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30 EPIC Things to do in Golden, BC

30 EPIC Things to do in Golden, BC

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Golden, British Columbia is a small town of just around 4,000 people in the Canadian Rockies. But what it lacks by way of population, it absolutely makes up for in terms of some of the most epic things to do in BC! This small town is surrounded by a bunch of national parks and mountain ranges, so there are endless outdoor activities to enjoy.

The town of Golden also has some amazing restaurants, shops, bars, and cultural attractions to offer as well. Whether you prefer a chill vacation or something high-energy, you will love Golden. 

I’ve been lucky enough to visit Golden many times both in the summer and winter months. Each time I visit, I try to do a couple of different activities. This has allowed me to write this huge blog about 30 epic things to do in Golden, BC – enjoy!

Things to do in Golden, BC

1. Walk the Golden Skybridge 

The Golden Sky Bridge stretches across a canyon
It’s one long bridge over a breathtaking canyon!

Why not start off with Golen’s newest attraction? The Golden Skybridge is Canada’s highest suspension bridge and it only just open in the summer of 2021! At 130 meters (426 feet) above the canyon, you’ll experience such a thrill walking over it and taking in all the amazing views of the Columbia Valley. 

On our most recent visit to Golden Dan and I were fortunate enough to walk the Golden Skybridge for ourselves. The views from up there were incredible! We even saw a waterfall.

It’s important to know that the Golden Skybridge isn’t just one suspension bridge, this attraction will have you walking across two different suspension bridges! You’ll first cross Canada’s highest suspension bridge before walking along the edge of the canyon taking in views along the way. Then, you’ll walk back across the canyon via a second bridge to return back to where you started. Each bridge offers a different view. All up, you could complete this entire loop in 30 minutes, however with stops for photos and enjoying the views I would allow at least an hour.

If walking along a suspension bridge is not enough for you, there is also a zipline experience and ropes course. I also hear rumors that a canyon swing will open one day too – how cool!

The cost to walk to Golden Skybridge is $40.95 CAD/adult. The other activities are extra depending on which ones you choose. You can purchase your Golden Skybridge ticket online here!

You’ll find the Golden Skybridge located just a two-minute drive outside of Golden, right off of the Trans-Canada Highway on your way towards Revelstoke. It is only during the warmer months, typically May to October.

2. Hit the slopes at Kicking Horse Resort

Downhill Skiing at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, Golden, BC
Off we go!

There is no end to epic places to go skiing in Canada, and it’s one of the most quintessential Canadian activities! Golden’s Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is a very popular ski resort in Canada, and for good reason! It’s known for the huge amounts of annual snowfall and expert terrain that will challenge even the most experienced riders.

This resort is located at the top of the Purcell Mountains only a short 15-minute drive from downtown Golden. From up there, the views are simply stunning from all around.

Kicking Horse is an all-level resort with 128-named trails of different lengths and difficulties. There is over 100 km of groomed runs for you to explore. If you’re an expert, you’ll enjoy the steep vertical drop on the mountains, actually the 4th largest in North America! It should come as no surprise that skiing here is one of the most popular things to do in Golden.

One thing to note is that Kicking Horse Ski Resort really does cater to the expert skiers and snowboarders with 45% of black runs and 15% double black. That’s not to say beginners won’t enjoy it too though – one of the four chairlifts is dedicated solely to beginners.

When we last visited Kicking Horse the lines to ride the lifts were somewhat of a problem (we did visit on a bluebird Saturday in the peak of winter, so this was somewhat to be expected.) If you want to avoid waiting for the lifts, I recommend going during the week. Also, have your lunch at an odd time to avoid that “after lunch rush” to get back up the mountain from the main lift.

Expect to pay around $124 CAD during the week and $134 CAD on the weekend for a single-day lift ticket.

3. Ride the Kicking Horse Gondola

Views from the kicking Horse Gondola in Golden, BC
The views are amazing!

