37 BEST Things To Do In Golden, BC

Hiking in Golden British Columbia

There are many great things to do in Golden, BC, during the summer and winter months. Golden is only a short drive away from our home, so every year we take quick trips to check out all the activities and explore outside of the Canadian Rockies. Heading to Golden is an excellent addition to any trip to Banff or Jasper.

Golden is an outdoor lover paradise in a growing town nestled in the mountains. Golden, BC, makes an excellent destination for any traveler looking to explore more of the great Canadian wilderness. If you’re looking for some ideas of what to do in Golden, we have you covered!

Where is Golden, BC?

Best Things to do in Golden, BC

Golden is a small BC town with a population of under 4000 people in southeastern British Columbia . The closest major city is Calgary, and it takes about three hours to get from Calgary to Golden. Golden is built around the confluence of the Columbia and Kicking Horse Rivers and is surrounded by the Purcell and the Rocky Mountains.

It’s the perfect location near Yoho, Banff, Jasper, Glacier, and Kootenay National Park. Golden is located right off of Highway 1 (the Trans-Canada Highway) making it a great stop on any Western Canada road trip, especially when connecting Vancouver to Calgary.

Downtown Golden / Best Things to do in Golden, BC

Its accessibility to Yoho National Park makes it a popular spot for summer tourists. With the development of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, it is slowly creeping up the map as a world-famous ski destination.

Golden’s history is strongly tied to the Canadian Pacific Railway and the logging industry, and after visiting, you can still see the remnants of an old railway town. Now, one of the town’s main drivers is outdoor adventure and tourism!

Land Acknowledgement: Golden and the surrounding Columbia Valley are located on the Homelands of the  Ktunaxa Nation . The Secwepemc People also traveled through the region and the Metis Nation Columbia River Society call Golden home.

How Long Should You Spend in Golden?

On the Kicking Horse River

We love visiting Golden and think you need at least three days to properly explore, but you won’t be bored spending a week here.

Best Things to Do in Golden, BC

Horseback ride along the blaeberry.

Blaeberry Horseback Riding -  Best Things to do in Golden, BC

One of the best things to do in Golden, BC, is to saddle up on a horse and enjoy a horseback ride through the stunning region. We really enjoyed our time doing this on a cool September morning. Unlike where we live in Canmore, the terrain and land are entirely different, just two hours away.

Blaeberry Horseback Riding -  Best Things to do in Golden, BC

Think lush forest, diverse plants, unique wildlife, fantastic green space, and fewer people around. You could easily take a hike along the Blaeberry, but we honestly loved exploring it by horseback as it gave us a whole different viewpoint from our many hikes in Alberta. See Bear Corner Bed & Bale for horseback riding tour options; hourly rates start at $60 per hour.

Have Lunch at Thompson Falls

Thompson Falls  in Golden BC

A beautiful but easy and short hike around Golden is the Thompson Falls forest hike. This moderate hike only takes three hours round trip and provides spectacular views of Thompson Falls. This trail has a connection that was used by First Nations as a trade route!

After our horseback ride, we decided to have lunch here and were shocked by how few people came back here on the weekend. It’s a great place to go with families or pets and enjoy nature for a bit. Careful walking around – you don’t want to slip in here!

Meet Boo, The Bear

Boo the Bear / Golden BC

No trip to Golden would be complete without paying a visit to Boo, the Grizzly Bear first! At Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, there is actually a Grizzly Bear Refuge, the largest one in the world.

Boo the Bear / Golden BC

That’s right, right on Kicking Horse Mountain is a 20-acre area home to Boo. That means in the winter, you can literally ski and snowboard past a (sleeping) grizzly.

When Boo’s mother was sadly shot in the wild at just five months, the cub was given a home at the Grizzly Bear Refuge. He’s been living his lazy bear life here for the past 20 years and has become an icon of Golden and Kicking Horse Mountain.

Boo the Bear / Golden BC

It’s here that Boo hunts, forages, and plays around in his wide-open space. He’s an impressive and absolutely massive creature and is a remarkable sight in Golden. Boo is observed and monitored in his natural area, and many great studies about Grizzlies have come from this refuge.

Interpretive tours are offered every day in the summer to help visitors understand Grizzly bears further. Those wishing for a more in-depth experience can join the RAP (Ranger Assist Program). The RAP program is only offered twice a day without the general public.

By partaking in this program, you get to see how Boo is fed his supplements every day and get a more private, in-depth tour. Find more info here!

Test Your Skills on the Via Ferrata

Kicking Horse Via Ferrata

Via Ferrata means “Iron Road” in Italian, and that’s precisely what this is, an Iron Road up a mountain. Essentially it’s a climbing route with harnesses, steel cables, iron rungs, pegs, ladders, and bridges, making an ascent up a massive mountain in Canada completely safe!

This is one of the best Via Ferratas in Canada and offers many different route options from beginner to advanced. The “ascension route” is the most difficult and is even said to be one of the hardest Via Ferratas in North America. At 465 meters and a summit of Terminator Peak, it just may be one of the best!

Sadly, for the second time in a row, we got rained out of our Via Ferrata experience at Kicking Horse (the first was just two months before on Mt. Norquay). However, we know we’ll be back to conquer this one!

Have a Beer at Whitetooth Brewing Company

Whitetooth Brewing Company in Golden BC

After you’ve had enough mountain fun for the day, the only natural thing to do is unwind at a Whitetooth Brewery . This is one of the only breweries in Downtown Golden and offers incredible Belgian-inspired homebrews. It’s also one of our favorite breweries in the region, beating out Banff Ave Brewing and The Grizzly Paw in Canmore.

Face Your Fears on the Golden Skybridge

Golden Skybridge / Golden BC

The Golden Skybridge is Golden’s newest attraction. Just opened in the summer 2021, these are Canada’s Highest Suspension Bridges.

This is one of the most exciting things to do in Golden for all ages as it’s not every day you can walk 426 feet above a vast canyon. Surrounded by the Columbia Valley, walking across this skybridge while a river and waterfall crash below you is memorable.

golden skybridge

There’s also a play park for the children, a beautiful outdoor eating area, and plenty of nature to take in. The whole experience should take you around an hour unless you decide to add on the…

Zipline, Canyon Swing, and Mountain Coaster

Zipline and Canyon Swing in Golden

Right at the Golden Skybridge are two more exciting Golden activities! Great for kids and families is the zipline that has visitors racing across a 1,000-foot canyon. The zipline has four tracks that can go at once so friends and siblings can have fun racing each other.

tourist attractions near golden bc

Also brand new is the Golden Giant Canyon Swing. Designed for two people, this swing will send adventurous souls free-falling over the canyon edge. It’s one of the only experiences like this in the region!

Hike the Iceline Trail

Iceline Trail in Yoho

  • Length: 14.2 km
  • Duration : 5-9 hours
  • Elevation Gain : 864 meters
  • Difficulty : Moderate-Hard
  • Best Time To Go: Summer
  • Parking: Takakkaw Falls Parking Lot

The Iceline Trail is one of the great hiking trails in Yoho National Park . The whole 14.2 km trail is simply stunning, offering waterfalls, glacier views, glacier lakes, and beautiful wildflowers (if you hit it in summer).

This trail is rated as moderate as there isn’t much elevation gained and no scrambling to overcome, but it is long. Expect the Iceline to take anywhere from 6-8+ hours, but it’s all worth it for a day spent near glaciers and waterfalls. Alternatively, if you don’t want to rush your time, there are campsites along the trail, though they’ll have to be booked out in advance in the summer season.

If you aren’t comfortable going into the Canadian wilderness independently, a guide is a great option. Laura, from Self Propelled Adventures , is exceptionally knowledgeable and will get you through these trails safely.

See Laughing Falls and Twin Falls

Laughing Falls in Yoho

If you don’t want to hike the entire Iceline trail, you can shorten it a bit and just hike to Laughing Falls. This is an easy hike that starts at the same parking area as Tak Falls. The trail to Laughing Falls is a 7.8km round trip trail with an easy 128 meters of elevation gain. The trail ends at the base of Laughing Falls, which is an impressive sight. If you want more of a day, then continue to…

Twin Falls! The trail to Twin Falls via Laughing Falls is a gorgeous one, and if you like big impressive waterfalls, you’ll want to continue hiking. From Laughing Falls, you’ll have to continue around 6.5 km to Twin Falls on simple terrain.

Twin Falls in yoho

As you may have guessed, Twin Falls are two rushing 80-meter waterfalls – side by side twins, as you can say! If you get to see both, consider yourself lucky. When we visited in mid-September, only the right fall was flowing (see photo).

If you want to see both falls, it’s best to do this hike as a loop so that you can also stop at Marpole Lake; however if you do the loop, be prepared for a moderate boulder field to hike. If you are feeling extra adventurous, you can continue up to summit Whaleback Mountain, an easy scramble and the easiest summit in Little Yoho Valley. (Big day that requires experience hiking in the Rockies)

Marvel at Takakkaw Falls

Takakkaw Falls in Yoho

Takakkaw Falls , “Tak Falls” for short, is the second-highest waterfall in Canada and one of the most impressive waterfalls in the Canadian Rockies. At 373 meters high, Tak Falls is a sight to behold. The falls are fed by the meltwater of the Daly Glacier, part of the Waputik Icefield.

During the summer months, the falls’ volume is massive, but during October and into the winter, it’s like someone turned the taps off. *Also, the Yoho Valley Road closes around mid-October, cutting off access to Tak Falls.

The best part is that viewing Tak Falls requires no effort. You can drive right up to the parking area in Yoho and get grand views of the falls. However, in my opinion, the best views of the falls are from the Iceline Trail.

Walk to Wapta Falls

Wapta Falls in Yoho National Park

Wapta Falls is the largest waterfall of the Kicking Horse River and one of the best things to do in Yoho National Park. Wapta Falls is 18 meters high but what’s really impressive is that it is a whopping 107 meters wide. Getting there requires a short hike (5km round trip) with minimal elevation gain.

There are a few lookout points from above, but I highly recommend hiking down to the base of the falls for the best views. If you really feel like getting sprayed in the face, you can walk up a short hill in front of the falls for the best views.

I love visiting in the summer, but I honestly think Wapta Falls are even more beautiful in the winter when the ice freezes over and the surrounding peaks are covered in snow.

Walk the Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge

 Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge

When walking around downtown Golden, it’s worth it to venture over to the Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge, which spans 46 meters over the Kicking Horse River. It’s well-loved in the community and a beautiful bridge to stroll around with a coffee from Purcell Coffee or Bluebird Cafe.

The Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge is remarkable in that it is the longest freestanding timber bright in all of Canada. Timber Framers came from many nations to help raise the bridge, many of them volunteers, as there was only a $485,000 budget to build the estimated $2 Million bridge.

Canoe Around Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake is an icon of Yoho National Park and is a great half-day trip out from Golden. Located just one hour away from Golden is this stunningly blue lake where you can enjoy a walk around the Emerald Lake Trail or rent a canoe and paddle around for a few hours.

The photos seriously don’t do this amazing place in the world justice. Emerald Lake is one of the busiest of Yoho’s 61 lakes and ponds, so it’s best to get there early or later in the afternoon to avoid crowds.

The Natural Bridge

Natural-Bridge in yoho

If you’re heading to Emerald Lake, you need to stop at the Natural Bridge on either your way in or out. The Natural Bridge is a stop-off point on Emerald Lake Road. However, the turn-off is easy to miss, so watch for it on your left as you head up to Emerald Lake.

The natural bridge is what it sounds like. A natural bridge made out of rock that was cut by the Kicking Horse River. It’s an unusual sight to see, especially in the winter!

