Banff Tenting Ride

Alberta Canada: (RTAB11)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/ab_banff_tenting_ride.aspx

Introduction
Alberta Canada
A true western heritage experience in the stunning Banff National Park.

Horseback riding can truly bring you closer to nature than ever, amidst the peaceful solitude and incredible beauty of the Rocky Mountain back-country! Here you will learn all about the lifestyle in the West as the cowboys will guide you through Banff National Park, the photographer's haven of the Canadian Rockies. These pack trips take fellow adventurers deep into the heart of the rugged  North American wilderness to explore some of the most spectacular landscapes.  Soak up amazing views of Stoney Creek as you trot through the wilderness, keeping an eye out for deer, elk, and moose.

The clanging of the dinner bell each night will bring all to our delicious ranch-style meals in the giant kitchen tent. The coffee is always on and kept hot on the wood stove, ready and waiting! The camps you’ll be staying in go far beyond rustic. Curl up in a heated A-frame canvas tent set on a raised wooden platform and listen to the sounds of the forest as you drift asleep. In the morning, freshen up at the wash stand (complete with hot water) and then enjoy a meal prepared for you in the giant kitchen tent. The horses, chosen especially to meet your needs and experience, will win you over with their charming personalities and amaze you with their  versatility and trail abilities. You will no doubt form a  "partnership" during your ride and come to respect your new friend immensely!  Begin from Mt. Norquay corrals - Ride over Elk Summit. Lunch at Elk Lake, Camp at Stoney Camp. Day ride from Camp to Dormer Pass. Includes 2 nights at Stoney Camp, day ride and fully catered dining through out the trip. Return to Minnewanka corral. The historic elk corral or wild goat trap should provide you with plenty of opportunities to see the abundant wildlife -  most commonly the elk, deer, bighorn sheep, goats, eagles  -  and capture them all on film! And if you are lucky, your may also get the occasional bear or timber wolf sighting! The riding is casual, with plenty of breaks and leisurely picnic lunches. Lunch breaks also lend you time for some exploring on foot, fishing and even a well deserved snooze in the tall grass!

We are also pleased to offer a number of exciting and educational interpretive trips each summer featuring leading authorities on wildlife, photography, mule-manship, the Banff National Park!

Accomodation


Accommodations

This is a pack trip and both nights will be spent at one campsite.

Description
Each camp is set up with heated A-frame heated canvas tents on raised wooden platforms with padded cots (no need to being your own mattresses). Large cozy kitchen tents  provide a place for meals and socializing. Rail corrals keep the horses contained and happy.  Simple luxuries abound such as wash stands and hot water, and even heated tarp tent showers, make for cozy accommodations. Rivers flow nearby for the fishermen or brave swimmers. We have a generator at all camps in case you need to charge phones/ batteries.
- Campsite is surrounded by an electric fence that keeps curious critters out
- Outhouses, which are meticulously cleaned, can be found at every camp
- Crystal clear water is supplied by nearby glacial streams, which is then filtered for drinking
- Kick up your feet next to the community fire pit and swap tales about the day’s ride



Mystic Valley Camp
This place is true to its name. The branches of old growth pine and spruce trees are draped in thick moss, giving the place a mystical – almost eerie – ambience. It’s set along the banks of 40 Mile Creek, which leads back towards Banff.

Room Occupancy
The single supplement fee applies if we are unable to find another rider to share.
Triple occupancy is not possible for this trip.


Meals
All meals from lunch on Day 1 to lunch on the last day are included in the trip.

Camps are fully catered and include live-in cooks, who all love to show off their backcountry culinary skills. They will cook up a feast of hearty, homemade cowboy cuisine for you. Coffee is always on and kept hot on the wood stove. Gather inside the big kitchen tent to dine on succulent steak or chicken.

Limited wine and beer is available for purchase.

Dietary Restrictions
Although we can cater to some specialty diets, we do not cater specifically to vegetarian diets.  There are always plenty of meat-free options available. However we do not offer a “vegetarian” main course. 

