Ride through Alberta’s Wild West, tracing the paths that the early pioneers used while exploring these untamed forests. On this trip you will follow the Erling Strom Trail, a path forged through the dense Banff forests by renowned explorer Erling Strom in the early 1900s. Amidst dense fragrant pines and snow-crested mountains that pierce the sky, you’ll get to experience the wild side of Banff that not many visitors get to see. With a backcountry expert to guide you, this horseback experience is a chance to learn about the history of early exploration in the region and stay in comfortable lodges where you can reconnect with friends by the fire. With four days to wander and discover Canada’s oldest national park, there's plenty of time to relax into the slow pace and peaceful quiet of life on the trail. Please note that this trip departs on Wednesdays from late June to early September.
On this adventure you’ll spend two nights at Sundance Lodge - a wonderfully luxurious backcountry haven - and one night at rustic Halfway Lodge. Your days will be spent exploring on horseback and your evenings relaxing in the cosy lodges, sharing delicious hearty meals and great conversation with your fellow riders. Day 1: Backcountry Ride to Sundance LodgeWe’ll begin our journey at 9:30am at Warner Stables at the backcountry check-in area of the large barn. (You can park your vehicle here for free during the trip.) We’ll hand out your slickers and saddle bags and introduce you to the horse that we have specifically picked just for you. Things happen on “Western Time” here so we may not leave right on the dot and you’ll have time to get to know your horse and ask any questions.Saddled up and ready to ride, we’ll hit the trail for the ten mile journey to Sundance Lodge. Along the way we’ll stop for a simple, hearty cowboy-style hot lunch on the banks of the river. We’ll arrive at Sundance Lodge late afternoon, where your lodge host will greet you. There are no sleeping bags or camp stoves here, you will be sipping from wine glasses, dining on food prepared by a skilled chef in a professional kitchen and sleeping on a soft bed. Set against the craggy peaks of the Sundance Range on a gentle curve of Brewster Creek, Sundance Lodge is a 10 room log cabin that will welcome you with backcountry charm, satisfying meals and warm showers.Day 2: Ride the Erling Strom Trail to Halfway LodgeThe adventure continues as you journey 9 miles southward to Halfway Lodge. You’ll be following in the footsteps that the early explorers of the Canadian Rockies took nearly a century ago. We’ll stop along the way for a picnic in the fresh air of an open mountain meadow.Tonight we’ll stay at Halfway Lodge. This lodge was constructed by Erling Strom in the 1920s and with propane lanterns and candles providing lighting and a woodstove providing warmth, it hasn’t changed much in the last 80 years.Day 3: Follow Brewster Creek back to Sundance LodgeYour guide will lead you through the backcountry on a scenic and exciting trail, criss-crossing the valley in the historic footsteps of the early pioneers and stopping for lunch along the way. You’ll arrive back at Sundance Lodge again, a luxurious retreat you will have fallen deeply in love with.Day 4: Return to Warner StablesYour guide will lead you through the backcountry along winding river trails and through the thick pine forests, with the jagged peaks of the Rockies always standing proudly on the horizon. You’ll stop along the banks of Healy Creek for a lunch of fresh sandwiches, baked goods and fruit. You’ll take the gentle 9 mile ride from Sundance back to Warner Stables, arriving at around 4:30pm.