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Lodge-based horseback riding tour into the backcountry of Banff


Enjoy a combination of wilderness riding and comfortable accommodations on this lodge-based horseback riding tours into Banff National Park.  You will ride into the high country of Banff National Park and spend your days exploring the area.  In the evening you will return to a comfortable lodge and enjoy a delicious meal.  This trip is roughing it the civilized way.

The lodges are true backcountry accommodations, and are located on the original sites of the very first cabins built in the area.  In the 1920s these cabins were used as refuge for mountain guides and packers travelling to Mount Assiniboine.  Today the original buildings still stand on these sites as remembrances of years gone by.

The first lodge sits alongside a gentle curve on Brewster Creek, with the Sundance Mountain range as a backdrop. Built entirely with pine logs, the lodge has 10 sleeping rooms, a large country kitchen, and a cozy living room area where you can curl up by the woodstove and lose yourself in a good book. And although it is a remote backcountry lodge, your hosts decided to add what we felt was an important comfort from home - hot showers! (Please note that, for environmental reasons, showers are restricted to one per stay.) 

Surrounded by the beauty of towering peaks, the second lodge has been a welcome haven for over 80 years. Rich in tradition, this cabin was used back in the late 1920's by mountain guide Erling Strom as a stopover for his guests traveling from Banff to Mount Assiniboine. Then a single storied cabin, Strom's wranglers spent the night sleeping in tents while the guests found floor space within. The lifestyle at this rustic backcountry cabin remains much the same as it was 80 years ago - simple. Propane lanterns and candles provide the lighting, and a woodstove keeps the water and coffee hot and the cabin warm and cozy.

Each of the trips includes full ranch style meals and approx. 5 - 6 hours of riding each day. You ride for approx. 2 ½ to 3 hours in the morning, stop for lunch on the trail and ride another 2 ½ to 3 hours in the afternoon. The rides are all done at a walk in order to take full advantage of the scenery and wildlife viewing.

STARTING AT
$649.00 CAD
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TRIP DETAILS
DESTINATION
EQUIPMENT/CLOTHING
ACCOMMODATIONS
MEALS & DINING
DATES & PRICING
ITINERARY
TRIP TYPE
Horseback Riding & Pack Trips
SEASON

May to October

DIFFICULTY
Easy / Moderate
MAXIMUM GROUP SIZE
10
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
Not Applicable
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, use of the lodge facilities, 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

Camera, binoculars, daypack, sunglasses, sunscreen, water bottle, flashlight.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Accommodations are in backcountry lodges. The first lodge has 10 sleeping rooms, a large kitchen, a cozy living room area with a woodstove and hot showers.  For the longer trips, the second lodge sleeps 14 people and has propane lanterns and a woodstove.

MEALS & DINING

MEALS & DINING

All meals are included and consist of hearty western fare.

2 day tour, available May 19, 2018 - October 6, 2018
$649.00 / per person - CAD
Saturday departures. Based on double occupancy.
3 day tour, available May 21, 2018 - October 8, 2018
$999.00 / per person - CAD
Monday departures. Based on double occupancy.
4 day tour, available June 27, 2018 - September 12, 2018
$1399.00 / per person - CAD
Wednesday departures. Based on double occupancy.
6 day tour, available June 24, 2018 - September 13, 2018
$2099.00 / per person - CAD
Thursday and Sunday departures. Based on double occupancy.
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.

2 day tour, available May 19, 2018 - October 6, 2018

Day 1

We’ll begin our journey at 9:30am at the Stables at the backcountry check-in area of the large barn. (You can park your vehicle here for free during the trip.) We’ll hand out your slickers and saddle bags and introduce you to the horse that we have specifically picked just for you. Things happen on “Western Time” here so we may not leave right on the dot and you’ll have time to get to know your horse and ask any questions.

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.

Our horses are steady, responsive and can be counted on to cross any terrain, from forest paths to boulder-strewn creeks. Never been horseback riding before? Don’t worry. We will match you with a mild-mannered horse and teach you everything you need to know. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you gain confidence in the saddle, learn to trust your horse and go from greenhorn to cowboy.

On this backcountry adventure, we’ll take you along a route that the early explorers of the Canadian Rockies blazed nearly a century ago. It’s the ideal way to dip your toe into horseback trekking in Banff, even if you don’t have a lot of time.

Saddled up and ready to ride, we’ll hit the trail for the ten mile journey to Sundance Lodge. We will follow the trail alongside the rushing glacier-fed waters of the Bow River, Healy Creek and Brewster Creek. Along the way we’ll stop for a simple, hearty cowboy-style hot lunch on the banks of the river.

