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North America > Canada > British Columbia > Kootenays > Columbia-Rockies > Golden (British Columbia)

Golden

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Map of Golden (British Columbia)
Golden, British Columbia

Golden is a small town in the Columbia-Rockies portion of the Kootenays in British Columbia.

Understand[edit]

The town was established in 1883 as a railway base camp named Cache. The name was later changed in an effort to compete with the nearby camp of Silver City. Since 2000, and the development of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, Golden has become increasingly tourist-oriented.

Golden has a population of 5000, but a drawing area of approximately 15 000. The face of the town is changing with the development at the ski resort, drawing a multitude of transient visitors and wealthy Albertans purchasing second homes.

There are two visitor information centres in Golden.

  • 1 Tourism Golden - Visitor Information Services Amenity Hub (VISAH), 1000 Trans Canada Highway (at the bottom of the hill, beside Boston Pizza, at the first four way intersection coming in from the east), +1 250-439-7290, . Summer: daily 9AM-7PM, winter: closed. Information specific to the Golden area. Will answer phone enquiries. Facilities at the VISAH include Wi-Fi, digital kiosks, picnic tables and a dog run.
  • Kicking Horse Country Chamber of Commerce, 500 10th Ave N. Carries only local information.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Golden is at the junction of Trans Canada Highways 1 and 95. It's 4 hours north of the US border on Highway 95. The nearest major airports are Calgary, 3 hours east on Hwy 1; Edmonton, 8 hours northeast via Hwy 93 and Highway 16; and Vancouver, 8 hours west on Hwy 1.

By bus[edit]

  • Kicking Horse YYC Express Shuttle, toll-free: +1-800-258-7669. During the ski season (December - March) a bus runs from the Calgary international airport to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort (with a transfer in Lake Louise) on Wednesdays & Saturdays. You can get dropped off / picked up in town if you ask. Bookings must be made by phone 72 hours in advance. Adult: $99, Child: $69.
  • Rider Express, +1-833-583-3636. Bus service along the Trans-Canada Highway from Calgary to Vancouver with stops in Golden. Check their website for current schedules and prices as they change frequently.

By rail[edit]

No passenger trains stop in Golden.

By plane[edit]

Golden has a small airport that private aircraft can fly into. It is operated by the Town of Golden.

Get around[edit]

Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge

Golden is so small that you don't need a car (especially if you are staying in the proximity of the centre). The town is divided by a river and each side has a supermarket (IGA on the north, Overwaitea on the south) which makes it easy to get the necessities by foot.

Mount 7 Taxi (+1 250-344-5237) is open 24 hours - a trip across town will probably cost you $10-15, up to Kicking Horse is likely $30-40.

During the winter months, Kicking Horse Resort runs a Snow Shuttle ($6/trip as of Feb 2007 - daily, weekly, monthly passes are available) which runs every 2 hours or so. The Snow Shuttle does a route going around town, up along the strip on the highway (Trans-Canada 1) and up to the mountain.

Of course, the easiest thing is to have a car, especially if you want to explore. There is a National Car & Truck Rental, 915 11th Ave S, +1 250-344-9899, in town, however, their fleet is very limited. There may also be some in nearby towns (Kamloops, Revelstoke, Canmore, Invermere). Otherwise Calgary would be a good bet.

See[edit]

  • 1 Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge (downtown Golden). The longest covered, free-span timber-frame pedestrian bridge in Canada, over the Kicking Horse River. Built by volunteers from around the world, it won the Communities in Bloom, Most Innovative Project for 2001. It intersects with a walking trail that circles the town, and is great for photos.
  • 2 Northern Lights Wildlife Wolf Centre, 1745 Short Rd (Blaeberry Valley), +1 250-344-6798. Open 365 days a year, from 9AM to 9PM in July and August, and from 10AM to 6PM during the rest of the year. Promotes wolf conversation. The centre houses wolves, and presents an interpretive talk about their behaviour and the work to help protect them. $10 adult, $8 senior or youth, $6 child, $30 family.
  • 3 Golden and District Museum, 1302 11th Ave S, +1 250-344-5169. May-Sep: M-F 9AM-noon and 1PM-5PM. Primarily houses displays on local history: exhibits on the railway, Swiss mountaineering guides, and the background and life of the early settlers. It is home to a display on David Thompson, in honour of the bicentennial of his passage through the Golden area. $2 per person.

