Calgary Stampede & BC Exploratory Ride, Canada

9 NightsBeginner to AdvancedFrom $5,950 CAD?Tour costs $5,950 CAD which is approximately $6,536 AUD

Ever wanted to immerse yourself in cowboy culture at the Calgary Stampede, and then explore breathtaking British Columbia astride a locally bred horse? Here’s your chance!

Our exploratory Canadian adventure starts with a BANG: the legendary Calgary Stampede! The stars have aligned and we are BURSTING with excitement to share this Western festival with our wonderful globetrotters. What better way to kick off a Canadian riding holiday than by witnessing the heart-stopping action of world class bronc riding, chuckwagon racing, roping, barrel racing and more!

After two full days at the Stampede, we’ll be itching to get back in the saddle. Easily accessed from Vancouver, the Sea to Sky Corridor in British Columbia is famed for its breathtaking views, soaring mountain ranges and pristine wilderness. There is NO better way to get under the skin of this incredible region than on horseback. 

Horses are etched into the region’s history, from the horse-loving Lil’ wat Nation to the prospectors who relied on horses as they mined the mountains. Most of your hosts’ horses were bred by the Lil’́wat Nation, making them perfectly suited and accustomed to the often challenging local terrain. They are level-headed, tough and gentle, ready to show riders of all abilities how it’s done in BC.

Based at a comfortable lakeside campsite, every day brings new trails and new adventures, from exploring an early 1900s gold mine to circumnavigating alpine lakes amidst towering rocky peaks. The sweeping vistas will have you singing ‘hallelujah!’ and the tranquil forests will fine-tune your senses to nature’s intricate beauty. 

In just five days, you’ll fall back in love with Planet Earth and these remarkable creatures with whom we explore it.

Fast Facts

  • Horse Breed:Most of the horses were bred by the Lil’wat First Nations. They are a mix of many breeds, some harking back to the original Spanish horses from South America, and are amazingly well-suited to the local terrain.
  • Pace:The pace varies from a walk right through to a canter when the terrain allows. Due to the Western style of riding, you can expect to canter (lope) a lot more than you trot.
  • Weight Limit:A maximum of 125kg/275lbs.
  • Type of tack:Western saddles and bridles.
  • Seasons:July through to September
  • Group size:A minimum of 6 and a maximum of 8 guests.
  • Time in Saddle:Approximately 5 to 6 hours each day.
  • Riding Ability:Suitable for all riding abilities. Your wonderful hosts will endeavour to group riders of similar ability together so that everyone can ride at their preferred pace. Not sure what your riding experience is? Watch THIS video to find out.
  • Accommodation:You’ll be staying at your hosts’ well-appointed base camp with a hot shower, composting toilet, fire pit and a covered kitchen and dining area. Guests will be spread out over several spacious platform tents (3-4 guests per tent) complete with sleeping bags and liners, cots, mats, towels and washcloths.
  • Ride Length:The Calgary Stampede and BC, Canada Exploratory ride is a total of 9 nights, 8 days. The riding component is 5 days, 4 nights with 5 full days in the saddle.
  • Inclusions:

    *Twin share accommodation from July 11 to July 14 while in attendance at the Calgary Stampede.

    *Twin share accomodation in Whistler on July 15 and July 19. 

    *2x afternoon rodeo tickets and 2x evening show tickets to Calgary Stampede.

    *Round trip transfers from Vancouver to the ride location via Whistler.

    *All meals while on the ride (NOT at Calgary) from lunch on July 15 through to lunch on July 19.

    *You’ll also have professional photography and video taken of you throughout your ride experience.

  • Exclusions:

    *International and regional flights and travel insurance.

    *Staff tips.

    *Alcohol (BYO welcome).

    **Calgary Stampede: meals and personal expenses from July 11-14; airport transfers to and from Calgary airport; regional flight from Calgary to Vancouver on July 14 (we recommend contacting our travel agent, Heather Taylor, to assist in booking you onto the same flight as ourselves).

 

DEPARTURE DATES & RATES

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE RIDE PRICE?

*Twin share accommodation from July 11 to July 14 while in attendance at the Calgary Stampede.

*Twin share accomodation in Whistler on July 15 and July 19. 

*2x afternoon rodeo tickets and 2x evening show tickets to Calgary Stampede.

*Round trip transfers from Vancouver to the ride location via Whistler.

