Horseback Riding In Banff National Park With Banff Trail Riders

I saw a lot of people horseback riding in Banff National Park when we were in Banff 5 years ago I and said I want to do that! It wasn’t going to happen for us at that trip but when we went back I knew I wanted to make it happen and we did with the Banff Trail Riders.

Melia and Cannon walking along the river with their horses in Banff National Park.

If you are planning your trip to Banff you can purchase a digital copy of our 4 day itinerary for $3.99 and download it immediately!

Overview Of 1 Hour Trail Ride With Banff Trail Riders

Carson, Melia, Cannon and Knox geared up and ready for horseback riding in Banff National Park

We booked the 1 hour Bow River trail ride with Banff Trailer Riders out of Warner Stables. We had to arrive at 9:30 am and when we got there they got us fitted for helmets and gave our whole group (about 10 of us) an overview of what we would be doing on the ride. Plus some safety tips on riding the horses.

Here is what they shared:

  • We would be riding Western Style.
  • We were told to hold the reins and pull into our belly button to stop the horse and to the left to go left and the right to go right.
  • Also give the horse a gentle nudge (or a little harder nudge to get through what they called their winter fat!) to get the horse moving again.

Sounds easy enough! They walked out a horse to each of us and we were seated and the workers made sure our stirrups were all set. Prior to starting they asked for people in a group so they made sure that the 6 of us stayed together – that was nice! This meant we would all be walking the trail in a line together.

Melia with her horse while we horseback riding in Banff National park

With that we were on our horses and ready to roll! Our guide headed out and our horses followed in a single file line. We were told if they started to eat anything to grab the reins and pull back and give them a nudge.

My horse didn’t try to eat anything but Knox’s did a few times. He handled it like he knew what he was doing!

Craig’s horse was fiesty and kept trying to nudge my horse forward! He also said my horse kept farting and he could smell it.

Route We Went On Our Ride

We walked through the pine forest where the huge mosquitoes were a bit annoying! After that we walked along the Cave and Basin trail where we did see some hikers and could also smell the sulphur from the hot springs.

Me, Craig and Carson walking in line with our horses on our horseback riding with Banff Trail Riders

Throughout the ride our guide talked to us about the stables, the area, the mountains and gave us some fun facts. It was interesting to hear.

They have almost 300 horses at the Banff Trailer Riders! The largest stables in Canada and 2nd largest in all of North America – we had no idea!

The first part of the trip was mostly through the forest while the second part was along the Bow river with more mountain range views and the third part was in the mountain meadow. I really enjoyed the second part. I love the water color in Banff so anytime we can be by it I am happy!

Melia and Cannon walking along the river with their horses in Banff National Park.

Everyone did great and we had an awesome time. Going for an hour was a great amount of time and my legs were just a little soar when we were done.

Things To Know About Your Ride With Banff Trail Riders

Horse at Banff Trail Riders

They send you like 50 emails saying be sure to be there 30 minutes early or you can’t go. We got there 50 minutes early and just had to wait around until 30 minutes before.

At that time they only needed to fit us for helmets. We waited another 10 minutes and 15 minutes before our start time they gave instructions on what we would be doing.

You can’t bring a bag with you – not even a fanny pack/shoulder strap bag. They will hold them for you behind the counter.

Fill out your release forms on line before you get there. If you can’t do this they do have a way for you to do it when you are there.

I wanted to get pictures and if I would have known I couldn’t bring my small shoulder bag I would have worn a different sweatshirt or pants with pockets. Instead I carried my phone the whole time. So keep this in mind.


Things To Do In Banff National Park: Banff Trail Riders We started our 2nd full day in Banff with an hour long horseback riding adventure with Banff Trail Riders. It was a beautiful morning and we all had a great time getting to know our horses and going on a hike through the trees, past the natural sulphur hot springs flowing from the historic Cave & Basin site and along the Bow River with views of the surrounding mountains. Don’t miss this when you are in Banff! They also do a wagon ride to a cowboy cookout that looked like a lot of fun! Follow @crazyfamilyadventure on our adventure from Wisconsin To Alaska in our RV! Follow @crazyfamilyadventure on our adventure from Wisconsin To Alaska in our RV! #hosted #mybanff #horsebackbanff @Banff & Lake Louise #familytravel #familyvacation #explorecanada #travelwithkids

♬ original sound – CrazyFamilyAdventure

Booking Your Horseback Ride

You can check out the Banff Trail Riders site to learn more about pricing and how to book your horseback riding adventure.

They also have an option to do a horse drawn wagon with a cowboy cookout style meal. You are in the wagon for over 2 hours so my kids opted to do the horseback ride instead. Well 3 of the 4 wanted that. 1 did what to do the wagon but the majority won.

The Banff Trail Riders also offer other horseback riding tours through winding river trails, the Canadian Rockies and overnight stops:

  • Spray River Ride – 1 hour ride where you cross a river on horseback and see a Rocky Mountain Waterfall.
  • Sundance Loop Ride – 2 hour ride where you will climb up Sulphur Mountain and be on the lookout for wildlife.
  • They also offer a few backcountry horseback riding options that span 1 – 5 nights with stays at the Sundance Lodge, Erling Strom Trail Lodge or the Halfway Lodge.

Learn about all of these on the Banff Trail Riders site.

Q&A On Horseback Riding Banff

Warner Stables in Banff National Park

Can you go horseback riding in Banff?

Yes! As this article explains there are lots of options for going horseback riding in Banff National Park and it is a great way to explore the park!

What is the weight limit for Banff Trail Riders?

230lbs per rider is the maximum weight.

What do you wear to horseback riding in Banff?

You should wear closed toe shoes (not any sandals) and pants are highly recommended.

Banff National Park Itinerary

If you are planning your trip to Banff you can purchase a digital copy of our 4 day itinerary for $3.99 and download it immediately!

Banff National Park Itinerary

Additional Activities You Don’t Want To Miss In Banff National Park

There are so many great things to do in Banff National Park. Here are a few we don’t think you should miss.

Banff Gondola – we had an awesome time going up on the Banff Gondola. We loved taking in amazing views and hike to the top of Sulphur Mountain!

Columbia Icefield Adventure – Walk on a glacier and out on a glass bottom skywalk over a canyon!

Lake Minnewanka Cruise – this 1 hour cruise will take you out on the beautiful waters of Lake Minnewanka.

Golden Skybridge – we had a blast spending the afternoon at the Golden Skybridge. Walking across suspension bridges, zip-lining and doing the ropes course!

Johnston Canyon Lower Falls Hike – Don’t miss this quick, easy and beautiful hike while you are in Banff!

Whitewater Rafting – be sure to set aside an afternoon to go white water rafting with Chinook Rafting! We had so much fun!!

Pin This Post For Later

**We were hosted by Banff & Lake Louise Tourism for our horseback rides with Banff Trail Riders. All opinions are our own.


DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Please read my disclosure for more info.