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Our experience of the best Banff Horse Riding Tour

A horse riding tour in the heart of the Canadian Rockies sounds like a dream right?! Well, I can tell from experience that it is the perfect combination of enjoying the natural beauty of Banff and an awesome equestrian adventure in one. It is a unique way to see Banff National Park from a different perspective. But there are many different horse riding tours in Banff, varying in length and location. So to make the choice easy for you, I put together this complete guide of the best Banff horse riding tours including my own personal experience and review. Unleash your inner country girl or boy and go horseback riding in Banff!

The BEST Banff horse riding tours 

Depending on your time, experience with horse riding and personal preferences, there are a few things to consider before booking your Banff horse riding tour. Most of the horseback riding tours are suitable for as well adults and children. Except the two day overnight trek by horseback. Here is a breakdown of the best Banff horse back riding tours. 

Horseback Ride and Helicopter Tour

Get the very best of both worlds and explore the Canadian Rockies from a helicopter ride, during a hike and a horseback ride! All these amazing activities are included during this 3.5 tour

You will start by flying over the stunning mountains, lakes and glaciers during a thrilling 20-minute helicopter flight. Then you will land where the Cline River and Waterfalls Creek meet. Here you will continue to explore the natural beauty on foot during a 1-hour easy guided hike. Take in the wild beauty of the backcountry while trekking up to Twin Falls where you will enjoy a delicious picnic lunch. Then you will return with the helicopter where the adventure continues with a 1-hour horseback ride. An absolute unforgettable experience which you will be taking about for years after! 

Prices start at $338 per person which is very fair if you look at all the activities you get to do! And with only 5 star reviews you can expect a fantastic smooth service and memories for a lifetime.

Check here the current availability for this amazing helicopter and horseback ride adventure

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4 Hour Sulphur Mountain Horseback Ride

This 4 hour horseback riding tour is packed with breathtaking Rocky Mountain scenery. You will get to see the most of the surroundings as this is the longest Banff horse riding tour. Therefore this tour is only suitable for people with previous horseback riding experience.

The 4-hour Sulphur Mountain Ride takes you down to the valley and across the lively Spray River. You’ll ride along the base of Mount Rundle and stop for a short break and small snack before continuing. The epic feature of this horseback ride is that you’ll even pass the roaring Bow Falls! It’s a fantastic diverse horseback ride and a must do for people who love horse riding. 

The starting time for this horse riding tour in Banff is 12:30 PM and the price per person is $227.

Check here current availability for this 4 hour Sulphur Mountain horseback ride in Banff

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3 Hour Bow Valley Loop Horseback Ride

This amazing 3 hour horse riding tour in Banff that takes you through the Bow Valley’s rustic terrain and grassy meadows onto Sundance Canyon Trail. In my opinion is this 3 hour horse riding tour the perfect sweet spot. You will see so many breathtaking views along the way! From sky-piercing mountaintops to thick alpine forests, tranquil rivers, and jagged rock formations. You will have your head turned at every corner. While riding through the forest, you might even have the chance of spotting elk and other animals in this wildlife-rich area.

The minimum age for this horseback ride is 8 years and the meeting point is at Banff Trail Riders. Prices are $185 per person and with 4.5 out of 5 stars, the quality and service of this horse riding tour is outstanding. 

Check here current availability for this 3 hour horse riding tour in Banff

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2 Hour Banff Horseback Riding Adventure

This 2 hour horse ride along the Bow River, Sulphur Mountain and around Banff is the perfect horseback riding tour for beginners. It is a gentle ride with plenty of amazing photo spots along the way. You will ride the Sundance Loop along the Bow River, pass by the natural sulphur hot springs and along one of Banff’s national historic sites: the Cave and Basin. While climbing up Sulphur Mountain with your horse, you’ll then continue up to Windy Knoll where you can take striking photos of the sweeping landscape. 

The starting time for this 2 hour horseback riding Banff tour is 12:30 PM and 2:30 PM and the price is $146 per person. 

Check here current availability for this 2 hour horse riding tour in Banff

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1 Hour Spray River Ride or Bow River Ride

For beginners or travellers short in time, this 1 hour horseback ride along the Spray River, or this 1 hour horse ride along the Bow River are the perfect options. 