Enjoy Sherbrooke Lake and Scramble Paget Peak

Banff-Hike-Paget-Peak

Paget Peak is a great place to start for those experienced hikers wanting something a little bit more challenging. Paget Peak is in Yoho National Park and is technically a scramble, but an easy scramble that provides downright breathtaking views.

At 9.5 km and almost 1000 meters of elevation gain, you’ll be putting some work in to summit Paget Peak, but I promise it’s worth every step. If you want an easier option, the hike to the Paget Lookout is also glorious and has much less elevation gain and distance.

Paget Peak in Yoho National Park

Or, to get a real good workout in continue on to the peak; it’s a steep grind up loose scree slopes, but you’ll feel a real sense of accomplishment once you reach the peak. Paget Peak took us around four hours round trip to complete, with a 30-minute summit break to take in the views!

Sherbrooke Lake in Yoho National Park

Don’t forget to stop at Sherbrooke Lake on the way down – it’s just as blue as Lake Louise but without all the crowds!

Hit Up the Mountain Biking Trails

Kicking Horse Mountain Biking

Golden has some of the best mountain biking on the West Coast. There are over 185 km of cross-country trails, and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort has a lift-assisted downhill park in the summer. It’s here you can get the longest vertical in all of British Columbia! For bike rentals, make sure to check out Selkirk Ski and Bike.

Kicking Horse Coffee

Afterward make sure you fuel up at Double Black, the fabulous coffee shop. Serving Kicking Horse Coffee at the base of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.

Get Wet on the Kicking Horse River

 Kicking Horse River

For those after some thrilling adventure who don’t mind getting wet, one of the best things to do in Golden is white water raft on the Kicking Horse River. This is a wild spot popular with kayakers for its Class II to IV rapids.

The Kicking Horse River takes rafters from the Canadian Rockies to the Columbia River confluence. The season typically runs from the beginning of June to mid-September, and tours can be booked with Glacier Raft Company , starting at $100 per person. They have half-day and full-day tours that vary in difficulty!

Northern Lights Wildlife Wolf Center

Northern Lights Wildlife Wolf Center

If you’re wondering what to do in Golden, BC for kids consider checking out the Northern Lights Wildlife Wolf Center. Like the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary in Cochrane, this wolf center is a unique facility dedicated to raising awareness and conservation for the wolf.

The center is home to nine resident wolves, and guests can visit them, learn, and photograph on a 25-minute interpretive tour. Adults can also book 1.5 hour-long photography tour where they can walk with wolves without any fences, leashes, or boundaries. It’s a thrilling and unique experience everyone should partake in when visiting Golden.

Meet Chester Jr.

Meet Chester Jr.

You can meet bears in Golden, you can meet wolves in Golden, and – you can meet a buffalo in Golden, BC! Chester Jr., the Buffalo lives at Rocky Mountain Buffalo Ranch with Leo the Wonder. Chester is the chief bull with his heard of Buffalo.

Another fun thing to do in Golden for families is head here to learn about these amazing creatures and the history of the land. Kids are free to visit and adults are $15. There is one buffalo tour every day at 10:15 during the summer months! Find more information here.

Paddle and Fish on the Columbia River

Paddle and Fish on the Columbia River

The Columbia River is a B.C. Heritage River and the largest river in the PNW, and the fourth-largest by volume in all of North America. The source of the river is Columbia Lake past Invermere , which flows through Golden and to Revelstoke.

Near Golden, the Columbia River is a popular place for locals to head and canoe, kayak, fish, and stand up paddleboard. There are plenty of fishing spots to set up – if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to catch Rainbow Trout, Walleye, and Whitefish.

Hike to Gorman Lake

 Gorman Lake

Escape the crowds you may have seen at Emerald Lake and Lake Louise and hike to a beautiful alpine lake where you will likely be the only one there.

Gorman Lake is stunningly blue and set among some goliath peaks that will take your breath away. To reach it, you’ll only have to hike 3.3 km (one way) and gain less than 300 meters from the Gorman Lake trailhead.

The only kicker is it’s at the end of the Dogtooth Forest Service Road, which is a rough road that should only be tackled by a high clearance vehicle.

 Gorman Lake

Golden Museum

Golden Museum

One of the best things to do on a rainy day is visit the Golden Museum . This small museum is located just one block off Ain Street. It shares the history of the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Swiss guides who shaped Golden, BC, into what it is today. Admission is donation-based, and the museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every weekday.

best things to do in golden

I love Golden because you have quite a bit more freedom than inside the national parks, and visitors can enjoy doing activities like an ATV tour. Canadian Offroad Adventures offers half-day and full-day tours through dense forests and up high into the mountains.

Hike in Glacier National Park

tourist attractions near golden bc

Golden is nearby to so many national parks! Kootenay, Yoho, Banff, and even Jasper National Park aren’t too far away.

However, many people forget that Glacier National Park, situated between Golden and Revelstoke, is a natural beauty. There are fantastic hiking opportunities here in the summer and some butt-clenching backcountry ski opportunities here in the winter. Some of my favorite hikes are the Great Glacier Trail, the Asulkan Valley Trail, and for an extra-long day, the Abbott Ridge Trail.

See the World’s Largest Oar

things to do in golden bc

If seeing the world’s largest oar is on your bucket list, you can see it Golden! Certified by the Guinness World Records, you can see the Largest Hand Paddle on your way to Invermere (see here). This oar is scaled up to 13 times and made of one western red cedar log over 60 feet!

Stand Up Paddleboard on One of the Many Lakes

paddleboarding at Emerald Lake

One of the best things to do in Golden in the summer is get out on the many lakes with a stand up paddleboard. There’s nothing quite like floating on an alpine lake with beautiful scenery all around you.

Some of the best lakes to take a stand up paddleboard near Golden are:

  • Kinbasket Lake
  • Gorman Lake (inflatable sup as it requires a hike in)
  • Reflection Lake:

Rivers to paddle on (best done with a guide):

  • Kicking Horse River
  • Columbia River
  • Blaeberry River

For rentals and guides, it’s best to look at Higher Ground Sports, Alpine Rafting Guides , Golden Paddle, or Golden River Adventures.

Day Trip to Revelstoke, Invermere, or Radium Hot Springs

Arrow-Lakes-Revelstoke

Golden is only two hours away from beautiful Revelstoke and Invermere. The town of Radium Hot Springs takes about 1.5 hours. If you want to explore more of the Columbia Valley or get out of Golden for a bit, we recommend checking out these other great mountain towns.

One of our favorite things to do in Radium is relax in the Radium Hot Springs, while in Invermere we always enjoy mountain biking at Panorama.

Dine at Eagles Eye Restaurant

Dine at Eagle Eye Restaurant

Open year-round, dining at Canada’s highest restaurant will not disappoint. Perched atop the mountains at 2300 meters (7,700 ft), this is one of the best places to dine in Golden. Take the Kicking Horse Gondola up and you’ll find yourself right at Eagles Eye.

It’s best to head here for lunch so you can enjoy the stunning views around you. On a weekend day, we recommend making a reservation as this place is popular!

Things to do in Golden, BC in the Winter

Ski/snowboard at kicking horse mountain resort.

snowboarding at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

British Columbia is well known for its legendary ski resorts, and Kicking Horse consistently makes the list. The mountain used to be serviced for heli-skiing only, but with the new addition of a massive gondola, a world of terrain has opened up to everyone. This Canadian ski resort is no beginner mountain with some crazy double black diamond cutes and bowls. Spending a day (or a week!) at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is one of the best things to do in Golden in the winter.

Over half the runs on the mountain are either rated as black or double black, and it’s well known for being an advanced and expert rider mountain. What makes the mountain even better is its location on the Powder Highway. Kicking Horse is known for getting epic snow dumps and being the ‘Champagne Powder Capital of Canada.’

snowboarding at KHMR

However, with a gnarly mountain and little snowmaking and grooming capabilities, the mountain is prone to the weather. Hit it on the wrong day, and you may be met with bulletproof ice and moguls unless you head to the more difficult-to-access steep terrain. This is, unfortunately, what happened to us, but if you catch it on a powder day, you’ll find untouched tracks and deep powder if you don’t mind waiting in the one gondola line.

While crowds are far from what we witnessed, we have heard the legendary terrain draws a crowd on a powder day.  Single-day lift tickets for Kicking Horse start at $124.95, and it’s best to pre purchase online for the best deal.

Enjoy the Fresh Powder on a Snowmobile

snowmobiling in Golden

People travel from Canada and the United States just to go snowmobiling in the Columbia Valley. There are some seriously epic places to take a sled, with bottomless powder everywhere. Unlike Banff or Yoho, there are plenty of places around Golden that are not in a national park, meaning there are few restrictions on snowmobiling and engines.

You can bring your own sled to Golden if you have one or rent one with Golden Snowmobile Rentals . They also offer guiding services to show visitors the area, which we highly recommend if it is your first time out.

Go Nordic Skiing at the Dawn Mountain Nordic Center

cross country skiing near Kicking Horse Mountain Resort in Golden BC

Just near Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is the Dawn Mountain Nordic Center. There are over 33 km of groomed trails that weave in and out of the forest with peek-a-boo mountain views at many turns.

We are by no means expert cross country skiers and found many beginner-friendly trails perfect for us! Nordic Skiing is the ideal to do in Golden in the winter when you only have a short time to get out, as some trails can be completed in under an hour. Or you could easily spend all day here.

Have a Meal in an Igloo

tourist attractions near golden bc

Reposados is one of Downtown Golden’s newest restaurants and is the first place you should head after enjoying all the things to do in Golden. Established by two local Golden women, Reposados was born when they realized Golden, BC, was missing a little spice.

They bring a fresh and unique twist to traditional tacos and only use the freshest produce to create mouth-watering dishes. Everything is made fresh daily, and you can truly taste it when you take a bite of a burrito here. We were initially drawn here because of the healthy-sounding menu, and now we eat here every time we visit Golden!

Reposados is located right in the heart of downtown; it’s pretty hard to miss. Although their indoor dining is small, they have a great outdoor seating area with domed seating in the cooler months! These are the best igloos in Golden and actually stay pretty toasty in the winter with the help of a few heaters. There are only two igloos, so it’s best to make a reservation!

Catch the Freeride World Tour

freeride world tour

The Freeride World Tour, or FWT Pro, is an annual series of events held around the world between January and March every year. This competition features the best of the best in freeride skiing and snowboarding and is where the best athletes worldwide compete for gold. The events happen at famed ski destinations, including Verbier, Fieberbrunn, and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.

The event happens every winter, typically on famous Kicking Horse zones like Ozone or T2. As long as you have a lift pass and can ski yourself to the event space, watching the event is free. Although you can watch it live on YouTube or TV, we can speak from first-hand experience that watching world class skiers and snowboarders rip down a huge mountain face in person is much more exciting.

Watching men and women throw 180s, 360s, and huge air off massive cliffs is our kind of Super Bowl. The event usually happens in Golden in mid-February, but pay attention to the dates on the Freewide World Tour page. If watching live event like this is interesting to you, we recommend planning your trip to Golden around the dates listed. FWT will announce a weather window, and then choose the best day in that weather window to hold the event!

Where to Stay in Golden?

tourist attractions near golden bc

We’ve visited Golden multiple times, and we always stay at different places each time. There are so many hidden gem accommodation options in the area. Unlike staying in Canmore or Banff, many more private BC cabins and chalets are available due to looser rental units’ restrictions. We’ve stayed at all the following options and loved all of them!

tourist attractions near golden bc

Cedar House Chalets

Cedar House Chalets provided us with a comfortable place to stay and great views over Kicking Horse Mountain. Each of these Golden chalets comes with a full kitchen, good WiFi, a fireplace, and most come with even a hot tub!

