Visit the best adventure hub in all of Canada! Golden BC Canada sits on the edge of British Columbia, surrounded by mountains 🏔 with the Rocky Mountains to the East and Columbia Mountains to the West, and a short drive from 5 national parks. It’s truly the adventurer’s paradise!
The breathtaking mountains surround Golden, while the Kicking Horse River runs right through it allowing for plenty of outdoor activities. Outdoor enthusiasts fall in love with this town, due to its proximity to incredible activities ⛷ including rafting, skiing, hiking, mountain biking, wildlife watching and so much more!
My husband and I visited Golden a couple weeks ago and it was one of our favorite trips we’ve taken! We spent time rafting the Kicking Horse River, hiking through two new National Parks, getting views above the mountains, and dining on delicious food. We are already planning on going back!
I was excited when Tourism Golden agreed to host my husband and I for an adventurous weekend and sponsored this post to share about it with you. Read below for a complete guide on summer activities in Golden BC Canada! You’ll want to add ✍️ all of these exciting adventures to your bucket list immediately.
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Table of Contents
Things to Do in Golden BC Canada
Raft the Kicking Horse River
If you’re visiting Golden in the summer, then rafting the Kicking Horse River is a must!
People travel from all around the area to go rafting on the Kicking Horse. This river is home to roaring rapids that range from Class One all the way to Class Five. As you float down the river, you’ll get to see stunning views and learn how to paddle through whitewater. Just know, that you’ll probably be soaking wet 💦💦💦 by the end of your exciting ride!
Glacier Raft is the best outfitters in the Golden Area. They take visitors on trips down the river all summer long. The guides there make sure that everyone feels comfortable and they teach you the best rafting techniques. Kicking Horse River is 40 degrees 🥶 all year long, so they will adorn you in a wetsuit, helmet, and life jacket. We felt safe the entire time.
It was the highlight of our trip and we are already talking about when we can go back to do it all again! I highly recommend planning a trip out onto the water.
Four Different Excursion Options:
- Half day Family Raft– Good for all levels and ages, as you float down the river with just a few splashes.
- Half day Whitewater Express – Great if you want to try whitewater rafting and are short on time
- Full Day Whitewater Discovery– Allows you to try rapids from small bumps to larger roaring ones
- Heli Rafting– Great if you are extremely adventurous, have been rafting before and want to try something new. This is only open for a couple months each summer!
Adventure at Golden Skybridge
Golden Skybridge is Golden’s latest adventure attraction with the highest suspension bridges over Canada!
Besides the tallest suspension bridges, Golden Skybridge boasts a ton of other adventurous activities that are exciting for all patrons! They have a tall zipline that rides over the entire canyon, an adventure course with various rope obstacles and ziplines, an exciting mountain coaster, and tall climbing walls. You could truly spend a full day trying to do it all.
We got the adventure pass and we took advantage of doing all the attractions. My husband is afraid of heights and he still managed to walk across the thrilling bridges. It was so much fun and we felt like we were kids again 🤗!
- Adventure Pass ($62 CAD)- Gives you access to the skybridge and all of the adventure activities (except the Canyon Swing)
- General admission ($35 CAD)- Walk over the Skybridge and through the walking trails
- Kicking Horse Gondola and the Skybridge General Admission Bundle ($89 CAD) – Get a discount by combining these two fantastic activities
Spend a Day at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
In the winter Kicking Horse Mountain is known for being one of the best ski resorts in BC Canada, but in the summer the mountain opens up for tons of activities that are suitable for all visitors!
Meet the Resident Grizzly Bear Boo
Kicking Horse is one of the most unique mountain’s to visit, because it is home to a Grizzly Bear refuge. In this refuge, you’ll get to see their resident grizzly bear– Boo 🐻. He was rescued as a cub and now lives in this 20 acre dedicated refuge.
During the day, you can take a Grizzly Bear tour to learn more about the refuge and get the chance to see Boo up close. He does have 20 acres to roam, so a sighting is not guaranteed!
We went on a private ranger experience and it was amazing! We were lucky enough to get to see Boo, learn about his life, and ask plenty of questions about Grizzly Bears. The refuge is continuously working on saving 🙌🏻 other Grizzly Bears in the area and helping to restore them back to their habitats. I learned so much and it was truly an incredible time!
Take the Gondola up Kicking Horse Mountain
Now, that you’re already at Kicking Horse, you can continue your Golden BC Canada adventure by riding up the Gondola to the top of Kicking Horse Mountain. From there, you will get panoramic 360 degree views 👀 over the town of Golden, the Columbia Wetlands, and the Rocky Mountains.
