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Your guide to Golden
All About Golden
Golden, located in southeastern British Columbia, is an ideal base camp for outdoor adventures. The city is surrounded by six national parks — including Banff, Glacier, and Yoho — as well as the Canadian Rockies and the Columbia Mountains. The Columbia River and Kicking Horse River meet right in town. From Golden, you can explore the mountains or go deep into the wild forests, spend winter days skiing and snowboarding and kayak along racing rivers. You can also get a bird’s eye view of Golden’s breathtaking beauty by riding the gondola to Kicking Horse’s summit. The restaurants you’ll find there, perched two kilometres up on the mountain, serve up one of Canada’s most elevated views along with your meal, or you can grab takeout for a panoramic picnic along a hiking trail. With a population of less than 4,000, Golden retains a hometown vibe, but the resort town entertains locals and visitors alike with craft ales, live music, and restaurants serving a range of cuisines.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Golden
In Golden, the high altitude keeps summers comfortable — you’ll rarely sweat until you’re on a bike or trail — and partly cloudy, and you’ll want to bring light rainwear with you since showers are frequent. The cloud cover remains more constant in winters when the temperatures plunge, often staying well below the freezing point, and the snow piles up. Winter is an ideal time to rent cabins in Golden if your plans center around skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, or sinking into a steamy hot tub after a day on the slopes. For outdoor activities, such as kayaking, fishing, or horseback riding, summer is also considered Golden’s high season. For the best of both worlds, when spring hits the Kootenay Rockies, it’s possible to ski in the morning and golf in the afternoon.
Top things to do in Golden
Lake Louise in Banff National Park
Lake Louise, one of the main attractions in Banff National Park, is only an hour from Golden by bus or car, and people come from all over to admire the alpine lake’s turquoise blue color, a result of its glacial origins. Mount Victoria and the Canadian Rockies loom in the distance, creating a dramatic backdrop. Many prefer to visit in late summer when the weather is warmest and the lake’s color is at its most vivid. Winter is a wonderful time to go, too, to enjoy snowshoeing and sleigh rides around the banks.
Takakkaw Falls in Yoho National Park
Takakkaw Falls, the second-highest waterfall in Canada, is a one-hour drive from Golden. Aptly named with the Cree word for magnificent, it is 373 metres high with two dramatic drops. Though visible from the Yoho National Park parking lot, most visitors take a closer look by way of the 1.4-kilometre Takakkaw Falls Hike. The path is well-maintained for wheelchairs and strollers. To make a day of your visit, follow the Iceline Trail, which leaves from the parking lot and either follows a 14.2-kilometre out-and-back path or a 20-kilometre loop. Both routes pass glacial lakes, scenic lookouts, and alpine streams.
Golden Museum and Edelweiss Village
Visit the Golden Museum, located one block off Main Street, to learn more about the local contributions of the Swiss mountain guides that the Canadian Pacific Railway once hired in the early 20th century to grow tourism. Their families joined them here, settling in Edelweiss Village, a group of chalets just outside town, and today many of their descendants live in the area. Near the museum, you can walk across the Golden Skybridge, which at 130 meters is said to be the highest suspension bridge in all of Canada.