Horseback riding in British Columbia, Canada

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- Chilko Explorer and Pack Trip Combo
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Chilko Explorer and Pack Trip Combo


Itinerary for Chilko Explorer and Pack Trip Combo




Sample Itinerary: Potato Range & Lodge Ride -
subject to changes

The Wild Potato Mountains offer a multitude of different kind of scenery and riding styles: Ride through high alpine plateaus, hidden valleys, deep mountain passes, and open sandy beaches. Enjoy the splendid views, the immense variety of wildflowers, ancient fossil beds, and the companionship of your fellow riders.
The First Nation's Legend says that a woman once traveled across this range of mountains planting wild potatoes, thus the name "Potato Range". This circular trip combines the spectacular beauty of the Coast Range Mountains as well as the faster riding of the Chilcotin Plateau. Our explorations will take us from one spectacular campsite to another. Each camp is nestled adjacent to a pristine lake. We change camps all but one day. The riding speed is primarily at a walk until the last two days where we will do some trotting and cantering. On the last two days we drop down to the Tatlayoko Valley, and the camp is met by the truck. The truck transports the camp so we are able to canter the last couple of days of the trip. This is a beautiful trip, with amazing vistas and blankets of wildflowers!

Day 1 (Sunday): Arrival
A 9:30am charter flight takes you from Vancouver across the magnificent glaciers of the coastal mountains to Chilko Lake, where our host will greet you at the private landing strip of the ranch. After lunch, we will brief on the trip and gear (saddlebags, duffle bags, sleeping mats and tents). Later meet the horses and have a short introductory ride. After dinner time, to repack your duffle bags for the trail ahead.
Meals included: Lunch & Dinner
Overnight in tents near the Lodge


Day 2 (Monday): Ride to Fish Lake
Head out from the ranch, climbing about 4,000 feet to the high alpine, with views of Chilko Lake and the Coast Mountains. Camp is by a small lake hidden in the valley, where you can swim or fish for small trout.
Riding: ~ 5.5 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight Camping by Fish lake


Day 3 (Tuesday): Fish Lake to Echo Lake
From Fish Lake you continue climbing to higher alpine plateaus and cross over to Echo Lake. The camp is situated on the shores of small lake and overlooks the Echo Valley. The lake is cold, but great for swimming. Stay here for two nights. 
Riding: ~ 4 -5 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight Camping by Echo lake


Day 4 (Wednesday): Rest day at Echo lake
This is a free day and you can choose to spend the day in camp relaxing, hiking, or join the ride and explore the neighboring mountains. Take a nap on the side of an alpine meadow surrounded by majestic mountains and alpine wildflowers. If conditions are good, there may be a small amount of cantering on the ride.
Riding: ~ 4.5- 6.5 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight Camping by Echo lake


Day 5 (Thursday): Echo Lake to Tatlayoko Lake
Pack up camp and head north with Stunning views and changing scenery. The countryside changes from mountain valleys to softer slopes, and descends about 4,000 feet into Tatlayoko Valley.  At the steepest part of the descent you will be asked to hike down the mountain for about 30 minutes to assist your horse. Camp is located adjacent to Tatlayoko Lake, ideal for swimming. Tatlayoko Lake and valley is a small ranching community. On Thursday the trip meets the truck, and all gear is transported by vehicle from here. This means there may be possibilities for some canters on the last two days.  
Riding: ~ 6 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight Camping by Tatlayoko Lake


Day 6 (Friday): Tatlayoko Lake to Choelquote Lake
Camp is packed by vehicle and you ride through Lincoln pass to Choelquote Lake. If conditions allow, there may be some canters. Choelquote Lake is a warmer mountain lake and offers beautiful sunsets and open grasslands along the eastern part of the lake.
Riding: ~ 6 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight Camping by Choelquote Lake


Day 7 (Saturday): Choelquote Lake to Ranch
Camp is packed and taken by vehicle to the lodge whilst you saddle up and ride along Choelquote Lake, crossing the Chilko River by bridge. Travel along the Chilko River which, if conditions allow, offers nice canters throughout the ride. Arrive back at the lodge where camp has been set up for you. Time for a hot shower, soak in the Jacuzzi and a cold beer or drink on the decks prior to the barbecue.
Riding: ~ 5.5 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight in tents near the Lodge


Day 8 (Sunday): Rest Day at the Ranch
A day for rest and relaxation. Afternoon ride.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight in the Lodge

Day 9 (Monday): Ride to Green Lake
After breakfast, we ride through fir forests to Green Lake. Along the way we stop for a picnic at the lake. In the afternoon there are some wonderful opportunities to canter on soft forest trails.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight in the Lodge

Day 10 (Tuesday): Chilko River Ride
Today’s ride is along the Chilko River and through the forests. A mix of walking, trotting, and some great canters.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight in the Lodge