*All meals while on the ride (NOT at Calgary) from lunch on July 15 through to lunch on July 19.

*You’ll also have professional photography and video taken of you throughout your ride experience.

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE RIDE PRICE?

*International and regional flights and travel insurance.

*Staff tips (please budget for around $250 CAD in total).

*Alcohol (BYO welcome).

**Calgary Stampede: meals and personal expenses from July 11-14; airport transfers to and from Calgary airport; regional flight from Calgary to Vancouver on July 14 (we recommend contacting our travel agent, Heather Taylor, to assist in booking you onto the same flight as ourselves).

Accepted payment is by credit or debit card only. There is a 2% surcharge on all card payments. Click HERE to read our recommendations on which cards are best to use to avoid international transaction fees.

WHY IS THE PRICE QUOTED IN CAD?
With our riding destinations, the currency is dictated by our ride partner in that country. Therefore due to fluctuating exchange rates we have to quote in the same currency.

Itinerary

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*Please note, this is a suggested itinerary only and subject to change at the discretion of your guides due to weather and other influencing factors.

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  • Calgary Stampede

    We’re thrilled that you’ll be joining us for this boot scootin’, dust flingin’ Western spectacular. Boy are you in for a treat!

    Included in your package price are two x tickets to the Calgary Stampede Rodeo and two x tickets to the Calgary Stampede Evening Show.

  • July 11

    The journey begins! Our compact group of 7 Globetrotting guests plus the Pilcher Family travelling circus {Steven, Kate and their three girls} and the ever-wonderful Laura Rae will meet in Calgary, Canada. 

    As part of your package price, you’ll be staying at the Fairmont Palliser for 3 nights while we eat, drink, watch, sleep, repeat the Calgary Stampede. The Fairmont Palliser is an iconic 4 star hotel in the heart of downtown Calgary, an easy 15 minute walk from Stampede Park and mere steps away from oodles of shops, restaurants and bars. Calgary comes alive for the Stampede and you’ll be right amongst the action, with the peace and quiet of your hotel room never far away.

    Once we’re all settled in, our globetrotting group will head out for dinner at one of the many nearby restaurants. Our hoteliers will be able to recommend the best spots for some authentic ‘Albertan’ cuisine!  

    *Please note, meals, taxis,  airport transfers in Calgary and any personal expenses are NOT included. 

  • July 12 & 13

    For the next two days, after breakfast at the hotel, we’ll use the morning to explore the many delights of Stampede Park at our own pace. Come afternoon, we’ll regroup for a very exciting line-up of Rodeo events. The Rodeo is the heart of the Calgary Stampede, and one of the largest and the most famous events of its kind. The calibre of a rodeo comes down to two things: the skill of the competitors and the quality of the horses, bulls and steers. The Stampede Rodeo features the world’s best competitors and animals – safe to say it doesn’t get better than this! The cowboys and cowgirls face off in furious displays of skill and grit, with every win building towards Showdown Sunday – Rodeo’s Richest Afternoon. There are six major events: ladies barrel racing, bareback, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc and bull riding. For the brave competitors, performing in front of more than 20,000 fans each day is the highlight of the rodeo season. 

     Every night, the Calgary Stampede presents the world’s most unique double-header: the Evening Show, which features both the Grandstand Stage Show and the GMC Rangeland Derby Chuckwagon Races. As the sun sets, the GMC Rangeland Derby thunders around the track with 36 chuckwagons vying for over $1 million in prize money. Tight turns, vaulting, four-horse harness teams, mad gallops – you’ll never experience anything like it! Then, when the last wagon thunders across the finish line, prepare yourself for the Grandstand Show: a variety extravaganza that includes comedy, elaborate song and dance numbers, acrobatics and a spectacular fireworks finale. 

    *Please note, meals, taxis,  airport transfers in Calgary and any personal expenses are NOT included.

  • July 14

    After checking out of our hotel, we’ll take a regional flight from Calgary to Vancouver {not included in the package price} and transfer via road to Whistler {included in the package price}. Make sure you’ve got your cameras ready, globetrotters – the Sea to Sky Highway between Vancouver and Whistler is insanely beautiful! 

    After checking into your hotel, the evening is yours to enjoy. We highly recommend strolling the streets of Whistler, as it may just be the prettiest town you ever see. Built in the 1970s, Whistler started as a ski resort but is now a popular destination year-round thanks to its accessibility and the endless possibilities for outdoor adventure. 