Golden Cabins in BC

All Season Chalet

If you don’t mind being a bit far from Downtown Golden, I would recommend staying at one of these cabins tucked away in the wilderness. Next to the Kicking Horse River with views of Mt Vaux, this was our favorite place to stay in Golden.

tourist attractions near golden bc

This private and sheltered little cabin is just far enough outside of the hustle and bustle for peace and quiet, yet close enough that you’re never too far from the action. Kicking Horse ski resort is just steps away from the cabin. Great for a winter ski vacation!

The Best Golden, BC Restaurants

downtown Golden

  • Reposados : Golden’s hippest new restaurant is right downtown. They have great outdoor seating and serve up absolutely delicious burritos, tacos, and bowls – fantastic for vegetarians and vegans too!
  • Jitas Cafe: Unassuming small cafe open for lunch. Fair prices and good for a quick bite!
  • Purcell Coffee : For a cup of Joe, Purcell Coffee is the place to go. They serve up anything from chai lattes to traditional black coffee.
  • Wandering Fern Coffee : A pop-up coffee stand with delicious coffee that you can find moving around Golden in the summer months.
  • Cedar House Restaurant : Cedar House leans more towards fine dining in Golden, in a beautiful and serene setting.
  • Whitetooth Mountain Bistro : We had a fantastic meal at Whitetooth Bistro. They cater to any dietary needs and have everything from Italian to Asian cuisine.
  • ELEVEN22: You’ll likely need reservations here as it’s not very big and is super popular with locals and visitors. ELEVEN22 dishes up modern food with fresh ingredients.

Best Things to Do in Golden, BC Map

Best things to do in Golden BC Map

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About Cameron

Cameron is a resident of Canmore, Alberta. After traveling the world for six years, he settled down in the beautiful Bow Valley with Natasha. He has been featured as a travel expert with numerous publications worldwide and has spoken on several occasions about the power of travel. He has a passion for all things in the Canadian Rockies and loves to spend his time snowboarding, scrambling, camping, biking, and trail running. Conservation is a deep fundamental in his life, and he aims to inspire others to care about our natural world. You can learn more on the about us page. If you have found the content on this site helpful to your trip planning please consider supporting The Banff Blog. You can say thanks directly by buying us a coffee . All support is much appreciated!

2 thoughts on “37 BEST Things To Do In Golden, BC”

What does Golden offer for new mothers to meet other new Moms either on line or in a safe place Safe with separation and/ or masks re Covid safety

Hey Linda, we do not live in Golden. Granted, we haven’t ruled out moving out that way. For now, I’d suggest reaching out to the town of Golden .

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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 fun things to do in Golden BC! 

Nestled between the Rocky and Purcell mountains, this hidden gem is a haven for thrill-seekers and nature lovers alike. And it’s not just the breathtaking panoramas that make Golden so special, but also the diverse array of activities that this quaint and vibrant town offers. 

Girl in the town of Golden BC

At any time of the year, Golden is brimming with activities that involve stunning Canadian scenery and colorful culture. 

While not quite as famous as its neighbor, Banff, Golden is often less tourist-crowded. It’s a great spot 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, in the water, or somewhere in between, you’ll be in your happy place in Golden, BC .

32 Top Things To Do In Golden Canada

tourist attractions near golden bc

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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.

1. Visit the Golden Skybridge for its suspension bridges

Golden presents a unique opportunity to traverse Canada’s highest suspension bridge —an experience unlike any other. 

Golden Skybridge

At the Golden Skybridge, you’ll discover the two loftiest suspension bridges in the country, soaring at impressive heights of 130 and 80 meters respectively, offering breathtaking 360-degree vistas of the majestic Kootenay Rockies and the Columbia Valley. 

Prepare to embark on an exhilarating adventure as you traverse these bridges, suspended a staggering 426 feet above an expansive canyon. 

tourist attractions near golden bc

Immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of British Columbia’s Kootenay Rockies from both the lower and upper bridges, indulging in panoramic views that will undoubtedly leave you yearning for more.

The Golden Skybridge is open seasonally in the summer months. Depending on the weather, the season typically runs from mid-May to early October. You can read our full guide on visiting the Golden Skybridge here

2. Ride the Railrider Mountain Coaster

At the Golden SkyBridge, you must also experience a thrilling ride on the Railrider Mountain Coaster. This 3,375-foot coaster offers unparalleled views of the majestic Canadian Rockies. 

Golden mountain coaster

As you embark on this adventure, prepare yourself for an exciting journey along the canyon edge and through the enchanting forest. The average ride time is approximately 5 minutes and it is sooo much FUN!

You will feel the adrenaline rush as you navigate the twists, turns, and curves, leading to an exhilarating 240-foot vertical drop at the bottom of the hill. 

The Railrider Mountain Coaster is not only the first of its kind in Western Canada but also the largest and fastest mountain coaster in the country. As you enjoy the ride, you will be amazed as the coaster immerses you in an audio-enhanced environment, paying homage to the legacy of railways and their giving community.

Golden mountain coaster

The Railrider Mountain Coaster incorporates state-of-the-art technology to provide riders with customizable safety features, allowing everyone to choose their level of adventure.

Our ride was nothing short of incredible, and we can’t wait to return for another round of excitement!

3. Enjoy ziplining and climbing

Experience the thrill of flying through the air on the ziplines at Golden Skybridge. The heart-pounding 1,000-foot zipline ride whisks you across the majestic canyon which is perfect 

Ziplinning in Golden

From a soaring height of 500 feet, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains as you soar above the canyon and river below. Plus, with four zipline tracks available, you can engage in friendly competition with your loved ones, all while suspended high in the sky.

4. Try the Canyon Swing

Experience the ultimate thrill and conquer your fears as you embark on an adrenaline-fueled adventure with the Giant Canyon Swing at Golden Skybridge in British Columbia.

Brace yourself for an exhilarating ride that will take you to the edge of the canyon, suspended by a secure bungee cord.

tourist attractions near golden bc

As the bungee cord kicks in, you’ll smoothly soar through the sky and swing back and forth above the rugged terrain below. With each swing, be mesmerized by the breathtaking views of the stunning scenery that surrounds you.

You will be suspended 75 feet above a breathtaking canyon to enjoy this adrenaline-pumping attraction which is not for the faint of heart.

5. Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge

This picturesque landmark attraction is everything you need for the perfect photo-op opportunity. And as a 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.

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. 

6. 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. 

Experience the thrill of navigating through Class III and IV rapids while taking in the breathtaking scenery. These gorgeous waters await you.

7. 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.

8. Enjoy skydiving & gliding

This area is undeniably one of the most breathtaking and awe-inspiring places to engage in thrilling aerial activities such as skydiving, paragliding, or hang gliding. With its majestic mountain ranges, winding rivers, and picturesque valleys, it offers an unparalleled opportunity to soak in the beauty of nature from a bird’s eye perspective.

Operators like SkyDive Yeti offer skydiving and tandem diving options. Each experience starts at $349 and it can be booked online. 

You can immerse yourself in the stunning vistas as you soar through the sky and later plummet to the earth at 120 MPH over the Canadian Rocky Mountains. 

The combination of jaw-dropping scenery and exhilarating adventures guarantees an unforgettable experience that will be etched in your memory for a lifetime. When you book with Sky Dive Yeti they also capture every moment of your adventure with 7 to 10 minutes of raw video footage and 200-300 pictures.

9. Hit the 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 . 

10. Hang out at a local bar

After a day of exploring, unwind and relax at one of Golden’s local bars or breweries. With a variety of craft beers to choose from, you can sit back and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere while taking in the beautiful mountain views. 

tourist attractions near golden bc

Rockwater Grill and Bar and the Wolf’s Den are our favorites for an evening out. Both restaurants are super cozy with rustic decor, spacious seating areas, live music, and lots of delicious food and drinks to choose from!

In the summer months, they also have their patio open for guests. 

11. Visit 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, of Swiss guides and the Canadian Pacific Railway, and all things that make this place worth the visit for both locals and tourists alike. 

The museum is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 am -to 5:00 pm, and closed on Sundays and holidays. 

12. Enjoy 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 the 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.

13. Northern Lights Wildlife Wolf Centre

Learning about these amazing animals is 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 staff team. 

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. 

14. Wander around the town of Golden

While Golden is known for its outdoor activities, it also has a charming town center with plenty to explore. 

tourist attractions near golden bc

Take a stroll down the picturesque streets of Golden, soak in the serene beauty of the surrounding mountains, and breathe in the crisp, fresh mountain air. 

Discover the unique shops, cozy cafes, and friendly locals that give Golden its distinct small-town charm. Indulge in delicious local cuisine, from hearty mountain fare to farm-to-table delights, and savor the flavors that embody the essence of this idyllic mountain town. 

Golden Town

Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or simply a tranquil escape from the city, Golden offers a perfect blend of natural wonders and small-town hospitality, making it an unforgettable destination in the Canadian Rockies .

15. 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.

tourist attractions near golden bc

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 the perfect place to get a unique souvenir or a gift from Golden.

16. 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. 

tourist attractions near golden bc

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

17. Explore Cedar Lake

Few things 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. 

Cedar Lake Golden

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 water floaties for a fun day.

18. Rafting Adventure on the Kicking Horse River – Summer  

Join a group tour and go adventure rafting on the Kicking Horse River in the 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: USD 86

19. Heli-Skiing at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort – Winter

In the winter, Golden is a skier’s paradise with over 3400 acres of skiable terrain and an average of 7.5 meters of snowfall annually, you won’t be disappointed here. 

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

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort named after the Kicking Horse River and Kicking Horse Pass is the sixth largest of any North American ski resort. You can enjoy skiing, and snowboarding (and a plethora of summer activities as well), and it boasts of one gondola, 3 chairlifts, and a 1 surface life. 

One of the fun things to do in Golden in winter is to enjoy heli-skiing. 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.

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.

20. Visit the Grizzly Bear Interpretive Centre

For a unique and educational experience, visit the largest enclosed and protected grizzly bear habitat in the world at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Located just 20 minutes from Golden, this refuge is home to a single orphaned grizzly bear, named Boo. 

This protected area is visible from the gondola, and an interpretive center accessible via the Catamount chair operates for tourism in the summer season.

Take a guided tour through the refuge and learn about grizzly bears and meet Boo. Tickets start at $35 per adult, and tours last an hour. This is a truly special opportunity to get up close and personal with playful Boo. 

Note that the Grizzly Bear Refuge is only open daily during the summer months.

21. Enjoy stand-up paddleboarding

For more relaxing water activity, try out stand-up paddleboarding on lakes and rivers near Golden BC. The most popular places to go SUP are Columbia River, Kicking Horse River, Cedar Lake, and Reflection Lake. 

Take in stunning views of the surrounding mountains as you glide along the calm waters. This is also a great opportunity to spot local wildlife such as bald eagles and ospreys.

Here is more information about SUP in and around Golden,

Columbia River: Columbia is a popular spot to go paddle boarding as it offers a wide variety of water terrain whilst giving you an awesome view of the Purcell and Rocky Mountains.

Kicking Horse River: This exhilarating adventure is best experienced with a guide unless you’re an advanced paddler skilled at navigating rapids on a board. If it falls within your expertise, this paddle offers a variety of accessible sections that reveal breathtaking sights and provide a thrilling rush of adrenaline.

Reflection Lake: Located in the southeast end of Golden, Reflection Lake is amazing for bird viewing opportunities, as you enjoy paddle boarding.

Cedar Lake: Cedar Lake is perfect for a full day of activities, including paddle boarding.

