What you can expect
All riders meet at Warner Stables at 8:30 a.m. to check in, before being transported by van to the trailhead corral at Mount Norquay. There you meet your guides and horses, and mount up for the eleven mile ride over Elk Lake Summit between Brewster Mountain and Cascade Mountain, and down into Stoney Creek Camp. There will be a stop for lunch at Elk Lake along the way.
Riders mount up, and ride the ten miles to Flint’s Park Camp. This camp, located in the center of open, grassy ridges topped with high peaks, has become a favorite of many of our riders. Wildlife is commonly seen and photographed in this area. Lunch will be along the Cascade river.
A day ride is conducted from camp to Block Mountain, or perhaps to Cuthead Viewpoint – just two of the many points of interest accessible from Flint’s Park. Todays lunch site varies depending on the route taken. This area has much to offer the rider, photographer, hiker and fisherman alike.
The ride from Flints Park to Mystic Valley is a highlight of the trip. The ride can include Rainbow Lake, the stunning 40 Mile Pass, Vermillion Range which runs to the east, and Sawback to the west. Before we set off, guests have the opportunity to observe the historic art of horse packing, using the famous diamond hitch. When everything is securely in place, we ride into Mystic Valley for the final night. It is traditional to have a real western dinner to celebrate the last night at the camp. Time to kick your cowboy boot heels and have a wind-up get-together!
Unfortunately, every trip has a last day, but what better way to end the trip than with the scenic nine mile ride from Mystic Valley to the Mount Norquay Corral with a lunch stop at 40 Mile Creek. The “Full Circle” has been completed and the riders return to Warner Stables at approximately 5:00 p.m.
- Bags/Luggage - waterproof bags are the best option. Drysacks, favored by canoers, or a gym bag lined with garbage bags works well
- A warm sleeping bag - we recommend a bag rated to -15C or 5F. You may not need it, but it sure comes in handy if you do. A favourite cowboy trick for extra warmth is to tuck a flannel sheet or non-bulky blanket inside your sleeping bag
- A mattress - a self-inflatable mattress (Thermarest) works best to ensure a comfortable night's sleep
- Warm coat - Essential to ward off chilly nights or a windy day. Also bring a heavy sweater (wool is a great insulator) or fleece jacket
- Rain gear - A rain coat and rain pants, and if possible, coverings for your boots and hat. Please DO NOT bring rain ponchos, they flap in the wind and spook the horses. If you have one, we recommend an oilskin slicker. We have a limited supply of full-length oilskin slickers available. These are available for pick up upon check in based on a first come first served basis
- Clothing that is easily layered works the best
- Shirts - Long sleeve and t-shirts to your preference and length of trip
- Jeans - A cowboy classic
- Riding boots - A boot with a heel that can easily slip in and out of stirrups. Alternatives would be a narrow style of hiking boot or solid sneaker. For safety reasons, clunky hiking boots are not recommended. Water (rain) resistant boots are recommended
- Sneakers - Or an extra pair of shoes for wearing inside the lodge, an extra pair of DRY socks is also recommended
- Toiletries - Towel, facecloth, biodegradable shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, disposable razors, etc. Toilet paper and hand soap are supplied
- Hat - A cowboy hat offers the most protection from the elements. Baseball caps or canvas-type hats are also fine. Please ensure that your hat fits snug or ties on and will not blow off in the wind. Chin straps are recommended
- Gloves - Lined leather or suede gloves provide protection from the elements and a sure grip on the reins (bring two pair just in case one gets wet)
- Scarf - A silk or cotton scarf is recommended for extra warmth
- Sunscreen, sunglasses and mosquito repellent
- Your camera - Extra batteries / memory cards
- Flashlight - Remember to check your batteries!
- Liquor - Sundance Lodge has a liquor licence Guests can purchase Wine and Beer from the cooks. Please bring your credit card with you
- Cellular phones do not work in the areas you will be riding, so leave them somewhere safe. If you will be using the camera on your phone, please note there is no charging station in the backcountry
- Saddlebags - You are welcome to bring your own; please fill them with only essential items that you would need during the day, such as lip balm, your camera, sunscreen, etc. We reserve the right to limit the amount of gear in the saddlebags for weight. Daypacks, backpacks or other bags are NOT allowed - they are hard on your back and hard on the horse's back, and do not tie properly to the saddle
- Water Bottle - For refreshment while you are riding
- You will be able to refill your water bottle each day
- 4 Dinner, 5 Breakfast, 5 Lunch included
- When packing your gear, keep in mind it is being packed out on a mule and our animal's comfort is very important to us.
- What to pack your gear into: You must pack your gear in a soft-sided, cloth or nylon bag. It can not have any hard edges, frames or wheels. Your gear is restricted to a total maximum weight of 30lbs (sleeping bag, thermarest pad and your luggage). If you do not have a water resistant bag, it is a good idea to line the inside with garbage bags in the event of rain. You may pack your bedroll (sleeping bag and thermarest) separately from your other gear.
- Saddlebags, rain gear and other essentials that you will need during the day (camera, sunscreen, bug spray, lip balm, extra sweater, water bottle, etc) that you are taking on your horse with you are not included in the 30lbs weight restriction. We recommend that you bring any broke-in gear that you may have for your own comfort.
- Equipment Rental: Email bactrax/Snowtips at [email protected], for information regarding sleeping bags/liners, thermo-rest sleeping pads, luggage bags, etc or they can be reached at (403) 762 - 8177, or fax at (403) 760-6289.