During both tours you will explore the stunning blue river surrounded by snow capped peaks. The Spray River horseback tour takes you along the Bow Falls where you’ll cross the river.

The Bow River tour only passes along the river and takes you to the natural sulfur hot springs. The trail loops around a marsh near the Bow River with stunning views of Mt. Norquay and the Cascade Mountain in the distance. 

Check here current availability for this 1 hour horseback tour in Banff

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2-Day Sundance Overnight Backcountry Lodge Trip by Horseback

Go on this epic one-night, two-day guided backcountry horseback riding adventure that includes accommodation at a lodge and explore the wilderness at its best. You’ll spend a night at Sundance Lodge which is a luxurious backcountry lodge including dinner. Your days will be spent exploring on horseback while riding the ten mile trail along glacier-fed creeks. Along the way you will stop for a simple, hearty cowboy-style hot lunch on the banks of the river. An unforgettable adventure for the experienced horseback rider. 

Check here the current availability for this 2 day horseback riding adventure in Banff

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Is horse riding in Banff worth it?

Yes, yes and oh yes! It’s not often that you’ll get the chance of riding a horse through some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world! As ex-top dressage horse rider I usually pass for horse riding while traveling, but horse riding in Banff is something different. Riding though the diverse terrain of Banff National Park, from lush forests to open meadows and along turquoise blue rivers while being surrounded by majestic mountains is an unforgettable experience. 

And because you can choose from so many different horse riding tours, there is something for everyone. From beginners to the more advance riders. Or even this 2 day overnight Backcountry trip by horseback which is the ultimate horse riding adventure in Banff. That is definitely something I would love to experience a next time! 

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What do you wear to horseback riding in Banff?

For the most comfortable experience you should wear the right clothes with horse riding in Banff. Closed toe shoes are a must, but besides that I have some helpful tips to make your horse riding experience as comfy as possible. Did you know that I had my own horses for over 20 years? I competed on national and international dressage level for many years while living back in The Netherlands. So it’s safe to say that I’m an expert with horses. 

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Yep, that’s me and my horse during a competition in 2016

One of the most important things while horse riding is to wear long pants that are flexible or with elastic. Either a jogger or leggings is perfect. Your best option would be seamless pants because otherwise, the seam will rub your thigh, and especially on long rides this is going to hurt! So I would advise against jeans, but if they are baggy jeans and you don’t have anything else it might be your best option. 

Another must is a jacket that fits tight. You don’t want any scarf or loose hanging item that might spook the horse. Depending on the season you might not need a jacket, but that depends on the temperature of course. Another tip is to wear dark-colored clothes or clothes that are okay to get dirty. Especially the pants. The leather saddle might make some stains, and the horse can accidentally rub against your clothes as well. You will get a helmet to wear for your own safety. Eventually, you can bring a shower cap if you don’t like your hair to get dirty from a helmet that everyone is wearing.

What is the weight limit for Banff horseback riding? 

The maximum weight limit for horse riding in Banff is 104 kg / 230lbs for all horseback rides. This is of course not the case for the Covered Wagon Ride.

Other things to do in Banff

Where to stay in Banff

More Canada travel inspiration

I hope you enjoyed this complete guide about the best Banff horse riding tours. For more travel inspiration of British Columbia and Alberta, head over to our other Canada travel guides. See below our Canada guides per National Park and area for more travel inspiration. 

Read here our incredibly extensive guide about RVing in Canada

Banff National Park 

Plain of the Six Glaciers Trail – Complete Hiking Guide

Parker Ridge Trail hiking guide

Jasper National Park

Mount Edith Cavell hike – The Complete Guide

Kootenay National Park

Floe Lake hike – Complete Guide

Kananaskis

Smutwood Peak hike – Complete Guide

East End of the Rundle hike – Complete Guide

British Columbia

How to hike the epic Panorama Ridge in Garibaldi Provincial Park

Joffre Lakes hike – Complete Hiking Guide

Lynn Canyon hike Vancouver

St Marks Summit hike Vancouver

The best Whale Watching tours in Vancouver

Stunning Helmcken Falls in Wells Gray Park

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