Backpacking Tour

Backcountry tent-based horseback trip in Banff National Park | CA-BTF301

This backcountry horse pack trip explores some of Banff National Park's most spectacular backcountry

Overview

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.

Tour Highlights

  • Banff National Park
  • Rocky Mountains
  • Brewster Mountain
  • Cascade Mountain
  • Stoney Creek Camp
  • Palliser Mountain

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.

  • Trusted Tour Operator
  • Local Guides
  • Personal Experience
  • Small group experience
Available Jun - Sept
Duration 3 / 6 days
Departs From Banff, AB
Difficulty Level Easy / Moderate
Minimum age 9
Group maximum 12
Meet on Location Yes
Pick Up No

From

1 019 CAD

Per Adult

  • Free Cancellation
  • Best Price Guarantee
  • No booking fees
  • Toll Free number in N. America: +1 888 285 1676
  • International number: +1 780 414 1676

Availability (2019):
3 day tour. June 26 - September 4. Wednesday departures.
6 day tour. June 28 - September 2. Monday and Friday departures.

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What's Included

Included

  • Riding equipment
  • Tents
  • Group camping gear
  • Backcountry user fees

What to bring

  • Duffel bag
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad

Suggested Clothing

  • Warm clothing suitable for a variety of weather conditions
  • Warm coat
  • Rain gear
  • Hat
  • Long pants
  • Sneakers & Riding or hiking boots
  • Bathing suit & Towel
  • Fishing gear
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen
  • Water bottle

Contact us for more Information about this tour

Itinerary

Find out more details about the tour and its highlights

Information

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.

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.

DAY 1

The adventure begins at the 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.)  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 the 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.

 

DAY 3

Arise early and say goodbye to your pristine backcountry surroundings – it’s time to head back into Banff and rejoin civilization. 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 5 pm, where you’ll say goodbye to the new friends with whom you shared this unforgettable adventure into the wild.

DAY 1

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.)  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 front country, 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 the 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.

Payment Details

Deposit and Taxes

  • Pricing does not include: 5.00% GST. 
  • Balance of payment is due 30 days before trip commencement.

CANCELLATION POLICY & DETAILS
Payment is refundable with at least 15 days notice of cancellation.