As you ride the Gondola up, you can take in the views around you and you might even spot Boo the Grizzly Bear down below. Once you get to the summit, you can choose to take in the views, visit the restaurant, or get access to one of the great hiking and mountain biking trails on the mountain.
Eat at Eagle Eye Restaurant
Once you’ve traveled up the Gondola, you can make it to one of the coolest restaurants in Golden- Eagle’s Eye. Sitting at 7,700 feet, this is Canada’s “most elevated dining experience!”
Not only are the views from here amazing, but the food is also excellently crafted. It’s one of the most sought out restaurants in the area. So, make sure to get a reservation 📞 so that you can enjoy a meal at the top of the mountain and dine in style!
Bike or Hike the Mountain Trails
Hikers and Mountain Bikers love to visit Kicking Horse for the great trail variety. There are hundreds of kilometers of trails to explore that roam down this imposing mountain. Stroll along the top of the mountain or choose a trail with more difficulty for a tougher challenge.
The Bike Park has over 50 kilometers of trails 🚴♀️ ranging in difficulty with various obstacles to go over. Bikers will enjoy riding over the wooden bridges, trail jumps, and rock slabs. It’s all accessible from the top of the Kicking Horse Gondola! If you’re a mountain biking fan, then you won’t want to miss it.
Explore Yoho National Park
Yoho National Park is one of the most stunning National Parks in all of the Canadian Rockies. This park will blow you away 🤯 with its wild scenery.
People visit this park from all over the world to see the bright Emerald Lake and the towering Takakkaw Falls. Just 30 minutes from Banff and 20 minutes from Golden, the landscapes here are extraordinary. This park is one of the prettiest places you will find in all of Canada.
I paddled out on Emerald Lake and it was without a doubt the most beautiful lake that I have ever been out on. The water is a shade of greenish aqua 🤩🤩 that you truly will not comprehend. You have to see this lake and the rest of the park with your own eyes to really believe it!
Things to do in Yoho National Park:
- See one of Canada’s Tallest Waterfalls- Takakkaw Falls
- Canoe on the stunning Emerald Lake
- Hike to Wapta Falls
- Visit the Natural Bridge
- Explore the beautiful Lake O’Hara Area
Hike Through Glacier National Park
Did you know that Canada has its own Glacier National Park? Travel just 40 minutes from Golden to get to this astounding park that is home to stunning mountain scenery, rugged trails, and the historic Roger’s Pass.
No trip to Glacier is complete without a visit to the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre. This is one of the best visitor center’s that I’ve ever been to complete with a museum about the area and a great film 🎥 on Roger’s Pass. Keeping Roger’s Pass open is Canada’s longest running military initiative.
After you visit the center, then you can explore the beautiful trails through the mountains. Many of the trails open up in the late summer ☀️, due to the heavy snowfall in the area. But, even the short trails are incredibly scenic. Don’t forget your bear spray as this area is home to Grizzlies!
Glacier Park Trails:
- Bear Creek Falls (.7 miles, 120 feet) – Walk down to a gorgeous waterfall in the mountain
- Loop Brook (1 miles, 350 feet) – See the old columns that health the train tracks & learn about the train
- Balu Pass (7.7 miles, 2800 feet) – Moderate trail to get stunning views over the mountains
- Great Glacier (5 miles, 1350 feet) – Walk through the forest and up to spectacular mountain vistas
- Meeting of the Waters (.8 miles, 200 feet) – An easy stroll through the valley to get to the sight where two rivers converge
Dine on Incredible Food
Although Golden is a small town with just 4000 full time residents, the culinary options there are widely diverse and incredibly delicious.
We spent 5 days exploring the town and there were so many places that we tried while visiting. During our time we had one of the best avocado toasts 🥑 we’ve ever had, one of the best breakfast sandwiches, and the most incredible homemade Cannelloni. My mouth is watering just thinking of all the delectable food there.
Best Restaurants in Town:
- Wandering Fern Cafe – An adorable coffee shop with a fantastic avocado toast!
- Eleven22 – Elevated cuisine in the oldest home in Golden
- Whitetooth Brewing – Fantastic brewery in the heart of Golden with a fantastic vibe
- Ethos– Another great coffee shop with a fantastic breakfast sandwich
- The Island – Canadian Mountain fare that you can enjoy along the Kicking Horse River
Golden in BC Canada will win your heart over and you may even start to wonder if you should move there. With so many adventurous activities, you could spend years exploring the area. I hope that you enjoyed this comprehensive guide to summer explorations in Golden and that you add it to your bucket list!
Let me know in the comments if you enjoyed this guide to Golden BC Canada!
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