Horseback Riding Through Banff National Park

15 Sep 2023

Horseback Riding Through Banff National Park

Horseback Riding Through Banff National Park

Author: SuperUser Account  /  Categories: Activities, Banff  / 

Welcome to the wild west of the Canadian Rockies! Whether it’s your first or hundredth visit to Banff and you are looking to fill up your activity calendar, going horseback riding is never a bad choice. Going horseback riding is a surefire way to experience the revered Canadian Cowboy lifestyle. 

Explore Banff National Park like an authentic Canadian Cowboy! Six trail options are available, varying from one to four hours long. All departures are from the stables in Banff’s townsite. Our horseback tours are informative, entertaining, and designed to give a glimpse of the distant past, 200 years ago when the first settlers explored the wild of the Canadian Rockies.

What to Expect

We ask our guests to arrive a minimum of 30 minutes prior to their scheduled ride, as these tours start right on time. Late arrivals will not be refunded, so make sure to plan enough time to reach the stables in advance!

During the ride, your guide will fill you in on Banff’s rich history and regale you with stories of settler days long since past. These horseback rides are designed to be as informative as they are beautiful! 

The Horses

The Banff stables are home to nearly 300 friendly, trail-trained horses. Our vast selection of horses makes it easy for our handlers to select the best fit for the person. The horses are sweet, friendly beasts that love traversing these trails.

Riding a horse for the first time may seem daunting, but our trails are designed for novice riders. When selecting the horse for the rider, the guides consider your experience level, age, weight and height. These are major factors regarding which gallant steed you will mount for the ride! Don’t worry; our professional guides will set you up for success!

Trail Options

Bow River Ride (1 Hour)

  • Perfect for visitors short on time, the Bow River Ride is available during the day and evening. In one hour, your horse will meander along the Bow River, pass the historic Cave & Basin natural sulphur hot springs, and bring you back to town. No matter the time of day, the view is spectacular. This brief ride is easy to fit into any action-packed schedule.

Bow Valley Loop Ride (3 Hours)

  • While initially following the same path as the Bow River Ride (1hr), the Bow Valley Loop is the most diverse in the range of scenery. Your horse will lead you through the tranquil bubbling bed of the Bow River, pass through the Cave & Basin area, and then into the lush forest surrounding the Sundance Canyon Trail. This ride often sees a lot of wildlife, so keep your eyes and ears open for the forest’s locale. Rounding off the trip, your horse will guide you through the Windy Knoll viewpoint as you climb up Sulphur Mountain. This ride is nothing short of spectacular, leaving you with memories that last a lifetime. 

Sulphur Mountain Ride (4 Hours)

  • Don’t let the idea of horseback riding on a mountain scare you away! This invigorating ride is one for the memory books. Starting at the stables in Banff, you will journey 2/3 of the way up Sulphur Mountain and see extraordinary views of Rundle Mountain, the immaculately groomed greens of the Banff Springs Golf Course. Experience the tranquillity of crossing the Spray River and the flowing waters of the Bow Falls. 

Spray River Ride (1 Hour)

  • Perfect for squeezing a quick ride into your schedule, this horseback riding trail tours you through the refreshing Spray River and past the Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course. There is a brief jaunt up Sulphur Mountain to a wooded residential area, and you are back to the beginning of the ride. 

Sundance Loop Ride (2 Hours)

  • This trail is an extension of the Bow River Ride (1hr), bringing you further into Banff’s marsh and grassy meadows. Abundant with wildlife, you are sure to see many woodland creatures wandering about. Your horse will guide you through the Cave & Basin area– the birthplace of Banff National Park! A quick journey up the side of Sulphur Mountain, through the Windy Knoll viewpoint and you’re back at the stables! 

The horseback riding adventure of a lifetime awaits you! Contact our team today to learn more about the adventures available.


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