Great Divide Ride

Alberta Canada: (RTAB18-BC)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/ab_kananaskis_great_divide.aspx

Introduction
Alberta Canada
Explore the beautiful mountains of Alberta and British Columbia!

The "Great Divide Ride” is designed for keen riders who want to experience the incredible wilderness of both Alberta and BC. You will have the ability to ride in the midst of the Rockies, in the gorgeous Kananaskis Country of Alberta and then explore Nipika Mountain Resort in BC.
Over the duration of the trek, you will learn about wilderness horsemanship, the different types of nature in Alberta and BC and a myriad of other skills.

Accomodation


Accommodations

This is a progressive ride, so nights will be spent in various locations.

Description
Most nights will be spent at the ranch, and 2 nights will be spent at the Nipika Mountain Resort, in British Columbia.

Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes
Night 1 to 4: Ranch
Night 5 & 6: Nipika Mountain Resort
Night 7: Ranch



Ranch

The ranch lies in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, 13km south of the picturesque hamlet of Bragg Creek and roughly 60 kilometers southwest of Calgary - a wilderness area stretching to the Continental Divide! Landscape changes from one of rolling ridges and open forests to one of high alpine meadows, thick primal forests, and shear limestone cliffs.
The heart of the guest quarters is a large, bright communal space where we socialize, eat, cook, listen to stories or just enjoy the view over the horse pasture.
The guesthouse has 5 rooms (2 single rooms with one double bed, and 3 rooms with king bed, two twins, or two double beds). There are 2 full bathrooms, which are shared amongst all guests. We provide all bed linen and towels, but please bring your own soap and shampoo. There is a hairdryer in each bathroom.
We have an outdoor fireplace with picnic area. Smoking is prohibited anywhere on the property except for around the outdoor fire pit. There is no TV in the guest house, but there is complimentary WIFI. You are welcome use the i-pod docking station, boards games, and a large selection of books and magazines available.
Laundry is available for an additional fee at certain times of the day.

Nipika Mountain Resort
For two nights, we will stay in cozy cabins at the scenic Nipika Mountain resort in British Columbia. Here, you will enjoy stunning views of Kootenay National Park! This is an eco-resort which makes use of the natural resources around the lodge in order to reduce its impact on the environment. Each of the cabin has been hand built using log from the local forest and they all come equipped with a fireplace, a patio and a full kitchen. Number of rooms and bathroom vary from unit to unit.

Room Occupancy
The single supplement fee is mandatory if you are not willing to share.



Meals
All meals are included from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on the last day.

At the Ranch: Full breakfast and dinner, prepared with local and fresh ingredients. Breakfast is typically served around 8.30 AM, dinner around 6.30 PM.

Please note that we do not serve alcohol, but feel free to bring your own as well as any other favourite drink you like.

Dietary Restrictions
We cater to most dietary restrictions with prior notice. Gluten-free requests are $10 extra per day.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding


Riding Experience
This vacation is for riders with intermediate or better experience and a keen sense for adventures. The horses have been chosen for their endurance, spirit, and sure-footedness in the mountains. Since the pack train uses different trails we will often canter where the trail is suitable. This is why it is important you are well balanced and comfortable at trots and canters! Over the duration of the trek you will learn the basics of horse packing, wilderness horsemanship, low impact horse camping and a myriad of other skills to fully enjoy horse trekking.
There are some trails we use where it is necessary to hike over rocky terrain, either to avoid undue risk or to enjoy a vista that cannot be ridden to. For most people this is a refreshing change that allows them to stretch their legs. We recommend that you bring or wear comfortable footwear that you can hike for a kilometer or two in.

Horses
The horses have been chosen for their endurance, spirit, and reliability in the mountains. Our horses are trained western style (neck-reining), but most English trained riders adapt very quickly to this style of riding with a bit of instruction and advice! The guests are expected to help in tending to the horses and other camp duties. Most horses will be fitted with western style saddles but those with a distinct preference for English riding may be accommodated.

