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12 Epic Things to do in Golden BC for outdoor lovers

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Tucked in between gorgeous mountain resorts, and super scenic views is this little town of Golden. Find out all the epic things to do in Golden BC in summer and winter.

As you drive into this gorgeous historic town you’ll get the undeniable feeling that there’s something special about this place. It won’t be long before you realize that this is an outdoor adventurer’s paradise and that there’s no shortage of Golden activities to choose from.

View of a ski resort,  Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, Golden, British Columbia, Canada
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, Golden, British Columbia

If you’re a lover of the great outdoors or the thrill of adventure gets you pumped like nothing else, then Golden, British Columbia is the destination for you. At any time of the year, this place is brimming with activities that involve the stunning Canadian scenery and colorful culture. 

While not quite as famous as its neighbor, Banff, Golden is often less tourist-crowded. And it’s a great spot from which to start exploring the stunning hiking trails, world-class skiing, magnificent waterfalls, beautiful lakes, and various historical sites. 

So whether you want to be in the mountains or in the water, or somewhere in between, you’ll be in your happy place in Golden, BC.

12 Top Things To Do In Golden Canada

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Getting to Golden BC

Golden is located on TransCanada Highway 1 and Highway 95, in the province of British Columbia. Here are a few ways to get to Golden BC.

  • Cranbrook Alberta: Canadian Rockies International Airport in Cranbrook is 2 hours and 30 minutes
  • Calgary Alberta: Calgary to Golden is less than 3 hours drive 
  • Edmonton Alberta: 5 hours 40 minutes drive
  • Vancouver British Columbia: 7 hours 40 minutes drive
  • Less than 4 hours north of the US border 

Buses are available to take you to Golden from Alberta, and BC. You can book them by Busbud. 

Heading to Golden BC from Calgary via Banff

FLY

Golden town is served by the Golden Municipal Airport, and flights are available from the US, British Columbia, and the rest of Canada. 

This town is small but bursting with things to do and sights to see. We’ve narrowed it down to our top picks for Golden in the list below. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed with all the possibilities then this should be the perfect holiday guide. Let’s dive right in.

Rocky Mountain Buffalo Ranch & Guest Cottage Buffalo Tours

If it’s an epic immersion into nature you’re after, then this ranch experience is a must-do. Staying in one of the sauna cabins of this property promises to be a memorable addition to your trip. You’ll be totally off the grid and have the perfect opportunity to unplug and switch off. 

And it’s the ultimate cozy, romantic hideaway. Slip into the hot tub for the perfect bit of R&R and take in the incredible starry night sky. Sounds like paradise.

Golden Views

The Kicking Horse White River Rafting

One of the most exciting warm-weather activities for adventure-seekers is whitewater rafting and there’s no better place to do it than in Golden, CA. The Kicking Horse River is one of the best whitewater rafting rivers in British Columbia and Western Canada. 

With awesome rapid options for everyone, ranging from beginner levels all the way to those who dare to be brave. These gorgeous waters await you.

Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge

This picturesque landmark attraction is everything you need for the perfect photo opt opportunity. And as an added bonus, you can bring along the furry friends for a walkabout. 

The pedestrian bridge over the kicking horse river in Golden British Columbia, Canada. Longest pedestrian bridge in the country.
Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge river – the longest pedestrian bridge in the country. (GeoffreyWhiteway)

Enjoy views of the river on each side while being only minutes away from bustling downtown restaurants and shops. This is a lovely slow-paced outing to enjoy in between hiking and adventure-packed days. 

Whitetooth Brewing Company

The perfect spot to enjoy a beer after a day on the trails or to go have a lazy afternoon in the sun. The views are truly spectacular. Particularly in the summer, when the back patio is great for lawn games and getting eats from the food truck. And if you find yourself here, be sure to try the delicious grapefruit/passion fruit IPA beer

Biking 

This special corner of the world is quickly becoming one of the best biking spots in North America and is only expanding. Boasting cross-country trails and challenging downhills, this is where biking adventure begins with some truly top-notch riding. 

This spot has a plethora of fast, smooth-flowing trails, and tracks that were built for riders. Kicking Horse Bike park offers some breathtaking single tracks. And biking spots like Moonrakers, have exciting technical sections, as well as plenty of scope for intermediate and beginner riders.

Sky Diving & Gliding

This area is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular places to skydive, paraglide, or hang glide. Between the incredible mountain ranges, rivers, and valleys, there is no better spot to enjoy a bird’s eye view from.

The scenes and adrenaline are unmatched and make for a truly unforgettable experience.

Cedar Lake

There are few things that say vacation more than the sun and a lazy day spent by the water. This picturesque spot is the perfect place for family and friends to spend a day swimming and splashing about. 

Here, you can even take part in fun water activities like fishing and swimming. And live out your inner-Tarzan on the rope swing. So bring your picnic baskets and your water floaties for a day of fun.

Cedar Lake Golden
Lake views

Northern Lights Wildlife Wolf Centre

Learning about these amazing animals is definitely something to put on your Golden travel list. The wolf sanctuary is a truly unique experience as well as the wolf walking tour in the mountains. You’ll have opportunities to get close up to these beautiful creatures and learn more about them from the dedicated team of staff. 

Their mission is to educate others on the importance of these animals and how we can help protect them from extinction. Whether you have a keen interest in wolves or not, this day will prove interesting and informative and is a great outing for the whole family.  

