Riders in the river with a spectacular mountainous backdrop

Pack trip in the Kananaskis

Embark on a real horseback adventure and uncover the beauty of the Rockies, experiencing Canada like never before. Ride on horseback across the Kananaski country, covering between 170 and 200 km of rugged mountain trails. As you ride deeper into the mountains, you will be awe of the increasingly impressive landscapes as you explore the beautiful lakes that invite for a refreshing swim. Each night, reconnect with nature and camp out under the stars for an authentic cowboy experience. This trail is designed for experienced riders with a keen sense of adventure, looking to venture out of the beaten track.
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Pack Trip
11 days (8 days riding)
From £2,270
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Itinerary

Highlights

- Discover the breathtaking views of the Rockies in the beautiful season of summer
- Embark on an authentic cowboy experience in the heart of the wilderness
- Ride across 200km of Kananaski country as you uncover the beauty of this spectacular place
- Learn the basics of horse packing, horsemanship in the wild, sustainable horse camping and other skills useful for a pack trip adventure!
  • Day 1 1 : EUROPE - CALGARY - BRAGG CREEK

    Kananaskis Ranch
    Fly from Europe to Calgary. Flights are not included but can be booked upon request - please contact us.

    Our guide will welcome you at the airport at 4:00 pm and transfer you to the ranch (approximately 1 hour drive). You will have a little time to relax before meeting the team and your fellow riders. Enjoy your first night at the ranch with a delicious welcome BBQ where you will discuss the plan for the week ahead. The itinerary below is an outline of what to expect, rather than a fixed agenda, as bear activity and water levels may cause some disruption!
  • Day 2 2 : THE ROCKIES - 4 to 5 hours riding

    After a hearty Canadian breakfast, it is time to meet your horse that has been carefully chosen by your guide. You will get the chance to acquaint yourself with your new friend with a short ride in the arena before packing your lunch, and leaving the ranch for your first experience of the Kananaski country on horseback. As you ride at the foot of the Rockies, you will get your first glimpse of the spectacular landscapes that surround you. You will reach camp at the end of the day in time for a good cup of cowboy coffee and a splash in a river to cool down from your first day in the saddle. You will look after the horses and help feed them before getting some rest – perhaps go for a splash in the small river! Overnight at camp, with an evening spent around an open fire.
  • Day 3 3 : IN THE HEART OF THE MOUNTAINS - 7 hours riding

    Start your day with a delicious cowboy breakfast to prepare you for your biggest day in the saddle. Embark on a breathtaking ride across the mountainous slopes of the region and enjoy the magnificent panoramas of the Kananaskis valley. As you ride deeper into the valley, admire the spectacular views from the saddle- a picture perfect setting where you will set up camp for the night. Enjoy dinner under the stars before a good night’s sleep and well deserved rest after a long day on horseback.

    IMPORTANT: This ride is particularly subject to weather conditions, and this itinerary can be modified due to bad weather conditions.
  • Day 4 4 : CANADIAN FORESTS AND LAKES - 4 hours riding

    This morning, you set off on horseback and discover the superb surrounding landscapes, where you will ride across the magnificent mountains, forest, lakes and rivers of the Rocky Mountains. From horseback, discover the different wildlife that inhabits these areas as you observe an amazing array of biodiversity. Uncover the hidden beauty of the Rocky Mountains as you explore this impressive setting. Return back to camp where you will stay for the next two nights, and enjoy an afternoon of relaxation under the Canadian sun.
  • Day 5 5 : KANANASKIS VALLEY - 7 hours riding

    Get back in the saddle for another long day on horseback. Today’s trail ride will take you through the forests and meadows of one of the most beautiful valleys of the Rockies. Where the terrain allows it, pick up the pace and gallop across this beautiful open space and explore every corner of this magnificent region. Enjoy a picture perfect picnic in the heart of the countryside, before heading back to camp for the evening.