We’ll arrive at Sundance Lodge late afternoon, where your lodge host will greet you. Sundance is the ideal place for those who want to marvel at the beauty of the Banff Backcountry, while still being swaddled in comfort.

There are no sleeping bags or camp stoves here, you will be sipping from wine glasses, dining on food prepared by a skilled chef in a professional kitchen and sleeping between Egyptian cotton sheets. Your lodge host will cater to your every need and make you feel welcome, like you are a guest in their home.

Settle into your room and freshen up from your day on the trail, then gather around the table for a gourmet meal and an evening of conversation. By the end of this trip, you’ll have plenty of new friends from around the world.

Day 2

After a deep and restful sleep in the peaceful quiet of the backcountry, you’ll awake to a hearty breakfast and a steaming mug of coffee.

You’ll have the entire morning to wake up slowly and savour your time at this picturesque lodge. Sundance was built in 1991, near the original Ten Mile Cabin built in 1923 where the trail riders used to stop and rest on their way to Mount Assiniboine. (Ten Mile Cabin is still there and Sundance Lodge sits where the corral would have been.)

With no emails to answer or errands to run, your time is your own. You can sit on the deck, get lost in the pages of a good book, have a chat with your horse or get to know your fellow adventurers.

We will begin our ride back to Banff in the late morning. You’ll bring along handmade sandwiches for the journey, as well as fresh-baked goodies and fruit.

You’ll return to the Stables at approximately 4:30 pm, with plenty of stories to tell about your adventure in the backcountry.

3 day tour, available May 21, 2018 - October 8, 2018

Day 1

Want more time to really soak up the tranquility of the Banff backcountry? On this adventure you’ll spend two nights at Sundance Lodge – a wonderfully luxurious backcountry haven. Your days will be spent exploring on horseback and your evenings relaxing in the cosy lodge, sharing delicious hearty meals, delectable desserts and great conversation with your fellow riders.

Your adventure begins at 9:30am at the backcountry check-in at the large barn at Warner Stables. You can park for free at the stables during the trip. Once you check in you’ll meet your professional and friendly guides and get your slickers and saddle bags. Things happen on “Western Time” here so we may not leave right on the dot and you’ll have time to get to know your horse and ask any questions.

Never been horseback riding before? Don’t worry. We will match you with a mild-mannered horse and teach you everything you need to know. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you gain confidence in the saddle, learn to trust your horse and go from greenhorn to cowboy. One of the aspects of our tours that past guests rave about is the deep connection that they form with their hooved companions.

Once you and your horse are ready to go, we will mount up for the 10 mile ride along the banks of the sparkling glacier-fed Bow River, Brewster and Healy Creeks.

We’ll stop along the way for a hot lunch on the river banks, then late afternoon we will arrive at Sundance Lodge. This elegant and luxurious lodge offers you a chance to experience the Canadian backcountry, while relaxing in comfort.

You’ll arrive to a hot cup of tea or coffee, a warm shower, a soft bed with a down duvet and Egyptian cotton sheets and the friendly greeting of your lodge host. Each host has a way of making the lodge their own, catering in your every need and cooking you delicious meals.

Day 2

Cuddled in your cosy bed at Sundance Lodge, you’ll wake up to the rays of the morning sun streaming in through your window. After a hearty breakfast you can leave your belongings at the lodge and set off unencumbered for a ride deeper into the backcountry with stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

On today’s ride you’ll catch a glimpse of the enormous Brewster Glacier and the rock faces of the Sundance Range as you ride along the footsteps of the original pioneers. We will stop for lunch along the trail and enjoy an open-air picnic in this unforgettable setting.

At the end of the day, you’ll return to your familiar room at Sundance Lodge, where you already feel comfortable and at home. As the sun sets behind the mountains, you can sit back on the deck and relax, drink wine and share stories and photos with your fellow adventurers.

Day 3

Sundance Lodge is an island of comfort and elegance in an ocean of wilderness, a place where you can admire the rugged beauty of the backcountry while wrapped in soft blankets and sipping from a mug of hot tea.

It’s your last morning at Sundance, which is starting to feel like home thanks to the warm hospitality of your host. Be sure to take a few last photos to capture the moment as you prepare to hit the trail again.

Wave goodbye as you and your horse saunter back to the Stables. It’s another gorgeous full day of riding through wooded hillsides and winding river trails with the soaring craggy peaks of the Rockies as a backdrop. You’ll refuel with a lunch stop along the banks of Healy Creek, where we will enjoy sandwiches, fresh-baked goodies and fruit.

