Tombstone Pass Ride

Alberta Canada: (RTAB18-T)

Alberta Canada
Explore some of the most remote parts of the Kananaskis mountain range.

Over 5 days we’ll move with packhorses and occupy 3 camps in 3 different mountain valleys, separated by Tombstone Pass. Because we’re traveling with packhorses and very little of the trail is suitable for speed, most of this trip is done at a walk with the occasional trot.

We’ll cover roughly 100 kms in the Elbow, Sheep and Little Elbow valleys of Kananaskis Country. This is a great ride to combine with the Kananaskis Country Explorer.



This is a pack trip so nights will be spent at different campsites.

The first and last night of the trip will be spent at the ranch, and the remaining 4 nights will be spent camping in different campsites.

Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes
Night 1: Ranch
Night 2: Elbow River Camp
Night 3: Camp near Rae Creek
Night 4-5: Little Elbow River Camp
Night 6: 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 or cell service 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. There is a telephone in the guest house that can be used for local calls or long distance if you bring a calling card.
Laundry is available for an additional fee at certain times of the day.

On the trail we stay in simple but comfortable camps, their locations are well chosen within the given geography. We will be utilizing 3 different campsites.
Some campsites are primitive camps where you can sleep under the stars in a cozy lean-to. Tents, sleeping bags and mats are provided.
We always camp within easy walking distance of a clear stream or river where you can swim or wash yourself. Bathroom facilities are pit latrines dug in each camp a short walk from the tenting area. They aren’t quite out-houses (only tarps for walls), but they have toilet seats. There is no electricity in camp, we recommend power bars or solar chargers.

Please, note that due to COVID-19, four tent posts might have to be replaced by smaller individual tents.

Room Occupancy
The single supplement fee will be waived if you are willing to share. Note there are only 2 single rooms available at the ranch.
Note we don't normally offer private tents unless people want to bring their own. Space on the packhorses is limited.

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

At the Lodge: Full breakfast and dinner, prepared with local and fresh ingredients. Breakfast is typically served around 8.30 AM, dinner around 6.30 PM.
In camp: all meals are cooked over an open campfire and prepared with fresh ingredients. The menu changes daily. The menu changes daily and offers typical local dishes but also internationally inspired cuisine. Ingredients include locally raised organic beef and pork, fresh vegetables and fruits. Breakfast is typically hot and dinner is typically a main course with a salad and dessert. Lunch is picnic-style with sandwiches or wraps, fruit and granola bars.

Coffee, teas, water, juice for breakfast, and hot chocolate are complimentary while you stay with us. 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 Experience
This vacation is for riders with intermediate to advanced experience and a keen sense of adventure. 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. The guests are expected to help in tending to the horses and other camp duties.

Mostly walk on easy to rugged trails. Some trail sections are very technical and require good balance and full control over the horse. Rides range from 4 to 8 hours/day.

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.

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.

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.


Sample Itinerary - subject to changes

The itinerary 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 (Sunday): Arrival
We will arrange pick-up from Calgary in the afternoon, either from the international airport or a hotel. The exact pick-up time will be coordinated with you directly, but typically we don’t schedule pick-ups before 4:00pm. After approximately a 1-hour drive, you will be dropped off at the Ranch where we have a welcome meet & greet BBQ with all guests and the staff to give you and us the chance to get to know each other a bit, ask questions, and – most importantly – go over the plan for the next days, including weather forecast and reminders of what you need to bring. We will talk to you about your riding skills and preferences and dislikes in a horse so we can select a good match for you to ride over the next days. You will then be issued a sturdy duffel bag, sleeping bag, and mattress. After you check into your room, you will have time to pack and prepare for the trip and socialize with the other guests.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at the Ranch

Day 2 (Monday): Elbow Valley Ride
After breakfast, it’s time to meet “your” horse! While grooming and saddling, you will get the chance to acquaint yourself with your new friend.
Then we trailer to the Elbow Valley and ride into our Elbow Camp.
When arriving in camp, we take care of the horses, groom and feed them and then have time to rest ourselves with a good cup of cowboy coffee or tea. The camp is located near a small river that is refreshing on a hot day – for those who like to take a splash! Dinner is made over an open fire.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight camping at Elbow Camp

Day 3 (Tuesday): Elbow Valley to Rae Creek
We will break camp after breakfast and load up the packhorses and ride up the Elbow River and over a pass to Rae Creek, where we’ll make a hasty camp for the night.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight camping near Rae Creek

Day 4 (Wednesday): Rae Creek to Little Elbow River
After breakfast, we pack up again, and ride over Tombstone Pass to our camp on the Little Elbow River.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight camping near Little Elbow River

Day 5 (Thursday): Opal Mountains Ride
Today, we will explore the majestic Opal Range of mountains.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight camping near Little Elbow River

Day 6 (Friday): Ride Back
This morning, we will pack up for the last time and head to a pickup point where the trucks and trailers await.
Return to the ranch for supper and a cozy night’s sleep
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the Ranch

Day 7 (Saturday): Departure
After breakfast, it’s time to say goodbye. The shuttle will pick you up around 9.30am to take you back to Calgary. With you will be the memories of an unforgettable adventure in Kananaskis Country.
Meals included: Breakfast

Note: 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. A reasonable level of personal fitness is required.

Rates and Dates for Tombstone Pass Ride

Rates include:

Accommodations, All meals, 5 riding days & Transfers
All camping gear, sleeping bags, mats, and duffels provided. Oil-slicker cost $5 per day per person.

Packages and Options

  • SeasonYearDescriptionCan$ ~US$
    20247 day tripCan$3475$2780
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 0.8

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:

2024 Transfer from/to Calgary Airport at 4 pm included Can$ 0 $0
2024 Special diet (gluten-free or dairy-free) supplement Can$ 70 $55
2024 Single supplement (requested) Can$ 100 $80

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2024 07/21 - 07/27 7d / 6n 7 day trip 3 /8 Sold Out
A 2024 09/08 - 09/14 7d / 6n 7 day trip 3 /8 Sold Out

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Alcoholic drinks, Special diet request, Taxes & Gratuities

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

                                            Bragg Creek area














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Source: NOAA

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 your personal gear will have to go into this duffle bag including mat and sleeping bag.
The duffel bags are waterproof (length is 30”). Maximum weight allowed in the duffel bag is 11kg or 25lbs and that would include sleeping bag and thermarest mattress provided.

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) 
- 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)
- Reusable water bottle 750-1000 ml- plastic or steel only- (no glass)
- Sleeping bag rated to at least -5 degrees Celsius or warmer (you can borrow one from us at no extra charge)
- Therm-a-rest / sleeping pad (you can borrow one from us at no extra charge)

* If you have any medical condition like allergies, or are on medication, please tell your guide.

Available to borrow (no extra charge)
- Rainwear (oil-skin slicker)
- Riding Helmet

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.