  • Day 6 6 : CANADIAN LAKES - 5 hours riding

    Today you will leave behind your camp and head up the valley towards the pass. Here, you will explore the lakes located around the pass and enjoy the refreshing splash of the cooling waters. You may set up camp at the level of the pass, or push on to camp in the next valley. Dinner around the fire and a good night’s sleep on preparation for the day ahead.
  • Day 7 7 : PARADISE VALLEY - 5 hours riding

    Today, you will set out again through the heart of the Rockies to reach your next campsite situated in Paradise Valley. As your adventure continues across narrow and uneven paths, you will have the chance to explore a more rugged wilderness. Here, the mountains are steeper, the ground even rockier, and the rivers runs fast and cold- but once you reach the Paradise Pass, at 2,000 meters above sea level, you can enjoy a panoramic view, sweeping across the impressive peaks of the Rockies. Another night under the magical and clear Canadian night sky.
  • Day 8 8 : PARADISE VALLEY - 6 hours riding

    Wake up in the heart of Paradise valley and prepare for a day of great riding, and more exceptional views. Ride along the riverside , admiring the impressive natural formations that sculpt this spectacular landscape. Take advantage of the flatness of the land, and canter through the Canadian wilderness. Enjoy a picnic surrounded by nature before resuming your ride back to camp.
  • Day 9 9: M&M RANCH - 4 hours riding

    Kananaskis Ranch
    One last breakfast in the great outdoors before descending down into the valley where you will be met by the team with a truck and trailer. After eight fantastic days of horseback riding through the Kananaskis Country, you will return to civilisation, where you can enjoy a shower and night at the ranch for your last evening.
  • Day 10 10: BRAGG CREEK - CALGARY - EUROPE

    Say goodbye to the team and horses.
    Transfer to Calgary airport at around 9:30am. Return flight to Europe must be departing after 12:30pm.
  • Day 11 11: EUROPE

    Arrival in Europe in the morning.

Dates & prices

Price details

- Flights to your destination are not included, but can be booked on request - please contact us for rates.

- Rates are per person, based on two riders sharing a twin or double room at the lodge/tent during the ride.

- Groups are composed of a minimum of 2 international riders and a maximum of 8 international riders, plus guides.

- There is no single supplement if you are willing to share a room/tent with another guest of the same sex. To guarantee your own room/tent there is a single supplement of around €100/£90

- At the ranch, your hosts are usually tipped around 100- 150CAD$ per rider. This is not included.

- Accompanied minors are welcome from 10 yo, upon request, provided they match the riding requirements.

- Rider weight limit: 100 kg/15 st/220lbs. Heavier riders may be accepted with advance notice but you must match the riding requirements and be able to mount and dismount unassisted.

- There is a supplement for riders requesting a specific menu (dairy free, gluten free...) at CAD 10 per person per day (around GBP 5 per person)

- Riders flying into Canada are required to sign up for an electronic travel authorization. The ETA is a document that allows you to travel in Canada by plane and to travel freely inside the country. It is an entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to or transiting through Canada by air: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada/eta.html. This is not included and yours to organise.
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

Price includes

Staff and guides

English-speaking guides and wranglers

Logistics

1 horse/rider

Domestic transportation

Return transfers from/to Calgary airport at set times

Accommodation

Double or twin room/tent

Meals

Full board accommodation from dinner on D1 to breakfast on D10

Extra

Saddlebags

Price doesn't include

Meals

Alcohol is not included (payable locally by cash in CAD or credit card).

Transports

Transfers outside normal hours
International flights

Insurance

Visas and personal purchase
Cancellation and travel insurance are not included in the above listed price. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend taking out an insurance policy as soon as your trip is booked to cover you in case of cancellation

Optional

Accommodation

Single room supplement
  • July - August 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    19/07/2020 29/07/2020 £2,370 Guaranteed departure Book now
    16/08/2020 26/08/2020 £2,370 Guaranteed departure Book now
    30/08/2020 09/09/2020 £2,370 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • May - June 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    27/06/2021 07/07/2021 £2,370
    £2,270
    Guaranteed departure Book now
  • July - August 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    18/07/2021 28/07/2021 £2,370 Guaranteed departure Book now
    15/08/2021 25/08/2021 £2,370 Guaranteed departure Book now