Do[edit]

Golden's main appeal for the tourist is its wide array of adventure sports. In the winter, visitors should head for the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, ideal for the experienced skier or snowboarder. In the summer, activities to consider include whitewater rafting, hiking, mountain biking, and hang-gliding.

Recreation[edit]

Paragliding in Golden BC after launch off of Mount 7
  • 1 Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, 1500 Kicking Horse Trail, toll-free: +1-866-754-5425. Ski resort in winter and mountain bike park in summer, KHMR is Golden's biggest attraction. Those less enamoured with adventure recreation can take a ride up the gondola or tour the grizzly bear refuge.
  • 2 Golden Golf Club, 576 Golf Course Dr, +1 250-344-2700. Ranked as the best value in British Columbia. $59-65 per adult.

Hiking[edit]

Golden's location makes it a good starting point for many hikes in the area. A comprehensive listing can be found through Golden Hikes. Most hikes are at high elevations, and will definitely be under snow until mid June and quite possibly until late July, depending on the year's snowfall. There is also a 7-km walking path, the Rotary Trail, which circles the town. The section along the river is particularly nice. Start at the Pedestrian Bridge.

Horseback riding[edit]

Horseback riding, in the area surrounding Golden, is also popular among tourists.

Mountain biking[edit]

In addition to KHMR, the Golden Cycle Club maintains downhill and cross country trails including the Mount 7, Mountain Shadow, Moonraker and CBT networks.

Para-gliding[edit]

Mount 7 is a world-renowned heli/para-gliding site, home to several past world records. Tandem paragliding is a great option for amateurs.

Water sports[edit]

There are lakes in the area which might appeal to fishermen or canoeists. However, there is no place that rents canoes in Golden, so must bring their own equipment.

You can go swimming in a local lake or in the outdoor swimming pool.

  • 3 Cedar Lake (from downtown drive down 7th St N, across a one-way bridge and then 6 km up Kicking Horse Drive until you come to a fork in the road; turn left onto a gravel road; you will come to a three-way fork, take the centre road. On the next fork, turn left to get to the boat launch and right to access the beach). A pleasant little lake that you can swim, fish, or boat in. Popular among locals and great for picnics.
  • 4 Golden Swimming Pool, 1408 9th St S, +1 250-344-2118. Open in the summer only 6:30AM - 10PM. Schedules vary and can be found on the website. Public swim: $2.20/child, $2.75/student, $4/adult, $9/family.
Whitewater rafting[edit]

Three whitewater rafting companies operate from Golden. All raft the Kicking Horse River, which is known for having one of the longest stretches of class four rapids in the world. There is no appreciable difference between the companies.

Entertainment[edit]

Buy[edit]

The majority of Golden's stores are downtown on 9th St N, with a few being based on the other side of the river on 10th St S. Anyone interested in shopping can probably browse through the entire town in about three hours. For souvenirs check out the:

  • Moon River Gift Gallery, +1 250-344-5313. A selection of local art and knick knacks.

For those in town to participate in any sort of adventure recreation, there are a variety of sporting good stores in town that rent equipment.

  • Canyon Creek Outfitters (at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort).
  • Selkirk Sports, 504 9th St N, +1 250-344-2966.
  • Summit Cycle, 1007 11th Ave S, +1 250-344-6600.
  • Golden Farmer's Market, . Summmer: Wednesday Market @ CP Lot from noon - 5PM (June - September), Saturday Market @ Spirit Square (by the Pedestrian Bridge) from 10AM - 3PM (July and August); Winter: Christmas Market @ Mt 7 RecPlex from 10AM - 6PM (usually the last Saturday before Christmas). Lots of local products ranging from honey to pottery.

Eat[edit]

For such a small town Golden has a remarkable number and variety of places to eat, ranging from numerous fast-food places up on the highway strip, to pub-grub, to lower and high-end restaurants.

Budget[edit]

  • 1 Bacchus Books and Cafe, 409 9th Ave N, +1 250-344-5600. Open till 6PM. New and used bookstore is on the ground floor, cafe is above. Serves bagels, soup, sandwiches, salad.
  • 2 Canadian 2-for-1 Pizza, 519 9th Ave N, +1 250-344-7241.
  • Fast-food places off Highway 1 include McDonald's, Subway, Dairy Queen, Tim Hortons and A&W.

