Surrounded by majestic mountain ranges and an expanse of unspoiled wilderness, Golden, B.C., is an outdoor adventure capital and gateway to six national parks.
Whether you’re passing through on a summer road trip to Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Kootenay, Glacier or Mount Revelstoke, or making Golden your primary vacation destination, you'll find a vast array of recreation and world-class attractions to create a lifetime of memories. Here are the top five must-try activities in Golden:
Feel the river’s rush on a rafting trip in Golden. Of the area's three raft-worthy waterways, the glacial-fed Kicking Horse River is most popular and offers four levels of rapids. If you're new to rafting, book a trip on the upper canyon's gentle, family-friendly Class 1 rapids. Feeling brave and want to step up the intensity? Venture into the middle canyon's Class 2 and 3 rapids. Or, if you're an experienced rafter seeking extreme thrills, plunge into the lower canyon's 4 kilometre stretch of heart-pumping Class 4 whitewater. There are five professional rafting outfitters in the Golden area, offering everything from guided family floats to unforgettable heli whitewater adventures.
Golden's newest adrenalin-inducing adventure park boasts two of Canada's highest suspension bridges. Step out onto the sky-high attraction — swaying 426 feet above a vast canyon — and soak up unique views of the Columbia Valley. Prepare for dazzling 360-degree views of soaring mountain ranges, a roaring river and a tumbling 200-foot waterfall. Level-up your experience with a ride on the high-flying, 1,500-foot zipline and free-falling bungee swing. If heights aren't your thing, no need to fear, as Golden Skybridge offers plenty of on-the-ground fun as well. Explore the winding forested nature trails and play park, complete with tree forts, a miniature ropes course and slides. Then, grab a bite at the outdoor Village Grill, specializing in casual barbeque bites.
Explore the picturesque Blaeberry River Valley, alongside former rodeo cowboy and retired senior park warden Al Bjorn, Bear Corner Bed & Bale's owner and guide. The seasoned backcountry horseman leads one, two and three-hour trail rides by the Blaeberry River, as well as overnight and multi-day horseback adventures through the region's protected provincial forestland. If you're bringing the trailer, Bear Corner rents on-property RV sites, as well as tent sites and private log cabins. Expect iconic Canadian Rockies scenery, wildlife sighting opportunities and friendly western hospitality.
Golden's legendary ski resort, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, is equally thrilling throughout the summer season. Top alpine activities include hiking, downhill mountain biking, disc golf and Via Ferrata—a safe, guided climbing route, using steel cabling and ladders affixed to the mountainside. For the ultimate Canadian wildlife encounter, reserve an interpretive tour of the resort's Grizzly Bear Refuge to observe Boo the bear roam in his natural habitat. If you're craving a more laid-back adventure, opt for sightseeing aboard the scenic gondola, followed by lunch at the breathtaking Eagle's Eye restaurant.
Play a round amid spectacular Columbia Valley scenery at the Golden Golf Club. Showcasing views of the Canadian Rocky and Purcell mountain ranges, the 18-hole, par-72 course offers plenty of picture-perfect natural water hazards that promise to challenge your game. Watch for wildlife while out on the course, as osprey, eagles, deer, coyotes and even bears are known to make guest appearances. Post-game, head to the club's restaurant patio for drinks, light bites and hearty mains. The Golden Golf Club also has RV camping sites and a family-friendly, 18-hole mini-golf course.
Ready to plan your Golden getaway? Summer attractions book up quickly in the popular tourist town, so it's best to reserve early.