Trail Riders’ trip is prepared by professional chefs who are masters of backcountry cuisine.
Calgary International Airport
Transfer not provided
Banff is located approximately a 1.5-hour drive from Calgary International Airport, and driving by car is the easiest way to get to Banff Trail Riders.
There are various shuttle services available from Calgary and Calgary Airport ranging from $10 -$100 depending on the provider and seasonal availability.
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