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4 Days Bighorn Sheep Tracking and Conservation Ranch Vacation in British Columbia, Canada

Chilcotin Holidays, 3300 Gun Creek Road, Gold Bridge, British Columbia, Canada

Canada Ranch Vacation and Pack Trip

Witness one of nature’s greatest displays, the Bighorn Sheep Rut, as you journey through the mountains on horseback. This horse pack trip, which removes the barriers between you and nature, is the ideal way to experience the rush as California Bighorn Sheep battle for dominance on the ridge tops. This unique combination of thrilling mountain-top wildlife viewing with extraordinarily beautiful trail rides truly takes the concept of outdoor adventure travel to new heights. Take this chance and widen your enthusiasm for horse riding and environment saving!

Key Information

  • Rider Weight Limit: 260 pounds / 118 kilograms (extra charge for riders who are over 230lbs)
  • Tack Type: Western

Highlights

  • Daily horse riding
  • Wilderness stewardship and riding orientation
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • 3 nights accommodation
  • Wildlife viewing

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

4 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
The maximum participants in the group is 7
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Accommodation

During this vacation, you will stay one night at the ranch accommodation and two nights at the alpine camp.

The ranch

From the grasses that blanket the alpine meadows to the ancient trees that line the riverbanks, every life form in nature plays more than one role. The horse ranch is no different.

It is a launching pad for deep wilderness adventures, a place to enjoy the wilderness with the comforts of home, and a training ground for future wilderness explorers. No matter what wilderness experience you come for, you will find that the active, working ranch is at the heart of every outdoor adventure here.

The ranch is truly a special place. It is the epicenter of every outdoor adventure and training program that the hosts run at Chilcotin Holidays. It is a place that generates meaningful wilderness experiences and new opportunities for growth. And it is the place that brings the people who enter its gates closer to nature and closer to the life they have always imagined.

This working ranch is nestled in the pristine wilderness of Southwestern British Columbia. With its prime location at the doorstep of Big Creek Park and the South Chilcotin Mountains, it provides an ideal launching point for a special brand of remote, deep wilderness journeys.

It is a modern-day equivalent of the last outpost, the place where early explorers and mountaineers would stock up on supplies for their daring expeditions. Today, you will see their guides gathering provisions and gearing up at the guest ranch before each and every outdoor adventure.

Even once your journey is underway, the horse ranch continues to provide the logistical support that makes every deep wilderness journey possible. So while you may not spend much time at the guest ranch before you embark on your outdoor adventure, you will certainly enjoy the benefits of having an established working ranch to support your journey.

For nature-seekers who are not quite ready to dive into a remote wilderness journey, the guest ranch provides a comfortable place for you to explore the wilderness at your pace. Because the horse ranch is situated in the midst of such stunning, pristine wilderness, there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure.

Mountain trails, which are perfect for the horseback riding, hiking, and mountain biking, are right at the doorstep. Each day you will get to enjoy the beauty of the pristine mountains, lakes, and forests, knowing that all the comforts of home await you at the guest ranch.

If you desire solitude and a place of your own, chalet rentals are the ideal settings for a restorative mountain getaway. From a charming cabin for two to a chalet that can accommodate over a dozen people, their private rentals provide your own personal retreat.

For nature-seekers who enjoy a more dynamic atmosphere, the ranch house is a lovely home away from home. Along with all the basic amenities, it provides private rooms with en-suite bathrooms.

What Chilcotin Holidays loves most about the ranch house, however, is the unique opportunity to interact with people from all walks of life and corners of the globe. Whether you are chatting with a fellow guest over a cup of coffee or enjoying a lively conversation during family-style meals, there is always something interesting going on.

And if you desire some quiet moments, the ranch house has an extensive reading library. Guests often enjoy curling up with a good book and a cup of tea or basking in the summer sunshine on the deck chairs.

So if you would like to get back to nature, but are not quite ready for your deep wilderness journeys, this guest ranch is the perfect place to enjoy the mountains in a way that suits you. The horse ranch also provides a rich training ground for future guides, leaders, and entrepreneurs.

With diverse guide training programs, lodge management internships, and leadership training programs, Chilcotin Holidays adds a new spin to the concept of a working ranch. Everyone at the ranch, from guests to staff and students, benefits from the continuous learning opportunities that these activities facilitate.