Guides
Interesting and entertaining guides share their knowledge of the different areas we visit. You can learn about horsemanship, back-country navigation, survival skills, and living in nature.
 Depending on the group size you will have one or two backcountry guides with you at all times. Wranglers lead the packhorses with your gear into camp, usually on a different, easier and less scenic route than the one the group takes. We all share the same love and pride for this country and are delighted to pass it on to our guests.

Requirements
We consider 8 to be optimal maximum group size for our back-country trips, but can handle groups as large as 10 if you are one big group who book together!
The minimum age for pack trips is 8 years old. Anyone under 15 should be a regular and enthusiastic rider and be adventurous, and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. We have  also had people in their 70's on pack trips, but again, they were fit, in good health, and rode regularly prior to their holiday. We ask that you judge yourself (and your children) honestly in this regard, as we will take your word for it and plan the trip accordingly. 
The maximum weight for riders is 220 lbs. Exceptions may be made for very experienced/athletic riders!
For all age groups: It is important that you feel fit and healthy before going on the trail. We are traveling in the wilderness, and medical services (beyond first aid) will not be readily available.

Itinerary


Sample Itinerary - subject to changes

Note: The itinerary below is an outline of what to expect, rather than a fixed agenda. We may have to alter the plan if conditions like weather, bear activity or river water levels make a trail unsafe.

Day 1: Arrival
We will a pick up from Calgary around 4:00pm. Drop off at the Ranch followed by a reception and meet-and-greet.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at the Ranch


Day 2: Introductory Ride
After breakfast it’s time to meet your horse! We carefully pick a companion from our herd to match your abilities and physical size. While grooming and saddling, you get the chance to acquaint yourself with your new friend. We will do an introduction to our methods of riding in the wilderness followed by a full day ride in Kananaskis Country.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the Ranch


Day 3: Full Day Ride
We will do a full day ride in the mountains of Kananaskis Country. Route will be determined by the conditions and weather.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the Ranch


Day 4: Full Day Ride
We will do a full day ride in the mountains of Kananaskis Country. Route will be determined by the conditions and weather.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the Ranch


Day 5: Kootenay River Valley Ride
We will load the horses in the trailer and drive to Nipika Mountain Resort in British Columbia. Its a 3+ hour scenic drive through Banff and Kootenay National Parks. Upon arrival, we will go for a late afternoon ride along the beautiful Kootenay River Valley.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the Nipika Mountain Resort


Day 6: Cross River Ride
After breakfast, we go for a full day ride up the Cross River.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the Nipika Mountain Resort


Day 7: Last Ride
We will go for a 2-hour ride in morning and then load the horses for our trip home. We will arrive back at the ranch for supper.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the Ranch


Day 8: Departure
After breakfast, it’s time to say good bye. Departure for the airport at about 9:30 am.
Meals included: Breakfast


Rates and Dates for Great Divide Ride

Rates include:

Accommodations, All meals, 6 riding days & Transfers from/to Calgary
Oil-slicker cost $5 per day per person, duffle bags are provided at no additional cost.

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionCan$ ~US$
    A
    20218-day trip, APCan$2875$2245
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 0.78

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:



 DescriptionCan$~US$
2021 Transfers from to Calgary Airport included Can$ 0 $0
2021 Single supplement (requested) Can$ 280 $220
2021 Special diet (gluten-free) supplement Can$ 70 $55

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2021 10/03 - 10/10 8d / 7n 8-day trip, AP 3 /8 Reserve

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Alcoholic drinks, Special diet request, Taxes & Gratuities

Note:

Due to COVID-19 Corona virus pandemic and certain travel restrictions we are applying some temporary policy changes to some of our tours.

