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6-Day Cascade Valley Backcountry Tent Trip by Horseback

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Itinerary

Day 1: Backcountry Ride to Stoney Creek Campsite

Stop At: Banff National Park, Alberta Canada
The adventure begins at Warner Stables at 8:30am. (There’s free parking at the stables and it’s fine to leave your vehicle for the duration of the tour.) We’ll hand out the slickers and saddle bags and you will leave all of your gear with our guides. Your sleeping bag and pillow should be packed in a soft sided bag (the traditional “duffel” style of cowboy packing.)

A separate string of mules will safely 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” section of our website as on your voucher 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 Mt 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, and our first ride gives you the chance to settle into your saddle and start to bond with your horse.

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 pass through the cool, craggy peaks of Brewster Mountain and Cascade Mountain (with a lunch stop along the way where Stony Creek meets the Cascade River), then 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, heater and thermarest and get some sleep – the adventure has only just begun.
Duration: 15 hours

Meals included:
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight at Stoney Creek Campsite, equipped with canvas tents on raised platforms, outhouses, shower and a wash stand.

Day 2: Day Ride up the Dormer Pass Trail

Stop At: Banff National Park, Alberta Canada
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.

You’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.
Duration: 1 day

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight at Stoney Creek Campsite, equipped with canvas tents on raised platforms, outhouses, shower and a wash stand.

Day 3: Ride to Flint's Park Campsite

Stop At: Banff National Park, Alberta Canada
After breakfast you’ll mount up in the fresh morning air and ride the 10 miles to Flint’s Park Camp, with a stop for lunch on the banks of Cascade River. This stunning camp is one of the highlights of the trip, located in the fertile valley bottom with an open, grassy ridge providing sweeping views of the awe-inspiring Rocky Mountains.

Flint’s Park Camp was one of the original outpost areas used by the wardens as a base for patrolling in the early days of the park. Due to the wide-open terrain, it’s likely you’ll spot some wild creatures wandering around. It is located within the Bison Free Range Zone, a totally unspoiled region where herds of Bison have been reintroduced for the first time in 140 years.

There’s no cellphone reception way out here, which is a blessing. It’s so rejuvenating to escape from the constant pinging of notifications and the pressure of your to-do list and just sit quietly in nature. At night, take a moment to look up and notice how many more glittering stars you can see out here far from the city lights. Then, curl up in your warm tent and enjoy the blissful quiet of the forest.
Duration: 1 day

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight at Flint's Park Campsite, equipped with canvas tents on raised platforms, outhouses, shower and a wash stand.

Day 4: Explore the area near Flint's Park Campsite

Stop At: Banff National Park, Alberta Canada
Whether you are a hiker or photographer this area has a lot to offer. You could ride along the valley bottom amidst the wildflowers, birds and butterflies or climb high above the treeline – no matter which direction you ride in you will be surrounded by some of the most incredible scenery in Canada.

This camp is the jumping off point for many different rides into the backcountry, each more spectacular than the last. Your guide will create a customized ride for your group, tailored to your interests and experience. This ensures that your adventure is a bespoke, VIP experience that is just right for you. At the end of the day you’ll return to the familiar camp to relax and chat around the campfire once more.
Duration: 1 day

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight at Flint's Park Campsite, equipped with canvas tents on raised platforms, outhouses, shower and a wash stand.

Day 5: Ride to Mystic Valley Camp

Stop At: Banff National Park, Alberta Canada
On the last morning at Flint’s Camp it’s time to say goodbye to this stunning campsite but the trip is far from over! Once saddled up, the ride from Flints Park to Mystic Valley is a highlight of the trip and can include Rainbow Lake, the stunning 40 Mile Pass, Vermillion Range which runs to the east and Sawback to the west. Before we set off, guests have the opportunity to observe the historic art of horse packing, using the famous diamond hitch. When everything is securely in place, we ride to Mystic Valley for the final night. Along the way, you’ll stop for a lakeside lunch enjoying the tranquil beauty of Rainbow Lake.

It is traditional to have a real western dinner to celebrate the last night at the camp. Time to kick your cowboy boot heels and have a wind-up get-together.
Duration: 1 day

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight at Mystic Valley Camp, equipped with canvas tents on raised platforms, outhouses, shower and a wash stand.

