Golden, BC is a good location for visiting the Canadian Rockies, as it is surrounded by six national parks with perfect weather.
Golden is situated at the confluence of two major rivers: the lazy Columbia and the strong, glacier-fed Kicking Horse. This unassuming village is home to the most wilderness lodges and Canada’s longest freestanding timber-frame bridge. With six national parks nearby, Golden is an ideal base for paragliding, animal viewing, mountain riding, or white-water rafting down the Kicking Horse. In the winter, guests come to enjoy skiing, which includes everything from downhill to heli-skiing. The town also has numerous superb restaurants, including Canada’s highest, Eagle’s Eye Restaurant.
The best things to do in Golden, BC
Kicking Horse River Walk – There are walking pathways on both sides of the Kicking Horse River that are ideal for an evening stroll or any time of day.
Yoho National Park is one of Canada’s most beautiful national parks. Make a point of visiting the Natural Bridge and Emerald Lake. Wapta Falls and Takakkaw Falls are two waterfall hikes I recommend.
Spirit Square and the Wooden Pedestrian Bridge – In the warmer months, Spirit Square serves as a neighborhood gathering space and frequently hosts live music events. Make careful you cross the wooden pedestrian bridge as well. On the bridge, there are informative panels.
The Golden Skybridge Suspension Bridge will open in June 2021, and it will be 130 meters (426 feet) above the picturesque canyon in the Columbia Valley, with views of the river and a massive waterfall.
Mountain biking in Golden BC – Mountain biking is popular in Golden. With over 100 kilometers of bike trails, you’re sure to discover one that suits your needs.
Kayaking, Canoeing, and Rafting the Kicking Horse River – I didn’t go rafting, but you can arrange a trip on the Kicking Horse River with Glacier Raft. They also hire kayaks and canoes.
Mount Revelstoke National Park – Enjoy the magnificent winding route up to the top on the Meadows in the Sky Parkway on a day trip to Mt Revelstoke Park (approximately a 2-hour drive). Hike the paths and enjoy the beautiful mountain views.
Downtown Golden – Take a stroll around town and check out the shops and eateries. A hiking track that encircle the town is also available. Beautiful views can be had from the top of the hill, and there are benches where you may rest, have a picnic lunch, or wait till you get back to town and have a beer.
National Park Glacier Canada is not to be confused with Glacier National Park in Montana. Glacier Park BC is one of Canada’s least frequented national parks. The travel from Golden takes approximately 45 minutes. Hiking in the Columbia Mountains is a great experience.
Kootenay National Park – Enjoy picturesque drives, hiking, and camping at Kootenay National Park. I hiked most of the Paint Pots trail, but it became too muddy, so I’ll have to return to Kootenay for more trekking. In the winter, Kootenay National Park offers skiing, snowshoeing, and ice climbing.
Radium Hot Springs – With a population of less than 1,000 people, this hamlet is a popular getaway from Calgary. Relax and enjoy the hot springs.
Some interesting facts about Golden, British Columbia
- Golden is one of the first places you will pass through on your journey to Vancouver if you are driving into British Columbia from the east.
- In 1883, what was previously known as Kicking Horse Flats was renamed ‘Golden City.’
- Major A.B. Rogers used the old town site as a base camp for his staff while surveying the now-known as Rogers Pass.
- Golden City was originally chosen to compete with the moniker Silver City of a nearby camp.
- On June 26th, 1957, the town was incorporated.
- The town’s history is mostly linked to the timber industry and the Canadian Pacific Railway route.
- The present population of the town is around 4,000 people (3,701, according to the 2011 census).
- The town itself is situated in a location that is surrounded by six national parks.
- It is also near the confluence of the Columbia and Kicking Horse rivers.
- The community is home to Canada’s longest freestanding timber bridge.
National Parks Near Golden, BC
Golden is the ideal location for exploring Canada’s national parks in Alberta and British Columbia. Six national parks are within a few hours’ drive of Golden, BC. Depending on how much time you have in Golden, you could visit all of these national parks in one day.
- BC Glacier National Park
- Kootenay National Park
- Revelstoke National Park
- Yoho National Park
- Banff National Park in Alberta
- Alberta’s Jasper National Park
When is the ideal time to visit Golden, BC and what is the weather like?
Concerned about crowds of tourists or Golden’s closing hours when you plan your trip? The greatest time to visit Golden is when you can fully immerse yourself in the experience without worrying about such inconveniences. The weather in Golden BC is pleasant, and the best activities are available during this time of year. If you’re wondering when to visit Golden, come when it’s at its best, when you can have a wonderful experience without having to worry about little details.
Prepare for a variety of weather in Golden BC by packing rain gear as well as plenty of layers that you can add or remove as needed.
The weather in the highlands of Golden BC changes quickly. When going hiking, biking, kayaking, or other outdoor activities, always bring additional clothing, even if it’s bright and warm.
June, July, and August are the warmest months in Golden, with typical highs in the 20s (70s F) and lows around 10 degrees (50 F).
Winter brings snow and the start of the ski season. Every winter, Golden receives approximately 180 cm (72 inches) of snow.
The weather in the spring and fall is more variable, so it’s always a good idea to check the weather prediction for Golden and any day trip destinations.