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2 Days Sundance Overnight Lodge Horse Riding Trip in Banff, Canada

Sundance Lodge, Brewster Creek Trail, Improvement District No. 9, Banff, Alberta, Canada

Backcountry Horse Riding Holiday in Canada

Do you want to explore Banff, Canada, on horseback but don’t have a lot of time to do it? Then, this trip is perfect for you. This trip with Banff Trail Riders is perfect for all ages, families, or groups of friends because anyone can do it. Plus, the journey overall is surprisingly comfortable. Never been horseback riding before? Don’t worry! Banff Trail Riders will match you with a mild-mannered horse and teach you everything you need to know.

Key information

  • Rider weight limit: 104 kilograms / 230 pounds

Highlights

  • 2 days' of horse riding
  • Guide
  • Basic horseback riding instruction
  • A 10-mile trail along the rushing glacier-fed waters
  • 1 night of accommodation
  • Fully catered menu

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


2 days with instruction
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
09:30

Facilities

  • Dining area
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Kitchen

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 kilometers (10 miles) from town. The lodge is powered by solar and heated by burning wood and there are indoor washrooms and heated showers onsite. Please note that there is no cell service, wifi or internet during the trip.

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.

Program

Trip overview

This two-day tour commences at 09:30 at the Warner Stables on Saturdays, with two full days of riding (approximately five up to six hours per day including leisurely breaks). The ride returns to the stables at 04:30 the following day.

On this holiday, you will meander along a trail that takes you to the tranquil Bow River. You can relax and enjoy a cowboy coffee by campfire along the way before arriving at Sundance Lodge, secluded but just 16 kilometers (10 miles) from town. At night, you can relax on the porch or linger near the crackling fireplace and watch the starry night.

Itinerary

Day 1: Backcountry ride to Sundance Lodge

You’ll begin your journey at 09:30 at Warner Stables in the backcountry check-in area of the large barn. If you bring a vehicle, you can park it here for free during the trip. Banff Trail Riders will hand out your slickers and saddle bags and introduce you to the horse that they have specifically picked just for you.

Things happen on “Western Time” here, so you 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. The horses are steady and responsive and can be counted on to cross any terrain, from forest paths to boulder-strewn creeks.

You’ll be surprised at how quickly you gain confidence in the saddle, learn to trust your horse, and go from greenhorn to cowboy. On this backcountry adventure, Banff Trail Riders will take you along a route that the early explorers of the Canadian Rockies blazed nearly a century ago. It’s the ideal way to dip your toe into horseback trekking in Banff, even if you don’t have a lot of time.

Saddled up and ready to ride, You’ll hit the trail for the ten-mile journey to Sundance Lodge. You will follow the trail alongside the rushing glacier-fed waters of the Bow River, Healy Creek, and Brewster Creek. Along the way, you’ll stop for a simple, hearty cowboy-style hot lunch on the banks of the river.

You’ll arrive at Sundance Lodge in the 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 cook in a professional kitchen, and sleeping in a comfortable bed.

Your lodge host will cater to your every need and make you feel welcome like you are a guest in their home. You will settle into your room and freshen up from your day on the trail, then gather around the table for a gourmet meal and an evening of conversation. By the end of this trip, you’ll have plenty of new friends from around the world.

Day 2: Return to Warner Stables

After a deep and restful sleep in the peaceful quiet of the backcountry, you’ll awake to a hearty breakfast and a steaming mug of coffee. You’ll have the entire morning to wake up slowly and savor your time at this picturesque lodge. Sundance Lodge was built in 1991, near the original Ten Mile cabin built in 1923 where the trail riders used to stop and rest on their way to Mount Assiniboine. Ten Mile cabin is still there and Sundance Lodge sits where the corral would have been.

With no emails to answer or errands to run, your time is your own. You can sit on the deck, get lost in the pages of a good book, have a chat with your horse, or get to know your fellow adventurers. You will begin your ride back to Banff in the late morning. You’ll bring along handmade sandwiches for the journey as well as fresh-baked goodies and fruit. Then, you’ll return to Warner Stables at approximately 04:30 with plenty of stories to tell about your adventure in the backcountry.

Type of riding and riding ability

No experience is necessary for this holiday. If you’ve never been riding before, then Banff Trail Riders will be sure to pair you with the perfect horse so you can enjoy a comfortable ride. The guides will also provide a brief riding instruction prior to the ride. For the foreign visitors, an understanding of basic English for the horseback rides is required so that you can understand simple instructions from the guides.

Restrictions

  • Guests participating in backcountry riding will need to be nine years or over and a maximum of 230 pounds. Banff Trail Riders is committed to the health of the horses and the safety of their guests, which means that the minimum age and maximum weight requirements are strictly enforced.
  • As part of the check-in process, you may be required to confirm your current weight on a scale and provide proof of the child’s age. In the event that these requirements are not met, the booking will be forfeited without a refund.
  • Please note that children will not be paired with an adult as they must ride their own horse. Children aged 15 years and under must have someone 18 years and older with them.
  • Foreign visitors are required to have an understanding of basic English for the horseback rides so that you can understand simple instructions from the guides.
  • 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 be physically capable of controlling the horse during the ride without assistance and for the health and safety of all riders we regrettably cannot accommodate any disabilities or special needs riders. We recognize that disabled riding is a unique and respected skill set that we at the barns do not have the appropriate equipment or skills to safely execute.
  • Riders must wear sturdy 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.

Location

On this holiday, you will ride your horse from the Warner Stables to Sundance Lodge in Banff, Canada, following the trail alongside the rushing glacier-fed waters of the Bow River, Healy Creek, and Brewster Creek.

Food

During this holiday, you will be served fully catered meals including one breakfast, two lunches, and one dinner. Even miles away from civilization, the backcountry cooks are able to prepare some surprisingly sophisticated meals. A large, well-equipped kitchen and a talented cook are the key to the great food at Sundance Lodge. You can savor everything from braised beef short ribs to Crème Brulee Cheesecake It’s rustic comfort food taken to a whole new level. Please note that the lodge is licensed, so under Alberta Law, they cannot allow self-brought alcohol to be consumed. Banff Trail Riders does have alcohol for sale at reasonable prices.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • 2 days' horse riding sessions
  • Guide
  • Basic horseback riding instruction
  • Trail fees
  • 5% tax
  • A friendly horse for every rider
  • Fully catered menu
  • 1 night of accommodation
  • Bedding

What's not included

  • Gratuities
  • National Park fees
  • Hotel pickup and dropoff / transport to the stables

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 100% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 30 days before the arrival date.
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