The Kananaskis Longrider is designed for keen riders who are up to the challenge of covering between 170 and 200 km of rugged mountain trails in Kananaskis Country. 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.
Starting from the foothills, we move progressively westward and deeper into the mountains. Trails vary from difficult game tracks that require a knowledgeable guide to find, through to some that are suitable for cantering. We normally move camp 3 times , which allows us to remain for 2 days in two of the prettiest valleys in the Rockies, and do some horseback exploring unencumbered with pack horses and unconcerned about breaking and resetting camp. This also allows us the opportunity to do more or less difficult rides depending on the interests and ability of the group.
Elevations range between 4400′ at the Ranch, to over 8400′ at Paradise Pass. Routes may vary due to a variety of natural conditions. On some sections of trail the riders are required to dismount and walk their horses for safety. There are other destinations that require the horses be tied and people hike the last mile or so to reach an alpine lake, so a reasonable level of personal fitness is required.
Explore beautiful lakes that invite for a refreshing swim, snowcapped moutains passes and lush meadows with clear streams running through.
We resist to publish a detailed itinerary for the 10 day trip since weather, experience level of the group, group size and other conditions like water level of rivers and snowpack vary and lead us to make the decision on the spot which trail is the best to take.
The trip runs Sunday through Tuesday (see Schedule). Below is an outline itinerary that will help
Day 1: We will arrange pick-up from Calgary in the afternoon, either from the international airport or a hotel – please be sure to send us your arrival or hotel details). The exact pick up time will be coordinated with you directly, but typically we don’t schedule pick-ups before 4 pm. After a approximately 1 hour drive you will be dropped off at the M&M 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, 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 duffle 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 guest.
Day 2: After breakfast it’s time to meet “your” horse! We carefully pick a companion from our herd to match your abilities and physical size. While grooming and saddling you get the chance to acquaint yourself with your new friend. After a short test ride in our arena we will pack a lunch and leave the ranch – either on horseback or by loading them on a trailer and departing from a near trailhead. We take it easy the first day and ride through the forests and meadows of the Foothills until we reach our first camp. Typically, we ride between 4 and 5 hours on the first day.
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. We have put up large wall tents that offer enough space and shelter for the group.
Day 3: If the weather for the day is favourable we will break camp after breakfast and depart for our longest day of the week. A breathtaking ride through the foothills and across a mountain range will take the better part of 7 hours to get top our next camp. This ride can’t be done in poor weather conditions.
Day 4 and 5: We stay in this comfortable and scenic camp for the next 2 days. It gives us the opportunity to move without packhorses and explore the highlights of the valley, restore and relax.
Day 6: After breakfast, we will break camp and depart the valley up the valley heading for the pass. We may camp here and explore the lakes around the pass or push on to a camp in the next valley.
Day 7 and 8: Reaching the camp in Paradise Valley, we again have the chance to explore the now more rugged wilderness. The mountains are steeper, the ground even rockier, the river runs fast and cold. The highlight is a ride to Paradise Pass, a 8,400′ with a sweeping view across the peaks of the Rockies.
Day 9: After breakfast we break camp for the last time, pack the horses and ride down the valley where we will be met by the truck and trailer. After 8 days of riding through Kananaskis Country, you will return to civilization, where you can enjoy a shower and a nice dinner in the company of your new found friends. The last night is spent in the lodge of the M&M Ranch.
Day 10: After breakfast, it’s time to say good bye. The shuttle will pick you up around 9.30 AM to take you back to Calgary. With you will be the memories of an unforgettable adventure in Kananaskis Country.
Prices include: Prices include: 8 days of guided riding in Kananaskis Country, pick-up in Calgary and return to Calgary, two nights in our guesthouse, all meals from Sunday night to Tuesday morning.
Not included is alcohol with your meals and on the trail, 5% federal tax.
|Price per person:||$3,455 (CAD), see schedule for trip dates|
|Level of Experience:||intermediate to experienced (see details), good level of fitness recommended|
|Pace and Terrain:||mostly walk on easy to very rugged trails; trots and canters|
|Accommodation:||2 nights at the M&M Ranch (surcharge for single room applies), 7 nights in camp|