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Boundary Ranch Horseback Riding

Kananaskis Outfitters: Your Ticket To Mountain Adventure!

Rocky, my trusty and sure-footed steed, knew the trail well. He sidestepped over roots and rock and confidently worked his way up and down the ragged trail with ease. “I’m sorry I had that extra beer and that giant tomahawk steak last night, Rocky,” I said to him at one point when the trail veered upward through a narrow slot in the trees.

“Listen here, gringo,” I envisioned him saying, “maybe do us both a favour and try losing ten pounds for your next ride.” You got it, Rocky, I mused. I surely don’t want to jeopardise another go at this. In fact, if I had it my way, I’d be coming back to Boundary Ranch for an amazing horseback riding adventure every season of the year! (I sensed that Rocky wasn’t totally sure if he liked that idea, but I couldn’t be certain. I don’t actually speak “horse.”) 

Located in the Kananaskis Valley – just a few kilometers down the road from Kananaskis Village and right on Highway 40 – Boundary Ranch is a four-season outpost that specializes in outdoor adventure. While horseback riding adventures – single riders, couples, families, corporate groups, you name it, they can accommodate it – is their main “game,” the ranch also specializes in dog carting rides (think dog sledding in summer), white-water rafting trips, voyageur canoe trips (think oversize canoes for groups), as well as sleigh rides and dog sledding in the snow-bound winter months.  

Boundary Ranch also has a gift shop, cafe, and a handful of attractive Western-themed dining and special events spaces that are ideal for weddings, corporate groups, and so on. One of the highlights is the octagon-shaped, log-framed Kiska Lodge, which features a stunning floor-to-ceiling iron-and-stone fireplace and room for up to 300 people.  

Another interesting place to visit at Boundary Ranch is the brand new Guinn Family Wildlife Museum. The museum provides a fascinating glimpse into the rich biodiversity and cultural heritage of the Rocky Mountains. There are over 100 species (taxidermied animals) on display as well as many western-themed artefacts, including a tipi that was used in the 2015 movie, The Revenant, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio. Many scenes in that thrilling adventure film were shot in the area.   

Over the years, I’ve visited Boundary Ranch, which was established in 1987 by the legendary Guinn family, a number of times. One of my most memorable visits took place near the start of the Covid-19 pandemic when the world was “closing down.” On that occasion, my boys and I were treated to an awesome dog-sledding adventure that I’ll never forget. It was a bluebird day in late spring and the taste of pure freedom in the great outdoors was almost overwhelming. I highly recommend a day of dog-sledding if you’ve never done it! 

And, certainly, I’d also highly recommend a horseback riding adventure at Boundary Ranch. Our guided two-hour ride took us up a pine-flecked ridge with jaw-dropping views of Mount Kidd, Mount Lorette, and many other nearby peaks. (The “Ridge Ride” is the most popular at the ranch. It’s $175 per person and should be booked in advance. www.boundaryranch.com.) 

On a number of occasions during the ride we stopped, snapped photos, and just marvelled at the breathtaking beauty of the Kananaskis Valley. My guide, Jen, who was from New Zealand and had grown up riding, was outstanding. She was kind, patient with my so-so riding skills, and told our group many awesome stories about the ranch. Horseback riding is so peaceful and social! And it really helps to have a great horse, like Rocky. Even if you don’t quite speak the same language.