We, The Trail Riders of the Canadian Rockies (T.R.C.R.), are a non-profit society and operate with a four person Board of Directors with help, during the summer, from a small group of volunteers. We do this simply because we want people from all walks of life to enjoy, appreciate and explore, on horseback, the wilderness backcountry mountains in the most spectacular country in the world. We ourselves have been riding for years and simply put, it is a FANTASTIC adventure and we just want to tell the world about it! Our goal is to provide our rides at a reasonable cost to allow more people to see this unforgettable land. Our horseback riding vacations (Canada) have been operating for 93 consecutive years and this summer we will have one four-day ride, two five-day rides and two six-day rides in July and August in Alberta, Canada. (For more information on Alberta and traveling to this beautiful western Canadian Province visit travelalberta.com.) Note: More rides may be added as demand allows in July.
Objectives of the Trail Riders are to “encourage horseback riding in the Canadian Rockies, to foster the maintenance and improvement of old trails and the building of new ones; to encourage the love of outdoor life, to study and engage in the conservation of birds, wildlife and alpine growth, to assist in every possible way to ensure the complete preservation of the National Parks of Canada for the use and enjoyment of the public.” Environmental awareness has always been a top priority of the T.R.C.R., and we have been a leader in reducing backcountry impact.
Our horses travel at a steady walk and we take plenty of breaks during the day. Beginners tend to ride near the front of the line while more experienced rides at the back of the line. We “gear ourselves” to folks who may ride a bit through the year, and really want to see this spectacular country in comfort without having to walk. Riding lessons are provided but we do suggest guests “brush up a bit” before their ride. Each daily trip from our base camp is “customized” based upon: weather, trail conditions, Parks Canada polices, riding ability of the guests which may include dividing into two groups. (ie. each of our 5 rides may vary slightly based upon these conditions)
After an exhilarating day on the trail our guests return to our base camp where they are served hot four course home cooked meals, followed by live entertainment, educational talks, and music, before retiring in their own sleeping bags (on raised cots with mattresses) in Indian style teepees or tents. The camp is complete with hot water for washing, a hot outdoor private shower, and dry toilets.
Subsequent days will find the riders exploring lakes, valleys, glaciers or mountain passes. The high, uninhabited valleys of the Rockies offer peace and contentment combined with the thrill of majestic visas. There is a sweep of majesty to this land, a towering grandeur and nobility of face, so powerful in its vast silence. This alpine land abounds in larch, spruce and fir trees, mountain animals and birds, meadows and parklands leading to the nearby snow capped peaks and ridges. Waterton Lakes National Park is a unique area, abundant in deer, elk, mountain sheep and goats, bears, eagles and hawks….you name it!
The T.R.C.R. has a unique style of camp that no other group or outfitter in Western Canada has. We set up our camp in July with volunteers and tear it down in late August, never leaving a trace. All other outfitters in the National Parks either need to have a moving camp every night or they are granted semi-permanent camp areas. There are down sides to both. Either you spend much more time moving your camp and less on the trail or you are limited to the same area year after year. Not with the T.R.C.R! Our base camp will provide you with an amazing experience that you will never get anywhere else, and we go to a new area of the National Parks each summer. Although we are based in Waterton Lakes National Park from 2015- 2018, before returning to Banff National Park in 2019, we have different daily rides each year. See Whats New in 2017.
Riders come from around the world and you will meet people from all walks of life who share your joy of the wilderness. We supply all horses, western tack, great meals, and accommodation in our native Indian-style teepees or tents at Teepee Town. Families with young people are welcome to attend the rides with one or more of their parents (or grandparents – a frequent occurrence). An adult must accompany all riders under of the age of 18. We recommend that children be at least 8 years old and have some camping/horse experience. The total cost includes everything from a membership in the organization and backcountry user fees, bus transportation, entrance to two extraordinary trips (see Itinerary for details) through to horses, accommodations and meals. Guests bring along their own sleeping gear, extra clothes and other personal necessities.
Riding experience of the member’s ranges from very little to years in the saddle. Dudes, absolute tenderfeet, who wouldn’t know which end the bridle goes on, are welcome to swing into the saddle and take to the high trails with the more experienced riders and guides. The riders travel by bus to the trailhead corral where they are met by cowboys and horses. Here the dudes are matched with a horse according to the information given on their application form. Each horse is a sure-footed, well broken animal, accustomed to the sometimes-rocky terrain and tolerant of the greenest tenderfoot.
The history of the T.R.C.R. dates to 1923 when a group of 14 avid riders, who were camping and fishing along the Kootenay River, got together around a campfire and discussed the potential for a riding club. We haven’t missed a year since! Today, people from all over the world join the Trail Riders each summer. Many people come back year after year to renew acquaintances and make new friends. In fact, we boast a higher than normal guest return rate with some riders having been on 30 or more rides! Click here for our history.
Our inclusive holiday on horseback adventure rides include:
- A four, five or six-day adventure
- Your choice of a tent or teepee
- Sure-footed mountain horses
- Hot water for washing, a hot outdoor private shower, and dry toilets
- Professional guides
- Live entertainment
- Professionally made hook cooked 4-course dinners, hot breakfasts and picnic lunches
- Western cowboy culture and hospitality
- Accommodation on raised cots with mattresses
- Making new friends
- Bus transportation from Calgary and return with a stop and tour of the famous Head-Smashed-in-Buffalo-Jump
- Boat Tour on Waterton Lake
- Membership in the T.R.C.R. organization
- Parks Canada backcountry user fees
- Daily transportation to and from the base camp to the corral or trail head
- (gratuities are not included and extra)
Join us this summer for horseback riding in Alberta like no other, and prepare yourself for “the best vacation of your life” ™ (as our riders have told us!)
The T.R.C.R. is deeply indebted to Dr. Rob Berdan for the usage of his spectacular photos throughout this website. We encourage everyone to look at his website for some of the finest photos ever taken of the Canadian Rockies. Thanks Rob!