Golden BC – Kicking Horse Country
Golden BC is located in ‘Kicking Horse Country’, one of the most beautiful places on earth. Banff, Glacier, Jasper, Kootenay, Mount Revelstoke and Yoho National Parks are all within an easy drive from Golden and no matter where you begin your trip to Kicking Horse Country, you will most likely pass through at least one of them on the way.
Welcome to Golden BC!
The town of approximately 4,500 people is situated on the Trans Canada Highway between the Rocky Mountain and the Columbia ranges and where the Kicking Horse and Columbia Rivers meet. It marks the eastern end of the famed Rogers Pass, one of the most spectacular mountain crossings in British Columbia. It’s a scenic 3-hour drive from Calgary, 9 hours from Vancouver, and 4 hours north from the US border.
From its humble beginnings, Golden BC has emerged into a lively town with a broad cross-section of residents from the four corners of the world. Tourism is a major industry in Golden and people come in every season for a wide variety of outdoor attractions.
History of Golden BC
In 1807, the explorer/cartographer, David Thompson, and his group came through this beautiful wilderness. A single building called ‘The Cache’ was used as a base camp for the original survey crew. In competition with another crew to the east which called its camp ‘Silver City’, they re-named their little camp ‘Golden City’, hence the name of the town. Prospectors originally came to pan for gold but eventually found the area less than they had expected. The CPR brought the men who built the railroad and their families, most of them leaving when their work in the area was finished. Some stayed, however and began to build a community.
The short-lived steamboat era saw the beginning of commerce in Golden in the late 1800’s, as the town quickly became the supply station for settlers to the south in the Columbia Valley. The steamboat was the only source of transportation among the new communities along the Columbia River, carrying passengers and all manner of goods between Golden and Columbia Lake. In 1914, however, the southbound CPR tracks were completed, signaling the end of one era and the beginning of another in the story of transportation in the area.
In the early part of the twentieth century, tourism began in Golden BC. The CPR hired Swiss guides to accompany the Europeans and Eastern Canadians who were eager to climb the great mountain peaks around the area. A village of Swiss-style chalets was constructed by the railroad to house the guides and the original ‘Eidelweiss Village’ still overlooks Golden, an ever-present monument to the legacy of the beginnings of the tourist industry.
Arts & Culture
Golden also has a thriving arts and cultural community. Kicking Horse Culture (the Golden Arts Council), brings a host of films, stage plays, musical performances to the Golden Civic Centre each year and the Art Gallery of Golden (AGOG) displays the works of the many local artists in exhibitions throughout the year.
In winter, skiers, heli-skiers and snowboarders flock to the award-winning Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Tobogganing, snowmobiling and Nordic skiing along scenic groomed trails through alpine forests is a favorite pastime for families.
Summertime presents activities for every taste. If you are an adventurer seeking the thrill of a lifetime, try white-water rafting on the fast and furious Kicking Horse River, cycle on 129 km of challenging XC bike trails, experience tandem paragliding, do some rock climbing or take a plane trip over the peaks.
If you prefer a slower pace to allow you to photograph the scenery and breathe in the clear, crisp mountain air, you can take the Eagle Eye Express Gondola at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Slow float or paddle a canoe down the Columbia River to view the abundant birds and wildlife in the Wetlands. Visit one of the local interpretive centres to learn about grizzly bears, wolves, buffalo and other native species or play a round of golf, hike, fish, or enjoy a horseback ride through the back country.
After an activity-filled day, you will welcome a comfortable night in your choice of accommodation in hotel, motel, lodge, B& B, hostel or campground. Dining is a pleasurable experience in the town’s many restaurants, diners, pubs and cafes.
Enjoy the latest photos from the Golden BC Instagram hashtag feed #goldenbc. Click an image to open in Gallery view.