Day 11 (Wednesday): Mount Tulin Ride
We ride up the steep trails of Mount Tulin. The ride takes us through magnificent fir forests to the timberline. From the summit it takes a 20-minute hike to reach the top of the mountain. Soak in the panorama of the Coast Mountains and 55 mile long Chilko Lake with its turquoise waters and the breathtaking beauty of Tsylos Park.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight in the Lodge

Day 12 (Thursday): Chilko Lake Ride
One day during your stay, the riders will head up beautiful Chilko Lake. Pristine Chilko Lake is the largest natural high mountain lake in North America. Surrounded by glaciers, rugged towering peaks, roaring creeks and rivers, waterfalls, and of course the wildlife. Due to the glacial silt, Chilko Lake has a gorgeous turquoise coloring. The views, whether looking down on her or up from her, are unbelievable. You might have a chance to visit the old mining cabin at Franklin Arm and hike up to the waterfalls, or hike to a secluded glacial lake.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight in the Lodge

Day 13 (Friday): Rollercoaster Ride
We enjoy many brisk canters across the Chilcotin plateau and along the Chilko river. Advanced riders will enjoy the "rollercoaster" rides on narrow, windy forest trails. Due to the fast pace of these rides you have to be able to develop a good feeling and communicate well with your horse. It is excellent for stretching your riding abilities and building your confidence. Both the horse and rider find it fun and challenging. But not to worry, the horses are well trained and easily controllable. We stop for a nice picnic by the river with its fast flowing waters.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight in the Lodge

Day 14 (Saturday): Henry's crossing Ride
A brisk ride takes you along the Chilko river to Henry's crossing. Enjoy a well deserved lunch break on the only bridge that spans the river. In September you can watch natives fishing for salmon here. In the afternoon we canter along the east side of the river to Canoe Crossing always with the whole mountain range in clear view. The horses swim across the river and freely gallop home while a boat ride takes you back to the ranch. In the evening a fabulous farewell dinner with barbecue awaits you.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight in the Lodge

Day 15 (Sunday): Departure
After an early morning breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to Vancouver, or join us at the lodge for another week of a seven night lodge riding vacation, or fly fishing trip. Do not book a flight out before 3:30pm!
Meals included: Breakfast



Sample Itinerary: Goat Camp & Lodge Ride -
subject to changes

We travel along the shores of Chilko Lake , before we climb up to our Goat Camp base at 6,500 feet. Rugged peaks surround the valley and tower at about 10,000 feet. From the base camp we spend the next few days exploring the awesome and rugged beauty of Goat Camp.  This trip offers plenty of time to relax, hike, photograph wildflowers, and wildlife. Mountain Goat, Mule Deer, Bear, and Mountain Marmots make their home here.  Goat Camp is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. After exploring by horseback the many mountain peaks and valleys, you return to base camp in time to enjoy a glass of wine, watch the stars come out over the valley, and listen to the tinkling of the horse bells as the munch happily in this spectacular mountain valley. The majority of the trip is walking, due to the terrain except the last day back to the Lodge where there is some trotting and cantering!! The majority of the trip is walking, due to the terrain and the packhorses, except the last day back to the Lodge where there is some trotting and cantering!

Day 1 (Sunday): Arrival
A 9:30am charter flight takes you from Vancouver across the magnificent glaciers of the coastal mountains to Chilko Lake, where our host will greet you at the private landing strip of the ranch. After lunch and a short introduction you get a chance to test your horse on a 2-hour ride. Upon return some cool drinks on the porch and then a delicious dinner with fine wines await you.
Riding: ~ 2 hours
Meals included: Lunch & Dinner
Overnight in tents near the Lodge


Day 2 (Monday): Ride to Moose Lagoon
In the morning, you start your pack trip which will eventually be returning in the afternoon of day seven after spending 6 days in pristine wilderness. The ride goes high up into Goat Country. It is rugged, wild and absolutely beautiful! You ride along Chilko Lake for the day spending the first night at Moose Lagoon.
Riding: ~ 9-10 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight Camping by Moose Lagoon


Day 3 - 6 (Tuesday to Friday): Ride through Goat Valley
Then you cut up into the Goat Valley where you spend four unforgettable days riding over mountain tops and through breathtaking valleys. Towering 11,000 foot peaks surround the base camp with three large glaciers rising out of the valley floor at the south end. No roads, no phones, the perfect get-away and a chance to get back to the essentials of life. The abundance of alpine flowers throughout the valleys and surrounding mountains is overwhelming. The whistle of the plentiful marmots accompany you on each day to new mountain peaks and wild valleys. Goat Camp is named after the majestic Mountain Goats that call this area home. Often wild deer visit you in camp to nibble on the grain. We use a pioneer tent with cook stove, table and benches for a warm, relaxing evening dinner. We might tell some tales while sitting by a roaring bonfire watching the many stars or the Northern Lights. This trip offers plenty of time to relax, hike, photograph wildflowers or wildlife.
Riding: ~ 4-6 hours per day
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight Camping


