Jun-Sep
Season
4 Days
Duration
9+
Age
Active
Activity
Wednesday
Day of Week

Ride through Alberta’s Wild West, tracing the paths that the early pioneers used while exploring these untamed forests.

On this trip you will follow the Erling Strom Trail, a path forged through the dense Banff forests by renowned explorer Erling Strom in the early 1900s.

Amidst dense fragrant pines and snow-crested mountains that pierce the sky, you’ll get to experience the wild side of Banff that not many visitors get to see. Remote and without any internet or cell service, the backcountry lodges where you will be staying offer a chance to find peaceful quiet and reconnect with friends and loved ones over a crackling campfire.

With a backcountry expert to guide you, this horseback experience is a chance to learn about the history of early exploration in the region. With four days to wander and discover Canada’s oldest national park, you’ll have plenty of time to relax into the slow pace and peaceful quiet of life on the trail.

Included
  • 3x nights accommodation
  • Small group size (up to 6 guests per guide)
  • Basic horseback riding instruction
  • Trail fees
  • Helmet
  • A friendly horse for every rider
MEALS
  • Fully Catered Menu
Transport Options
  • Meet at Warner Stables (Banff)
Day 1

Backcountry ride to Sundance Lodge

We’ll begin our journey at 9:30am at Warner 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.

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

Ride the Erling Strom Trail to Halfway Lodge

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

Follow Brewster Creek back to Sundance Lodge

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

Return to Warner Stables

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 Warner 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.

Included
  • 3x nights accommodation
  • Small group size (up to 6 guests per guide)
  • Basic horseback riding instruction
  • Trail fees
  • Helmet
  • A friendly horse for every rider
MEALS
  • Fully Catered Menu
Transport Options
  • Meet at Warner Stables (Banff)

Banff Horseback Riding Vacation Trail Maps

Included
  • 3x nights accommodation
  • Small group size (up to 6 guests per guide)
  • Basic horseback riding instruction
  • Trail fees
  • Helmet
  • A friendly horse for every rider
MEALS
  • Fully Catered Menu
Transport Options
  • Meet at Warner Stables (Banff)
The four-day tour commences at 9:30am at the Warner Stables on Wednesdays, with four full days of riding (approximately 5-6 hours per day including leisurely breaks). The ride returns to the stables at 4:30pm on Saturday.
The tour includes three nights accommodation (two nights at at Sundance Lodge and one night at Halfway Lodge) and a full catered menu (2 dinners, 3 breakfasts, and 3 lunches). All bedding is provided.
Please meet at the Warner Stables, the big red stables located at the end of Sundance Road in Banff. There is plenty of free parking at the site.
Please arrive at 9:30am on the morning of your tour.
A detailed list will be provided in your booking confirmation of all items that you should bring with you, including a warm coat, rainjacket, shirts, jeans, riding boots, sneakers, gloves, a scarf, toiletries and a water bottle.
No experience is necessary and if you’ve never been riding before then we’ll be sure to pair you with the perfect horse so you can enjoy a comfortable ride. Our guides will also provide a brief riding instruction prior to the ride.
Sundance Lodge is a rustic 10-room log cabin that was built in 1991. Set against the looming Sundance Mountain Range and surrounded by thick woods, Sundance Lodge feels remote and secluded despite being just 16 kilometres (10 miles) from town. The lodge is powered by solar and heated by burning wood and there are indoor washrooms and heated showers onsite.

Set at the base of Allenby Pass, Halfway Lodge is a rustic cabin with propane lanterns, candles, and a woodstove to heat the cozy kitchen, dining and living areas. There are two shared outhouses and an outdoor shower onsite.

Please note that prices are based on two guests per room, but the rooms have a variety of configurations. A single room supplement is available for an additional fee.

Daypacks, backpacks or other bags are not allowed, but your rain gear will travel with you on the horse and your guide will help you attach it to the saddle. If you would like to bring saddlebags please fill them with only those essential items that you would need during the day. Fanny packs (a small pack that ties around the waist) also work well. We have a limited supply of saddlebags available free of charge which are available for pick up upon check-in (sorry, no earlier).
All backcountry trips are subject to a 30 day cancellation/change policy and no refunds will be given on any trip in progress. In case of unforeseen circumstances we strongly recommend that all guests purchase travel, health, and cancellation insurance prior to their trip.
Tips are not expected, but are certainly appreciated. If you think your guide did a wonderful job and would like to indicate that with a tip, it will be graciously accepted.

Included
  • 3x nights accommodation
  • Small group size (up to 6 guests per guide)
  • Basic horseback riding instruction
  • Trail fees
  • Helmet
  • A friendly horse for every rider
MEALS
  • Fully Catered Menu
Transport Options
  • Meet at Warner Stables (Banff)
  • Rates are based on double occupancy and a single room supplement is available for an additional fee.
  • Guests participating in backcountry riding will need to be 9 years or over and a maximum of 250lbs.


  • Please note that children will not be paired with an adult – they must ride their own horse.
  • For our foreign visitors we require an understanding of basic English for our horseback rides, so that you can understand simple instructions from our guides.
  • Children aged 15 years and under must have someone 18 years and older with them.
  • For safety purposes helmets are mandatory to be worn by all backcountry riders under 18 years of age. Helmets are optional but recommended for backcountry riders aged 18 years and over.
  • Riders must wear closed toed shoes – no open toe shoes or shoes with big heels.
  • All adult riders must sign a waiver prior to the tour. A waiver must also be completed by the parent or guardian of any rider under the age of 18.
Included
  • 3x nights accommodation
  • Small group size (up to 6 guests per guide)
  • Basic horseback riding instruction
  • Trail fees
  • Helmet
  • A friendly horse for every rider
MEALS
  • Fully Catered Menu
Transport Options
  • Meet at Warner Stables (Banff)
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