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Backcountry tent-based horsepack trips into Banff National Park


These backcountry horse pack trips explore some of Banff National Park's most spectacular backcountry. Theses wilderness tenting rides are perfect for those who enjoy being outdoors but are also looking for a vacation without the stress of planning a camping trip - meals are cooked for you, tents are already set up, you can be as involved or as laid back as you want to be.

Your 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 tent, set on a raised wooden platform. Listen to the gentle hush of the forest as you fall asleep. In the morning you’ll have a wash stand with hot water for freshening up and a tasty meal prepared for you in the kitchen tent – the perfect fuel to give you energy for a day on the trail.

Plus, 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.

STARTING AT
$1019.00 CAD
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TRIP DETAILS
DESTINATION
EQUIPMENT/CLOTHING
ACCOMMODATIONS
MEALS & DINING
DATES & PRICING
ITINERARY
TRIP TYPE
Horseback Riding & Pack Trips
SEASON

June to September

DIFFICULTY
Easy / Moderate
MAXIMUM GROUP SIZE
12
GUIDE INFORMATION

Your guides have years of experience guiding in the area.

RESTRICTIONS

These tours are suitable for beginner to advanced riders. Minimum age requirement is 9 years old.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Requirements: Duffel bag, sleeping bag, sleeping pad. These items can be rented.

TRANSPORTATION

Trips originate and end in Banff Alberta.  Banff can be reached by taking Highway 1 west of Calgary, about 75 miles. 

WEATHER

Summer temperatures average between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius.  Mornings in the mountains may be cool.

REGION
Southern Rocky Mountains
PROVIDED EQUIPMENT

Riding equipment, tents, group camping gear, backcountry user fees.

SUGGESTED CLOTHING

Warm clothing suitable for a variety of weather conditions.  Rain gear, warm coat, hat, long pants, riding or hiking boots, sneakers, bathing suit, towel.

SUGGESTED ITEMS

Fishing gear, camera, binoculars, sunglasses, sunscreen, water bottle.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Accommodations are in tent camps along the route.

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.

MEALS & DINING

MEALS & DINING

All meals are included and consist of hearty western fare.

3 day tour, available June 26, 2019 - September 4, 2019
$1019.00 / per person - CAD
Wednesday departures.
6 day tour, available June 28, 2019 - September 2, 2019
$2049.00 / per person - CAD
Monday and Friday departures.
PAYMENT INFORMATION
Pricing does not include: 5.00% GST. 4.00% PST.



Balance of payment is due 30 days before trip commencement.
CANCELLATION POLICY & DETAILS
Payment is refundable with at least 15 days notice of cancellation.

3 day tour, available June 26, 2019 - September 4, 2019

Day 1

The adventure begins at the Stables at 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 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. Be sure to check the “What to Bring” section of our website when packing your bag.

Once you’ve met your friendly guide and the trusty horse we’ve specially chosen for you, then you’ll mount up for the 13 mile ride through the stunning scenery of Elk Lake Summit. We will take you by van to the very fringe of the front country, the trailhead corral at Mount Norquay. This is 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.

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.

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, heater and thermarest and get some sleep – the adventure has only just begun.

Day 2

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 civilisation. 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.

Day 3

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 thrilling 8 mile ride from Stoney Creek Camp to the Minnewanka Pack Station, stopping for lunch by the riverside 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 the Stables for approximately 5pm, where you’ll say goodbye to the new friends with whom you shared this unforgettable adventure into the wild.

6 day tour, available June 28, 2019 - September 2, 2019

Day 1

The adventure begins at Warner Stables at 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.)

Once you’ve met your friendly guide and the trusty horse we’ve specially chosen for you, we will take you by van to the very fringe of the frontcountry, the trailhead corral at Lake Minnewanka. This is the launching point to heading completely off the beaten track into Banff’s wildest places that most tourists will not get to see.

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.

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.

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.

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, heater and thermarest and get some sleep – the adventure has only just begun.

Day 2

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.

There’s no cellphone reception way out here, which is a blessing. It’s so rejuvenating to escape from the constant pinging of notifications and the pressure of your to-do list and just sit quietly in nature. At night, take a moment to look up and notice how many more glittering stars you can see out here far from the city lights. Then, curl up in your warm tent and enjoy the blissful quiet of the forest.

Day 3

There are many beautiful points of interest accessible from Flint’s Park – including Block Mountain and Cuthead Viewpoint. After all, this was a warden’s post so it has access to some of the most pristine backcountry in the park.

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.

Day 4

Your second full day at Flint’s Park Campsite gives you another opportunity to explore the area with a backcountry day ride. After breakfast you’ll saddle up and explore a new trail with a casual picnic lunch along the way, and return for a hot shower and a delicious home-cooked meal.

Day 5

On our last morning at Flint’s Camp it’s time to say goodbye to this stunning campsite. Once saddled up, you’ll ride 10 miles along a different river trail route on your return to Stoney Camp. Along the way you’ll stop for lunch on the banks of Cascade River.

Day 6

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 13 mile ride through the stunning scenery of Elk Lake Summit. 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. This is a truly exciting and epic ride and it’s also a chance to reflect on everything you have experienced in the last 6 days.

You’ll have plenty of wild Banff backcountry stories to tell and you will have earned the bragging rights to say that you spent 6 days deep in the Canadian Rockies. The shuttle will be waiting at the Norquay Corral end point to take you back to Warner Stables for approximately 5:30pm to 6pm, where you’ll say goodbye to the new friends with whom you shared this unforgettable adventure into the wild.