If you’re not one for downhill sports, you can still see the epic views of the Rocky Mountains! The Kicking Horse Gondola is a scenic gondola that takes you up 7,700 feet to the mountain’s summit. The panoramic views at the top of the Rocky Mountains, Columbia River Wetlands, and the town of Golden will take your breath away. 

At the top, you can visit the Eagle’s Eye restaurant for a bite to eat (more on that below) and enjoy the mountain views. Believe me, the views are unbelievable – some of the best we’ve seen in Canada, to be honest.

One thing to note is that this gondola is located at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and it’s actually the same gondola that skiers and snowboarders use. So, if you’re planning to hit the slopes there is no need to ride the scenic gondola too – you’ll be riding the exact same gondola twice!

This scenic gondola is open in the summer and winter and costs $49.95 CAD for a ticket.

4. Enjoy dinner with a view 

Lunch at Eagle’s Eye, Golden, BC
Lunch and a beer high in the mountains

Eagle’s Eye Restaurant is simply the best place to enjoy the mountain views with something to eat! It’s considered the “crown jewel” of resort dining and is a must-do while visiting Kicking Horse Resort. 

Located at the top of the scenic gondola (mentioned above) the views from this restaurant are unrivaled. It is actually Canada’s highest restaurant (in elevation) at 7,710 ft above sea level – how cool is that?!

They are open year-round, however, the hours vary depending on the season and when they are booked for special events and weddings. Be sure to check the website and make a reservation before you go (reservations are highly recommended or you will likely get turned away.)

They have a wide selection of local Canadian cuisine and an extensive wine and cocktail list, so you can have a few drinks and get the most of the experience!

Hot tip: If you are able to make a dinner reservation, the cost of the gondola ride to get to the restaurant is included. If you go for lunch, the gondola ticket price is discounted to about $20 CAD per person.

5. Walk the Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge

Walking through Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge
Isn’t the bridge cool?!

Golden is located in such a beautiful area so you will definitely want to get outside and explore it by walking! While doing so, make a point to walk over the Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge. It starts at 8th Avenue North in downtown Golden and spans 46 meters across the Kicking Horse River. 

It is actually the longest freestanding timber frame bridge in the country and is a point of community pride. It was raised in 2001 with over 100 members of the Timber Framers Guild from around the world to help out!

Although just a quick visit here is all you need, it’s definitely one of the best places to visit Golden – get an iconic photo on this beautiful bridge!

6. Go whitewater rafting on the Kicking Horse

White water rafting down the Kicking Horse River in Golden
The Kicking Horse is the best river to white water raft in Canada! Photo credit: Glacier Raft Company

You might be getting the idea that the Kicking Horse River is an important part of Golden! Just about everything is named after it around here. But the best way to experience the river is to go whitewater rafting! 

Whitewater rafting on the Kicking Horse River is such an adrenaline rush. With grade 3-4 rapids, it’s one of the best rivers in Canada to go rafting and easily one of the best things to do in Golden.

There are a number of tour groups that you can join, such as this full-day tour. For $112 CAD, you will get a 5-hour experience out on the river. All equipment is included, along with a buffet lunch! You will also have an expert guide leading the way and keeping you safe. This activity is super popular, so be sure to book well in advance to avoid missing out!

7. Visit the Wolf Centre

A wolf at the Northen Lights Wolf Center in Golden, BC
Isn’t he beautiful!

Wolves are just one of the majestic animals found in the Canadian Rockies. And while you may not want to run into any in the wild, the Northern Lights Wolf Centre in Golden is the perfect place to learn all about wolves and even see some for yourself!

The Wolf Centre offers 25-minute interpretive tours where you can learn more about wolves and their habitats. You can also go on a walk with wolves out on a hike through the Rockies. Here, you’ll get close enough to snap a few pictures for your memory. 

The wolves are beautiful, and even if you don’t happen to make it for one of the tour times, you can walk around independently and learn all about the wolves on the many information boards around the center. Each wolf has its own personality and you’ll find a detailed write-up about each of them including where they were adopted from.

