Ranches & Rockies, The Pioneer Trail

A stay on an authentic cattle ranch, Indigenous cultural sites, and sunsets over the Prairies are some of the highlights of this epic road trip

Spectacular landscapes will be your constant companion on this two-week road trip through Alberta and Saskatchewan. Journey through the ever-changing geological wonders of the badlands, enjoy boundless prairie skies with unbelievable sunsets and walk in the footsteps of the dinosaurs in Drumheller. Immerse yourself in the unique culture and charm of Canada’s smaller cities, such as Saskatoon, Regina and Medicine Hat. 

The highlight of your trip is sure to be the three-night stay on a working ranch, where you’ll participate in authentic ranching life. End the trip with a stay in the spectacular Rocky Mountains, exploring not only Banff but also the magnificent Waterton Lakes National Park. 

14 Days from $2275/person CAD
Travel Details
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Day 1: Calgary

After landing in Calgary, pick up your rental car at the airport and make your way downtown to your hotel.

Accommodation: Sandman Calgary City Centre (or similar)

Day 2: Calgary

Free day to enjoy the sights and attractions of Calgary! Nestled in the foothills of Canada’s Rocky Mountains, Calgary is a place where visitors come to explore the heritage of the Canadian West. Shopping and dining options abound. The city is also home to numerous parks and outdoor spaces.

Accommodation: Sandman Calgary City Centre (or similar)

Day 3: Calgary - Drumheller - Brooks (302 km)

Today, you will be heading for the Drumheller Valley, the heart of the Alberta “Badlands.” Gouged from the prairie landscape by prehistoric wind, water and ice, the Badlands are as mysterious and moon-like today, as they were when they were formed. Exposed sedimentary rock reveals 70 million years of geological history within the layers. You may also wish to stop at Dinosaur Provincial Park later in the day.

Included Activity: The Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology. Found in the heart of the valley along the North Dinosaur Trail, lays out the story of the evolution of the earth and the golden age of the dinosaurs in an exciting and educational format guaranteed to keep you spellbound for hours. Opened in 1985, the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology is known the world over as an outstanding palaeontology museum and research facility.

Accommodation: Heritage Inn (or similar)

Day 4: Brooks - Saskatoon (485 km)

Depart Brooks and the Badlands for a journey across the vast Canadian prairie to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan’s largest city. Saskatoon has a beautiful river valley to explore, as well as a delicious foodie scene and the Remai Modern, a renowned gallery.

Accommodation: Sandman Hotel (or similar)

Day 5: Saskatoon - Regina (258 km)

Today, you will travel to Regina, Saskatchewan’s capital city. Along the way, you may wish to detour to Little Manitou Lake, famous for its high saline and mineral content (often referred to as the Dead Sea of the Prairies).

Regina is home to a 100-year-old symphony orchestra and arguably the nation’s most passionate sporting enthusiasts. From the serene park created at the heart of the city and the many exhilarating festivals to fascinating museums, galleries, heritage and science centres, Regina is a fascinating city to explore.

Accommodation: Sandman Hotel & Suites (or similar)

Day 6: Regina - Kyle (310 km)

You will journey west today towards the small community of Kyle. Just outside of Kyle is La Reata Guest Ranch where you will stay for the next 3 nights. This will allow you two full days to live the ‘cowboy’ lifestyle and see the workings of an authentic operating cattle ranch.

You will stay in western-style wood cabins decorated to make any cowboy feel at home.

Accommodation: La Reata Ranch (or similar)

Day 7 & 8: Kyle – Ranch Stay

Enjoy Ranch Activities. When we are not in the saddle, there are plenty of other activities to do. You can walk down to Lake Diefenbaker for swimming, boating, canoeing and waterskiing (on availability). The lake also offers a great opportunity for fishing. The large ranch property allows for wildlife viewing while hiking on the rolling hills, with deer, coyotes, foxes and owls, and overhead a Golden Eagle or a pair of Pelicans.

For some solitude, find a private spot along the 14km ranch shoreline with narrow but sandy beaches here and there. In the evening, do what the cowboys do: engage in a game of horseshoes, learn how to handle a Lariat or improve your skills by dummy steer roping. Or visit the La Reata Saloon, where there is a pool table, foosball and darts.

End the day with the crackle of a campfire and roast marshmallows as an evening snack. Listen to country music or sit in the hot tub under the stars. On some nights we can visit the nearby (22km) famous White Bear Saloon for some hot wings and drinks.

