Banff Backcountry Riding Adventure

About the Experience

Experience the wild side of Canada’s first national park on our Banff Backcountry Riding Adventure! With your sure-footed horse, you’ll ride into the midst of ancient game trails, glacier-fed rivers and wild flowering meadows. This area’s combination of glaciated terrain and imposing 3000-metre peaks create unparalleled vistas. You’ll travel on horseback along historic pack trails that wind through the craggy Sundance and Cascade Ranges, venturing to places most Banff visitors never get to see.

Inhale the heady floral fragrance as the wild blooms paint the broad hillsides with their palette of royal blue lupines, bright white and yellow alpine lilies, and deep red indian paintbrushes. Here, the California bighorn sheep, mountain goat, grizzly, black bear, moose, mule deer, bison, cougar and wolf still reign. Witness eagles gliding on mid-day drafts or peer down into lush valley bottoms. A nature lover’s paradise.

On this 7-day horse riding mountain adventure, you’ll find yourself surrounded by sweeping mountain vistas and panoramic views of wide-open valleys.  Get high off the mountain air and hot cowgirl coffee. 

Sky-piercing mountains stretch out across the landscape and the air is cool and fresh. Best of all, there’s an almost zen-like quiet out here. You’ll pass by the shimmering waters of the Bow River, travel along a historic pack trail and then ride up Allenby Pass, where jagged rock formations line the route.

And although you do climb to an elevation of 8,100 feet on this trip, the terrain is gentle for the entire way.

Unwind in rustic luxury at the spacious Sundance Lodge and later at the cozy Halfway Lodge – both are quintessential mountain cabins. Comfortable beds, a crackling fire and some of the most delicious backcountry cuisine you’ll ever try!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you know we’re a global leader in women’s adventure travel? Check out our destinations around the world!

 

 

 

Click here to see the full itinerary!
Banff Backcountry Riding Adventure

About the Experience

Experience the wild side of Canada’s first national park on our Banff Backcountry Riding Adventure! With your sure-footed horse, you’ll ride into the midst of ancient game trails, glacier-fed rivers and wild flowering meadows. This area’s combination of glaciated terrain and imposing 3000-metre peaks create unparalleled vistas. You’ll travel on horseback along historic pack trails that wind through the craggy Sundance and Cascade Ranges, venturing to places most Banff visitors never get to see.

Inhale the heady floral fragrance as the wild blooms paint the broad hillsides with their palette of royal blue lupines, bright white and yellow alpine lilies, and deep red indian paintbrushes. Here, the California bighorn sheep, mountain goat, grizzly, black bear, moose, mule deer, bison, cougar and wolf still reign. Witness eagles gliding on mid-day drafts or peer down into lush valley bottoms. A nature lover’s paradise.

On this 7-day horse riding mountain adventure, you’ll find yourself surrounded by sweeping mountain vistas and panoramic views of wide-open valleys.  Get high off the mountain air and hot cowgirl coffee. 

Sky-piercing mountains stretch out across the landscape and the air is cool and fresh. Best of all, there’s an almost zen-like quiet out here. You’ll pass by the shimmering waters of the Bow River, travel along a historic pack trail and then ride up Allenby Pass, where jagged rock formations line the route.

And although you do climb to an elevation of 8,100 feet on this trip, the terrain is gentle for the entire way.

Unwind in rustic luxury at the spacious Sundance Lodge and later at the cozy Halfway Lodge – both are quintessential mountain cabins. Comfortable beds, a crackling fire and some of the most delicious backcountry cuisine you’ll ever try!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you know we’re a global leader in women’s adventure travel? Check out our destinations around the world!

 

 

 

DAY ONE: BANFF NATIONAL PARK

Banff welcomes you! Our trip begins in the afternoon at our accommodations in Banff.  Meet your Wild Women group in the hotel lobby at 5:30 pm, where your local guide will facilitate a round of introductions.  We’ll then head out onto the town for a welcome dinner together as a group

 

DAY TWO: INTO THE MOUNTAINS

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel and at 9 am and then you will be transported to the stables in Banff.  Here your horse will be specifically chosen for you. Your horse will know where to step even on the most precarious of trails, so you can trust them to get you where you are going.

Relax into the rhythms of the Rockies, it’s the perfect opportunity to clear and reset your mind. 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.

Once we have organized 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 cowgirl cook-out along the banks of the river – the perfect fuel to give you energy for a day on the trail.

We’ll saunter into Sundance Lodge at around 4:30 pm, where you will be greeted by the friendly lodge host and shown to your room where you can freshen up with a warm shower and settle in. Your lodge host will cater to your every need and make you feel welcome, like a guest in their home.

This is no simple, basic lodge – you’ll be pampered in backcountry luxury, sleeping in a comfortable bed and dining on gourmet cuisine whipped up by your talented host in the professional kitchen. Surrounded by the beautiful backcountry of Banff, you’ll still enjoy the luxuries of life.

 

DAY THREE: BACKCOUNTRY BLISS

The adventure continues as we journey 9 miles southward. 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 FOUR: BANFF’S WILD SIDE

After a hearty breakfast, we set off on another adventure!

Today we’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 FIVE: ENJOY THE BACKCOUNTRY

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 SIX: BACKCOUNTRY RIDING

Today we hit the winding trail along Brewster Creek back to Sundance Lodge.

Our guide will lead us 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.

We’ll arrive back at Sundance Lodge again. 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 SEVEN: FROM ROCKIES TO HOME

It’s your last morning at Sundance Lodge. Wake up in your comfortable bed 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 Warner 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 to the stables late afternoon, with plenty of great tales from the backcountry to tell your family and friends. Transportation will be provided from the stables back to Banff town centre.  Accommodation in Banff is not included on Day 7.

Click here to see upcoming trip dates to book your spot!