The Wolf Centre in Golden is open year-round and has a $12 CAD admission fee. The photography walks are at an additional cost depending on the group size and require a reservation. Be sure to bring cash, they don’t accept debit or credit (but do have an onsite ATM that’ll charge you a fee.)

Related Read: The Wolf Centre is one of the best stops on the drive from Calgary to Golden!

8. Explore Glacier National Park

Hemlock Grove Boardwalk in Glacier National Park
The Hemlock Grove Boardwalk!

When in Golden, you have to explore the national parks. The town is actually surrounded by six Canadian national parks: Yoho, Banff, Jasper, Kootenay, Mount Revelstoke, and Glacier. The last one, Glacier National Park, is a must-visit while in the area because it is located right on the outskirts of Golden.

Glacier National Park encompasses Rogers Pass, a famous section of the mountain range as the last section of the railway that made Canada a nation. Just driving this road is an activity on its own and it’s incredibly beautiful.

But if you want to get out and explore, then you’re in luck, there are lots of hikes to do in Glacier National Park. One family-friendly way of exploring Glacier National Park is the Hemlock Grove Boardwalk, which is a series of boardwalks through the beautiful old-growth forests. If you are looking for something more physically challenging, the Asulkan Valley is a 14-kilometer trail that will take you through rainforests, waterfalls, and glaciers!

Looking for more ways to explore this national park? The Rogers Pass Discovery Centre will be able to give you info on the many hikes and attractions you can check out. And while you’re there, be sure to check out the little onsite museum that includes information about the area’s history and wildlife.

Parks Canada Pass Quick Info

If you plan on spending time in Canada’s national parks (including Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Mount Revelstoke, Glaicer, Kootenay, and more) then you’re going to have to pay for a Parks Pass.

Single Daily Admission:

This type of pass is valid for one person for one day. It is ONLY the best value if you are traveling alone and only plan to visit a national park for a couple of days.

  • Adult (ages 18-64) is $10.50 CAD
  • Senior (65+) is $9.00 CAD
  • Youth/Child (17 or younger) is FREE

Group Daily Admission:

If you’re traveling in a group or with family, you can buy a single-day admission for your entire vehicle (up to 7 people in one vehicle.)

  • $21.00 CAD gets your entire vehicle entry for one full day

Parks Canada Discovery Pass

The “Discovery Pass” is what Parks Canada calls their year-long (365 days from the purchase date), multi-park entry pass. This pass will give 365 days of access to all participating national parks in Canada. This includes the most popular parks like Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Kootenay, Glacier, Mount Revelstoke, and so much more.

  • Adult (age 18-64) – $72.25 CAD
  • Senior (64+) – $61.75 CAD
  • Group/Family (up to 7 people in one vehicle) – $145.25 CAD

Hot Tip: Although more expensive up front, if you plan on spending more than 7 days in different parks in Canada within a 12-month period, then the Discovery Pass is actually the better deal!

Parks Canada Passes can be bought online here or at one of the Visitor Centers or booths at the entrance to many national parks.

9. Shop at the Golden Farmers Market

outside at the Goldens Farmers Market
Ready to shop local? Photo Credit: Golden Farmers Market

Farmer’s Markets are such a fun way to get a taste of the local community. The Golden Farmers Market is full of local vendors selling their handicrafts and homemade wares. Additionally, you can purchase fresh produce, bread, meat, desserts, cheeses and so much more. 

The Golden Farmers Market is open from May to October, roughly, at a few different locations. Check their website for up-to-date information before you visit. 

10. Drinks locally brewed beer

Enjoying a beer at Whitetooth Brewing Co.
We both love craft beer!

A visit to a small town would not be complete without checking out the local beer scene! Small craft breweries are so fun to visit because they have a ton of character and unique brews to try out. Whitetooth Brewing Co. is the local place in Golden to try out.