We’ll arrive back at approximately 4:30 pm. This two night journey is a great way to experience the unspoiled wilderness of Banff on horseback, even if you are only staying for a short time.

4 day tour, available June 27, 2018 - September 12, 2018

Day 1

We’ll begin our journey at 9:30am at the Stables at the backcountry check-in area of the large barn. (You can park your vehicle here for free during the trip.) We’ll hand out your slickers and saddle bags and introduce you to the horse that we have specifically picked just for you. Things happen on “Western Time” here so we may not leave right on the dot and you’ll have time to get to know your horse and ask any questions.

Saddled up and ready to ride, we’ll hit the trail for the ten mile journey to Sundance Lodge. On this backcountry adventure, we’ll take you along a route that the early explorers of the Canadian Rockies blazed nearly a century ago. We will follow the trail alongside the rushing glacier-fed waters of the Bow River, Healy Creek and Brewster Creek. Along the way we’ll stop for a simple, hearty cowboy-style hot lunch on the banks of the river.

We’ll arrive at Sundance Lodge late afternoon, where your lodge host will greet you. Sundance is the ideal place for those who want to marvel at the beauty of the Banff Backcountry, while still being swaddled in comfort.

There are no sleeping bags or camp stoves here, you will be sipping from wine glasses, dining on food prepared by a skilled chef in a professional kitchen and sleeping between Egyptian cotton sheets. Your lodge host will cater to your every need and make you feel welcome, like you are a guest in their home.

Settle into your room and freshen up from your day on the trail, then gather around the table for a gourmet meal prepared by your talented host. By the end of this trip, you’ll have plenty of new friends from around the world.

Set against the craggy peaks of the Sundance Range on a gentle curve of Brewster Creek, Sundance Lodge is a 10 room log cabin that will welcome you with backcountry charm, satisfying meals and warm showers. The lodge is the perfect balance of comfort and authenticity – giving you the Wild West Explorer feeling without having to rough it.

Day 2

The adventure continues as you journey 9 miles southward to Halfway Lodge. The rugged peaks of the Sundance Range loom over the eastern horizon as you follow the winding historic Erling Strom Trail. You’ll be following in the footsteps that the early explorers of the Canadian Rockies took nearly a century ago. We’ll stop along the way for a picnic in the fresh air of an open mountain meadow.

Tonight we’ll stay at Halfway Lodge, located at the midway point between Banff and Assiniboine Mountain where weary riders have been stopping to rest since the 1920s. As you approach you’ll notice the trees start to thin out and the mountains peeking up above the treeline all around you. It is tucked into a postcard-perfect setting, with a striking cauldron of mountains all around it.

This lodge was constructed by Erling Strom in the 1920s as a stopover spot for the guests he lead on trips from Banff to Mount Assiniboine. With propane lanterns and candles providing lighting and a woodstove providing warmth, it hasn’t changed much in the last 80 years. (The only big change occurred in 1967 when a second story was added, due to a bear making a surprise entrance through the roof!)

Ride time: Approx 5-6 hours including lunch

Ride distance: Approx 9 miles

Day 3

Today you’ll leave your peaceful haven at Halfway Lodge and take the meandering trail along Brewster Creek back to Sundance Lodge. You’ll spend another night here, relaxing in pure backcountry comfort.

Be warned: you won’t want to leave Halfway Lodge once you have experienced this gorgeous retreat in the Rockies.

After you wake up in comfort and enjoy a hearty breakfast at Halfway Lodge, you’ll hit the trail. Your guide will lead you through the backcountry on a scenic and exciting trail, criss-crossing the valley in the historic footsteps of the early pioneers and stopping for lunch along the way.

You’ll arrive back at Sundance Lodge again, a luxurious retreat you will have fallen deeply in love with. Pamper yourself after your ride with a warm shower and a glass of wine, then enjoy another delicious meal prepared by your professional chef lodge host.

Ride time: Approx 5-6 hours plus leisurely lunch

Ride distance: Approx 9 miles

Day 4

It’s your last morning at Sundance Lodge, which by now will feel like home due to the warm hospitality of your host. Wake up wrapped in your warm down duvet one last time, gather around for a delicious breakfast and wave goodbye as you begin the journey back to Banff.

Breathe the crisp, pine scented air as you depart for one more day on the trail with your fellow riders – whom you have no doubt become good friends with by now.  Your guide will lead you through the backcountry along winding river trails and through the thick pine forests, with the jagged peaks of the Rockies always standing proudly on the horizon. You’ll stop along the banks of Healy Creek for a lunch of fresh sandwiches, baked goods and fruit.