Day 7 (Saturday): Ride back to Ranch
If the group so desires, the last day offers an optional fast return ride to the lodge on Saturday.
Riding: ~ 4-6 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the Lodge


Day 8 (Sunday): Rest day
A day for rest and relaxation. Afternoon ride.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the Lodge


Day 9 (Monday):
After breakfast we ride through fir forests to Green Lake. Along the way we stop for a picnic at the lake. In the afternoon there are some wonderful opportunities to canter on soft forest trails.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the Lodge


Day 10 (Tuesday): Chilko River Ride
Today’s ride is along the Chilko River and through the forests. A mix of walking, trotting, and some great canters.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the Lodge


Day 11 (Wednesday): Mount Tulin Ride
We ride up the steep trails of Mount Tulin. The ride takes us through magnificent fir forests to the timberline. From the summit it takes a 20-minute hike to reach the top of the mountain. Soak in the panorama of the Coast Mountains and 55 mile long Chilko Lake with its turquoise waters and the breathtaking beauty of Tsylos Park.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the Lodge


Day 12 (Thursday): Chilko Lake Ride
One day during your stay the riders will head up beautiful Chilko Lake. Pristine Chilko Lake is the largest natural high mountain lake in North America. Surrounded by glaciers, rugged towering peaks, roaring creeks and rivers, waterfalls, and of course the wildlife. Due to the glacial silt, Chilko Lake has a gorgeous turquoise coloring. The views, whether looking down on her or up from her, are unbelievable. You might have a chance to visit the old mining cabin at Franklin Arm and hike up to the waterfalls, or hike to a secluded glacial lake.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the Lodge


Day 13 (Friday): Rollercoaster Ride
We enjoy many brisk canters across the Chilcotin plateau and along the Chilko river. Advanced riders will enjoy the "rollercoaster" rides on narrow, windy forest trails. Due to the fast pace of these rides you have to be able to develop a good feeling and communicate well with your horse. It is excellent for stretching your riding abilities and building your confidence. Both the horse and rider find it fun and challenging. But not to worry, the horses are well trained and easily controllable. We stop for a nice picnic by the river with its fast flowing waters.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the Lodge


Day 14 (Saturday): Henry's crossing Ride
A brisk ride takes you along the Chilko river to Henry's crossing. Enjoy a well deserved lunch break on the only bridge that spans the river. In September you can watch natives fishing for salmon here. In the afternoon we canter along the east side of the river to Canoe Crossing always with the whole mountain range in clear view. The horses swim across the river and freely gallop home while a boat ride takes you back to the ranch. In the evening a fabulous farewell dinner with barbecue awaits you.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the Lodge


Day 15 (Sunday): Departure
After an early morning breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to Vancouver, or join us at the lodge for another week of a seven night lodge riding vacation, or fly fishing trip. Do not book a flight out before 3:30pm!
Meals included: Breakfast
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Chilko Explorer and Pack Trip Combo
Tour Code: RTBC08
15 days / 14 nights ~$0.00
Dates : July to Aug

Trip Rating :
Difficulty : Riding Level
Riding Level Explained
ABeginner
Beginner A rider who has limited experience, is unable to post the trot and does not canter.
BNovice
Novice A rider who is capable of mounting and dismounting unassisted, capable of applying basic aids, comfortable and in control at the walk, moderate length posting trots, and short canters.
CIntermediate
Intermediate A rider who has a firm seat, is confident and in control at all paces (including posting trots, two point canters and gallops), but does not ride regularly.
D Strong Intermediate
Strong Intermediate An intermediate rider who is currently riding regularly and is comfortable in the saddle for at least 6 hours per day.
EAdvanced
All of the above, plus an independent seat, soft hands, and capable of handlinga spirited horse in open country.
Lodging: Standard
Lodging Level Explained
   
= Facilities in lodges, estancias, haciendas, resorts, etc.
   
Basic lodging - some with shared bathroom facilities, usually no AC or room service.
Regular standard room - usually with private bath.
 Accommodations with superior comforts.
   
 = Trips with nights in tent camps. Sometimes the first and last night are in hotels.
   
Basic tent camping - everyone helps out with camp chores.
Regular standard with some camp amenities and camp cook.
Camping facilities with superior comforts like camp shower, bathroom facility..
   
 = Trips that combine nights in hotels and camping.
   
Basic accommodation and basic camping facilities can be expected.
Regular standard with some nicer amenities.
Only assigned to hotel and camping facilities with superior comforts.

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Tack: Western
Horses: Quarter, Arab, Appaloosa, Paint, Draft...
Pace: Slow with steep slopes. 4-6 hours in t...

Airport: Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
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