Summer is prime camping season in wildly beautiful Golden, B.C., a quaint mountain town surrounded by national parks and brimming with outdoor adventure.
To inspire your next vacation and help you find the perfect campsite, check out these campground suggestions, local activities and expert tips for planning the ultimate camping trip in Golden.
Top Five Campgrounds in Golden
Whether you want a simple site to pitch your tent or prefer all the creature comforts, you'll find a picture-perfect campground in Golden to suit your personal travel style.
- Head to the Golden Municipal Campground and set up camp amidst top shops and restaurants. Located alongside the Kicking Horse River, near the Golden Rotary Trails, this unique campground offers free WiFi and showers and is within walking distance of the vibrant downtown.
- If you're seeking the serene, visit the Cedar Lake Recreation Site in Kicking Horse Country, about 15 minutes from town. The campground features 22 basic sites on a first-come-first-serve basis, two beaches, a picnic area and trailhead access to the 50-kilometre Moonraker Trail system.
- At The Ranch, located just ten minutes from Golden, campers can choose from three styles of sites: tent, RV and yurt. The latter option offers accommodation for two in large canvass tent-like structures, with a futon double bed. Guided outdoor adventures, including climbing, paddling and paragliding, can be booked through The Ranch's activity centre.
- If you're hoping to get a round of golf in while camping, reserve a spot at the Golden Golf Club RV Park. In addition to its award-winning 18-hole course, you'll find a clubhouse restaurant, driving range and a family-friendly mini-golf course.
- The Goldenwood Lodge is another amenity-rich camping option, featuring eight non-serviced sites, as well as cottages, cabins and suites, located on a picturesque 150 acres with a natural swimming pond.
Top Attractions to Explore in Golden
Camping in Golden promises epic adventure with world-class recreation and breathtaking natural attractions. From exploring mountain peaks to paddling on pristine waterways, here are five must-do adventures to experience in Golden.
- Venture to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort to discover exceptional summer programming, including alpine hiking, downhill mountain biking and guided tours of the onsite Grizzly Bear Refuge. Plan your visit to include lunch at the resort's Eagle's Eye restaurant to feast on delicious regional fare and sweeping mountain views.
- Tour the Northern Lights Wolf Centre to get up close and personal with the pack. The wildlife sanctuary focuses on conservation through education and offers guided tours and wolf nature walks to teach visitors the critical role the famous predator plays in the local ecosystem.
- Book a round of 18 holes at the Golden Golf Club’s challenging par-72 course or keep it casual on the mini-golf course. Both offer the exciting possibility of impromptu wildlife sightings, so keep a lookout for deer, coyote, osprey and eagles.
- Embark on a thrilling adventure at Golden Skybridge. Boasting two of Canada's highest suspension bridges, a 1,500-foot zipline, plummeting bungee swing, a fun-for-all-ages ropes course and unforgettable panoramas of the Columbia Valley, this adrenalin-inducing attraction is sure to elevate your Golden camping experience.
- Set off on a paddling trip through the Columbia Wetlands. The 180-km protected area is one of the longest of its kind in North America and a sanctuary for more than 200 animal species. Whether you bring your vessel, rent one or join a guided tour, tranquility awaits you on this calm and scenic waterway.
Tips for Camping Like a Pro in Golden
Given that Golden is bordered by an expanse of undeveloped wilderness, there are a few essential tips to note when planning a camping trip in the area.
- Reserve a campsite well in advance unless you're hoping to snag one of the first-come-first-serve spots. Provincial campground bookings are available within two months of any arrival date.
- Always pack out your garbage to prevent unwanted wildlife encounters and to help keep Golden's pristine mountain trails, campgrounds, parks and scenic attractions litter-free.
- Review local campfire regulations as provincial and regional fire bans are often in effect during the hot and dry summer months. Alternative solutions include a portable stove for cooking and getting out and exploring Golden's delicious local dining scene.
- Read up on campground rules, especially when travelling with pets. Most require dogs to be on a leash and never left unattended. Also, always clean up after your pets.
- Pack all the mountain essentials, including bug spray, sunscreen, a first aid kit and bear spray (for backcountry adventures). You'll also want to plan for dressing in layers, with waterproof outerwear and shoes. If you're tenting, a warm sleeping bag is best, as temperatures can drop overnight.