22. Fish on the Columbia and Blaeberry Rivers

Golden BC is home to some of the best fishing spots in Canada. The Columbia River and Blaeberry River are two popular locations for fly fishing, where you can catch species such as rainbow trout, bull trout, and whitefish.

The Columbia River has gained widespread acclaim for its exceptional smallmouth bass fishing. Not only have professional bass tournaments been hosted in the upper river, but amateurs can also relish in the same level of fishing excellence, whether from a boat or along the rugged shorelines.

The River also boasts one of the world’s most exceptional trout fisheries, teeming with tens of thousands of magnificent wild Rainbow Trout eagerly awaiting your fly. Salmon, Steelhead, and Sturgeon each have open and closed seasons here.

Enjoy a peaceful day on the river surrounded by stunning mountain views while trying your hand at this beloved Canadian pastime. You can also book a guided fishing tour for an even more rewarding experience and learn from local experts.

23. Dare to cimb via ferrata 

For the ultimate adrenaline rush and stunning views, try your hand at via Ferrata in Golden BC. This Italian term translates to “iron road” and involves climbing a protected route using fixed cables, ladders, and bridges.

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort offers multiple via Ferrata routes suitable for beginners to advanced climbers. Each route offers unique challenges and breathtaking scenery, making it a must-try activity for adventure seekers.

24. Enjoy a road trip driving through many parks in the Canadian Rockies

Golden is located along the famous Trans-Canada Highway, making it the perfect place to embark on a scenic drive through the majestic mountains.

Route from Calgary to Golden road trip itinerary

It is also the perfect base to explore the six national parks in the Canadian Rockies 

  • Banff National Park
  • Yoho National Park
  • Revelstoke National Park
  • Kootenay National Park
  • Jasper National Park
  • Glacier National Park

Take in panoramic views of peaks and valleys as you wind your way through some of Canada’s most stunning landscapes.

Or, for those feeling more adventurous, hop on a motorcycle or ATV and explore off-road trails that will take you to hidden gems throughout the area. 

No matter how you choose to explore, the beauty of Golden will leave you speechless.

25. Check out the Emerald Lake, Yoho National Park

Emerald Lake is a stunning alpine lake situated in Yoho National Park, British Columbia. It is known for its sparkling emerald green waters surrounded by towering mountains and lush forests. 

Emerald Lake Yoho National Park

The scenic beauty of this lake attracts thousands of visitors each year, making it one of the most popular destinations in the Canadian Rockies. The lake is about a 50-minute drive from Golden (both located in the province of British Columbia). 

Emerald Lake was named after its striking color which comes from light reflecting off the glacial sediment in the water. The lake is also fed by melting glaciers, which contributes to its pristine beauty and clarity. 

You can enjoy walking around the lake on a paved trail or rent a canoe and paddle through the serene waters.

Emerald Lake Things to do in Yoho National Park

Aside from its natural beauty, Emerald Lake offers a range of activities for travelers of all ages and interests. Hiking enthusiasts can choose from a variety of trails, including the Emerald Lake Loop and the Hamilton Falls Trail. The more adventurous can also opt for a guided hike to the famous Burgess Shale fossil beds.

For those seeking a more relaxed experience, there are plenty of picnic areas and viewpoints where you can soak in the breathtaking scenery. 

Tip: You can add a trip to Yoho National Park after exploring Golden – on your way out to Banff or Calgary International Airport. 

When planning a visit to Emerald Lake, make sure to also check out the nearby attractions such as the Natural Bridge, and Takakkaw Falls, or enjoy a hike on the Iceline trail. And don’t forget to stop by the charming Emerald Lake Lodge for a delicious meal or cozy accommodation with incredible views.

26. Visit the Natural Bridge 

Natural Bridge is a spectacular natural rock formation located in Yoho National Park . The bridge is also known as the Kicking Horse River Natural Bridge, as it spans across the powerful river below.

Visiting Natural Bridge is an absolute must for anyone exploring Yoho National Park. The natural wonder is easily accessible via a short, well-maintained walking path from the nearby parking lot. 

Viewing areas - Natural Bridge

As you make your way to the bridge, keep an eye out for the diverse wildlife that call this area home, including bears, moose, and bighorn sheep.

Once you reach Natural Bridge, you will be greeted by an impressive sight. The bridge itself is a natural arch carved out of the surrounding limestone rock by centuries of rushing water. The clear, turquoise water of the Kicking Horse River flows beneath it, creating a stunning contrast against the dark rocks.

But Natural Bridge isn’t just a beautiful photo opportunity – it also has an interesting geological history. The formation was created during the last ice age when massive glaciers retreated, leaving behind the river and the natural bridge we see today. It serves as a reminder of the powerful forces of nature and how they shape our world.

Natural Bridge in Yoho National Park

Aside from admiring the bridge itself, you can also take a short hike along the riverbank to explore more of Yoho National Park’s natural beauty. The area is also a popular spot for picnics, so be sure to pack a lunch and enjoy the peaceful surroundings while taking in the majestic views.

27. See the Takkakaw Falls

Located in Yoho National Park, Takkakaw Falls is one of the most breathtaking waterfalls in Canada. The name “Takkakaw” means “magnificent” or “wonderful” in the Cree language, and it lives up to its name.

Takakkaw Falls waterfall and footbridge in Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada

The waterfall has a total height of 373 meters (1224 feet), making it one of the highest waterfalls in Canada. It is fed by the Daly Glacier and flows into the Yoho River.

You can easily view Takkakaw Falls from a close distance by taking a short hike to its base, or they can opt for a more challenging hike up to the falls. The views from both angles are equally stunning and worth the effort.

28. Hike to the Wapta Falls

If you’re a lover of nature and enjoy the great outdoors, then a hike to the Wapta Falls is an absolute must. Located just 30 minutes outside of Golden, this breathtaking waterfall offers not only stunning views but also a challenging yet rewarding experience for hikers.

tourist attractions near golden bc

The Wapta Falls are part of the Yoho National Park, known for its abundant natural beauty and diverse wildlife. The hike to the falls starts at a trailhead just off the Trans-Canada Highway, where you’ll find plenty of parking and facilities such as washrooms and picnic areas.

The trail itself is approximately 4.8 kilometers (3 miles) round trip. This out-and-back trail takes about an hour and 20 minutes and is an easy one to add to your Yoho National Park itinerary. 

The highlight of this hike is, of course, the majestic Wapta Falls themselves. These impressive falls stand at 18 meters tall and span over 107 meters wide, making them one of the largest waterfalls of the Kicking Horse River. The powerful rush of water is truly a sight to behold and will leave you feeling humbled by nature’s beauty.

29. Explore Glacier National Park BC

Drive to Glacier National Park in BC. This park is located about 45 45-minute drive from Golden and is accessible by car via the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1).

Plan to visit Glacier National Park during the spring and autumn shoulder seasons (April, May, June, September, October), to enjoy hiking and the outdoors. 

With a variety of trails ranging from beginner to advanced, there is something for every level of hiker. One of the most popular hikes is the Hermit Trail, an easy 3 km (1.8 miles) route that takes you through stunning meadows of alpine flowers and streams. 

For a more challenging hike, try the Abbott Ridge Trail, where you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the surrounding mountain ranges. Here are the 5 hikes recommended by the Glacier Raft Company.

30. Take a day trip to Revelstoke National Park

Mount Revelstoke National Park, located in the Canadian province of British Columbia, is a nature lover’s paradise. It covers an area of over 260 square kilometers and boasts stunning landscapes that will leave you in awe. 

tourist attractions near golden bc

The park offers a variety of outdoor activities, making it the perfect destination for a day trip.

One of the most popular activities in Revelstoke National Park is hiking. The park has over 140 kilometers of trails that cater to all levels of hikers. From easy walks to challenging multi-day treks, there is something for everyone. The trails will take you through a variety of landscapes, including dense forests, alpine meadows, and rugged mountain peaks.

If hiking isn’t your cup of tea, don’t worry! Revelstoke National Park also offers opportunities for camping, fishing, mountain biking, and wildlife viewing. You may even spot some of the park’s resident animals, such as grizzly bears, black bears, moose, and mountain goats.

For those looking for a more relaxing day trip, there are plenty of picnic areas throughout the park where you can enjoy a meal surrounded by nature. The park also has several lakes and rivers perfect for swimming or kayaking.

To fully appreciate the beauty of Revelstoke National Park, consider taking a scenic drive through the park. The Meadows in the Sky Parkway is a 26-kilometer (16.16 miles) road that winds through the mountains and offers breathtaking views along the way. There are also various viewpoints and lookout spots where you can stop and take in the scenery.

31. Take a day trip to Kootenay National Park

If you’re looking for a day trip adventure from Golden, look no further than Kootenay National Park. Located in British Columbia, this stunning national park offers everything from scenic drives to hiking trails to hot springs.

tourist attractions near golden bc

One of the most popular activities in Kootenay National Park is driving along the Banff-Windermere Highway (Highway 93). This 105 km (65 miles) stretch of road offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, forests, and lakes. Along the way, you can stop at various viewpoints and take in the natural beauty of the park.

If you prefer to stretch your legs and explore on foot, Kootenay National Park has over 200 km of hiking trails. These trails range from easy strolls to challenging treks through rugged terrain. One of the most well-known hikes is the 10.9 km (6.8 mile) Stanley Glacier Trail, which takes you through a beautiful valley and ends at a stunning glacier. 

Numa Falls, Kootenay National Park

Or hit the Marble Canyon, which is popular with day trippers. 

For those seeking relaxation, Kootenay National Park is home to the Radium Hot Springs. These mineral-rich pools offer soothing warmth and stunning mountain views, making them the perfect place to unwind after a day of adventure.

32. Take a day trip to Banff National Park

Keeping Golden as a base, you can explore the crown jewel of the Canadian Rockies – Banff National Park . Located in Alberta, Canada, Banff National Park is known for its breathtaking mountain landscapes, turquoise blue lakes, and abundant wildlife.

tourist attractions near golden bc

You can enjoy a variety of activities in Banff National Park depending on the season. In the summer, hiking, camping, and canoeing are popular activities, while in the winter, skiing and snowboarding take center stage.

Aside from its natural beauty, Banff also has a charming town that is worth exploring. With its cozy cafes, delicious restaurants, and unique shops, it’s a great place to relax and unwind. 

tourist attractions near golden bc

Plus, the town is surrounded by stunning mountain views, making it a perfect backdrop for your vacation photos.

Some of the must-see attractions in Banff National Park include Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, and Peyto Lake. These picturesque lakes are known for their vibrant blue hues and are popular spots for photography. 

Other notable landmarks include the Banff Gondola, which offers stunning views of the mountains, and the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, a luxurious castle-like hotel that is a popular spot for celebrities.

Banff Gondola Ride

Banff National Park is home to an abundance of wildlife , including bears, elk, bighorn sheep, and more. You can spot these animals by taking a guided tour or going on a wildlife viewing hike. Make sure to always follow park rules and guidelines to ensure the safety of both you and the animals.

Planning your trip to Golden British Columbia

To help you plan your trip to Golden BC, here are some essential things to keep in mind, 

Getting to Golden BC

Golden is located on TransCanada Highway 1 and Highway 95, in the province of British Columbia.

The nearest airport to Golden BC is Calgary International Airport, located about 3.50 hours away by car. You can also fly into Kelowna International Airport, which is a bit further but offers more flight options. Cranbrook is also another option.

Golden BC Welcome Sign

From both airports, you can rent a car or take a shuttle bus to Golden BC.

