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Reviewed 17 July 2015

I had great time it was a beautiful place and a great experience! The rooms are nice and the beds were super comfy, one of the best sleeps I've ever had. The food was always good too and I never had to worry about getting enough to eat! The riding was great and the people working there were awesome!

  • Stayed: July 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Mark W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2015 via mobile

Absolutely amazing, loved the horses and the staff
Super friendly
I think my bf didn't want to leave jack (the horse) when we had to take the wagon back to the camp site
Amazing experience
A must to feel the true alberta life

Stayed: July 2015, travelled with friends
1  Thank Kelly P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 October 2014

In September 2014, a good friend and I had the great pleasure of staying at the Outpost at Warden Rock for six days. Let me begin by saying that every word of the excellent and detailed review by Tabix titled, "“If you love riding, this is the place to go in the Rockies" is true. Therefore, I won't repeat all of her comments except to say that operation is top notch in every way.

The location is outstanding....distanced from all others, completely off the grid, nestled in Mountains overlooking the Red Deer River and on the eastern edge of Banff National Park, with an abundance of wildlife, and a wide variety of trails and terrain.

The Outpost was constructed and is carefully and respectfully owned and operated by Tim Barton and Julie Leavens. Both of these folks are very special people with a wealth of knowledge, experience and skills that they are happy to share. They take special care matching you with the right horses to ensure that you have a successful and enjoyable riding experience.

My friend and I had the pleasure of being introduced to riding gaited horses during our stay. Wow, talk about a new discovery for both of us. We have done quite a bit of riding in our time but nothing compares to the handling, speed and smoothness of a well-trained gaited horse. One day we rode 30 miles in 8 hours effortlessly :). I want to stress the quality aspect of our outpost riding experience: Tim and Julie are both wonderful teachers and trainers who provide individualized attention to each rider: providing a range of very healthy handpicked horses; horses are beautifully trained and responsive; and their horses are treated in a very caring and professional manner (special blankets and customized padding, top notch individual saddles, they are walked down steep trail sections to protect their legs).

Cabins with woodstoves were very nice and cozy, Julie and her staff cooked up a storm of delicious food ( adapted to culinary needs), the lodge with its picture windows overlooking the mountains/river and its woodstove was a fine spot to relax after a day of riding. As Tabix said the wood fired shower and hot tub under the stars were a real bonus.

Bottom line.....we will be back for sure.

Stayed: September 2014, travelled with friends
2  Thank Birdmanhiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2011

The Outpost was created by Tim Barton who packed in the Rockies all his life, who taught horse physiology in college, who is a farrier, etc. His wife Julie Leavens also plays a great part in this outfit (administrator, massage therapist, excellent guide and teacher for gaiting, webmistress). 
There are about a dozen cabins for the guests and staff. Each guest has his or her own cabin, with a heavy down comforter (Tim sewed them himself!), a woodstove (I lit up mine two nights out of three, it's cold at night up there in the mountains). It is very rustic, but comfortable: no electricity, no phone, no internet of course. The best place to get away from it all! They do have a satellite phone for emergencies. One outhouse for cowgirls, one for cowboys. As I said, it is rustic.There's a shower. One for all. And a godsend: a hot tub. The jets aren't very strong, but after 6-7 hours in the saddle, sitting in hot water is great. Woodstoves are used to heat the water.
The food is very good, homecooked meals. Even the fruit salad is made fresh every day. The staff are mostly WWOOFers, WWOOF is a program a bit similar to Yard and Groom's job placement.
The Outpost is surrounded by mountains, on a piece of land ensconced between the Ya Ha Tinda Ranch (government owned) and Banff National Park, on the banks of the Red Deer River where it is still aqua-blue glacier water. A river we cross on every ride. I had never before crossed on a horse a river this deep and with such a strong current. The trails are numerous, a lot of them are in the bush and very narrow. Julie and Tim know their backcountry very well, they've explored it a lot, those trails are endless. You don't see "just trees" as I've read (and written) in reviews about other places, the beauty of the vistas often left me speechless.  Their horses are great.

Experienced riders get to ride gaited horses, a great way to explore. You can cover a lot of ground real fast, for a long time. I don't believe other outfitters offer that. Most outfitter's insurers don't allow any other gaits than walk, in the Rockies, but the Outpost gets away with it because all those special gaits are considered "walking" given the number of feet on the ground at any one time.
They also have mules and draft horses. When you go to the Outpost, you park in the Ya Ha Tinda parking lot, and get on a stagecoach and the ride up to the Outpost is about an hour and a half. I never thought riding in a stagecoach would be this exciting! I got to ride on top, with a 360 degree view of the mountains and river, and the best spot to watch the draft horses at work. Driving those isn't as easy as it seems!
What's special about the Outpost at Warden Rock: a) wilderness without camping, b) gaited horses for experienced riders, c) excellent storytelling by Tim, d) the ride in a stagecoach, a covered wagon or a buggy. And of course, the Rockies.

I believe non riders, like hikers, can stay there too.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Tabix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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