Whistler Wilderness Ride, BC Canada - Horse Riding Holidays and Safaris

Whistler Wilderness Ride, BC, Canada

3 NightsIntermediate to AdvancedFrom $2,415 CAD?Tour costs $2,415 CAD which is approximately $2,694 AUD

Ever wanted to explore back country British Columbia astride a locally bred horse? Here’s your chance!

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 how it’s done in BC.

Based at a comfortable riverside 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 four 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 105kg/230lbs.
  • Type of tack:Western saddles and bridles.
  • Seasons:July to September.
  • Group size:A minimum of 4 and a maximum of 6 guests.
  • Time in Saddle:Approximately 5 to 6 hours each day.
  • Riding Ability:Suitable for intermediate to advanced riders. Some parts of the trail can be quite technical, so riders need to be well-balanced. Not sure what your riding ability 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 (2-4 guests per tent) complete with sleeping bags and liners, cots, mats, towels and washcloths.
  • Ride Length:4 days, 3 nights with 4 full days in the saddle.
  • Inclusions:

    The price includes all meals (from lunch on day 1 through to lunch on day 4), riding, accommodation and luggage transportation.

  • Exclusions:

    The price does not include international or regional flights, travel insurance, transfers to/from the ride, staff tips (please budget for around $250 CAD in total) and alcohol (BYO welcome).



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The price includes all meals (from lunch on day 1 through to lunch on day 4), riding, accommodation, luggage transportation and Canadian taxes.


The price does not include international or regional flights, travel insurance, staff tips (please budget for around $250 CAD in total), alcohol (BYO welcome) or transfers.

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.

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.


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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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  • Day 1

    It’s time to run away to the wilderness! This morning you’ll don our riding gear and head out to the start of the trailhead, where you’ll meet your amazing wranglers, support crew, and of course the horses! If you’ve arranged the transfer service, you’ll be picked up from your hotel in Whistler at around 8.15am.

    Arriving at the trailhead at 9:30, you’ll get the low-down on the day’s plan, be paired up with your 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 your globetrotting hearts thudding! You’ll climb about 2,000 feet in total, pausing for a saddlebag-packed lunch at an extraordinary lookout point, before arriving at the base camp near Birkenhead Lake in the afternoon. Here you’ll be reunited with your luggage, and if you’ve made it in good time and the weather permits, you might be tempted to take a dip in the river near camp 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 you warm and dry in the chilly Canadian nights. A hearty dinner will be cooked over the campfire as the stars emerge between the peaks.

  • Days 2 & 3

    Over the next two days, the order of the trails you 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, you’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. You’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, you’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 you enjoy a packed lunch with a stunning view over the valley below. Following a different miners’ track back to the trucks, you’ll load the horses and head back to camp, arriving at around 5pm. 

    On another day, you’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. 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 you from afar. At your lunch stop, you’ll have the chance to cool off in the water, then you’ll ride on around the lake back to camp. 

  • Day 4

    It’s time to head back to civilisation, booo! After a leisurely breakfast, you’ll pack your bags and mount up for the trip back to the trailhead. There are a number of different trails you can take today, and you can decide which one tickles your fancy in the morning.  You’ll arrive back at the start of the trailhead around 5pm where you’ll bid sad farewells to the horses and wranglers, before heading off on your merry way. 

    Remember it’s important to book a night’s accommodation in Whistler at the end of the ride, as you won’t get back there before 6pm in the evening. 

  • Transfer Information

    The closest major international airport is Vancouver (YVR), about 2.5hrs drive away. Guests are encouraged to hire a car and drive to the ride location – the Sea to Sky Highway is an incredibly scenic route.

    Alternatively, should you prefer to catch a bus from Vancouver to Whistler, a transfer service can be arranged through Whistler Shuttle. The ride hosts can arrange for pick up/drop off at Whistler Hotels for an additional charge of $250 CAD per person round trip. Pick up would be at 8.15am on the morning of day 1. Drop off would be around 6pm on the last day. You are expected to be at the ride location no later than 9.30am on day 1, and won’t finish until around 4pm on day 5, so it is important to arrange accommodation in Whistler both before and after the ride. 

The Whistler Wilderness Ride, Canada - Globetrotting horse riding holiday

Chelsey Parish

‘A truly lovely riding holiday with the right balance of outdoorsy adventure and comfortable camping. Our hoses and hosts were all oozing with Canadian charm and the mountain scenery was breathtaking. There was a lovely small group of ladies on our trip, and we all agreed we could happily do the ride every year forevermore. I rode the gentle, sure-footed and smoochy Captain carried me safely through the mountains and rivers. He is a solid, mountain-bred gelding who loved his job and was as nimble as a mountain goat. They were, without a doubt, the best trail horses I have ever ridden. As an infrequent rider with lots of riding experience but low saddle fitness, the 4-day itinerary was the perfect length. I would happily book again, but there are so many more GT rides to try!’

Whistler Wilderness Ride, BC, Canada - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Bernadette Kelly

‘British Columbia took my breath away. Everywhere I looked there was another breathtaking view. Add to that fabulous horses and riding, friendly, relaxed guides and scrumptious food in the most stunning setting, and you have a riding experience to die for. The only problem I have with it is that it went way too fast. Take me back!’

Whistler Wilderness Ride, British Columbia, Canada - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Roz Beinke

‘Thanks Globetrotting for yet another fun exploratory experience – I loved the horses, catching up with the GT group, hearty food, Fireball whisky and enjoying the wonderful fresh air and scenery! The local guides were always really helpful and good company. My horse Bingo was surefooted, strong and safe. The highlight was riding to Lake Ogre – I loved the canters at the start, then riding up high over the peat bogs and close to the icy snow, and having lunch by the lake. Canada is wonderful – I would love to go back and explore some more. Thanks again Globetrotting!’