Travel Articles

Alberta’s Canadian Rockies Equestrian Vacation

It might seem crazy, riding horses twenty miles into the mountains of Southwestern Alberta with a film crew and all their high definition equipment. Perhaps it’s a little nuts, but we were told that the loop around Sheep River Gorge in Alberta’s Canadian Rockies is spectacular, so we really wanted to capture it on film. Barring the hailstorm at the top, when those long Western duster rain jackets came in handy, the ride was amazing. We were out with husband and wife outfitters that have been leading riders into these mountains for over twenty years. The ride had us passing through meadows filled with wild flowers including the fragrant wild rose, Alberta’s provincial flower.

Tiny ground squirrels popped in and out of the earth, scurrying amid the tall grass. In one meadow, we cantered along a trail towards mountains rising up dramatically, reminding me of where we were headed—far away to the top. Through forests of aspen and pine, we conquered steep mountain passes leading to vast expanses of jagged peaks covered in pockets of snow. When I say steep, I mean it. You need a good mountain horse to ride through this area, and you can’t be afraid of heights. My horse took on the steep downhill switchbacks with glee. It’s areas like this when I’m particularly glad that I’m on a surefooted horse that can take me up high and back down in the Canadian Rockies. And though my film crew, who is not used to rides that are this challenging, didn’t thank me at the end of the day, they will when they watch the Equitrekking: Alberta episode. It’s going to be spectacular.

Learn more about Alberta Equestrian Vacations and horseback riding ranches, cattle drives and riding holidays in the Equitrekking Vacation Guide.