If you’re driving from Vancouver, the journey will take around 8 hours. The drive itself is scenic and offers several opportunities to stop and admire the breathtaking views. 

tourist attractions near golden bc

  • Cranbrook Alberta : Canadian Rockies International Airport in Cranbrook is 2 hours and 30 minutes
  • Calgary Alberta : The driving distance from Calgary to Golden is 3.50 hours
  • Edmonton Alberta : 5 hours 40 minutes drive
  • Vancouver British Columbia : Driving distance from Vancouver British Columbia is 7.50 to 8 hours
  • 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 on Busbud.

The best time to visit

Golden BC is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit depends on what activities you’re interested in.

If you want to experience the stunning beauty of nature, then summer (June to September) is the ideal time. The temperatures are pleasant and perfect for hiking, camping, and other outdoor adventures.

Skiing and outdoor activities - things to do in Golden BC

If winter sports like skiing and snowboarding are more your thing, then plan your trip between December to March. Golden BC has some of the best ski resorts in Canada, and the winter scenery is truly mesmerizing.

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.

Prestige Inn, Golden 

The Prestige Inn Golden is situated near the Trans-Canada Highway and is just 4 km away from the Golden Golf Club. It offers on-site dining and features an indoor pool with a hot tub. 

Golden Prestige Inn

The guest rooms are soundproofed and many come with gorgeous mountain views. Each room is equipped with modern amenities such as a flat-screen HD cable TV, work desk, fridge, coffee maker, and eco-friendly bath products. 

The rooms can be accessed through a private entrance and are traditionally styled. At Golden Prestige Inn , there are two dining options available for guests. Ricky’s All Day Grill is a casual dining restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

✅ Click to check availability and book at the Prestige Inn

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. 

tourist attractions near golden bc

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. 

tourist attractions near golden bc

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. 

✅ Click to view prices and availability

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.

tourist attractions near golden bc

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.

Holiday Inn Express Golden-Kicking Horse, an IHG Hotel

A straightforward and comfy Holiday Inn Express Golden-Kicking Horse offers a heated indoor pool and hot tub, and it’s located just 14 km from Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. 

Every room at Golden-Kicking Horse Holiday Inn Express is equipped with a 40″ flat-screen TV, a mini refrigerator, a microwave, and a coffee machine. 

The suites also have a sitting area with a sofa. Additionally, free WiFi is provided.

✅ Click to check availability at the Holiday Inn Express

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. 

tourist attractions near golden bc

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 . 

More posts from British Columbia

  • Vancouver in winter: Best things to do in Vancouver in winter
  • Victoria : Best places to visit in Victoria in one day

Pin: Things to do in Golden BC

tourist attractions near golden bc

Mayuri Kashyap is an Indian Canadian traveler, writer and photographer based in Alberta. She moved to Toronto as a student in 2009, and has been calling Canada home ever since. She started the blog - Canada Crossroads - to share her travel and living experiences in the Great White North!

A History graduate and an MBA, Mayuri is a destinations marketing expert. She loves traveling with her husband, Salil and soaking in experiences across Canada, India and Europe.

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THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Golden - Golden Must-See Attractions

Things to do in golden, explore popular experiences, tours in and around golden.

tourist attractions near golden bc

Whitewater Rafting Adventure | Kicking Horse River

tourist attractions near golden bc

Admission Ticket to Golden Skybridge

tourist attractions near golden bc

Rafting Adventure on the Kicking Horse River

tourist attractions near golden bc

Extreme Whitewater Rafting on Kicking Horse River

tourist attractions near golden bc

Family Rafting Adventure | Kicking Horse River

tourist attractions near golden bc

Moraine Lake and Takakkaw Falls From Banff / Canmore

tourist attractions near golden bc

Icefields Parkway: a Smartphone Audio Driving Tour

tourist attractions near golden bc

Wild Water Adventures

tourist attractions near golden bc

Discover the Lake Agnes Tea House Trail with a Guided Audio Hike

tourist attractions near golden bc

Lake Louise Scenic Snowshoe Tour

Outdoor activities.

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Top Attractions in Golden

tourist attractions near golden bc

Other Top Attractions around Golden

tourist attractions near golden bc

Water Sports

Tours & sightseeing, what travellers are saying.

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  • Rocky Mountain Buffalo Ranch & Guest Cabins
  • Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge
  • Northern Lights Wildlife Wolf Centre
  • Whitetooth Brewing Company
  • Kicking Horse River
  • Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
  • Rotary Trails
  • Columbia River
  • Glacier Raft Company - Day Tours
  • Golden Skybridge

That Adventurer

26 of the best things to do in Golden BC

I highly recommend checking out these fun things to do in Golden British Columbia if you’re on a road trip in BC. We’ve stopped here many a time when we’ve been driving from Vancouver to the Canadian Rockies and during our Kootenay Road trip too.

Golden, British Columbia is one of BC’s best mountain towns. A small town, the population of Golden BC is about 4,000 people, Golden is in the Canadian Rockies just a few hours away from Revelstoke to the west and Lake Louise to the east.

Though small, there are so many things to do in Golden Canada! You’re surrounded by national and provincial parks, epic views, lakes, and incredible activities whatever the season.

The town itself is also one of my favorites. It’s big enough for there to be plenty of great restaurants in Golden, as well as shops and cafes, but small enough to have a strong sense of community.

We’ve taken a few trips to Golden and have picked out our favorite below.

Note: The time in Golden BC is Mountain Time Zone, so if you’re coming from Revelstoke or going to Revelstoke from Golden, don’t forget to adjust your clocks to Pacific Time since the Golden BC time is different.

Table of Contents

things to do in golden BC (4 of 5)

Best things to do in Golden BC

Check out these fun activities in Golden BC for your trip there. The town of Golden is surrounded by six national parks so there is so much beauty and loads of fun activities in Golden to explore.

1. Golden Sky Bridge

things to do in golden BC (4 of 5)

We usually don’t bother paying for activities like this since we love doing things like hiking and mountain biking. However, on our most recent trip to Golden, we decided to check out the sky bridge as it’s highly recommended as a fun thing to do in Golden.

We had a great time exploring the two suspension bridges which are the highest suspension bridge in Canada at 130m!

The views are incredible with mountains every which way you look and there’s a waterfall too.

You can get a pass just to enter the parking area and walk the loop around the suspension bridges or you can upgrade and get the adventure pass which gets you access to a treetop rope course, ziplining, axe throwing, and more. If you’re travelling with kids I’d highly recommend it!

The Golden Skybridge is open once the snow has gone and temperatures have warmed up a bit (May – October). You can get your tickets to the skybridge in Golden BC in advance here .

There’s also the Golden Zipline here and soon-to-be a canyon swing!

2. Go Skiing at Kicking Horse

26 of the best things to do in Golden BC kh scaled

Kicking Horse Resort is one of the best ski resorts in Canada and is also on BC’s powder highway which is renowned for awesome powder skiing.

If you love skiing steep terrain and powder then you have to visit Kicking Horse near Golden. You can see the resort from the town of Golden and it’s about a 20-30 minute drive up the hill to get to the foot of the ski runs.

There’s something for everyone here though it does lean more towards intermediate and advanced skiers.

It’s a hugely popular ski resort in Canada and so expect lines to get the lift. If you can go during the week then you’ll avoid the worst lines (unless it’s a bluebird powder day!).

3. Take a White Water Rafting Trip

white water rafting

The Kicking Horse River is one of the best rivers in BC to go whitewater rafting on. The rapids here can get big but with the trusty guides from Wild Water Adventures , you’ll be in safe hands. Or check out the Glacier Rafting company .

You can do a half-day or whole-day trip and the trip picks you up from downtown Golden before taking you to their base camp where you’ll hit the river! Kicking Horse has class III to class IV rapids which are some of the gnarliest you’ll get to do on an organized trip like this!

4. Visit Boo the Bear at Kicking Horse in Summer

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This is definitely one of the best things to do in Golden BC in summer!

Kicking Horse Resort is also home to Boo the grizzly bear. Once he’s away in late spring you can see him wandering around his home at the Grizzly Bear Interpretive Center as you ride the gondola or walk around Kicking Horse.

Boo was rescued, much like the grizzlies up at Grouse Mountain , and he lives here now where you can learn more about grizzly bears. Tickets are about $34 and if Boo doesn’t make an appearance you get to go back for free so it’s an awesome destination if you’re looking for places to see in Golden BC.

5. Try Via Ferrata

One of the most fun activities in Golden is to try the Via Ferrata up at Kicking Horse Mountain . This is a guided experience where you’ll be taught how to clip yourselves in and navigate the course built into the mountain.

Similar but not quite like rock climbing, Via Ferrata (meaning “iron road” in Italian), involves making your way across a climbing route climbing that’s fixed into the rock. Once secured to the steel cable you’ll navigate iron rungs, pegs, ladders and bridges.

If you’re scared of heights this likely isn’t for you, but if you love adventure then give it a go!

6. Take the Kicking Horse Gondola

26 of the best things to do in Golden BC ACooper2016 KHMR17 0002LOW

Just here for the views? The views from the Kicking Horse Gondola are something special! Plus, you can save yourself some effort if you like hiking, by taking the gondola to the top of the mountain and then hiking from there.

This is an activity you can do both in summer and in winter if you’re skiing at Kicking Horse!

Once you’re at the top you can get something to eat from the Eagle’s Eye restaurant and enjoy the views of the town of Golden as well as the Rocky Mountains .

7. Spend the day at, or camp at Cedar Lake

cedar lake golden bc

We spent the night camping at Cedar Lake on our most recent trip to Golden and it was such a beautiful spot!

The lake is around 20 minutes outside of downtown Golden on the road up to Kicking Horse. It has mountain biking, hiking and trail running trails in the area and around 10 campsites that are $15 per night to stay at.

There were some incredible views from the lake and it was surprisingly warm. It would be a great place to take a chilled lake day in Golden or go paddle boarding in Golden which are some more ideas for awesome Golden BC activities.

8. Day trip to Banff National Park

banff from mt norquay (1 of 1)

Banff to Golden is about a 2-hour drive and you’ll pass through Lake Louise and Yoho National Park on the way. Banff is absolutely stunning and well known across the world for the mountains, hikes and cute town.

Because of its proximity to Banff and Lake Louise, Golden is actually a great place to have as your base for visiting the Canadian Rockies. Accommodation in Banff can be very expensive, and camping can be hard to book. There are lots of options for accommodation in Golden that are much cheaper and, as you can see, there is still plenty to do in Golden!

If you’re staying in Golden chances are you’re probably planning to go to Banff or have already been, but it’s too good not to include it on this list!

Read more: Banff vs Canmore? Should you stay in Banff or Canmore ?

9. Go Dog Sledding

dog-sledding-sun-peaks-things-to-do

If you’re visiting Golden in winter try dog sledding! We’ve been dog sledding a couple of times now, once in Revelstoke and again in Sun Peaks and it’s so much fun!

There isn’t dog sledding available in Golden at the moment so you’ll be going to Revelstoke to experience this which means you’re in for a treat! Revelstoke Dog Sled Adventures will pick you up from your hotel and drive you out to their base where the dogs are getting ready to run!

You can tell the dogs really love what they’re doing and are super stoked to run. After running through the trails you’ll get to meet the dogs and give them their lunch.

If you meet Thunder tell him I say hi, he was my favourite from our dog sledding experience. All the puppies in his litter were named after storms since they were born during a big storm!

10. Visit the Northern Lights Wildlife Wolf Centre

26 of the best things to do in Golden BC Murphy 1 e1559073886975

Golden is home to the Northern Lights Wildlife Wolf Centre where you can visit the wolves of Golden BC and learn more about them.

You may even get to see them feasting on delicious roadkill or get serenaded by their howls! You can also do a walk with wolves tour where you take a walk through the forest for about 1.5 hours as the wolves wander around doing their usual business. Make sure to take your camera!