That is what makes this place more than a horse ranch and more than a guest ranch. It is an active, working ranch that acts as the last outpost, a rich training ground, and a home away from home in this rugged, remote wilderness. In all of its roles, the ranch brings people from different walks of life closer to nature and closer to the lives they were born to live.

The camps

From a sea of stars that light up the night sky to the sound of complete silence, the wilderness campsites fill each moment with wonder and delight. The prime locations and tranquil surroundings of our established backcountry camps bring British Columbia camping to the next level.

With over 25 camps throughout the 5,000 square kilometer operating area, the staff can lead horseback camping trips through mountain ranges and locations that few people get the experience. As you journey from one camp to the next on Chilcotin Holidays' high level wilderness adventures, you’ll experience the sense of discovery and thrill of the unknown that drove early mountaineers to explore this wondrous wilderness.

With endless mountains to trek through and new discoveries at every turn, this wilderness is meant to be explored. And that’s precisely what you do in the wilderness adventures. Whether you’re hiking and camping or embarking on wilderness pack trips, the camps give you the freedom to explore this wondrous wilderness.

After scouting and exploring the far reaches of the 5,000 sq km operating area, there will be the best and most beautiful settings for each of the 25 wilderness camps. As you journey from one camp to the next throughout our horseback camping trips, you’ll experience more of nature in a few days than most people experience in a lifetime.

The camps create the ultimate British Columbia camping experience, taking you through forests of Douglas fir, over alpine tundra, and into meadows of wildflowers. Whether you are hiking and camping or riding through the mountains on horseback camping trips, Chilcotin Holidays' strategically placed camps are what make these British Columbia camping and remote wilderness adventures possible.

The wilderness camps run the spectrum of BC camping styles, from basic canvas tents on raised platforms to solid mountain cabins. Regardless of what corner of the park you’re in and which camps you stay at, you’ll get to savor the solitude and refreshment of remote wilderness.

The majority of the camps are placed off the beaten track. On many of the horseback camping trips and hiking and camping adventures, your fellow travel companions are the only people you see throughout our wilderness adventures.

Program

Ultimate nature experience

The daring battle for dominance that precedes the bighorn sheep rut is unlike any other natural phenomenon. This intense showdown, which plays out once-a-year on treacherously high ridge tops, definitely belongs on the top-ten list of nature’s more epic experiences. Witnessing the sheer force and deafening crash of horns as rams collide is something you will never forget. And, the journey to see the bighorn sheep rut is unforgettable, too.

On daily trail rides through the pristine mountains of British Columbia, you will experience the diverse habitats and pristine wilderness that the bighorn sheep flock to. Once you arrive at prime viewing locations, you will see rams rush at each other with reckless resolve, topping out at speeds of over 60 kilometers per hour. Every high-speed collision sounds like a rifle-shot echoing through the valley. The clash of nature’s titans before each bighorn sheep rut is the kind of rare, truly wild experience that makes outdoor adventure travel so thrilling.

Ride through the authentic wilderness

The exciting pre-rut sparring between rams is just one of many nature experiences you will have throughout your horse pack trip. As you journey into the wilderness to witness the bighorn sheep rut, daily trail rides take you through rugged, forested pathways and over lofty mountain passes. At night, you will camp under starry skies and hear the sound of silence as you rest up for another day of amazing trail rides. With no artificial barriers or distracting excesses to get in your way, your horse pack trip brings you closer to nature than nearly any other form of outdoor adventure travel.

While the remote wilderness of your horse pack trip involves a good dose of dirt and unpredictable challenges, you will be rewarded with authentic, even life-changing encounters with nature. On your bighorn sheep rut expedition, you will get a front-row seat to the rams’ heart-stopping display of inspiring strength and fearless abandon. This expedition is the kind of outdoor adventure travel that does more than fills your camera with photos. It floods your spirit with bigger dreams and grander possibilities.

During this holiday, you will ride through the stunning wilderness to mountaintop lookouts for prime bighorn sheep viewing opportunities, marvel at the ram’s awe-inspiring strength and courage as they collide in an epic battle for dominance, and experience the thrill of riding horseback through untamed wilderness.