They serve Belgian and West Coast-inspired beers. You can try a few of their award-winning beers by getting a flight in the tasting room, or take some to go from their storefront. They also have a large patio perfect for enjoying a beer on a sunny summer day.

Whitetooth is located right in downtown Golden.

11. Visit Emerald Lake

People canoe on Emerald Lake
This place is so gorgeous!

Emerald Lake is located within Yoho National Park, located close to Golden, just off the Trans-Canada Highway. If you’re in the area on a sunny day, this is one of the best lakes to visit. It is absolutely made for kayaking and canoeing, with calm and clear waters. And, as the largest lake in the park, there’s lots of lake to explore!

There is a trail that goes around the entire lake, so you can enjoy some views of the turquoise water from all angles. It’s also a popular snowshoe trail during the winter!

Emerald Lake is located just under an hour’s drive from Golden, so you can easily visit it on a day trip. However, if you have more time to spare and want an extra special experience, try and book the Emerald Lake Lodge. This is one of the most sought-after hotels in Yoho National Park since it literally sits on the edge of Emerald Lake. If you’re lucky enough to snag a booking, you’re sure to be impressed!

12. Go mountain biking

Looking for a rush? Mountain biking might just be the activity for you! Golden has some of the best terrain for mountain biking, with over 185km of trails, ranging from flat, cross-country ones to very challenging downhill routes. 

If you are an experienced mountain biker, you can use the lifts at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort to get to the top of the steep trails. More information about various trails is available from Tourism Golden.

If you are in Golden during the winter, you can still hit the trails and go fat biking! This is a sport that is gaining some more popularity and is essentially just a bike with bigger tires that are suitable for cycling in the snow. 

13. Explore downtown Golden

Downtown Golden, BC
The streets are so cute! Photo credit: Depositphotos Edb3_16

You’ll be pretty busy with all the different outdoor recreation activities around Golden, but don’t forget the town itself! Downtown Golden is a quaint, historic-looking town with a bunch of things to do!

A good place to start your exploration is 9th Avenue, which has a lot of shops, cafes, and restaurants to explore. You can learn more about the city at the Visitor Centre or Golden Museum.

14. Cross-country skiing

Cross country skiing in Canada
Almost a pro!

While downhill skiing might be the obvious winter sport, cross-country skiing is also pretty fun! Golden has a large number of groomed trails for both classic cross-country and skate-skiing. It is generally an easier sport with less specialized skills, so suitable for anyone who wants to try!

Dawn Mountain is a popular spot to try cross-country skiing in Golden, with 33km of trails maintained by the Golden Nordic Ski Club. Rentals are available on-site and are just $25 CAD for skis, boots, and poles. The trail fee is an additional $12 CAD.

15. Visit “Boo” the bear

Boo the bear in Golden, BC
Boo is such a beautiful bear!

Catching a glimpse of a grizzly bear is a little nerve-wracking… and yet, who doesn’t want to see a bear? The Grizzly Bear Interpretive Center at the Kicking Horse Resort is home to Boo, the resident grizzly. Boo was a rescue and now lives within the mountainside habitat. 

It costs $33.95 CAD to visit the center, and if you don’t see Boo, you can go back for free! You can also bundle the experience with other activities at Kicking Horse such as the Adventure Pass and lunch at the Eagle’s Eye Restaurant.

Important to note is that this is a summer-only activity. In the winter, Boo is in hibernation.  

16. Fishing

While there are plenty of great restaurants in Golden to check out, you can also try your hand at catching some dinner yourself! Or, just go fishing for the fun of it.

Golden is located on the Columbia River, so there are multiple areas that are suitable for fishing, both in the winter (ice fishing) and the summer. Common fish in the area are rainbow trout, bull trout, and giant ling. Fly fishing and spin casting are both common around Golden.

If you want, you can also book a guided fishing tour – this is the best way to increase your chances of catching something!

17. Walk to Wapta Falls

Wapta Falls in Yoho National Park
Mountain backdrop? Yes please!