Mid-range[edit]

  • 3 Copperhorse Steakhouse, 1587 Cache Close (Copper Horse Lodge, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort), +1 250 344-6201, . Th-Su 5-10PM. Casual, yet unparalleled mountain dining experience that is inspired by locally sourced food and wines from British Columbia. Rocky Mountain Cuisine such as Elk, Bison, Beef, and Salmon.
  • 4 Eleven 22, 1122 10th Ave S, +1 250-344-2443. 5PM-11PM. Open for dinner. Excellent fusion cuisine. Reservations recommended.
  • 5 Golden Grizzly Cookhouse, 1002 Trans Canada Hwy, +1 250-439-1833. Decor features photographs of many locals, providing a homey touch. Food is fairly basic steak & pizza.
  • 6 Cedar House, 735 Hefti Rd (drive 5 min south of Golden, turn left onto Almberg Rd and then onto Hefti), +1 250-344-4679, . Organic food, fine dining, scenic mountain atmosphere. Definitely make a reservation, especially during peak season.
  • 7 Eagle's Eye (Kicking Horse Mountain Resort) (Kicking Horse Mountain Resort), +1 250-439-5425. Accessible only by gondola at 7,700 ft (2,300 m) above sea level. Go on a clear day to make the most of the views. The prices are much more reasonable for lunch.
  • 8 Fire Pit BBQ Smokehouse, 1105 Highway 1 Frontage Rd (at the Park Inn Hotel, inbetween the Prestige Inn and the Sportsman Lodge), +1 250-344-5222. 7AM-midnight. Southern-style BBQ breakfast, all food is made and smoked in house. A lounge with some big screens local draft. Two patios (front and back). $5-28.

Drink[edit]

Many cafes in Golden are licensed, but these are the best if you're looking for a pub.

  • 1 The Golden Taps Pub, 505 9th Ave N, +1 250-344-7155. M-W 11:30-1AM; Th-Sa 11:30-2AM; Su 1PM-1AM. Great food, drinks and a nice cozy atmosphere. Taps is pretty small so it fills up quickly, but the servers are friendly. Great food; lots to choose from. They have events a couple of nights a week - Wednesdays there are snowboard movies and giveaways all night, Thursdays is open mic night.
  • 2 The Local Hero Scottish Pub, 1593 Cache Close (The Highland Lodge, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort), +1 250-344-7220. 3PM to late. A Scottish mountain pub specializing in single malt Highland whisky and Scottish meals. Friendly relaxed atmosphere with low-beamed ceilings, wood-burning fireplaces and many nooks and crannies from Scotland. There is even an outside fireplace incorporated into the stone exterior of the pub, with plenty of outdoor seating on large decking area. Kids welcome.
  • 3 Peaks Grill, 1549 Kicking Horse Trail (Kicking Horse Mountain Resort), +1 250-344-4950, . Th, Su 11AM-8PM; Fr, Sa 11AM-10PM. Post-skiing homemade meals. Served with ice-cold beer on the patio or inside the lounge.
  • 4 Rock Water, 429 9th Ave N (just up the street from Taps), +1 250-344-5951. Used to be called Packers. Rock Water is the place to go for bands, DJs, and big nights out. It is pretty dingy during the day. They do offer accommodation, it often closes earlier than the other bars, but if it's busy, will keep going all night long. It has a few pool tables etc for entertainment. Now home of the "fresh beat" Mondays.
  • 5 Whitetooth Brewing, 623 8th Ave North, +1 250-344-2838, . 2PM-10PM. A local brewery with a tasting room. In the summer there is outdoor seating and usually a food truck.

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

Hostels[edit]

  • 1 Caribou Hostel, 1401 Adolph Johnson Rd (in the Blaeberry Valley west of Golden.), +1 250-344-4870, . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. On Moberly mountain, this quiet family-run hostel is 10 min west of Golden. Families and groups welcome. The Moberly Pub is a 2-minute walk through the woods. $25/night.
  • 2 Kicking Horse River Lodge, 801 9th St N, +1 250-439-1112, toll-free: +1-877-547-5266, . Services include a licensed cafe, laundry facilities, and, most essential of all, shuttle service up to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Within walking distance of downtown, ideal for the traveller without a vehicle. Dorm rooms with single beds $31, private rooms begin at $100 and increase significantly in price for additional people.

