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Trail Riders of the Canadian Rockies

Trail Ride to Stoney Creek (4 Days)

Itinerary

Note: Please see General Ride Information for important details

Before the ride begins

Join us for an optional “meet and greet” event at the Warner Stables from 5 to 6 pm on the evening before your ride.  The Trail Riders emcee will be there to help you with any last minute details.

Day One – Backcountry ride to Stoney Creek Campsite

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 – the stables are on Sundance Road in the town of Banff). We’ll hand out the saddle bags and you will leave all of your gear with our guides.

A separate string of mules will deliver your belongings to the camp for you so that you can ride unencumbered. When you arrive at camp, 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” list when packing your bag.

Once you’re all checked in, we will take you by van to the very fringe of the frontcountry, the trailhead corral at Mount Norquay to meet your friendly guide and the trusty horse we’ve specially chosen for you. 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 ride through the stunning scenery of Elk Lake Summit which is jaw-dropping, you’ll be wide-eyed with awe at the larger-than-life mountains with their jagged edges piercing the sky.

There will be a lunch stop along the way, then you 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 and thermarest and get some sleep – the adventure has only just begun.

Day Two – Ride up the Cascade River

Whether you are a hiker or photographer this area has a lot to offer. You will ride along the valley bottom amidst the wildflowers, birds and butterflies to a historic elk trap and return by a different route along the river bank.

After a casual picnic lunch along the way, and return for a hot shower and a delicious home-cooked meal.

“What an amazing week! Horses were great – energetic, confident and sure-footed. Guides were amazing, generously sharing their vast knowledge of the Rockies, the prairies and trail riding. All around an 11/10!”

BethVancouver, B.C.

“This trip was a dream come true. My friend and I spent a lot of time planning and preparing for this adventure, and we’re so happy that we finally did it. If there’s a little cowgirl/boy deep inside of you, I highly recommend that you give them life before the chance gets away from you. Highly recommended!”

AJ Italian Alps, Italy

“The whole experience far surpassed my expectations: the scenery was spectacular; the horses were steadfast and well cared for; the other riders were lots of fun and full of enthusiasm; the Emcee, trail leaders, and guest speakers were very knowledgeable; the food was great; the list could go on. I will definitely return next year!”

wils0n17Oshawa, Canada

“So many good people are involved to make this a truly wonderful memory… but for me I was not disappointed with anything the rustic accommodation the food the horses the people the scenery all of it just the best time. Recommend highly.”

moonsyBrisbane, Australia

“5 days of riding wonderfully trained horses, Sleeping on cots in a teepee, scrumptious food, fantastic evening entertainment couldn’t ask for a more awesome adventure. Leave the city and stress behind, come on a ride with this great club!”

T3505NWpatrickmSan Jose, California

“My experience with the TRCR is one that I will never forget. I was given a special gift to go horseback riding, and I could not refuse. I would recommend this wonderful riding vacation to everyone!”

fi0nagtBeaconsfield, Canada

Challenging, rustic, and rewarding!

Just as our photographs couldn’t capture the majesty of the mountains through which we rode, it’s impossible to adequately describe the TRCR experience in a “snapshot” review. In July of 2017, after much anticipation, I rode with my two sisters on a six-day adventure. The trip exceeded my expectations in every way. Once my initial anxiety over riding again was quelled, I was free to enjoy vistas only accessible by hiking or on horseback: wildflower-rich prairies, breathtaking peaks, glacial tarns, ever-present wildlife, and awe-inspiring vantage points. The company was congenial, the food hearty and delicious, the cultural and historical lessons amazing, the fun contagious, and the experience…absolutely memorable. I recommend it unreservedly.

Joan V

“I was so excited to complete a bucket list item the first time, had a lifelong experience the second time and can’t wait for the third time in 2018!! I might add that I have not laughed this hard in years!! New friends for life!”

June J

“If you are looking for a fantastic outdoor adventure, this is it.
If you are looking to do and see things that love never dreamed of, this is it.
If you are looking to be around some amazing people and be cared for like family, this is it.

Thanks for making our family vacation a memorable one.”

David T

“You don’t have to be an expert rider to be awe-inspired by the great horses and scenery you will enjoy each day. As one of our ride companions said, you get to feel a teensy bit like a cowboy, and who doesn’t want that??”

250waaNanaimo, Canada

“If you are looking for something different with some challenge and the most breathtaking vistas you will ever see then do this trip. The TRCR staff is fantastic, the food is delicious and plentiful and the experience will absolutely change your life. We will be returning next year and many more.”

JimandMelissaBMiddletown, Connecticut, USA

“We enjoyed our annual horseback rides in the Canadian Rockies for thirteen years. Each year we did not think it could get better, but it usually did. If you enjoy an outback adventure to see breathtaking panoramic vistas from the back of a horse and meeting new people from around the world, you will LOVE riding with TRCR. Food and accommodations were amazing in the wilderness!!!”

Jean203Goode, Virgina

“This ENTIRE adventure was more than we ever expected. More than a dream but a life long satisfaction. WE WILL BE BACK!!”

June and ScottOrlando, Florida

“We just completed a terrific week with the TRCR. We would never have been able to access this fantastic country if it were not for this organization. One of our best vacations ever!”

JanLondon, Ontario

Day Three – Ride up the Dormer Pass Trail

A ride is taken toward the headwaters of Stoney Creek up the Dormer Pass Trail, with lunch enjoyed on the trail part way through the day. The Dormer Trail area is a favorite haunt of Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, who are often grazing in the high meadows, proving ample opportunity for pictures. We’ll then return to Stoney Creek Campsite where you can freshen up with a hot shower and tuck in to another delicious dinner prepared by the on-site cook.

Day Four – Return to trailhead

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 and ride along the Cascade River to the trail head near Lake Minnewanka. This is a chance to reflect on everything you have experienced in the last 4 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 4 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 5:30 to 6 pm, where you’ll say goodbye to the new friends with whom you shared this unforgettable adventure into the wild.

After the ride is over

Hopefully you have already booked your night’s accommodation, unless you are planning to drive home that night. It is not recommended that you make travel plans on the night you finish, but rather stay in Banff, Canmore or Calgary. These accommodations before and after the ride must by booked by you and the cost is not included in your ride fee.

There will be no official “after the ride dinner,” but riders often gather for dinner or drinks and one last get together before they go their separate ways.

COME RIDE WITH US!

Book now for our upcoming ride or contact us for more information.