The hike to Wapta Falls is located within Yoho National Park. It’s a pretty short hike at just 2.3km/1.4mi with only 60 meters of elevation gain. You’ll be rewarded with a pretty epic view of the falls at the end of the hike! Take a snack or picnic lunch to spend some time and soak in the view.

The trailhead is located at the Wapta Falls trail turnoff from the Trans Canada Highway, about 30 minutes away from Golden.

18. Try Via Ferrata 

people on a cliff doing Via Ferrata
Have you climbed the iron road yet?

Via Ferrata means “iron road” in Italian and is a climbing route made with a steel cable. It’s fixed in the rock along the route, so climbers can secure themselves to the cable while they climb. It’s a great way to “rock climb” without needing any experience, skills, or upper body strength.

The Via Ferrata at Kicking Horse Resort is a challenging and fun way to get some exercise and enjoy being up in the mountains. Climbing it is like climbing a set of ladders, so it is generally accessible for most fitness and experience levels. There are a few routes to follow and there is a guide that will help you along the way. 

Rates start at $85 CAD and increase for longer routes. The ticket also includes the sightseeing gondola and the Grizzly Bear Refuge as well!

19. Skydiving 

Skydiving in Golden, BC
Coming into land! Photo credit: Skydive Extreme Yeti

Skydiving is the ultimate bucket list activity. Golden is the perfect place to check it off of your list – it can’t really get better than skydiving over the Canadian Rockies!

In Golden, Extreme Yeti will take you up over 10,000 feet above the Rockies and Kicking Horse River! You will then free fall at 120 miles per hour before opening up that parachute and gliding back to earth.

The price for a tandem skydive is $329 CAD and while on the pricey side, there’s no way you’ll regret this epic adventure! It’s definitely one of the best things to do in Golden for any adrenaline-junkie

20. Paragliding or hang-gliding

Yet another adrenaline-pumping activity in Golden is paragliding and hang gliding! While we all know humans can’t actually fly, this is about as close as you’ll get! Just imagine soaring over the Rocky Mountains – what an unforgettable experience!

Unless you are an expert, you’ll want to go tandem with an experienced professional. There are two companies that offer tandem flights, Altitude Adventures and ParaPete Tandems. Prices are around $200-250 CAD for a tandem flight and you can get a photo and video to remember the experience.

When it comes to adventure activities in Golden, either is a top choice. Less extreme than skydiving but still with epic views!

21. Spend a day at Cedar Lake 

Cedar Lake, Golden, Canada
Reflections at Cedar Lake!

After some of the more intense activities on this list, you might be looking for a quiet, relaxed day at the beach. If that’s the case, head over to Cedar Lake! It’s a beautiful lake with day picnic areas as well as overnight campsites. 

The lake is perfect for swimming or boating, and there are also trails around the lake. Hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding are all popular activities here, as well as snowshoeing in the winter. On a hot summer day, this is my favorite place to go in Golden to relax.

Cedar Lake is located just 12km away from Golden along Kicking Horse Trail Road.

22. Go horseback riding

Horseback riding is a fun activity that people of all ages and abilities can enjoy. There are a number of trails around Golden that are suitable for visiting on horseback. You will be able to enjoy canyons, creeks, rivers, and mountains along your horseback adventure!

Most people will opt to go on a tour with a group like Bear Corner Adventures. They offer a variety of tours – even multi-day trips! – and cost between $50-$130 CAD/person. 

23. Go dog sledding

Dog sledding in Canmore, Alberta
We went dog sledding the last time we visited Canmore in winter, next time we will have to try it in Revelstoke too!

Dog sledding is one of the oldest forms of transportation in Canada – and also the most fun! Unfortunately, the dog sleddng company in Golden has recently closed its doors for good, however, you can still enjoy this epic experience with Revelstoke Dogsled Adventures based in Revelstoke.

The tour will start with some education about how to harness the docs and learn the commands. Then, try your hand as a “musher” with some of the tasks to lead the dogs on the trail. Or, if you prefer, just sit back and relax and let your guide do all of the work.