You’ll take the gentle 9 mile ride from Sundance back to the Stables, arriving at around 4:30pm. You may be leaving the backcountry, but the memories you have made will stay with you for a long time.

6 day tour, available June 24, 2018 - September 13, 2018

Day 1

The adventure starts at the stables, where you can park your vehicle for free for the duration of the trip. You’ll meet your personable expert guides, fellow riders and the horse we have specifically chosen for you. Your horse will know just where to step even on the most precarious of trails, so you can trust them to get you where you are going.

This 6 day expedition gives you a chance to really unwind and relax into the rhythms of the Rockies. Leave your phone behind and escape from the constant ping of emails – it’s the perfect opportunity to clear and reset your mind. Don’t worry if you are a complete greenhorn, our trusty horses, knowledgeable staff and talented cooks will ensure you are comfortable every step of the way.

Once we have organised the gear and saddled up, we will begin the 10 mile journey to Sundance Lodge – following the rushing waters of the Bow River and Healy and Brewster Creeks. On the way we’ll stop for a cowboy cook-out along the banks of the river – the perfect fuel to give you energy for a day on the trail.

You’ll saunter into Sundance Lodge at around 4:30pm, where you will be greeted by the friendly lodge host. You’ll have enough time to freshen up and relax in your room, then join the group around the campfire to share songs and stories as the sun sets over the mountains.

Day 2

The adventure continues as you journey 9 miles southward to Halfway Lodge. The rugged peaks of the Sundance Range loom over the eastern horizon as you following the winding historic Storm Pack Trail. We’ll stop halfway for a picnic in the fresh air of an open mountain meadow.
Tonight we’ll stay at Halfway Lodge, where weary riders have been stopping to rest since the 1920s.

Ride time: Approx 5-6 hours plus leisurely lunch

Ride distance: Approx 9 miles

Day 3

After a hearty breakfast you can leave your belongings at the lodge and set off on another adventure.

Today you’ll make the thrilling climb up Allenby Pass on horseback, an elevation of 8,100 feet. For many this is the highlight of the trip, as you’ll get a breathtaking view of the jagged rock formations, the enormous amphitheatre of mountains stretching out all around you.

It’s mind-boggling to imagine that Allenby Pass was a seafloor millions of years ago. If you look closely, you can still spot fossils of sea creatures visible among the rocks.

At the end of the day, you’ll return to your familiar room at Halfway Lodge, where you already feel comfortable and at home. As the sun sets behind the mountains, you can sit back and relax, drink wine and share stories and photos with your fellow adventurers.

Ride time: Approx 4-6 hours plus leisurely lunch

Ride distance: Approx 3-5 miles pending time of year and trail conditions

Day 4

Today is a rest day at Halfway Lodge. An optional hike is available today to a shimmering glacial fed lake at the end of the valley, where you can enjoy views of the valley below.

But if you’d rather relax, there’s no pressure. This lodge is a lovely place to find some quiet time, far away from the pinging of notifications and the pressure of your endless to-do list.

It’s a chance to take a breather, perhaps by sitting on the deck while getting lost in the pages of a good book.  You may even take some time to groom your horse, who has no doubt become your best friend by this point.

Day 5

Say goodbye to the lovely staff at Halfway Lodge, it’s time to hit the winding trail along Brewster Creek back to Sundance Lodge. Be warned: you won’t want to leave Halfway Lodge once you have experienced this gorgeous retreat in the Rockies.

Your guide will lead you through the backcountry on a scenic and exciting trail, criss-crossing the valley in the historic footsteps of the early pioneers and stopping for lunch along the way.

You’ll arrive back at Sundance Lodge again, a luxurious retreat you will have fallen deeply in love with. Pamper yourself after your ride with a warm shower and a glass of wine, then enjoy another delicious meal prepared by your professional chef lodge host.

Day 6

It’s your last morning at Sundance Lodge, which by now will feel like home due to the warm hospitality of your host. Wake up wrapped in your warm down duvet one last time, gather around for a delicious breakfast and wave goodbye as you begin the journey back to Banff.

It’s your final day on the trail – a gentle 9 mile ride from Sundance back to the Stables. Your guide will lead you through the backcountry along winding river trails and through the thick pine forests, with the jagged peaks of the Rockies always standing proudly on the horizon. You’ll stop along the banks of Healy Creek for a lunch of fresh sandwiches, baked goods and fruit.

You’ll return at approximately 4:30 pm, with plenty of great tales from the backcountry to tell your family and friends.