Horse-Friendly Wilderness Areas

Courtesy Banff Lake Louise Tourism/Paul Zizka Photography.

Equestrian camping is ideal for campers who wish to travel with their horses and explore the parks on horseback. Services offered in each equestrian campground differ by park, ranging from rustic (no marked trails, no facilities) to equestrian camping areas with corrals, tie stalls, fire rings and outhouses. Each province offers an online reservation service.

Provincial Parks

British Columbia
B.C. Provincial Parks offers 120 different areas where horseback riding and/or camping with horses is allowed. Depending on the area you want to explore, a couple of the more popular parks for horseback adventure are E.C. Manning (which is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2016) and Wells Gray, known as the Waterfall Park. Visit the website to learn more about all the parks where horses are allowed.

Alberta offers 22 provincial parks and recreation areas that are friendly to horses.  Equestrian campgrounds are equipped with such facilities as hitching rails, horse corrals and loading ramps. Visit the website to explore the sites and obtain general area maps.

There are two provincial parks that offer horseback riding and camping facilities; Cypress Hills and Saskatchewan Landing. Both offer the same basic services: corrals, tie stalls, access to water and limited-service camping spots located near the corrals. Visit the website for more information.

There are three equestrian-friendly provincial parks in the province; Birds Hill, which is available for day ride and horse drawn wagon use; Spruce Woods which has two equestrian campgrounds and Turtle Mountain offering two equestrian campsites adjacent to the trailhead. Visit the website and search for provincial parks.

Horses are only permitted on designated trails in Algonquin Provincial Park. The camp area is accessed through the East Gate where riders are directed to a large field. Facilities are rustic with no horse amenities such as hitching rails, but there is water. Visit the website for more information.

National Parks

Canada is home to 46 national parks and the adage; “Leave only footprints, take only photographs” applies to all horseback travel in both provincial and national parks. Some parks offer guided trail rides, while others allow day use and often, equestrian camping. Camping with horses is prevalent in the West, and riders are careful to appreciate the opportunity to ride through some of the most spectacular country in the world. Visit the website for more information on each park.

Banff National Park of Canada
UNESCO World Heritage Site and Canada’s first National Park of Canada (1885).

Grasslands National Park of Canada
Saskatchewan’s rare prairie grasses, dinosaur fossils, and badlands.

Prince Albert National Park of Canada
Protects a slice of northern coniferous forest and wildlife.

Riding Mountain National Park of Canada
Protected “island” area in the Manitoba Escarpment.