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding


Riding Experience
With about 300 horses in our stables, we’re able to pinpoint the absolute perfect horse for any rider. That means if you’ve never been riding before, we’ll be sure to pair you with the most mild-mannered horse available so you can enjoy the experience. Both beginners and experienced riders are welcome to enjoy the beauty of the trails!
You will learn to “trust your horse” as these sure-footed beasts carry you safely down even the most difficult backcountry trails. Our horses are steady, responsive and can be counted on to cross any terrain, from forest paths to boulder-strewn creeks. One of the aspects of our tours that past guests rave about is the deep connection that they form with their hooved companions. At the end of the trip, you will have a new four-legged best friend.
You don't need to assist with tacking up the horse, your guide will do everything for you. If you would like to learn, please ask! Tack is western only and the horses are neck reigned.

Pace
Each of the trips includes approx. 4 - 6 hours of riding each day. We ride for approx. 2 ½ to 3 hours in the morning, stop for lunch on the trail and ride another 2 ½ to 3 hours in the afternoon. The rides are all done at a walk in order to take full advantage of the scenery and wildlife viewing and due to the rugged mountain terrain of the region!

For every 6 riders we’ll have 1 guide. 

July is generally the busiest month, with the Stampede in Calgary.

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary 2020 - subject to changes

Day 1: Backcountry ride to Mystic Valley Camp
The adventure begins at Warner Stables at 8:30am (please do not arrive any earlier than 8:30am). There is free parking at the stables and it is fine to leave your vehicle for the duration of the tour. We will hand out the slickers and saddlebags 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, your “duffel” will be waiting for you so that you can grab it and settle into your tent.
Once you are all checked in, we will take you by van to the very fringe of the front country, the trailhead corral at Mount Norquay, to meet your friendly guide and the trusty horse we have specially chosen for you. Then you will mount up for the ride to Mystic Valley Camp where you will spend the night. Along the way, there will be a stop for lunch along 40 Mile Creek. It is only day one and you are already more deeply immersed in the backcountry than most Banff visitors will ever get.
Life at camp is simple, yet comfortable. 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 is 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.
Riding approx. 9 miles
Meals included: Lunch & Dinner
Overnight in tents at Mystic Valley Camp


Day 2: Day Ride into the Backcountry
After a hearty ranch style breakfast, mount up for a stunning day ride to Mystic Pass or Mystic Lake. You will spend another full day of the trail and a cowboy trail lunch will be served along the way at one of these spectacular vistas, so you can sit and enjoy while admiring the mountain views.
There is no feeling quite like being deep in the Canadian wilderness like this. No matter which direction you headed in, you could wander for miles in pristine, unspoiled wilderness without seeing another building, person or trace of human civilization. It gives you a sense of the immense scale and power of nature in the Rocky Mountains.
After a full day of exploring, you will arrive back at Mystic Valley Camp to settle back into your comfortable, familiar heated tent for the night – after another tasty camp dinner.
Riding approx. 12 miles
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight in tents at Mystic Valley Camp


Day 3: Return to Warner Stables
Arise early and say goodbye to your pristine backcountry surroundings – it is time to head back into Banff and rejoin civilization. Most of our guests are reluctant to leave the isolated, tranquil beauty of this off-the-beaten-track spot.
Unfortunately, every adventure has to come to an end. We will top off this trip with a leisurely 9-mile ride along 40 Mile Creek back to the Mt Norquay Corral, stopping for lunch along the way.
It is time to say goodbye to your guide, your new friends and your horse.
You will have plenty of wild Banff backcountry stories to tell and you will have earned the bragging rights to say that you spent 3 days deep in the Canadian Rockies. The shuttle will be waiting to take you back to Warner Stables for approximately 5pm. Here you will say goodbye to the new friends with whom you shared this unforgettable adventure into the wild.
Riding approx. 9 miles
Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch


Rates and Dates for Banff Tenting Ride

Rates include:

Overnights in camp, all meals from lunch on Day 1 to lunch on last day, 3 riding days

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionCan$ ~US$
    A
    20193 day wilderness tenting trip, APCan$1020$865
    • Single supplementCan$120$100
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 0.85

GST (VAT): 6% (12% for Canadian Resident) * prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy
    GST (VAT) 6% (12% for Canadian Resident)

Transfer and Other Charges:



 Description
2019 Meet at the stables for 8:30am on Day 1

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Travel/medical insurance (mandatory), gratuities, sleeping bag and mat, saddle bag (can request saddle bag ahead of time and it will be supplied free of charge).