Equestrian info

Horses

A team of 37 beautifully bred horses, well adapted to the winter and demanding terrain of the region. You will find that there is a horse for everyone, with a variety of breeds including Percheron and Paint crusaders, Welsh Pony, quarter horses, as well as Arabian and Canadian bred horses. The horses are working horses- robust, tough and sure footed.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

You must be comfortable riding in all three paces, in outdoor space and across rough terrain. Although you do not have to be an advanced rider, you must be able to control your horse.

Rider weight limit: 100 kg/15 st/220lbs. Heavier riders may be accepted with advance notice but you must match the riding requirements and be able to mount and dismount unassisted.


Pace

The main pace of the ride is walk, with opportunities for trots and canters where the terrain allows it.

Tacking ability and participation

You will be asked to tack and untack your horse. From the outset, your guide will ensure that you know how to do this with Western tack and will be happy to answer any of your questions and alleviate any concerns.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

You need to be riding fit, with good levels of endurance. The terrain can be uneven at times with significant differences in level. There may be times in the ride where you will need to dismount from your horse and walk. The ranch is located at 130m above sea level, with the altitudes encountered on the hike varying up to 2000m.

Equestrian equipment

Western saddles.
Saddlebags and water bottles provided.
Helmets are mandatory. We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit.

Travel info

Comfort

2 nights at the ranch: The guesthouse at the ranch is an ideal place to get together, enjoy the summer scenery of the foothills and experience western hospitality. With aspen forests that shine golden yellow leaves while snow-capped mountains stand majestically behind them, you will feel like you stepped into a photograph. “The Barn” equally reflects the atmosphere of the foothills with a cosy and unique space to relax in at the end of the day. The guesthouse offers room for a total of 8 guests in 5 bedrooms.

7 nights camping, tents based on two people sharing, however, single tents available on request and subject to availability. You will normally move camp 3 times, which allows you to remain for 2 days in two of the prettiest valleys in the Rockies, explore the valleys further with the pack horses (and without having to reset camp!).

Meals

All meals are homemade, using fresh and local ingredients.
If you have a special diet or food allergies, please specify when booking. Menus can be adapted: vegetarian, lactose-free and gluten-free menus (supplement of CAD$10 per day for a gluten-free menu)
Alcohol is not included.

Climate

Calgary experiences long winters and short, hot summers. The climate is very influenced by the elevation of the city and the proximity of the Rocky Mountains.

Calgary experiences summer day temperatures above 30 ° C about four days a year.
Summer evenings can be quite cold; the average minimum in summer is 8 ° C and frost can occur in any month of the year.
Most of the precipitation falls from May to August; June sees the heaviest rains on average.

Autumn is the driest period. The averages for this period are around 20 ° C. Night temperatures; however, frequently drop below 0 ° C.

Guide and local team

Our guide Neil first founded the ranch in 1991, where he combined adventure and nature, with his love for history and horses. He is passionate about his region, and takes pride in showing riders the beautiful country and horses. His philosophy? Respect the magnificent nature that surrounds the region and the fantastic team of horses that will take you there. During the camps, Neil and his team do their utmost best to preserve the natural environment for the future generations to come. His wife Undine is also part of the team and looks after the guesthouse and helps train the horses.

Tips

In Canada, it is customary to leave a tip - primarily in restaurants and other service-based establishments. Expect to leave around 10-15% of the bill. At the ranch, your hosts are usually tipped around 100- 150CA$ per rider.

Packing list

The riding team will provide a waterproof soft bag (80 l) for the riders to put their luggage in during the trail. Your belongings during the ride must fit in this bag.