Tours last 3-4 and are priced at $370 CAD for two people (you can ride individually but it’s more expensive.)

24. Go ziplining

You may have gathered by now that we are obsessed with anything up in the mountains! And it’s just because you cannot go to Golden and miss out on the Canadian Rockies experience. One of the best ways to experience the majesty of the mountains, with a bit of fun as well, is the Sky Zipline experience.

This thrilling ride takes you 1,000 feet across at an elevation of 500 feet! From up there you’ll have amazing panoramic views of the Columbia Valley. There are four zipline tracks, so you can ride side-by-side with your friends.

The price is $69 CAD and includes the Skybrdige and admission to the park as well (the first activity we mentioned in this blog.) 

25. Go hiking or snowshoeing 

Walking around Golden at Beaver Lakes
Hiking around Beaver Lakes in winter!

Golden is the perfect place to visit all year round, especially if you are looking to get outside and hit some trails. There are so many different trails that can be used for hiking in the summer and snowshoeing in the winter. Tourism Golden has an extensive hiking trail map with trails located around Golden and in the surrounding national parks.

Some popular trails in Golden include Rotary Trails (easy, starts in town), Terminator Ridge (difficult, with amazing views), or Twin Falls (moderate difficulty but long). So, strap on those hiking boots and get ready to explore some of the best trails in BC!

26. Do the canyon swing *coming soon*

The Giant Canyon Swing is definitely not the swings you remember from childhood! This two-person giant swing will get your blood pumping as you swing through a deep canyon. You’ll start with a free fall over the canyon edge, but then the swing catches as you soar out over the canyon! 

The price for this epic experience is $123 CAD and includes admission to the park and the Golden Skybridge as well.

*NOTE: The canyon swing is opening soon! Check the website for current information. We can’t wait to try it as soon as it opens!

26. Day trip to Banff National Park 

Morant's Curve on the Bow Valley Parkway in Banff National Park
Morant’s Curve in Banff National Park!

If you’re in Golden for a while, it makes sense to take some time to explore the area. A day trip to Banff National Park has got to be at the top of the list. There are so many things to do in Banff – it is the most famous town in the Rockies for a reason!

Banff town is very quaint with a lot of shops and restaurants to explore. The Banff Upper Hot Springs are absolutely iconic and should be a priority to visit! Another popular attraction is the gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain – the views are seriously epic!

Want to explore a little further? Head over to Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, or even check out all the fun things to do in Canmore (our personal favorite town in Canada.) 

Banff, Alberta is located about 140km away from Golden along the Trans-Canada Highway. It’ll take you about an hour and a half to two hours to drive. This makes for a long day trip, so if you can you can choose to stay at a hotel in Banff for a night or two instead. With that said, many people visit Banff from Golden because accommodation prices in Golden are significantly cheaper than Banff (and with more availability too!)

Related Read: Thinking about heading to Banff for a few days? Read our detailed Banff itinerary!

27. Day Trip to Yoho National Park

A road with mountain views in Yoho National Park
Even just driving through the park is stunning!

Yoho National Park is one of the six national parks surrounding Golden. It’s a large park that was established back in 1886. It’s a true hikers’ paradise with over 400km of hiking trails. Some of the popular hikes include Yoho Lake, Iceline Trail, or Whaleback Mountain. You can visit the Visitor’s Centre for more information about these hikes and others in the area.

If you’re all hiked out, you can see the majestic Takakkaw Falls from a viewpoint or just drive through the park and admire the beauty. You can also visit the Burgess Shale Fossil Beds with a tour group. These were an important historical discovery in 1909 and are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

The Spiral Tunnels are another interesting attraction to see in Yoho Park. They were created by the Canadian Pacific Railway and are a series of train tunnels in a spiral formation to decrease the steep gradient. There is a viewpoint where you can pull over and check them out.

No matter what you choose to do in the park, visiting Yoho National Park when you’re in Golden is an absolute must!