Other Info
Meeting: Stables in Banff for 8:30am
Airport: Calgary International Airport (YYC)
Transfer: --

Climate:
                                                Banff area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

23

32

40

49

58

65

73

72

62

50

33

23

Average Low Temperature (°F)

6

11

18

27

34

41

45

44

36

29

17

7

Average High Temperature (°C)

-5

0

4

9

15

18

23

22

17

10

1

-5

Average Low Temperature (°C)

-15

-12

-8

-3

1

5

7

6

2

-2

-8

-14

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

5

4

5

6

7

9

8

8

7

5

4

4

Source: NOAA


Seasons
It is no coincidence that visitor activities available in Banff National Park are as varied as the park's climate. A year in Banff National Park would give a visitor a taste of everything in terms of weather and recreation. The summer sees sunny, warm days for such things as horseback riding, hiking, biking, camping, and climbing. The winter brings crisp, snowy days for tracking, skating, and alpine and nordic skiing.
The relative dryness of the air in Banff, however, makes even extreme temperatures more bearable.

Likely the most reliable characteristic of the weather in Banff National Park is its variability. The weather at one point in the park may be quite different from that of other points relatively near by. At one specific location the weather can vary considerably from year to year, and from day to day, so be prepared!
Even if it is warm and sunny, always take rain gear and a sweater. You might need them by the time you reach your destination.

The weather can also change dramatically throughout the day. The dryness of the air causes temperatures to vary considerably from night to day. The temperature on a summer night can drop to a few degrees above freezing even if daytime temperatures climbed into the upper twenties (80's F).
Vacationing in such a variable climate means thinking ahead and having a sense of adventure!

What To Bring:
Below is a list of items you NEED to bring with you. We have had many years of personal experience dealing with Mother Nature up here, so please take our list to heart.

Average Temperatures

 Month/ High/ Low
June 19C / 66F 5C / 41F
July 22C / 71F 7C / 45F
August 22C / 70F 7C / 44F
September 16C / 60F 3C / 38F

These are average temperatures at an elevation of 4,538 feet. Temperatures will drop at higher elevations.

When packing your gear, keep in mind it is being packed out on a mule and our animal’s comfort is very important to us. By following these guidelines you can help us ensure that we’re taking care of all our animals.

What to pack your gear into
You must pack your gear in soft-sided, cloth or nylon bag. It can not have any hard edges, frames or wheels. Your gear is restricted to a total maximum weight of 30 lbs (sleeping bag and your luggage). If you do not have a water-resistant bag, it is a good idea to line the inside with garbage bags in the event of rain. You may pack your sleeping bag separately from your other gear. Saddlebags, rain gear and other essentials that you will need during the day (camera, sunscreen, bug spray, lip balm, extra sweater, water bottle, etc) that you are taking on your horse with you are not included in the 30lb weight restriction.

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).

The length of your trip will alter what you need to bring. This list is ideal for a 6 day trip.