11. Visit the Beautiful Gorman Lake

AllTrails is my go-to hiking app for finding, planning, and navigating while I’m out on the trails. With offline maps on AllTrails+ you can be confident you’re still on the right track, even without mobile signal.

One of the most beautiful lakes in the area is Gorman Lake to the north of the town of Golden. It’s perfect for a day hike or backpacking trip!

You’ll need a 4×4 or AWD car with high clearance to make it up the rough dirt track to the trailhead. Once at the trailhead wrap your car with chicken wire to protect your car from the porcupines and then it’s time to hike.

The hike isn’t particularly strenuous and is rated as moderate. Before you know it you’ll come out to Gorman Lake where you can set up camp and enjoy a chilled evening in the wilderness.

12. Head to Kootenay National Park

floe lake trail

Kootenay National Park is often overshadowed by Banff and Lake Louise which are more well known, however, it’s well deserving of a visit!

The park is much quieter than Banff and Yoho National Park and you can still get those incredible Canadian Rocky views, enjoy hiking and backpacking trips and even visit the Continental Divide which marks the point where water flows either to the Pacific Ocean or the Atlantic.

For the ultimate backpacking trip in Kootenay National Park, check out my guide to hiking Floe Lake on the Rockwall Trail.

13. See the Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge

things to do in golden BC (2 of 5)

The Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge in downtown Golden is a beautiful covered bridge that’s just for foot traffic and takes you across the Kicking Horse River.

The Kicking Horse bridge is the longest freestanding timber frame bridge and was built in 2001 with people coming from all over the world to help out.

It’s an iconic part of the town and one of the best places in Golden to visit.

14. Try Mountain Biking in Golden

There are lots of mountain biking trails in Golden to explore. You can either do lift-accessed biking by going to the top of the Kicking Horse or you can do cross-country biking at Cedar Lake or shuttling at Mt 7. Or, if you’re Thom you can decide to cycle up to the top of Mt 7 from downtown!

Trailforks is the best app to use to find out more about the trails. I’d suggest doing a mix of lift-accessed and x-country to really get to experience the mountain biking on offer.

15. Take in the Views from the Mt 7 Launch Site

mount 7 golden

Mount 7 Golden is one of the mountains to the east of Golden and it’s popular for mountain biking and paragliding as well as being one of the top Golden attractions.

You can drive up to the Mount 7 launch site/paragliding platform where you get beautiful views out over downtown Golden and over to Kicking Horse Mountain.

The road is a dirt road with potholes but it’s in pretty good shape and any car should be able to make it up there if you take it slow. This is one of the best free things to do in Golden!

Once you’ve arrived at the paragliding platform you can hike up to the true peak too .

16. Attend the Paragliding Festival

The Willi XC Challenge takes place in Golden annually and you can watch people take to the skies as they hang glide or paraglide. It’s super cool to watch them and definitely one of the more unique things to do in Golden, BC!

17. Take a Backpacking trip to the Bugaboos

Bugaboo Provincial Park in the Purcell Mountains is popular with rock climbers and hikers. The park is just south of Golden and then around 50km down a forest service road for which you should have a good AWD with high clearance or a 4×4.

You can camp below the Conrad Kain Hut (bookable for ACC members), or at Applebee Dome on the rock slabs just 1km above the hut. You must register and pay for your camping ($10) which can be done online in advance or in person.

The views in this area are incredible with the spires, lakes and glaciers!

18. Get tacos or burritos from Reposados

Whenever we’re staying in or passing through Golden we always make at least one trip to Reposados .

This Mexican restaurant in Golden is absolutely delicious! It’s always a hard decision whether to get a burrito or tacos but both are delicious and then be sure to get a margarita too (of course!).

Reposados has a great patio area but it’s one of the most popular restaurants in Golden so expect to have to wait a little.

Grabbing dinner here and then taking a walk along the river is one of my favorite things to do in Golden at night.

19. Shop at the Farmers Market

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If you’re still wondering what to do in Golden BC, check out the Golden Farmers Market happens every Wednesday in summer. There are lots of stalls selling produce and gifts from local producers and there’s live music too.

It’s a fun atmosphere and you’ll get to soak up that sense of community too.

20. Go to Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park

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Yoho National Park is super close to Golden and there are so many beautiful places to see there. One of the best things o do in Yoho National Park is to visit Emerald Lake.

This emerald lake is such a beautiful colour and there’s a cute lodge you can stay at too – it must be amazing to wake up to this view!

The lake is open all year round with ski touring available in winter and paddleboarding and hiking in the summer.

21. Hike to Lake O’Hara

lake ohara bc

Lake O’Hara is a true gem of the Canadian Rockies! I spent years wanting to visit this park as it’s notoriously difficult to get a permit.

Before we left Canada we decided to run/hike the logging road up and it was 100% worth it for the views. You can read more about visiting Lake O’Hara without reservations here .

Visiting beautiful places like this is definitely one of the best things to do in Golden BC summer.

22. Visit Glacier National Park

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To the west and back towards Revelstoke is Glacier National Park. Not to be confused with the US Glacier NP, this one is the Canadian version and it’s every bit as beautiful if not more so.

Glacier National Park encompasses Rogers Pass which is a famous section of the mountain range where the last part of the railway connecting coast to coast was made. You can stop off at the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre to learn more.

A road trip through this area is stunning as there are just non-stop views!

There are some beautiful hikes in Glacier National Park too which range from some easy ones like Hemlock Grove Boardwalk to harder ones like the Hermit Trail.

23. Drink Local Beers

Golden’s brewery is Whitetooth Brewing Co . which serves Belgian and west coast inspired beers. Their beer is award-winning and the best way to experience it is to visit their tasting room where you can get a flight (samples of 4 beers).

The Whitetooth Brewing tasting room has a large patio area in downtown Golden which is ideal after you’ve been out adventuring. You can also find their beers in stores and restaurants around the area.

24. Explore Downtown Golden BC

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The town of Golden is a lovely place with the Kicking Horse River running through it and mountains every which way you look. It’s kind of split into a couple of areas with the main downtown core to the north of the river and the more residential area to the south.

Take the time to wander around and pop into the local shops, cafes, and bakeries and you’ll surely fall in love with the town and the other Golden BC attractions.

25. Hike to Wapta Falls

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We hiked to Wapta Falls one afternoon when the highway was closed and we were surprised at how impressive the falls are!

Wapta Falls are in Yoho National Park and this hike is a short one (2.3km) with minimal elevation gain. At the end, there are incredible views of this waterfall and you can continue following the trail to get views from different points.

26. Take a Day Trip to Revelstoke

revelstoke things to do

Revelstoke is another of BC’s best mountain towns. The town just oozes cool with hardcore skiers and mountain bikers all over the place. Whether you’re visiting Golden in summer or winter, taking a trip to Revelstoke is highly recommended.

In the summer you can enjoy much the same as in Golden with epic views on one of the beautiful Revelstoke hiking trails and explore the mountain biking routes too. There’s also the gorgeous Revelstoke National Park nearby which is one of my top picks for things to do near Golden BC.

In winter it’s time to hit the slopes at Revelstoke Mountain Resort which is famous for having the most descent in North America (going top to bottom is a true leg burner!).

You can also check out these cool Revelstoke beaches and check out the best waterfalls near Revelstoke .

rocky mountain buffalo ranch

27. See the Buffalo at Rocky Mountain Buffalo Ranch in Golden,

The Rocky Mountain Buffalo Ranch in Golden is an awesome thing to do in Golden where you can see and learn about buffalo.

The ranch is set amongst the stunning backdrop of the Rocky Mountains and lets visitors get up close with these magnificent animals.

Leo, the owner, often guides tours himself and has lots of stories to share about the buffalo and the history of the ranch. The tour is not just about seeing buffalo; it’s also a chance to hear amazing tales from Leo and learn how these animals play a role in nature.

Apart from buffalo watching, the ranch has cozy cabins for those who wish to spend the night. Waking up to the sounds of buffalo and the mountain views is an experience you won’t forget.

Where to stay in Golden BC

There are both plenty of Airbnbs in Golden and Golden BC hotels. Below are some of the top picks for Golden accommodation. With these picks you’re well located for exploring and enjoying the best Golden activities too!

$$ – Basecamp Lodge Golden

Basecamp is a chain that has been growing in mountain towns in the Rockies. They do stylish accommodation with great facilities! The Basecamp Lodge Golden is in a beautiful timber-framed building by the Kicking Horse River.

$$ – Glacier Mountaineer Lodge

If you’re visiting Golden for a ski, snowboard or mountain biking holiday at Kicking Horse Mountain, this is the perfect location. Just steps from the Kicking Horse Mountain resort’s chairlift you’ll enjoy mountain views and an on-site sauna after all that activity!

$ – Golden Village Lodge

Just off the highway, Golden Village Lodge has an indoor pool, hot tub, and rooms with balconies and mountain views. You’re a little bit out of the town but it’s a super short drive and you’ll save money by staying here too.

How to get to Golden, BC

Situated in the Canadian Rockies, Golden is about a 2 hours drive (150km) away from Revelstoke and just over 3 hours from Calgary. It’s way quicker to drive from Calgary to Golden than it is to go from Vancouver to Golden!

So, if you’re visiting Canada internationally, I’d recommend flying into Calgary instead of Vancouver.

Skyscanner is what I use to find cheap flights.

One of the best things about Golden is that you’re surrounded by several national and provincial parks. You’ve got Glacier National Park to the west and then Yoho National Park, Banff Lake Louise, and the Kootenays to the east. On top of that, there’s the Bugaboos Provincial Park to the south too.

Car rental around Golden

It’s safe to say that if you like outdoor adventures then you’ll find plenty of things to do in Golden, British Columbia!

You definitely want to rent a car once you’ve arrived a the airport since public transport is pretty much non-existent in this part of Canada. So if you want to visit the best things to do near Golden BC, you’ll need a car.

I use comparison sites like DiscoverCars and RentalCars to book my car rentals as it’s easy to check prices and compare the best deals!

Another great way to experience the places to visit in Golden BC and things to do around Golden BC is to rent a campervan. You can rent one through Outdoorsy which has 100s of campervans of all different types on their website.

FAQs about these Golden BC things to do

What is golden bc best known for.

Golden BC is best known for its outdoor recreation opportunities, such as skiing during a BC winter, mountain biking, and white-water rafting. It’s also close to six national parks and boasts a rich history of Canadian railways and logging.

Where to stop in Golden?

When in Golden British Columbia, stop at the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort for outdoor activities, the Golden Skybridge for scenic views, and the downtown area for local shops, cafes, and a taste of the town’s history.

What is the new attraction at Golden BC?

The Golden Skybridge is one of the newest attractions in Golden BC and is where you’ll find Canada’s highest suspension bridges. They open new attractions there fairly often including a skyswing.

Final thoughts on these Golden things to do

If you’re planning a Golden BC summer road trip then hopefully this guide to what to do in Golden Canada has given you plenty of ideas for your trip. Golden is one of my favorite BC mountain towns and I love visiting this col town when we go on summer road trips in BC.

One of my favorite activities and fun things to do Golden BC Canada is to visit the Golden Suspension Bridge and enjoy the views. I also loved swimming in the lakes around Golden and, of course, going hiking!

If you’re looking for more things to do in the Canadian Rockies, be sure to check out my guide to Yoho National Park, as well as what to do in Lake Louise and Banff National Parks . I’ve also got more BC summer road trip ideas such as this Kootenay hot springs road trip and this road trip from Jasper to Lake Louise , or a road trip from Vancouver to Banff !

Last Updated on August 29, 2023 by Hannah

hannah author bio

Hannah started That Adventurer after graduating back in 2013 and has documented all of her adventures since then. From backpacking South America to city breaks in Europe , a 3 month road trip across the USA in a self-converted van and 6 years living in Canada , you’ll find posts on all of this.