Activities include wildlife viewing (horse based), target shooting, Lariat throwing, guided hiking, grizzly den, bear defense, guided trail riding, bareback riding, horseback competitions, long reining lessons, riding lessons, horse logging, horse packing, horseshoeing, archery, goldmine shaft exploration, and multi-sports (gold panning, bucking barrel, horseshoe toss, worm a horse, fence running, learn how to run a chainsaw, horse competitions such as pole bending, barrel racing, and scurry pole, and logger sports such as pole climbing, ax throwing, log rolling, and saw cutting)

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Early morning departure from Vancouver aboard the Chilcotin express shuttle
  • Midday arrival and lunch at the ranch
  • Map orientation highlighting the trails and territory you will explore throughout your trip
  • Horse riding orientation (you match riders to horses, fit saddles, and practice horsemanship skills)
  • Introductory trail ride along Gun Creek
  • Dinner and review of trip details with your guides
  • Evening scouting for bighorn sheep by truck
  • Repack your personal gear into mountain duffel bags
  • Overnight in ranch accommodations

Day 2

  • Breakfast at the ranch
  • One-hour drive by truck to the trailhead
  • Starting at the trailhead, ride horseback through the stunning wilderness with an elevation gain of 2,500 feet
  • Arrival at your alpine camp
  • After lunch, keep your eyes open for California bighorn sheep as you ride past their mountain slope and alpine meadow habitats
  • Arrive at a key viewing lookout and scan the ridge lines and valley for bighorn sheep
  • Arrive at the camp, relax, and dinner time
  • Evening scouting for bighorn sheep
  • Relax or join your guides in leading the horses to their grazing meadows
  • Overnight at the camp

Day 3

  • Early morning scouting for bighorn sheep
  • Breakfast at the camp
  • Gear up and grab your pack lunch before a full day of riding and scouting
  • Ride to your scouting the terrain for bighorn sheep as you ride to a prime mountaintop lookout
  • This viewing location provides optimal opportunity to observe bighorn sheep and their annual pre-rut fight for dominance
  • Your ride back to camp weaves through alpine meadows and mountain trails, where you often spot Canada’s other iconic animals
  • Arrive at the camp, relax, and dinner time
  • Evening scouting for bighorn sheep
  • Relax or join your guides in leading the horses to their grazing meadows
  • Overnight at the camp

Day 4

  • Early morning scouting for bighorn sheep
  • Breakfast at the camp
  • Pack up and head back down to the trailhead
  • At the trailhead, a vehicle awaits to take you back to the ranch
  • Enjoy a farewell lunch at the ranch
  • Depart to Vancouver, Surrey, arriving in the evening

Please note that your trip is subject to the unpredictable weather and terrain conditions that come with a mountainous environment. While Chilcotin Holidays do their best to stick to the itinerary, there are times when the current conditions and needs of the group require us to adjust schedules, campsites, etc. This is part of any true wilderness experience, however, and they are well equipped to adapt the adventure to changing conditions. The pack trip requires a basic level of fitness. Walking downhill for more than 30 minutes should not be a problem for you. Good footwear with ankle support is highly recommended.

Location

Food

You will be served 10 meals included in the price.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten Free
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • Archery (50 CAD per hour)
  • Gold mine shaft exploration (based on a group of four with one guide, 400 CAD per truck)
  • Horse logging (100 CAD per person)
  • Horseshoeing (100 CAD per person)

What's included

  • 10 meals
  • 3 nights accommodation

What's not included

  • Accommodation upgrade (200 CAD per night)
  • Additional meals (15 CAD per breakfast or lunch and 25 CAD per dinner)
  • Chilcotin express shuttle ground transport between Vancouver and the ranch (350 CAD per person on regular dates and 500 CAD per person on irregular dates and 1200 CAD round trip per group of four or more)
  • Private group (extra 200 CAD per day per group - subject to availability)
  • Extra charge for horse riders over 230 pounds and restrictions may apply for horse riders over 260 pounds
  • 3 percent hotel tax
  • 5 percent goods and services tax
  • 5 percent wilderness stewardship contribution surcharge
  • 8 percent room tax

How to get there

Recommended Airports

GPS

50.9161478000, -122.8119956000.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 90 days before arrival.
4 days / 3 nights
from --

Taxes are not included.

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