28. Day Trip to Revelstoke

Sutherland Falls Revelstoke BC
Sutherland Falls Revelstoke BC

Another excellent day trip from Golden is Revelstoke, about 150km away. The drive along the Trans-Canada highway is simply beautiful, worthy of some road-trip tunes and snacks! This road is known as Rogers Pass and it is absolutely stunning.

Revelstoke is a quaint town worth exploring. There are plenty of fun things to do in Revelstoke including shops, restaurants, and cafes to check out. You can also check out the Revelstoke Railway Museum and Revelstoke Museum & Archives to learn a bit more about the town’s history. 

Like any town in the Canadian Rockies, Revelstoke has a lot of outdoor recreation opportunities, including hiking and snowshoeing. The biggest draw to Revelstoke is their awesome ski mountain! It draws skiers and snowboarders from all over the place and is a very beginner-friendly place to learn.

In the summer months, ride the Luge (a really fun mountain kart) at the Revelstoke Mountain Resort. Be sure to also visit Mount Revelstoke National Park – the wildflowers here are beautiful.

30. Day Trip to Kootenay National Park

A man stands on a bridge at Marble Canyon in Kootenay National Park
Marble canyon is stunning!

Kootenay National Park is another of the six national parks that surround Golden. This park has a lot of awesome attractions and sites to see. You’ll love the drive, but it’s definitely worth getting out and going hiking. For an easy trail, we recommend Marble Canyon, or for a full-day moderate hike go to Stanley Glacier. 

Another must-visit spot is Radium Hot Springs, where you can just relax in the all-natural mineral pools. Radium Hot Springs town also has a lot to see and do, so spend some time exploring! It’s about 100km from Golden to Radium Hot Springs, but the whole park takes up a much larger area.

Like any of the national parks in the area, a parks pass is required to visit Kootenay National Park. You can purchase a Discovery Pass that allows entrance to all national parks for a year for $69.19 CAD/person, or $140/vehicle. Since there are so many amazing national parks around Golden, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth! 

Heading to Golden from Vancouver? Read our guide to the best places to stop when driving from Vancouver to Golden!

Where to Stay in Golden, BC

Glacier Mountaineer Lodge
Glacier Mountaineer Lodge

So now that you know about all of the amazing things to do in Golden, you’re going to need somewhere to stay a few nights. There’s just so much to explore in the area you might as well book a great hotel and enjoy a few days in one of Canada’s most underrated mountain towns.

There are plenty of places to stay in Golden, and when compared to nearby towns like Revelstoke and Banff, Golden hotels are generally more affordable.

Here are some of the best places to stay in Golden for every budget:

$$$ – Golden Acres Mountain Lodge

Located outside of Golden surrounded by nature, this lodge is the perfect luxury escape for anybody looking fo a little R&R. The rooms are best suited for couples, with king suites with private kitchenettes, a balcony, and a spa bath. There is an onsite sauna here too and hiking trails start from the property.

$$ – Glacier Mountaineer Lodge

This is the perfect place to stay if you’re visiting Golden for a ski or snowboard holiday. This hotel is located only 50 meters from Kicking Horse Mountain resort’s chairlift – how convenient! Besides that, all rooms have mountain views and there is an onsite sauna to enjoy after a day of hitting the slopes.

$$ – Best Western Mountainview Inn

This is a great choice if you’re looking for something in town. This hotel is clean and comfortable and has everything you could want including an indoor pool and an included breakfast. The reviews are great and the price is modest.

$ – Travelodge by Wyndham Golden Sportsman Lodge

Those on a budget can’t pass on the Travelodge. With a central location, indoor pool with a waterslide and hot tub, as well as an included breakfast, this hotel is a steal! they even have pet-friendly rooms and an outdoor picnic area with a BBQ.

Of course, there are lots of hotels to choose from in Golden – check them all out here! It’s a good idea to book well in advance too, the best ones book up quick!

For more detailed info on the different areas to stay in Golden, check out or blog: Where to Stay in Golden, BC.