Hannah specialises in active travel and on That Adventurer you’ll find hiking, walking, biking, skiing and all sorts of active travel guides to allow you to see a destination in an adventurous way.

Now back in Europe, you’ll find new guides as Hannah and her husband spend the next year ‘digital nomading’ from Norway to Portugal, Switzerland to Scotland and places in between.

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The 12 Best Things to do in Golden, B.C.

Last update: December 5th, 2023 at 07:43 am

Things to do in Golden BC

Affiliate Disclosure: This post on things to do in Golden, BC contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. All opinions are entirely my own.

Table of Contents

Golden B.C. – An Introduction

Move over Whistler – British Columbia has a new adventure hub in the mountain town of Golden!

As a family, we originally discovered Golden as a ski resort destination (home to the epic Kicking Horse Mountain Resort). Many years later, with our international summer travel plans scuttled (along with everyone else’s of course), we decided that it was high time to get to know our own province a little better. We packed up all of our outdoor and hiking gear (of which we owned precious little at the time) and set out on a B.C. Rockies road trip .

At the top of our must-see places was the small town of Golden. I had actually been following the Tourism Golden Instagram feed for quite a while and knew about the plethora of outdoor adventures activities offered there – from whitewater rafting, to scaling a mountainside on one of Canada’s most unique via ferratas . Surrounded by 6 national parks, I also knew it would make a great base for our newly acquired hobby – hiking.

Via Ferrata – Attraction in Golden BC

In a hurry? Take me straight to the list of things to do in Golden .

A Bit of Golden History

The town of Golden lies within the territory of the Ktunaxa people who have lived the region for more than 14,000 years. Other Indigenous peoples also moved through this area on a seasonal basis to fish, hunt and harvest, including the Secwe’pemc people (the Shuswap Tribe).

Loggers and Canadian Pacific Railway workers set up camp in what is now Golden in the late 1800s. The outpost became popular as a Rocky Mountains adventure destination shortly thereafter. Recognizing how special the area was, the CPR recruited Swiss guides to take would-be adventurers into the mountains safely.

Fun Fact: Between 1910-1912, six chalets were built by the CPR for the Swiss guides and their families. This historic community named Edelweiss Village stands just on the outskirts of Golden. You can buy the whole 50+ acre village for less than the price of a house in Vancouver. (Mind you, you can buy a lot of things for less than the price of a house in Vancouver!)

Edelweiss Swiss Village Golden B.C.

Want to learn more? Watch this 3 minute history of Golden video courtesy of the Museum of Golden.

Getting to Golden

Before sharing all the fantastic things to do in Golden, B.C., I want to briefly address the getting there piece. Golden, B.C. is located between the Canadian Rockies and Columbia mountain ranges, where the Kicking Horse River and Columbia River meet. While technically in British Columbia, it is near the edge of the Alberta border making it a much shorter road trip from Calgary than from Vancouver.

Where is Golden, BC

From Calgary (or Banff)

Golden is a 3 hour drive from Calgary, or 1.5 hours if you are only driving from Banff to Golden.

Between Calgary and Golden you will find some of the most spectacular scenery in North America. It’s worth making a full day trip of it if you have the time. These points of interest include Banff National Park, the beautiful Lake Louise (almost exactly at the half-way point), as well as Wapta Falls, Takakkaw Falls and Emerald Lake. (The latter 3 are all within Yoho National Park.)

Hikes Near Golden BC - Takakkaw Falls

Note: A park pass is required to visit Canada’s national parks. As Golden is surrounded by 6 of them, it most likely will make sense to buy the annual pass rather than a day pass. Learn more at The Discovery Pass.

From Vancouver

The drive time from Vancouver to Golden is 9.5 hours, which is clearly a lot for one day. Some popular places to break up the trip with an overnight stay include Kamloops and Revelstoke. ( Revy is an adventure hub in its own right.)

Between Revelstoke and Golden lies Rogers Pass which is an absolutely stunning 1.5 hour drive. Along the way you pass through Mount Revelstoke National Park and Glacier National Park. There are numerous places to stop for anything from a boardwalk stroll to a more ambitious hiking trail.

Revelstoke National Park Hikes

Need a pit stop? Check out the Roger Pass Discovery Centre near the summit of the pass. This museum offers interactive displays and a replica of this region’s historic railway and snowshed.

Note: As you cross through Rogers Pass, you move from Pacific Time (PST) to Mountain Time (MT), losing 1 hour.

Please see the following list of the best Golden, BC attractions. Whether Golden is your primary destination, or you are just passing through, be sure to give yourself at least a couple of days to explore. There is just so much to see and do!

The Golden Skybridge

The Golden Skybridge is an adventure centre just outside of Golden that boasts 2 of Canada’s highest suspension bridges. Additional fun features include a huge kids’ adventure playground (a great place for young kids), an outdoor climbing wall, an adrenaline-inducing canyon zip line, a treetop ropes course, the Canyon Swing, the Rail Rider Mountain Coaster, axe-throwing and more!

Golden Skybridge Highest Suspension Bridge

Learn more here or read recent Tripadvisor reviews.

Note: After visiting the Golden Skybridge, my husband could not stop talking about its challenging treetop ropes course. We both had such a great time there and spent way longer than we had originally intended to. As we tucked into a giant meal that night at Golden’s famous Reposados Tacos , I think we both felt extra deserving as we’d had such a fun and unexpected workout earlier that day.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Pint Size Pilot – Tara Cannon (@pintsizepilot)

Golden Skybridge Canyon Edge Challenge

Via Ferrata at Kicking Horse Mountain

Italian for Iron Road , a Via Ferrata  is a protected climbing route with a steel cable running along the route that is fixed to the rock.

To experience the Via Ferrata at Kicking Horse Resort, climbers first take a gondola ride to the top of the mountain. They then have the option of 3 courses of varying lengths and degrees of exposure. My teenage son gave this activity a 10/10. (If you have a teen in your house, you may recognize how rare such enthusiasm can be.)

Learn more at KickingHorseResort.com or read recent Tripadvisor reviews .

Via Ferrata Kicking Horse

Boo the Grizzly

I am not normally one to share content about animals in captivity. Boo, however, is a notable exception because his situation is quite unique. Orphaned as a cub when his mother was killed by a poacher, he was taken in by Kicking Horse Mountain Resort rather than being euthanized (a common practice for the time*). For over 20 years, Boo has been living a darned good life on his 20 acre grizzly bear refuge in the center the mountain resort.

Boo Grizzly Kicking Horse

*Note: While the “rewilding” of animals (returning recovered or orphaned animals to the wild) is often the goal in 2024, twenty years ago, this wasn’t thought to be a viable option for Boo.

In the summer months, you can often see Boo playing and foraging around his mountain property. I highly recommend joining one of the free interpretive tours as the guides and keepers are incredibly knowledgeable. If you can, visit Boo during the morning hours as that is when he is most active. (Hot summer afternoons are for napping.)

Learn more at the Grizzly Bear Interpretive Centre at KickingHorseResort.com.

The Eagle’s Eye Restaurant

Dining at 7700 feet (2350m) at the gorgeous Eagle’s Eye restaurant is absolutely a must when in Golden! Officially the highest in Canada, this one-of-a-kind restaurant has excellent food and even better panoramic views from its perch atop Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Summer or winter – the scenery is absolutely spectacular. (They have a kids’ menu too.)

Eagle's Eye Restaurant Golden, BC

Looking for something truly special? During the winter months, you can rent out the Eagle’s Eye Suite above the restaurant for an exclusive stay and first tracks.

Learn more at KickingHorseResort.com or read Tripadvisor reviews .

Kayaking, Canoeing and SUP

Golden is surrounded by rivers and lakes giving visitors ample opportunities to spend time on the water. From a gentle canoe ride, to stand-up paddle boarding, to hitting some whitewater in a kayak, you are going to have an amazing day enjoying the regions natural beauty.

Columbia Wetlands Outpost offers canoe, SUP and kayak rentals right from their very own private dock, providing the perfect entry point for exploring Golden’s wetlands. Their adventures include full or half day self-guided options with all equipment, maps and safety gear provided.

See more options for equipment rentals and suggestions on where to paddle on the Tourism Golden website.

Kayaking in Golden, BC

Hiking in Golden

Golden B.C. is a very popular place for hikers. To get your bearings upon arrival, start with the Rotary Trails, that take you around the downtown Golden and along the Kicking Horse River.

You can then move on to bigger challenges. The Terminator Ridge Hike at the top of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort (gondola access only), is a 3km trail that offers amazing views of the surrounding mountain ranges.

Golden BC Hiking

But that is just the beginning! The Golden area is surrounded by national parks with trails abound for every level! While there are dozens of great options, some top picks include the Wapta Falls Trail, Thompson Falls Trail and The Great Glacier Trail.

For more, see: 7 Hikes Near Golden (HelloBC) and GoldenHikes.ca .

Wapta Falls, Golden BC

Mountain Biking

If you love mountain biking, then you are going to love Golden! This community has more that 185km of cross country trails, as well as a downhill park at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort (gondola access).

Golden BC Activities Mountain Biking

The nearby Mount 7 downhill also provides challenging terrain for mountain bikers combined with spectacular views from the summit. (It is called “Mount 7” because during the spring/summer snow melt, a 7 forms in the snow/ice that can be seen for miles.

Mount 7 Golden BC

Note: The peak of Mount 7 is a perfect place to enjoy a sunrise or sunset. It is worth the drive (4×4 required on a dirt road), even if you have no intention of biking down. Or paragliding – Mount 7 also happens to be one of Canada’s most beautiful launch points.

Whitewater Rafting

Golden is highly regarded for its white water rafting adventures. Between the Kicking Horse, Columbia and Blaeberry Rivers, there are options from a gentle scenic float to adrenalin-pumping Class 3 and 4 rapids.

Whitewater Rafting in Golden, BC

Now, if you really want to amp up your Golden whitewater rafting experience, how about a full day heli-rafting experience? Yes, I said “heli rafting”. Glacier Raft Company offers The Ultimate Adventure – the only Golden rafting trip to access all three sections of the Kicking Horse River, including the lower canyon which is famous for its 4 km stretch of continuous class 4 whitewater.

Purcell Mountain Lodge

Since we are on the topic of one-of-a-kind adventures, a visit to Purcell Mountain Lodge is a quintessential BC bucket list experience. Famous for backcountry ski touring in the winter months, it is equally special as an alpine hiking destination from June through September.

Purcell Mountain Lodge Canada

Guests arrive to this off-grid location atop Bald Mountain (2200m) via at 15 minute helicopter ride from Golden. Along with ACMG certified guides, memories are made with exhilarating days full of alpine touring (or snowshoeing) in the winter and hiking adventures during the summer and early fall. All the while, guests are pampered with luxury accommodations, gourmet meals and use of the wood burning sauna.

Learn more at: PurcellMountainLodge.com or read recent Tripadvisor reviews .

See also our complete post on: The Summer Alpine Hiking Experience at Purcell Mountain Lodge .

The Golden Riverwalk

Recently, Golden has invested in huge improvements to their frontage along the Kicking Horse River. For example, the newly created River Walk provides a dedicated walking path along the river meeting up with their gorgeous timber-framed pedestrian bridge.

Pedestrian Bridge Golden BC

There are also numerous patios along the route from which to enjoy a beer and a tasty bite while you recap your day of adventure with friends or family.

The Riverwalk Attraction in Golden BC

The Golden Cinema

If the weather is not ideal and you are looking for indoor activities in Golden, check out the uber-cute Golden Cinema . Not only does it have two screens and Dolby 7.1 surround sound, it also has the sweetest little ice cream shop inside scooping up delicious flavours from local dairies.