Head
- Helmet - mandatory
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Wollen hat in case it gets cold at camp or during the night
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana

Upper body
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun
- T-shirts
- Thermal clothes
- Fleece, jumper or jacket - the evenings can be cold (at least two)
- Waterproof gear: good quality rain coat and waterproof trousers - the rains can be difficult to foresee and it's better to be prepared.
- Casual clothes for the evening

Legs
- Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Waterproof over trousers. Please don't bring ponchos instead as some of the horses may not be used to them.
- Warm leggings
- Casual clothes for the evening
- Swimsuit for bathing in the river or/and in the lake or just in case there is somewhere for a dip!

Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short hiking boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long chaps to protect against thorns. We don't recommend taking your favourite long leather boots in case they get damaged, and because they can be slippery when navigating certain sections on foot.
- Waterproof shoes/boots can be useful for abundant dew in the mornings or when it rains
- Sandals, flip-flops or trainers - something comfortable for the evenings
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun whilst riding and the evenings can be cold. It gets windy and cold in the mountains as well.

Nightwear
- Sleeping bag. You need at least a comfort factor down to minus 5 celsius, but would recommend at least minus 8 or 10 celsius.
- Sleeping bag liner - silk, cotton or fleece - adds an extra layer
- Inflatable mattress for your comfort sake. Mattresses are not provided.
- Pyjamas or tracksuits or thermals for sleeping in

Other useful items
- A good swiss army knife (please make sure to pack it in your checked luggage)
- Towels - camping ones will both dry and pack more easily
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items (passport, camera, sunscreen, lipbalm etc) whilst riding
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Headtorch or small torch for moving around camp at night - bring spare batteries and bulbs
- Water bottle (2 litres or 2 x 1 litre)
- Swiss army knife
- Field glasses
- Wet Wipes or equivalent (for when washing facilities aren't available)
- A lighter to burn your toilet paper
- Small plastic bags for rubbish
- Ear plugs (for light sleepers)

Medical kit
- Any medication you regularly take
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent, preferably containing deet
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Eye drops
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhoea medication
- Re-hydration sachets
- Water purification tablets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel
- Biodegradable soap is a must as your guides.

Our Recommendations
- Hard sided suitcase are not not permitted on this ride as your luggage is carried by packhorses. The riding team will provide a waterproof soft bag (80 l) for the riders to put their luggage in during the trail. Your belongings during the ride must fit in this bag.
- Backpacks cannot be worn whilst riding. Saddlebags are provided and we recommend a small bumbag or a coat with pockets so that you can carry small items with you during the day (passport, camera, sunscreen, lipbalm etc)
- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!

Miscellaneous
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals
- Please take your rubbish home with you. There are no recycling facilities in this area, so take your used batteries, aerosols etc back home and dispose of them appropriately. Try to leave excess packaging material at home before travelling.

In your hold luggage
- Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant unless they are less than 100ml and all bottles can fit in a small, clear, plastic ziplock bag. We recommend biodegradable washing products where possible.
- Swiss army knife (or equivalent)

In your hand luggage
- Any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes is highly recommended - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!



Visa & Health

Formalities

To find out if you need a visa and check formalities required, visit the official Canadian government website: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada.html

VISA AND ENTRY FORMALITIES
To enter Canada, a valid passport is required by all Australian, British and US nationals. All other nationalities should check with the local embassy. If you are travelling with children and only one parent is present, you should carry a letter of consent from the non-travelling parent.
UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Canada. You can apply for an Electronic Travel Authorisation using an ETD.
Visa-exempt foreign nationals, such as British nationals, are now required to have an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to or transit through Canada.
Applying for an eTA is a simple online process that takes just a few minutes. To apply, you must have a valid passport or acceptable travel document, a credit card, and an email address. You need to apply for an eTA before you book your flight to Canada. Most applications are approved quickly, even within minutes. However, some applications can take several days to process so don’t wait until the last minute.
You can find more information about eTAs and travel to Canada by following the link below: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada.html

In any case please check online the official government website for any updating or modification in the entry procedures.

TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN
If you are travelling with children, and only one parent is present, you should carry a letter of consent from the non-travelling parent. Immigration officers have the right to question children using simple and appropriate language to establish whether there are any concerns about child abduction. A letter of consent may help to dispel potential concerns. For further information check with the Canadian High Commission or the Canada Border Services Agency.