Day 6: Return to Warner Stables

Stop At: Banff National Park, Alberta Canada
Arise early and say goodbye to your pristine backcountry surroundings - it’s time to head back into Banff and rejoin civilisation. Most of the 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 for the mount up for the leisurely 9 mile ride along 40 Mile Creek, with a lunch stop along the way. This scenic ride is the perfect time to reflect on everything you have experienced in the last 6 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 6 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 5pm, where you’ll say goodbye to the new friends with whom you shared this unforgettable adventure into the wild.
Duration: 17 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
No accommodation included on this day.
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Important Information
Departure Point
Warner Stables - Banff Trail Riders, 100 Sundance Rd, Banff, AB T1L 1B9, Canada
Departure Time
8:30 AM
Duration
6 days
Return Details
Returns to original departure point
Inclusions
  • 5x Breakfast
  • 5x Dinner
  • 6x Lunch
  • Accommodation included: 5 nights
  • 5 nights of tent accommodation
  • Professional guide
  • Helmets (mandatory for riders under 18 years)
Exclusions
  • Alcoholic drinks (available to purchase)
  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Transportation to/from attractions
  • National Park Entry Fee
  • Entry/Admission - Banff National Park
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Additional Info
  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Minimum age is 9 years. Please note that children will not be paired with an adult – they must ride their own horse.
  • Maximum weight is 230lbs. Banff Trail Riders is committed to the health of our horses and the safety of our guests, which means that the minimum age and maximum weight requirements are strictly enforced. As part of the check-in process, guests may be required to confirm their 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.
  • Adult pricing applies to all riders.
  • For safety purposes helmets are mandatory to be worn by all backcountry riders under 18 years of age.
  • Children aged 15 years and under must have someone 18 years and older with them.
  • Adults must sign a waiver for all activities, and a waiver must also be completed by the parent or legal guardian of any person under the age of 18 (documentation may be required to confirm the signatory’s authority).
  • Minimum drinking age is 18 years.
  • Please advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking.
  • Not recommended for participants with back problems.
  • Not recommended for pregnant women.
  • Not wheelchair accessible.
  • Please dress appropriately as stated on your voucher.
  • Limited electricity, no WiFi or cell service.
  • All passenger heights, weights, ages, dietary requirements and riding abilities must be advised at time of booking.
  • An understanding of basic English is required so that you can understand simple instructions from the guides.
  • 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.
  • Near public transportation
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 6 travelers
Cancellation Policy
If you cancel at least 31 days in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee. If you cancel within 30 days of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.
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Popular mentions
Four of us did the six day trip this summer with our guide, Sarah. The experience was truly amazing; breathtaking views, bear and elk, newly found waterfalls. The food was incredibly good and plentiful (Mary and Grace are the Julia Child of the Rockies!). The wranglers (Dustin
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Response from BanffHorseback, Manager at 6-Day Cascade Valley Backcountry Tent Trip by Horseback
Responded 28 Nov 2018
I really appreciate your review. It is a special place in the backcountry. I will make sure to pass on your kind words to the staff.
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After an awesome 6 day Halfway Lodge trip last summer, I returned this summer with my daughter for the 6 day tent trip with Sarah as our wonderful guide again. She is so knowledgeable about the trails and area that we were in, awesome with the horses, and so much fun to spend
Read more
Response from BanffHorseback, Manager at 6-Day Cascade Valley Backcountry Tent Trip by Horseback
Responded 1 Oct 2018
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your comments with us. I will be sure to pass on your kind words to the team.
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Such fun was had last year on the 6 day lodge trip, that a group of us returned to experience tent side with Sarah as our guide. This was her second year of guiding so she is very knowledgeable about the area, horses and how to make her guests feel comfortable. There were five
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Sarah, Grace, Mary and Dustin (and the horses Shiloh, Noble, and Harley) helped shape incredible memories for my almost 13 year old daughter's special trip. Sarah, our kiwi guide told story after story about the park, Banff Trail Riders, her own experiences and made both my
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Response from BanffHorseback, Manager at 6-Day Cascade Valley Backcountry Tent Trip by Horseback
Responded 31 Jul 2018
I appreciate you taking the time to write this review Jennifer. I will be sure to pass on your feedback to all the staff.
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We had a great trip with some lovely horses (Pistol & Hershey), and had a fantastic guide Dustin, who was very knowledgeable and even lent some fleeces when it got cold! Would recommend this trip, you'll get to eat an insane amount of amazing food, chill out by a camp fire and
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Response from BanffHorseback, Manager at 6-Day Cascade Valley Backcountry Tent Trip by Horseback
Responded 31 Jul 2018
Its my favourite ride we offer. Thank you for your comments. We hope to see you out on the trails again.
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