Erling Strom Trail

4 Daysย  |ย  From ยฃ1032pp

Canada ( Best airport: Calgary)

On this trip you will follow the Erling Strom Trail, a path forged through the dense Banff forests by renowned explorer Erling Strom in the early 1900s.

The Riding

Amidst dense fragrant pines and snow-crested mountains that pierce the sky, youโ€™ll get to experience the wild side of Banff that not many visitors get to see. Remote and without any internet or cell service, the backcountry lodges where you will be staying offer a chance to find peaceful quiet and reconnect with friends and loved ones over a crackling campfire.

With a backcountry expert to guide you, this horseback experience is a chance to learn about the history of early exploration in the region. With four days to wander and discover Canadaโ€™s oldest national park, youโ€™ll have plenty of time to relax into the slow pace and peaceful quiet of life on the trail.

Youโ€™ll be riding along a historic pack trail that winds through the craggy Sundance Range, venturing to places most visitors to Banff National Park never get to see. Youโ€™ll pass by the shimmering waters of the Bow River and then ride up Allenby Pass, where jagged rock formations line the route. The terrain can be steep and rocky in places, and on occasion riders may need to dismount and lead their horse for short periods.

Level of Riding and Fitness

No previous experience is necessary for this ride, guides are happy to teach beginners the basics that they will need for the trip. The riding is all done at a walk and the horses are well trained and used to the trails. A good level of general fitness however is required and riders should have an adventurous nature and be happy and fit enough to spend between 4-6 hours a day in the saddle. Children aged 9 and over are welcome on the trail if accompanied by an adult. The weight limit is 105kg.

Guides and Group Size

All the guides on this trail are friendly, warm and experienced. They know how to work with both new and experienced riders. The maximum number of riders in a group is 6.

The Horses

There are around 300 horses and mules available for riding and as pack horses. There is a large variety of sizes, breeds and temperaments within the herd, something suitable for any level of rider. Guides at this destination are highly skilled at matching horses and riders, and at the end of the trip youโ€™ll have a new four legged best friend. The horses are steady, responsive and can be counted on to cross any terrain, from forest paths to boulder-strewn creeks.

The tack used is mostly Western and all riders are provided with saddle bags to transport daily essentials while on the trail.


Accommodation and Dining

You will be staying in two different lodges while on the trail. Your first and last night will be spent at Sundance Lodge. Just 10 miles from Banff, this secluded, warm and cosy lodge is at the edge of the mountain range. Complete with solar power and a wood-burning stove for a crackling evening fire. Hot showers and electricity are available here, although neither of the lodges has internet or Wi-Fi. There is a porch where you can sit and watch for wildlife and a sitting room with a fireplace perfect for relaxing in the evening. The shared bathroom facilities are inside and there are 10 rooms available.

The middle night of the trip will be spent at Halfway Lodge set at the base of the Allenby Pass. It was built in the 1920s for riders on their way to Mount Assiniboine. This is a more basic lodge than Sundance. Propane lanterns and candles provide the lighting while a wood-burner provides the heat. There is a cosy kitchen, dining and sitting room inside, and two shared outhouses (outdoor basic toilet facilities) and an outdoor shower on site. There are 4 bedrooms that have space for up to 4 people each.

At both lodges meals are cooked on-site by professional chefs, breakfast and dinner are eaten at the lodge while lunch is packed into the saddle bags and enjoyed while out on the trail. A traditional cowboy barbecue is served on your first day, usually an Alberta steak paired with home-made baked beans, baked potatoes and other sides. Dinners at the lodges could be braised beef short ribs (vegetarian alternative available) matched with a side of fluffy mashed potatoes and cheesecake for dessert. Camps and lodges are licensed and offer a small selection of wine and beer.

Get a free Erling Strom Trail mini-brochure in PDF format.


Erling Strom Trail

4 days / 3 nights / 4 days riding

Single Supplement – ยฃ180

Not payable if you are happy to share with another rider of the same sex and a sharer can be found.

Flights & Airport transfers

Do not book flights until you have received the Booking confirmation email from

The closest airport is Calgary around a 90 minute drive from Banff. Airport transfers are not included but can be arranged. We recommend arriving a day or two before the trail as it begins at 9.30am on Day 1. The stables are in Banff which has lots of accommodation options locally.

Price Includes
  • 4 full days of riding
  • Trail riding horse, tack and saddlebags
  • 3 nights shared accommodation
  • All meals
  • Luggage transfer
  • Services of guide
Price Excludes
  • Flights
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Tips