Horse Supported Hiking in BC’s Rainbow Mountains

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Out in central British Columbia’s West Chilcotin lies one of Canada’s most spectacular volcanoes, the Rainbow Volcano. Situated in the heart of the Rainbow Mountains in Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, it was formed six-nine million years ago. Its present undulating form has been sculpted by several ice ages, making it an extraordinary hiking destination.

One man on a horse with two horses following behind carrying hikers' gear.

Led by David Dorsey, horses carry the load.

If you are proficient with map and compass, you can hike extensively throughout the Rainbow Range. However, if you prefer to hike unencumbered, the way to go is with horse support. This allows you to climb the colourful volcanic ridges, explore the basalt landforms, and photograph alpine flowers at leisure and with comfort.

To truly experience the Rainbows, Leslie Dorsey of Rainbow Mountain Outfitting is the third generation of Dorsey’s to guide you into the Rainbow Mountains. Sitting around the evening campfire listening to stories of adventure in the wild west Chilcotin is worth every penny it takes you to get there.

Three hikers walking through the Rainbow Range in Tweedsmuir Provincial Park.

Hiking colourful volcanic landforms.

As you spend your day hiking freely and exploring with a sense of relaxed freedom, your camp supplies and food are being carried to your designated campsite. By the time you get there, happy hour has been organized and dinner is on the grill.

Four horses packing gear to the hikers' camp.

The comforts of home are on their way to camp!

There are several destinations which allow you to hike on basalt coloured by minerals from 3,000 km (1,864 mi) below the surface. It’s a landscape that is hard to comprehend; it takes you deep into geological time.

Two hikers using walking poles as they hike into the orange core of Rainbow Volcano.

Hiking into the ancient core of the Rainbow Volcano.

Horse supported hiking in the Rainbow Mountains is an experience hard to find anywhere on the planet.

Know Before You Go: 

You can get to Anahim Lake where Rainbow Mountain Outfitting is located via three ways: car (three and a half hours from Williams Lake and ten hours from Vancouver), ferry (via BC Ferries Discovery Coast Ferry) or plane (daily flights available via Pacific Coastal Air). There are several accommodations to choose from once you arrive in Anahim Lake from B&B’s to resorts and motels. Adventures and activities abound across the Chilcotin, so be sure to do your research. For information on travel, accommodation and things to do, click here.