    *Please note, meals and any personal expenses are NOT included.

  • July 15

    YAY, it’s time to run away to the wilderness! This morning we’ll don our riding gear, check out of our hotel in Whistler and take the bus {transfer included in ride price} at 8.15am to the starting point of our ride, where we’ll meet our amazing wranglers, support crew, and of course our horses! Arriving at 9:30, we’ll get the low-down on the day’s plan, be paired up with our steeds and hit the trail for a 15 kilometre (9.3 mile) ride. With alpine forests, crystalline streams and views to die for, today’s journey is sure to get our globetrotting hearts thudding! We’ll climb about 2,000 feet in total, pausing for a saddlebag-packed lunch before arriving at our base camp at Birkenhead Lake in the afternoon. Here we’ll be reunited with our luggage, and if we’re in good time and the weather permits, we might be tempted to take a dip in the lake before the sun sets. 

    The base camp is equipped with a hot shower, composting toilet, covered kitchen and dining area and platform tents to keep us warm and dry in the chilly Canadian nights. A hearty dinner will be cooked over the campfire as the stars emerge between the peaks.

  • July 16, 17 & 18

    Over the next three days, the order of the trails we ride is interchangeable depending on the weather. Each day will begin with a filling cooked breakfast and end at base camp with another tasty supper and a good night’s sleep. 

    On one day, we’ll visit the Li-lik-hel mine, trailering the horses to the starting point of the trail then climbing about 6,000 feet to the historic mine site. We’ll be following the route that was originally cut by the miners and then pounded in by horses transporting the gold ore in the early 1900s. Reaching the mine site, we’ll be able to explore it on foot and see how the old miners extracted gold ore by following the veins in the rock. The horses will doze beneath the pines while we enjoy a packed lunch with a stunning view over the valley below. Following a different miners’ track back to the trucks, we’ll load the horses and head back to camp, arriving at around 5pm. 

    On another day, we’ll mount up at camp and explore the route encircling Birkenhead Lake. With relatively little change in altitude, it’s a cruisey ride through peaceful native forests alive with birdsong. We might even catch sight of a mountain goat or a bear – but rest assured, our guides will keep us safe. There may also be more opportunities to trot and canter due to the smoother terrain. The views across Birkenhead Lake and beyond are picture perfect, especially with Sun God Mountain watching over us from afar. At our lunch stop, we’ll have the chance to cool off in the water, then we’ll ride on around the lake back to camp via Fowl Creek Falls. 

    The third adventure on the cards takes us all the way from our base camp to Ogre Lake, a 6,000 foot climb featuring some of British Columbia’s most awe-inspiring vistas. Ogre Lake sits just above the main tree line, surrounded by pine groves and enclosed by tall peaks. We’ll stop for lunch on the shore, where we can sit back and really absorb the heavenly scene we find ourselves in. Then there’s time to explore the surrounding scenery before riding back to camp. Although we’ll be following the same path as this morning, you’ll be amazed by how the changing light and direction turns it into a totally new experience. 

  • July 19

    It’s time to head back to civilisation, booo! After a leisurely breakfast, we’ll pack our bags and mount up for the trip back to the trailhead. There are a number of different trails we can take today, and we can decide which one tickles our fancy in the morning.  Since we won’t be back until evening, we’ll spend our last evening as a group in Whistler  {July 19} reminiscing on our Canadian adventure. On July 20, as a group, we’ll head back to Vancouver International Airport to head home. Please don’t book your departing flights until after midday on July 20. 

    *Dinner in Whistler on July 19 is not included in the package rate.

  • Transfer Information

    On Monday, July 11, guests are asked to arrive at the Fairmont Palliser in time for a group dinner at 7pm. On July 14, as a group we’ll be flying from Calgary to Vancouver and transferring to Whistler (regional flight is NOT included in the package rate). 

    The Globetrotting crew are booked on an Air Canada, flight AC0213 departing 12.25pm. You’re more than welcome to book that flight or earlier to match up with our pre-arranged transfer in Vancouver. 

    Please note all airport transfers are included from Vancouver Airport on July 14 through to July 20. 

    Please don’t book departing flights home on July 20 until after 12 midday.

HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS RIDE OR WHICH IS MOST SUITABLE FOR YOU?

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