Spirit Square

Follow a lovely river sidewalk to this vibrant plaza in the center of town. This is a beautiful spot where people gather for all sorts of fun. It is surrounded by flowers and a tranquil little fountain. It’s also a hotspot for community festivals and concerts. 

Spend time perusing the farmer’s market before sitting down for an ice-cold beer at the little outdoor pub.

Art Gallery Of Golden – Kicking Horse Culture

This beautiful gallery sits nestled in downtown Golden and boasts an excellent, diversified display of local artists. It’s more than just an art gallery, they offer a variety of handmade art including pottery, painted wine glasses, iron frames, and sculptures.

Golden Town
Golden Town

You’ll find something for every artistic taste while also supporting the community. You’ll also likely find yourself thinking of ways to fit as much as you can in your luggage. All in all, this is definitely the perfect place to get a unique souvenir or a gift from Golden.

Golden & District Museum

For those lovers of history, you can spend a good few hours soaking up all that this spot has to offer. Enjoy a nice collection of local history as well as different ethnic and European groups that contributed to the region. 

The exhibits and cards share some cultural background of Golden and the surrounding areas and make this place worth the visit for both locals and tourists alike.

What to do in Golden: Tours and Attractions

Skiing and outdoor activities - things to do in Golden BC
Winter in Golden British Columbia

It’s clear by now that Golden is a place bursting with activities and attractions that will make up the perfect holiday itinerary. We’ve included one of the popular tours to join in Golden which is an absolute must for any lovers of adventure and the outdoors.

Rafting Adventure on the Kicking Horse River – Summer 

This day kicks off at Golden, Kootenay Rockies, and goes along the Kicking Horse River – one of the best whitewater rafting rivers in British Columbia and Western Canada. The great part of this adventure is that it caters to everyone and all levels. 

Travel along Kicking Horse River in Golden, British Columbia, and enjoy some truly spectacular views on tours ranging from 3 to 6.5 hours. Life jackets and helmets will be provided so all you’ll need to bring is your adventurous A-game. 

Once you’ve thoroughly worked up an appetite, you’ll also be well-fed with a delicious buffet lunch, along with snacks and beverages.

Price: $86 USD

Heli-Skiing at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort – Winter

This invigorating form of downhill skiing or snowboarding is marked by a helicopter ride up, instead of a ski lift and is a truly exhilarating sport. The Kicking Horse resort has some sublime skiing. 

Kicking Horse, Golden, British Columbia, Canada. Beautiful View of Canadian Mountain Landscape during a vibrant sunny and cloudy morning sunrise in winter.
Kicking Horse, Golden, British Columbia, Canada

Whether you’re a seasoned rider looking to rip up some tracks, or simply wanting to dip your toe into this exciting sport, you will get it all in Golden.

Most Unique  Accommodation and hotels in Golden BC, Canada

There’s nothing better than coming home and kicking back after a long day of sightseeing and exploring. We’ve picked the perfect home away from home where you can rest, relax, and make more happy holiday memories.

Golden Acres Mountain Lodge – Dawson Suite

Dawson Suite is a delightful little oasis nestled in a gorgeous forest setting, making for a truly immersive experience. This gorgeous log cabin is every bit as comfortable as it is stylish. 

Photo Credit: Airbnb

The spot has a special area outside with an outdoor fire pit to enjoy the stars at night with the telescope. You can also read your favorite book while you rock in the hammock. Spend slow mornings sipping your morning coffee in the deck chairs with some breathtaking mountain views. 

Photo Credit: Airbnb

In the evenings, you can enjoy blissful soaks in the hot tub with a glass of wine and nothing but tranquil nature around. Look forward to curling up in the comfortable bed for the perfect night’s sleep. There’s no better place for you to create your holiday memories while you’re in this beautiful town. 

The Tree House

Located just 5 minutes from all the attractions in Golden British Columbia, the Tree House is managed by an Airbnb Superhost. The entire apartment is open for accommodation. It has one bedroom and comes with a nice living room and a fully equipped kitchen. Parking is available for one vehicle.

Photo Credit: Airbnb

The coolest thing about this Airbnb is that you have full access to their hot tub, where you can soak in, and take those amazing views. Highly recommend this place for a weekend getaway, especially for couples!

Palliser Lodge – Bellstar Hotels & Resorts

Mid budget range hotel, the Palliser Lodge is a delightful accommodation option in Golden BC. It is accessible to the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, including the Golden Eagle Express Gondola. What you will enjoy here are the huge balconies, and hot tubs (in their 2 bedroom suites), which are perfect for families and groups traveling together).

All the suites have a balcony, kitchenette, and a fireplace.

Final Words on What to do in Golden, BC

A wide selection of accommodation, as well as countless activities to experience all year round, makes this the perfect family-friendly destination or romantic getaway. 

The quaint mountain town of Golden continues to be a perfect holiday destination from which to enjoy and explore the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Whether you’re an avid adventurer, a foodie, or an art seeker, you’ll find it all here. 

This city is a melting pot of culture, nature, and some amazing cuisine and truly offers something for everyone. So don’t sleep on Golden, this should be on everyone’s Canada travel destination list

And if this spot is part of your Canada road trip, be sure to check out the best spots in Vancouver

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