Whistler Wilderness Ride, BC, Canada

4 NightsIntermediate to AdvancedFrom $2,710 CAD?Tour costs $2,710 CAD which is approximately $2,986 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 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 105kg/230lbs.
  • Type of tack:Western saddles and bridles.
  • Seasons:July through 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:5 days, 4 nights with 5 full days in the saddle.
  • Inclusions:

    The price includes all meals (from lunch on day 1 through to lunch on day 5), riding, accommodation and luggage transportation.

  • Exclusions:

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

 

DEPARTURE DATES & RATES

Departing FinishingAvailabilityTotal
September 16, 2022September 20, 20224 spots left
$2,710 CAD ?Tour costs $2,710 CAD which is approximately $2,986 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same genderBook

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE RIDE PRICE?

The price includes all meals (from lunch on day 1 through to lunch on day 5), riding, accommodation, luggage transportation and Canadian taxes.

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE RIDE PRICE?

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

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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  • 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 & 4

    Over the next three 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. 

    The third adventure on the cards takes you all the way from 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. You’ll stop for lunch on the shore, where you can sit back and really absorb the heavenly scene you find yourselves in. Then there’s time to explore the surrounding scenery before riding back to camp. Although you’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.

  • Day 5

    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 with pick up/drop off in Whistler (about 45mins away from the ride location). The ride hosts can arrange for pick up/drop off at Whistler Hotels for an additional charge of $300 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 5pm on day 5, so it is important to arrange accommodation in Whistler both before and after the ride. 

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