In 2013 when rains and meltwater combined to cause the biggest flood in Alberta’s history, the Brewster River which runs through the grounds at Sundance Lodge threatened the buildings so the staff were evacuated by helicopter. Before they flew away, they removed all tack and released the horses from the paddocks so they could find higher, safer ground. Within 3 weeks all the animals found their way home, but not Spider the horse. Spider roamed the forest and hills for several months before sauntering back to the paddock in late summer, a little wilder looking, but healthy and happy after his mountain vacation.

Who wouldn’t want to experience what Spider did for a few days in the beauty and tranquillity of Banff National Park? You can, with creature comforts and three square meals a day when you ride with Banff Trail Riders.

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More photos from the story 3 Days, 2 Nights and 1 Horse – An Adventure with Banff Trail Riders!

Photos Melissa Vroon

Big blue sky, mountains and a rushing river, a sight that never gets old


Banff Trail Riders Sundance Lodge in the trees

Sundance Lodge through the trees


Banff Trail Riders Riding

Riding through tall brush, the trail seems really narrow but the horses are sure-footed.


Banff Trail Riders Kate, our trusty lunch mule

Kate, our trusty lunch mule


Close up to the Rocky mountains

Stopping to ponder the view at a lunch break. Moments later we’d see a grizzly bear across the river.

Good morning, horses! Getting ready to start a new day in the saddle at the corral

Stopping for a little drink along the way

A nice little break at lunch time

Of course, Sundance Lodge has a dinner bell!

10 Mile Cabin, constructed in 1923 sits next to Sundance Lodge

Stop for the mule train! These trust steeds packed in all our duffel and supplies for the lodge.