For Great Divide Ride (RTAB18-BC):

We share your anxiety for the summer holidays. With so much unknown we are not cancelling any trips yet, but are continuously evaluating the situation. We will make a “go/no go” decision one month before each scheduled ride.
If you are unable to come this summer but plan to reschedule your holiday for the 2021 season, we would be happy to postpone your trip.

We hope our August trips will go as scheduled, although they are still very vulnerable to border closures. Though all the scheduled July rides are cancelled, we are open to doing custom ones for groups of 4 or more.

New safety precautions include:

  • We have stopped using large group tents. People will be given single/double/triple pup tents so they don’t have to share sleeping space with people outside their own cohort.
  • For now we are only renting the lodge to people in one cohort (i.e. not mixing strangers). That will likely change in August.
  • Personal hand sanitizer bottles are now being given to all guests.
  • Hand washing will be made easier & encouraged more in camp
  • Food will be plated rather than “self-serve”
  • Since masks are required when in confined space with others, like driving in a company truck, people should bring one. Our first aid kits now have masks in case emergency treatment of someone is required. We don’t use them otherwise.
  • People who show covid symptoms are asked not to come riding. If people need to cancel on short notice due to either illness or border closures we are refunding all but 10% of payment if we get notice before the trip begins.

For more information please visit our COVID-19 Updates page at https://www.hiddentrails.com/article/covid19update.aspx

Other Info
Meeting: Bragg Creek
Airport: Calgary International Airport (YYC)
Transfer: Calgary Airport/ hotels

Climate:
                                            Bragg Creek area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

30

36

41

50

59

66

72

71

62

54

40

32

Average Low Temperature (°F)

1

7

13

23

31

38

41

40

32

24

11

4

Average High Temperature (°C)

-1

2

5

10

15

19

22

22

17

12

4

0

Average Low Temperature (°C)

-17

-14

-11

-5

-1

3

5

4

0

-5

-11

-16

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

4

4

6

7

10

10

8

8

7

5

4

3

Source: NOAA


Seasons
During the riding season of June to September, temperatures will range widely, with the hottest daytime temperatures reaching 30 C (85 F). We are riding at elevations ranging from 1400 m (4400') to well above the tree line at 2700m (8400'), so wide fluctuations in temperature can be expected. This region always cools off at night, and frequently experiences frost even in mid-summer. We always take our rain gear with us on the saddle. Even if it doesn't rain, it may be necessary to cut the wind when we're above the tree line

What To Bring:
On day 1 you will receive a Duffle bag with a warm sleeping bag and mat. All you personal gear will have to go into this duffle bag including mat and sleeping bag.

We suggest to bring
- 2 pair of jeans or riding pants
- 3 long sleeve shirts
- Fleece or sweater (fleece is lighter)
- Jacket or vest as wind breaker
- Brimmed hat (protects from rain, sun and low branches) **we have helmets to borrow should you request one
- Healed, ankle-high, water-repellant boots
- Gloves
- Toque (warm hat)
- Warm socks (1 pair per day)
- Underwear (1 set per day)
- Towel and swimsuit (optional)
- Personal hygiene items
- Comfortable camp shoes
- Warm underwear
- Camera (please not that there is no possibility to charge batteries!)
- Flashlight
- Knife
- Chaps (if available)
* If you have any medical condition like allergies, or are on medication, please tell your guide.

Available to rent for additional fee
- Rainwear (oil-skin slicker)

Weight of Gear
Because everything must be loaded on pack-horses, guests must pack their gear in 1 standard sized duffel bag, weighing no more than 25 lbs (11 kg) - not including what you wear and carry on your saddle horse.
If you have luggage that is not required for the horse trip you may leave that at the ranch

Saddle bags
Your trail horse will have 2 saddlebags tied to the saddle. One is for your personal items to carry on the trail, such as camera, sun protection, water bottle, extra layer of clothes, etc. The other bag is reserved for "group items" such as lunch or first aid kit. Your rain wear will also travel with you tied behind the saddle.