Accommodation: La Reata Ranch (or similar)

Day 9: Kyle - Medicine Hat (295 km)

After your fun and relaxing ranch stay, continue westward back into the province of Alberta. This evening you will be staying in the Prairie town of Medicine Hat. Canada’s sunniest city is set in a lush river valley among wide-open prairie and red rock cliffs. Celebrate history, culture and spectacular nature at Medicine Hat’s history museums, cafes,art gallery and 100 parks and nature trails.

We also suggest you look at travelling the short distance south en route to Medicine Hat to visit Cypress Hills Provincial Park. The Cypress Hills rise 600 metres above the plains in southeastern Alberta where an ancient glacier hesitated and swerved.

Accommodation: Comfort Inn (or similar)

Day 10 Medicine Hat - Pincher Creek (265 km)

Today travel via Lethbridge to Fort McLeod where you may wish to visit the North West Mounted Police Fort built in 1874. Just beyond Fort Macleod lies one of the most spectacular heritage sites in western Canada: Head-Smashed-in Buffalo Jump. Uncover 6,000 years of history at one of the oldest, largest and best-preserved jumps in the world.

At this UNESCO World Heritage Site, you will learn about Indigenous history in Alberta and see demonstrations of First Nations culture through dancing and arts.

Alternatively, travel south towards the USA border and visit the spectacular Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. This provincial park protects the largest concentration of rock art on the plains. Explore this National Historic Site with an interpreter, lounge by the bubbling Milk River and hike the hoodoo trails.

Accommodation: Heritage Inn (or similar)

Day 11: Waterton

Take a short drive to Waterton Lakes National Park, the smallest of Alberta’s Rocky Mountain Parks, but considered by many to be the hidden jewel in the crown. The charming town of Waterton is surrounded by incredible mountain and lake scenery.

Stroll through the town to shop, dine at the restaurants, visit the beach or hike the trails that start from the town site. You will want to visit the Prince of Wales Hotel – a National Historic Site – for afternoon tea and lots of opportunities to take amazing photographs.

Accommodation: Heritage Inn (or similar)

Day 12: Pincher Creek - Canmore (295 km)

Head north on the famed Cowboy Trail (Hwy 22) along the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. You may wish to visit the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site – a working ranch that once employed the notorious Sundance Kid. Take a horse-drawn wagon ride and tour the outbuildings in a place that stands in tribute to the ranching history of western Canada.

Head west on Highway 40 with a beautiful scenic drive into Kananaskis country and along
the eastern flanks of the Rocky Mountains. Watch for wildlife!

Accommodation: Grand Rockies Resort (or similar)

Day 13: Banff National Park (160 km)

Spend your day exploring Banff, one of the most beautiful towns and national parks in the world. The Sulphur Mountain Gondola provides stunning views of Banff town and the surrounding mountains. Highlights of the area include - Bow River Falls, Tunnel Mountain Drive with the wind-eroded hoodoos and Lake Minnewanka.

A short drive along the Bow Valley brings you to Lake Louise with stunning views across the turquoise lake to the Victoria Glacier. Nearby Moraine Lake is a beautiful stop later in the day.

Accommodation: Grand Rockies Resort (or similar)

Day 14: Canmore - Calgary Airport (121 km) [Departure]
Make your way to Calgary airport. Return your car rental before boarding your flight home.



  • 10 nights hotel accommodation on room only basis
  • 3 nights ranch accommodation including 3 dinners, 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, snacks and soft drinks
  • The Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology admission (Day 3)
  • Horseback riding and ranch activities (Day 6-9)
  • Applicable taxes

Not Included

  • Car rental; please see separate car rental rates
  • Car parking at hotels
  • Park fees, admission charges or day use parking at parks
  • Meals
  • Personal expenses and insurance
Travel Details

Primary Location

Southern Alberta & Saskatchewan


June to September

Pricing Details

Click Book Online above for dates, availability and to make your reservation request - if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us!

  • From rates are based on double occupancy and travel in low season
  • Rates are subject to availability at the time of booking
  • Surcharges may apply to dates that correspond with holiday long weekends or festival dates
  • Surcharges will apply to dates corresponding with the Calgary Stampede
Options Extras

Optional Extras

  • Rental Car 14 days (full size car - Chevy Impala or similar)
  • Additional Pre / Post hotel nights in Calgary
  • Airfare to/ from Calgary

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