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 on a sharing basis, 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!). There are several camp locations that the team uses frequently on their packtrips. Each camp has a slightly different set up. All of them are in a scenic location with water and forage for the horses nearby. There is no cell reception anywhere while on the trail and being in the back-country, the guide carries a satellite phone which can be to be used by the guide in case of emergency. Please inform your family or friends that while on a packtrip, you can only be reached through the ranch staff and by method of a wrangler carrying a message to camp, which can take up to 36 hours to relay.
All meals are homemade, using fresh and local ingredients. The menu changes daily and offers typical local dishes but also internationally
If you have a special diet or food allergies, it is of utmost importance that you specify this at the time of booking. Menus can be adapted: vegetarian, lactose-free and gluten-free menus (supplement of CAD$10 per day for a gluten-free menu)
Alcohol is not included. You may bring and pack your own preferred beverage as long as your duffel bag that gets packed onto the packhorse does not exceed 25 lbs (11kg).
Calgary experiences long winters and short, hot summers. The climate is very influenced by the elevation of the city and the proximity of the Rocky Mountains.
Calgary experiences summer day temperatures above 30 ° C about four days a year.
Summer evenings can be quite cold; the average minimum in summer is 8 ° C and frost can occur in any month of the year.
Most of the precipitation falls from May to August; June sees the heaviest rains on average.
Autumn is the driest period. The averages for this period are around 20 ° C. Night temperatures; however, frequently drop below 0 ° C.
Guide and local team
Our guide Neil first founded the ranch in 1991, where he combined adventure and nature, with his love for history and horses. He is passionate about his region, and takes pride in showing riders the beautiful country and horses. His philosophy? Respect the magnificent nature that surrounds the region and the fantastic team of horses that will take you there. During the camps, Neil and his team do their utmost best to preserve the natural environment for the future generations to come. His wife Undine is also part of the team and looks after the guesthouse and helps train the horses.
In Canada, it is customary to leave a tip - primarily in restaurants and other service-based establishments. Expect to leave around 10-15% of the bill. At the ranch, your hosts are usually tipped around 100- 150CA$ per rider.
You will be provided with a waterproof duffel bag to pack all your gear and personal items for the week. The weight limit for the packed duffel bag (including sleeping bag and mat) is 11kg (25 lbs). Please respect this limit at the wranglers and horses have to be able to handle the bags for you.
- Helmet - strongly recommended. Equus Journeys recommend you bring your own in order to ensure a proper fit.
- 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
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun
- 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
- 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.
- 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 bags can be provided (please enquire in advance)
- Sleeping bag liner - silk, cotton or fleece - adds an extra layer
- Inflatable mattress for your comfort sake. Mattresses can be provided (please enquire in advance)
- 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)
- Wet Wipes or equivalent (for when washing facilities aren't available - non scented)
- Small plastic bags for rubbish
- Ear plugs (for light sleepers)
Toiletry bag and personal items: please refrain from packing too many perfumed creams or soap as they do attract wildlife. Ideal is biodegradable soap, a small microfibre towel, toothpaste and brush and deodorant.
- 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
- 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 for the riders to put their luggage in during the trail. Your belongings during the ride must fit in this bag.
- Backpacks should not 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!
- 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.