What would a family trail ride in Alaska be like for you and your family? I’ll share with you, what I can imagine from my own experiences leading families and groups of friends on their own family trail rides and Horseback Adventures.
Where should we go, do you suppose? There are many options and very few that are not time-friendly to combine, unless you are coming for a longer than normal adventure (14 days or more).
I know! Let’s take Queen’s Adventure. Queen is perfect for a family trail ride in Alaska for everyone in your group. A little bit of this, a little bit of that and everyone, from the kiddos to Grandpa will enjoy each day.
We are going to pack away from the main Lodge here in Chisana and ride out to explore for 10 days. We will leave in the morning, after you arrive in Chisana. Your experienced, professional Alaska Guide and a wrangler as well as a trainee (or two depending on the size of your family group!) will lead you and your family as well as the pack horses out to the farewells and smiles of those of the Pioneer Outfitters crew that helped you load up to ride out.
On our way, our horses will step out, carrying you across the creeks that we will cross. They will get to know you and you, them. After two or three days, you’ll be talking to your horse as you ride. After seven or eight days, you will imagine that they are talking to you as well! ~ Just imagine, after 68 days in the saddle, real conversations begin to take place between my horse and I!
The creek we will ride up is an awesome place for a variety of wild critters. Photographic opportunities, too good to pass up, have turned the four hour ride into a seven hour ride more often than not. Grizzly bears, Alaska-Yukon Moose, Timber wolves and fox are often seen and photographed in this creek. Bear cubs and gangly new moose calves are always a pleasure and very carefully, keeping your distance, a special bonus to be able to watch and appreciate.
As we ride higher, the willow bars get further apart and we’ll zig-zag back and forth on the easiest path for the horses. We’ll stop in a nice spot and take a break with our lunches. As we ride on, I’ll point out interesting spots that have a story to tell. I’ll show you the ruins we have come across on past rides, and maybe with you and your family, we’ll find another!
As we reach the spot that we’ll make camp at, the horses will snort and blow from the scents that linger from the horses that were here on a previous trip as well as the bears and wolves that frequently leave sign that they were here. The creek running into the main creek that we traveled, runs directly down the outside of our camp and is a beautiful backdrop of sound and reflected light, through the trees and willows.
Unloading the horses and pack horses is routine and moves quickly, sorting out everyone’s personal gear, setting up tents, sorting the supplies and gathering wood for tonight’s camp fire. Filling water containers, unrolling sleeping pads and bags, changing boots for comfort and deciding “what’s for dinner,” then making it.
Fires started, horses belled with hobbles on their necks for their walk out to their spot for graze this evening, standing quietly waiting as the family and crew sit down to their own dinner first. Stories are shared and questions about what ever crossed your mind or caught your eye, are answered and discussed. The beginning of your Alaska stories have already begun.
As dinner ends, the guys will take the horses out to graze for the night, hobbling them before turning them loose. I’ll clean up dinner with the hot water on the fire and get everything ready for breakfast the next day before joining you and yours at the big fire. The guys will be back from taking the horses out in about 45 minutes and by then we’ll all be sitting around the fire with our favorite evening drink (mine is always a fresh cup of coffee!), laughing and sharing stories from the day or past rides. We say goodnight and settle into our own tents for a rest that can only be had here.
Morning greets the guys first, after I have the coffee ready, I’ll go shake their tents and say their names. “Coffee’s on, horses are waiting, boys” I say quietly. One at a time they sleepily walk over and I’ll hand them a go-cup of coffee, the way they like it (one likes his coffee in the form of hot-chocolate!)
By the time the horse bells can be heard coming down the trail, I’ll have coffee and breakfast ready. You and or you and your family may already be awake and sitting at the morning camp fire, but I guarantee, when the horses come into the camp, everyone will be awake! What a racket they make!
After the horses are all caught and tied, hobbles taken off and a bit of feed to start their day right, as well, the guys will wash up and be ready for breakfast. We’ll talk about the direction we are headed, we’ll decide to ride on and set up a new camp tonight or if we want to explore a few places here first.
Riding on, exploring, mountain climbing, fly fishing are all part of the day’s plan. We break down the camp, saddle and load up with the ease of habit. We head out and right away, come across a cow moose with her calf. After we see them, we begin to ride around the big mountain that we’ll climb. We have a surprise for everyone. One the back side of the mountain, we are able to ride the horses all the way to the flat top. It makes for some pretty incredible photographs.
We’ll end up camping by a nice sized high mountain lake and earlier than normal to get some good evening fly-fishing in and maybe catch dinner. We’ll be fishing for Lake Trout and I have a wonderful long-grain rice recipe that was given to me not too long ago that is incredible with fresh fish.
Everyone will agree that this just can’t be beat for a family horseback riding trip.
~ This is going to be an amazing year for Summer Horseback Adventures! I hope you will be our guest. You may want to visit these posts, to get more of a real feel for who we are and how we operate.
Be sure to let us know if you have questions or are wondering about anything in particular! We are always happy to chat about what we love best.