Camping[edit]

  • 3 Golden Eco-Adventure Ranch, McBeath Rd (in the small community of Nicholson, 5 minutes south of Golden), +1 250-344-6825, . 400 scenic acres. Full campground facilities include modern plumbing, laundry, internet, and full service for RVs. Rents bikes and kayaks. Has a swimming pond with beach and playground equipment. $20-35 based on type of campsite.
  • 4 Golden Municipal Campground, 1411 9th St. S (Across the street from Golden Municipal Pool), toll-free: +1 866-538-6625, . On the river, within walking distance of downtown. $35-40.
  • 5 Whispering Spruce Campground, 1430 Golden View Rd, +1 250-344-6680, fax: +1 250-344-6165, . Open from April 15 - October 15. off Hwy #1 $37-47.
  • 6 Columbia River Wetlands RV Park, 2122 Hwy 95 (20 km south of Golden), +1 250-348-2094. RV Park with services in Columbia Wetlands region, near the Columbia Wetlands Outpost, which offers kayaking, rafting and float tours among other activities. $35.
  • 7 Golden Golf Club RV Park, 576 Golf Course Drive (head up Kicking Horse Drive towards Ski Hill, then make turn right at Golf Course Dr.), +1 250-344-2700, . Quaint RV park on the grounds of the Golden Golf Club. Ideal for those golfing on course, but open to anybody. Restaurant on-site at Golf Club. $30.

Mid-range[edit]

Bed and Breakfast[edit]

Cabins and lodges[edit]

All of these have a central lodge and cabins for rent. Accommodation in the lodge will include breakfast.

Motels and hotels[edit]

On Mountain - Kicking Horse Mountain Resort[edit]

  • 19 Copper Horse Lodge, 1587 Cache Close, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, +1 250-344-7644, toll-free: +1-877-544-7644, . A 10-room boutique mountain lodge with spa style bathrooms, featherbeds, mini fridges, down duvets and quality linens. Deluxe suite with private jacuzzi and large sitting area. Guest lounge area with wood-burning fireplace. Breakfast is included with your stay (full hot in the winter and deluxe continental in the summer). Copper Horse Steakhouse onsite. Outdoor hottub. $140 to $250 depending upon season, includes breakfast.
  • 20 Glacier Mountaineer Lodge, 1549 Kicking Horse Trail, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, +1 250-439-1160, toll-free: +1-877-754-5486. Located in the heart of the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort alpine village - at the base of the Golden Eagle Express Gondola - Glacier Mountaineer offers king and queen guest rooms as well as one-, two-, and three-bedroom suites. All suites are appointed with full kitchens, fireplaces, and private balconies.
  • 21 Highland Lodge, #3 Cache Close, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, +1 250-344-7272, fax: +1 250-344-7275, . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. Scottish mountain lodge set within the heart of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. 10 bedrooms, all of which have en-suite facilities, TV, DVD and Satellite and have their own private balconies with views over looking the surrounding mountain ranges. At the centre of the Lodge is the Great Room, designed to provide a quiet and relaxing focal place to enjoy a wood burning fireplace. Hot gourmet breakfast, wireless internet and use of the outdoor hot tub all included. Dinner available on request. Includes breakfast. $135 to 340 depending upon season.
  • 22 Palliser Lodge, 1420 Palliser Trail, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, toll-free: +1-877-754-5486. Steps away from the mountain village, Palliser Lodge offers easy ski-in/ski-out access. One- and two-bedroom suites are appointed with full kitchens, private balconies, and private hot tubs (in select suites).
  • 23 Vagabond Lodge, 1581 Cache Close (directly across the road from the Gondola at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort), +1 250-344-2622, toll-free: +1-866-944-2622, . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. All rooms have feather rest beds, private bathrooms with heated floors, carpeted floors and antique armours. Six rooms have balconies with great views of the Rocky Mountains. Huge guest area with wood burning rock fireplace, bar (but no liquor licence, so guests may bring their own). Downstairs is a secure ski/snowboard room, boot dryer, games room with a pool table and satellite TV, and an outdoor hot tub. $135-250 per room based on double occupancy; prices depend on season, include breakfast.

Go next[edit]

Golden is in the heart of the national parks, many of which are close enough to be feasible day trips. Yoho National Park is 30 minutes west on the Trans Canada Hwy #1, and Banff National Park lies directly beyond. Kootenay National Park and the small town of Radium Hot Springs are hour south of Golden on Trans Canada Hwy #95. To the west, on Hwy #1, lie Glacier National Park, Mount Revelstoke National Park, and the community of Revelstoke.

Routes through Golden
KamloopsGlacier NP  W BC-1 (TCH).svg E  Field (in Yoho NP) → Banff
END  N BC-95.svg S  Radium Hot SpringsCranbrook




This city travel guide to Golden is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.