Renting a Car in British Columbia

A rural road with Mt Currie in the background
Road trips are the best way to explore Canada!

If you’re arriving in British Columbia via plane, then I can’t recommend getting a rental car enough. British Columbia is a large province and traveling between the best places to visit in BC requires transport. Although you can use public transport on some occasions, this means your trip will not only require more time but more planning.

Car rental in Canada isn’t relatively cheap, but it’s not that expensive either, especially if you get a budget car. The cheapest car with a pick-up and drop-off in different locations is around $100 CAD per day. The price does vary though, depending on the time of year. For car rentals, I use the website Discover Cars. It’s a search engine with lots of deals with good customer service. In fact, I’ve used Discover Cars all over the world, including in Chile, New Zealand, and Australia.

Another popular option is to rent a campervan or motorhome (only for the brave in winter.) Using Motorhome Republic, you can search hundreds of deals across multiple companies to pick a great vehicle and the cheapest price. Having a motorhome is a stunning way to see Canada, and using crown land and campsites, you can often camp for free or very cheap in the most beautiful places imaginable!

Canada Travel Essentials

Bailey stands on a mountain in essential gear for the Canadian Rockies
A windproof jacket and Buff will save you in the mountains!

Before you decide to head off and explore the gorgeous mountains, lakes, towns, and cities around Canada it’s important to have the right equipment. Of course, it’s likely you’ll have most of the basics already but there are some common items people forget that I never travel without.

Crampons: In winter, crampons are super handy, but what people don’t realize is that they come in handy in summer too. In fact, up until mid-July, you can still expect icy conditions in the mountains. The pair I use is only $37 CAD and they have lasted me 3 seasons so far!

Waterproof shell: Most people will have this item but I thought I’d include it anyway since it’s so handy in Canada. The Columbia waterproof jacket is a lightweight windproof jacket that will seriously save you in many situations. The best part, though? It comes in pink!

Bear bells: These are a must, and for the price, you shouldn’t hike without them. The bear bells I use are only $9 CAD and they come with a silencer (a must) so you can easily travel with them.

Scent-proof bag (for bears): Most people think you only need to keep the smell of food away from you when you’re overnight camping. However, bears can smell the food in your bag while you’re hiking and the best way to avoid an encounter is to use a scent-proof bear bag. Basically, you put your food in the bag and the bear cannot smell it while you’re hiking. This is one item most people never have (I never hike without it) but it could save you and the bear.

Buff: I love my buff! Seriously, I go nowhere without it both in winter and summer. There are a few brands around but I always buy the original Buff (you know, the one from Survivor!) They’re a little more expensive but the material is good quality and both breathable and quick drying.

Dry bag: I have expensive camera equipment, so I always travel with a dry bag large enough to fit some of my equipment. It can be a camera, book, binoculars, or even my keys. Regardless, a dry bag gives me peace of mind! The MARCHWAY bag is really good quality, and when not in use, takes up only a small amount of room.

Binoculars: I love my binoculars! Seriously they have come in handy so many times, especially when I’m looking for wildlife. The best part is, I use a set that only costs $25 CAD and they serve my basic needs without any issues!

Before you go…

Vailey from Destinationless Travel walks along the Golden Sky Bridge
Thanks for reading!

Golden, BC is a small town but packs in a whole lot of amazing activities. Situated in the Columbia Valley, beside the Kicking Horse River, and between six national parks, there are endless outdoor activities to take advantage of. 

Then, when you’re done with all the outdoor adventuring, kick back and relax in downtown Golden. Grab a bite to eat, explore this quaint town, and enjoy your stay in beautiful Golden, BC!

If you found this blog helpful. be sure to check out all of our other blogs about Canada. Some of our personal favorites include:

1-Day Icefields Parkway Itinerary

How to plan a Romantic Banff Honeymoon

The BEST Breweries in Kelowna

13 BEST Kelowna Breweries - Where to Drink Craft Beer in Kelowna
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