TRAVELLING VIA THE USA
If you are planning on flying to Canada via the USA, You should complete an online pre-registration form on the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) website, before you travel. The US Customs and Border Patrol recommends that you do this at least 72 hours before departure. Applying for and securing an ESTA is a separate process to your Canadian eTA.

Addresses of consulates

  • Ambassade du Canada
    35, avenue Montaigne
    75008 Paris
    Tél. : 01.44.43.29.02
    Fax : 01.44.43.29.86
  • Consulat du Canada à Lyon
    21, rue Bourgelat
    69002 Lyon
    Tél. : 04.72.77.64.07
    Fax : 04.72.77.65.09
    consulatcanadalyon@wanadoo.fr
  • Canadian High Commission in the UK
    Canada House, trafalgar Sq
    Trafalgar Square,
    London
    SW1Y 5BJ
    SW1Y5BJ London
    Tél. : (020) 7258 6600
    Fax :
  • British High Commission in Canada
    80 Elgin Street
    Ottawa Ontario K1P 5K7
    K1P5K7 Ottawa Ontario
    Tél. : +1 613 237 1530
    Fax :
    ukincanada@fco.gov.uk
  • Ambassade du Canada
    Avenue de Tervuren 2
    1040 Bruxelles
    Tél. : +32 (0) 2 741 06 11
    Fax : +32 (0) 2 741 06 43
    bru@international.gc.ca
  • Ambassade de France au Canada
    42, Promenade Sussex
    Ottawa
    K1M 2C9 Ontario
    Tél. : +1 (613) 789 1795
    Fax : +1 (613) 562 3735
    politique@ambafrance-ca.org

Health

There are no health requirements to enter Canada as a short-stay tourist. Visitors intending to stay in Canada for more than six months, either as tourists, students or employees, may be required to take a medical examination. Visitors working in an occupation in which protection of public health is essential may be required to undergo a medical examination even if employment is only temporary. Check with the Canadian Consulate or High Commission for further information.

Insurance

It is a condition of your booking with Equus Journeys that you have travel insurance which covers you for the riding activities to be undertaken. Your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses and repatriation. Your guides will require your travel insurance details before they allow you to ride and may refuse to let you ride if you cannot provide them. You should take your insurance documents with you.
Our recommendation:
Cancellation and travel insurances are not included. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend to take out an insurance policy as soon as your travel is booked in case of cancellation.

Voltage

110-120 volts AC, 60Hz. American-style flat two-pin and three-pin (grounded) plugs are standard

Budget and money

Canadian Dollar (CAD; symbol C$) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of C$100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of C$2 and 1, and 25, 10, 5 cents. Although the 1c coin (or penny) remains legal tender, as of 2013 it is being phased out of circulation.
Major credit cards are widely accepted. Use of debit cards is widespread, although many stores impose a C$5 to C$20 minimum per debit card purchase, and service charges may apply.
ATMs are easy to find in populated areas but are less common in remote regions such as rural parts of the Northwest Territories, Nunuvat and Labrador. Use a machine affiliated with a major bank to reduce service charges; independent machines in locations such as casinos and convenience stores may carry high charges and do not always accept international cards.

Telephone and jetlag

Mountain Daylight Time (MDT) -0600 UTC
To call Canada, the following dial code is required.

+1 to dial Canada its 001 from UK
The populous areas of Canada along the border with the USA have excellent cellular and wired telecommunications, meaning that travellers are never far from an international phone call home, a WIFI connection or an internet cafe. Turn yourself and start heading north, and it's not long until the traveller will find themselves in the vast and sparsely populated lands that make up the majority of Canada. With no phones and no cellular coverage, and probably pretty sparse on power, it provides a great opportunity to unplug and get away from it all. In the northern reaches of Canada, above the arctic circle, you may even find that satellite devices might not work without a clear view of the sky over the equator.