Essential Items
1. Bags/luggage – Waterproof bags are the best option. Drysacks, favoured by canoers, or a gym bag lined with garbage bags work well.
2. A warm sleeping bag — We recommend a bag rated to -15 degrees Celsius or 5 degrees Fahrenheit. You may not need it, but it sure comes in handy if you do. A favourite  cowboy trick for extra warmth is to tuck a flannel sheet or non-bulky blanket inside your sleeping bag.
3. A warm coat — Essential to ward off chilly nights or a windy day. Also bring a heavy sweater (wool is a great insulator) or fleece jacket.
4. Rain gear — A rain coat and rain pants, and if possible, coverings for your boots and hat. Please DO NOT bring rain ponchos, they flap in the wind and can scare the horses. If you have one, we recommend a slicker. We have a limited supply of full-length slickers (traditional cowboy rain coat) available. These are available for pick up upon check in based on a first come first served basis. Clothing that is easily layered works the best. You can always remove what you don’t need, but you still have it just in case. Also, bring your most comfortable gear — this is not the time to break-in new boots or a new hat.
5. Shirts – long sleeve and t-shirts to your preference and length of trip.
6. Jeans – a cowboy classic. Also important is a pair of long underwear for chilly nights.
7. Riding boots — A boot with a heel that can easily slip in and out of stirrups. Alternatives would be a narrow style of hiking boot or solid sneaker. For safety reasons, clunky hiking boots are not recommended. Water (rain) resistant boots are recommended.
 — or an extra pair of shoes for wearing around camp, an extra pair of DRY socks is also recommended.
9. Toiletries — towel, facecloth, biodegradable shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, disposable razors, etc. Please note that we do not have any electricity at the camps. WE SUPPLY TOILET PAPER AND HAND SOAP AT ALL CAMPS.
10. Hat — A cowboy hat offers the most protection from the elements. Baseball caps or canvas-type hats are also fine. Please ensure that your hat fits snug or ties on and will not blow off in the wind. Chin straps are recommended. If you prefer to wear a riding helmet, we have them available upon check in on a first come first served basis.
11. Gloves — Lined leather or suede gloves provide protection from the elements and a sure grip on the reins (bring two pair just in case one gets wet).
12. Scarf — A silk or cotton scarf is recommended for extra warmth.
13. Sunscreen— sunglasses and mosquito repellent.
14. Your camera – extra batteries.
15. Flashlight — Remember to check your batteries!
16. Liquor – Our camps are licensed and offer a small selection of beer and wine for sale
17. Cellular phones do not work in the areas you’ll be riding in so leave them somewhere safe. If you will be using the camera on your phone, please note there is no charging station in the backcountry.
18. Water bottle – for refreshment while you are riding. You will be able to refill your water bottle at each camp.
19. Saddlebags – You are welcome to bring your own; We do have saddlebags available at check in. Please fill them with only those essential items that you would need during the day, such as lip balm, your camera, sunscreen, etc. We reserve the right to limit the amount of gear in the saddlebags for weight. Daypacks, backpacks or other bags are NOT allowed — they are hard on your back and hard on the horse’s back, and do not tie properly to the saddle.
20. Cash – you may want to bring some cash to purchase liquor or leave a gratuity for your cooks. You can also use credit cards to purchase liquor.

How To Make Bed Roll
Lay out your canvas tarp on the ground. Lay your thermos in the middle of the tarp with the air valve pointing to the top of the bedroll (open the valve so that the air will escape as you roll). Line your sleeping bag with a flannel sheet or extra blanket. Place your closed sleeping bag in the middle of the tarp, on top of the thermos. Put a pillowcase in the middle of your sleeping bag. (Once you are ready for bed, you can use your warm coat inside the pillowcase as a pillow). Fold one side flap of the tarp over the sleeping bag. Fold in the other side of the tarp over the sleeping bag. Fold the bottom flap over and start rolling towards the top of the sleeping bag. Once you are near the head of the sleeping bag, reach in and close the valve on your thermos pad. Fold in the top flap of canvas tarp and finish rolling. Using a rope with a slipknot, tie the bedroll securely.

Equipment Rental
Equipment Rental email Bactrax/Snowtips at http://www.snowtips-bactrax.com/, for information regarding sleeping bags/liners, luggage bags etc. Located at 225 Bear Street, Snowtips offers a convenient rental service. They are open from 8am until 8pm, and would love to receive your inquiries. If you would prefer to contact them by telephone, they can be reached at (403) 762-8177.