Links & Friends:
Golden offers a host of interesting mountain activities...
The Golden Glassoff: Hugo and Scott - your pilots and guides... and no, they don't normally dress like this! They were participating in the annual Golden Glassoff - a paragliding and hang gliding fundraising event that features costumes, spot landings and a lot of spectator fun.
For info about slightly more serious activities in Golden, read on...
When it comes to lifestyle and outdoor activities in the Rocky Mountains, Golden BC is probably one of the best-kept secrets around. Golden is loacted at the juncture of the east/west Trans Canada Highway and Highway 93, which runs south to the US border. It also straddles the junction of the Columbia and Kicking Horse Rivers. Golden used to be one of those small mountain towns where you would stop along the highway to gas-up before heading over Rogers Pass on your way west or, if heading east, fill up for the trip through Yoho and Banff National Parks.
Now Golden is a central hub for any number of mountain activities. For years Golden has been the jumping off point for several Heli-Skiing companies that operate high in the mountains west of the Columbia Valley. Golden is home to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, a recently upgraded destination ski/vacation resort that features incredible vertical for skiers in the winter and equally unbelievable downhill trails for mountain bikers in the summer. The Golden Eagle Express summit gondola operates winter and summer so skiers, hikers, sightseers, and bikers can access the very top of the Selkirk Range with ease.
Across the valley, Mount 7 has long been a Mecca for hang gliders and paragliders who have, for twenty-five years or so, maintained a launch point at 1940 meters that is accessible by forestry road. The thermal conditions in the Columbia Valley make for world class cross-county flying Mount 7 is known internationally in the foot-launched gliding community and it has been on the "must visit" list of many foot-launched pilots from around the world for many years.
More recently, Mountain bikers have developed an extensive downhill trail system on Mount 7 and it is now the site of several annual Mountain Bike meets, not to mention, a regular haunt of a growing local group of bikers as well as a desired destination for the weekend warriors coming to Golden from points east over the Alberta border.
The remote mountain valleys and high meadows make Golden a favourite destination for snowmobilers in the winter and hikers and climbers in the summer. Golden has some world-class ice climbing routes nearby and the famous Bugaboos are just a few kilometers south of Golden, west of Brisco. The Columbia Valley has formed a large network of wetlands and the associated wildlife and birdlife attracts visitors from near and far to view an incredible variety of bird species in their natural habitat. Golden Eagles and Bald Eagles are frequently in attendance. Needless to say, with all the rivers and alpine lakes around, sport fishing is a common activity. If you just want to play golf amidst mountain scenery, Golden also features a great golf course that won't keep you waiting endlessly in line for a T time.
Summer water sports include incredible whitewater rafting and kayaking on the Kicking Horse River as well as jet-boat tours. More relaxed float trips and raft/canoe tours are available on the Columbia River where you can explore expanses of wetlands and all the scenery and wildlife that these areas offer up to visitors.
If you are looking for a bit of comfort to go along with you high alpine adventures, there are several remote alpine lodge operations that can be accessed from Golden. While isolated and generally accessible only by long treks or by helicopter, these lodges form the perfect base for any number of backcountry experiences or simply offer a way to get away and enjoy isolated mountain terrain without having to unduly "rough it".
The B.C. mountains are world renowned for copious amounts of deep, dry powder snow. Golden is on the doorstep to some of the best Heli-skiing there is. Great Canadian Heli-Skiing is a boutique-style operation, skiing in small groups of 4 skiers with one guide. The spectacular lodge is conveniently located just 45 minutes west of Golden. Click on the link to the Great Canadian Heli-Skiing site on the left.
The Kicking Horse River flows through downtown Golden and is an unforgettably wild white water ride. The river starts out at relaxing pace with opportunities to view the scenery and wildlife. Then turns into an exhilarating and turbulent ride down the narrow Kicking Horse Canyon through big, non-stop Class 4 rapids. Check out Wet and Wild Adventures for more information. http://www.wetnwild.bc.ca