See what on now at: KickingHorseMovies.com.

Golden Theatre Movies

The Golden Museum

Interesting in knowing more about the history of this unique little town? Learn about the First Peoples, the loggers, the Swiss guides, and the Sikh Community that have all had a big part in the building of this unique mountain community. Learn more at goldenbcmuseums.com .

The Golden Museum

Best Golden, BC Accommodations

Hotels in golden (in town).

In 2022, Golden saw the opening of their newest hotel in the most perfect downtown location. Rooms at Riveredge consists of 5 modern and bright suites with river views that are just steps from restaurants, brewpubs, shopping and more.

Rooms at Riveredge Golden

You will also find several name-brand hotels right across the highway from town. The two that typically get the best reviews from guests are The Best Western Mountainview Inn and The Prestige Inn . Both have a pool and a hot tub but the Best Western also offers a complimentary breakfast.

Lodges in Golden

As Golden is a ski town, there are some really lovely small lodges dotted around city and on Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. My personal favourite is Moberly Lodge (about a 10 minute drive east of town). At this secluded property, you can choose from a self-contained log cabin or a cozy room in the main building. A delicious breakfast is always included.

Golden BC Lodges - The Moberly Lodge

If most of your activities are planned near Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, I personally think that the best place to stay on the mountain is The Vagabond Lodge . This cozy chalet and bed and breakfast is famous for the wonderful hospitality of its hosts. Please note, that the Vagabond is primarily an adults-only property (with some exceptions for teens 14+).

See more Golden, BC hotels on Booking.com!

For more information on Golden, please see the Tourism Golden website or check them out on social @tourismgolden (#goldenrules).

See also, this short video on our B.C. Rockies road trip featuring Golden.

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THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Golden

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61. Canadian Off-Road Adventures

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62. Skydive Extreme Yeti

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63. Kicking Horse Movies

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64. Golden River Adventures

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65. Golden Day Spa

66. banff snowmobile tours.

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67. Alpine Rafting

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68. Zoe's Colour Cove

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69. Golden District Rod & Gun Club

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70. Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

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71. Flying W Trail Rides

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72. Columbia Wetlands Outpost

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73. Off The Wall T-Shirts and Gifts

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74. Golden's Green Gym

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75. Balanced BodyWorks

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76. Altitude Adventures

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77. Golden Bowling

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78. Golden Golf Club Mini Golf Course

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79. Canadian Powder Adventures - Day Tours

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80. Wet N Wild Rafting Adventures

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81. Nourish Clinic

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83. Golden Dog Sled Adventures

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84. Purcell Heli-Skiing

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85. Snow Peak Rentals

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86. Xplore Golden

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87. Parapete Tandems

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88. Golden Paddle Adventures

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89. Awesome All Season Adventures

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90. Self Propelled Adventures

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Surrounded by six of Canada's most stunning national parks and sitting at the confluence of two historic rivers, Golden is rich in heritage and awash with spectacular mountain scenery. Golden has activities for all to enjoy; rafting, canoeing, hiking, biking, climbing or just simply enjoy our awe-inspiring mountain views and wildlife.

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The Best Things to Do in Canada

Things To Do In Golden BC

March 19, 2019 By Matthew G. Bailey Leave a Comment

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things to do in golden bc

Last updated: April 19th, 2021

Surrounded by six incredible Canadian national parks, Golden is as picturesque as it is adventurous. This is the place to go if you want to be outdoors. When driving from Calgary, Banff, or Lake Louise, Golden is the first big town you’ll see as you enter British Columbia. In fact, from the highway, it might not look like much. Without taking a small turn into the town, you’ll simply pass by gas stations and fast food joints, all the while missing this historic mountain town and neighbouring Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.

Spring, summer, fall, or winter, there’s no shortage of outdoor things to do in Golden. In the spring, we’ve gone white water rafting on some of the most epic rapids in Canada. In the summer, we’ve tried mountain climbing via Ferrata, and in the winter, we’ve gone skiing and snowmobiling, just to name a few things to do. How could you go wrong? It’s the perfect base for exploring some of Canada’s most beautiful scenery while escaping the crowds in Banff and Canmore.

Where is Golden?

Golden is located in Southeastern British Columbia, not too far from the border of Alberta. It’s located right on the Trans-Canada Highway, approximately 262 kilometres west of Calgary, and 713 kilometres east of Vancouver.

Going from Banff to Golden? Both towns are located just off the Trans-Canada highway. The drive between both is approximately 1.5-hours and 140 kilometres in distance.

Golden to Lake Louise: Lake Louise is only 1-hour away and only 80 kilometres in distance.

Calgary to Golden BC: Calgary is a short 3-hour drive from Golden and 262 kilometres in distance.

Best things to do in the Canadian Rockies

Things To Do in Golden BC

As mentioned in the beginning, Golden is surrounded by six beautiful national parks; Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Glacier, Kootenay, and Mount Revelstoke. There are also many provincial parks. Long story short, it’s surrounded by mind-blowing beauty everywhere you look. It’s also not quite as busy as world-famous Banff and serves as a great base for exploring hiking trails, world-class skiing, waterfalls, lakes, and various heritage sites.

Basically, Golden is a great place to get outdoors. If you want to be outdoors and experience adventure, this is the place to do it.

Although Canada has four seasons, we’re going to break this article down into summer and winter. In other words, warmer weather and colder weather.

mountain climbing kicking horse resort

Things to Do in Golden in the Summer

During the warmer months, the snow is gone and the rivers are flowing. The flowers are blooming and the mountains glimmer like greyish steel. Winter parkas can be left at home and hiking shoes are a must. Welcome to Golden in the summer!

Kicking Horse Resort

Located just outside of Golden is the wonderful Kicking Horse Mountain Resort . This is one of the best places in Golden to experience adventurous activities in both the winter and the summer months. We make it a mission of ours to visit at least once per year, experiencing something new each time. It’s most known for world-class skiing and snowboarding, as well as being the champagne powder capital of Canada. Also, because it’s not located within a provincial or national park, there are other fun activities on hand as well, including snowmobiling, which is offered by Rocky Mountain Riders. In the summer, there’s a variety of hiking trails, mountain climbing, and even an on-site Grizzly Bear, which was rescued as a baby and now lives in an on-site refuge. Needless to say, this is a place you don’t want to miss if you’re spending time around Golden. We’ll go into more detail below.

Hiking is always the first activity we list when asked about things to do in the summer anywhere in the mountains. It’s a simple activity and is basically free. However, we do recommend good shoes and getting prepared. There are hundreds of hikes all over the mountain parks, ranging from an easy one-hour hikes to very difficult multi-day treks. Whichever hike you choose, plan accordingly and talk to people who know what they’re talking about. Be mindful of animals. There are many around here, including black bears, grizzly bears, wolves, and cougars. You’ll want to carry bear spray at the very least. However, you’ll be rewarded with jaw-dropping views, serene nature, mountain rivers and streams, and even waterfalls, depending on where you go.

Mountain Climbing Via Ferrata

Those wanting to try mountain climbing will want to check out the most exhilarating Via Ferrata in Western Canada! Whether you’re new to the sport or experienced, Kicking Horse Resort’s Via Ferrata will have you tackling Terminator Park’s north face, choosing from routes of 3 varying lengths and degrees of exposure. Toss in a 197-foot suspension bridge and you have yourself an adventure!

Boo the Bear Kicking Horse

Visit Boo the Grizzly Bear

While seeing a wild grizzly bear on a hike may not be the experience you desire, there is an opportunity to see one up close at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. His name is Boo and he was rescued as a cub when his mother was hit by a car. He now lives in a massive refuge within Kicking Horse Resort and can be seen for a small fee. It’s a great opportunity to see a grizzly bear up close while also learning about bears and other wildlife in the area.

Speaking of Grizzly bears, there are lots of them roaming around the mountains. If you plan on hiking or exploring the wilderness at all, you’ll want to practice bear safety .

Go Mountain Biking

Certainly not for the faint-hearted, mountain biking is another popular activity in the area. If you really want to experience mountain biking, you’ll want to head to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Here they rent them out and also provide trails and a chairlift to get you up to the top. I must admit. I did a lot of biking as a kid, up and down hills and various trails in the Boreal forest. However, this was my first time for true mountain biking and it’s quite intense. Skiing down a mountain is one thing, but coming down when all the rocks are exposed is another. It is exhilarating though, and for those with experience, it will likely be one of the best things you do. If mountains and biking don’t go together for you, there are lots of other non-downhill trails you could try out. Stop into the Golden visitor’s Centre and ask them where to go!

Go White Water Rafting

Our favourite warm-weather activity is whitewater rafting and there’s no better place in the country than Golden, BC! Home to the Kicking Horse River, Golden is a great place to experience intense Class 3-4 rapids. If you want maximum extreme, aim your visit for May and June, which is when the snow in the mountains is melting and feeding the glacier-fed rivers. The water is very cold but is well worth it for the excitement. If you don’t care about extreme rapids, you can visit anytime in the warmer months, with the hottest temperatures occurring in July and August. However, the water is never warm 🙂

  • Alpine Rafting : Alpine is located right in Golden and is a fun and professional company that takes people down the Kicking Horse River. They have more than 10 years of experience, amazing reviews, and they even offer free rustic camping along the river!

Things to Do in Golden in the Winter

During the colder months, there’s a lot of snow and the area becomes a winter wonderland. The mountains go from grey to shimmering white. Everything is blanketed in snow and winter jackets are definitely needed.  Welcome to Golden in the winter!

Skiing and Snowboarding

With Kicking Horse Mountain Resort located just outside of Golden, this is a great place for world-class skiing and snowboarding. Not only are they known for being the champagne powder capital of Canada, but they also offer Ski-in-ski-out accommodation, which makes it easy to sleep, eat, and ski without leaving the resort. Whether you’re a beginner or expert skier, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort has many runs for you.

Snowmobiling

If you’re looking for an exhilarating experience to go speeding through a snow-covered forest, you’ll want to jump on a snowmobile. Not only are the mountains all around you, but there are thousands of kilometres of groomed trails to explore as well as backcountry adventures for those with experience. Rocky Mountain Riders offer guided snowmobile tours for all groups of all sizes, plus you can save 10% with the Must Do Canada Saver Card .

things to do in golden bc

Snowshoeing

What started thousands of years ago as an essential mode of winter travel has now evolved into a sport that can be taken up by almost anyone. Snowshoeing is basically winter hiking with a contraption strapped to the boots that allow you to walk through deep snow easier. It’s a great way to get some exercise and experience the wilderness without breaking the bank. All you’ll need is snowshoes, which can be rented our bought.

Cross-Country Skiing

If you want even more exercise, cross-country skiing might be the activity for you. Rather than letting gravity assist you, such as in downhill skiing, cross-country skiing is done mostly on level land, relying on your own locomotion to move across snow-covered terrain. It’s a very popular sport in Canada and is quite accessible and easy to learn. This is one of the few Olympic sports that can be practiced without the fear of going crazy fast or going downhill. Many places rent out skis, boots, and poles.

Skating is a very popular pastime in Canada during the winter months. It can be done on an indoor rink, which is much more smooth, or it can be done outside on a frozen lake, pond, or man-made rink. Made popular by both ice hockey and figure skating, skating is a great way to get some exercise, enjoy the outdoors, and be surrounded by beautiful winter scenery. All you need is skates and warm clothing.

golden bc accommodation kicking horse resort

Golden BC Accommodation

If you’re visiting Golden to enjoy the outdoors, you’re probably going to need a place to stay. There are many motels in Golden BC as well as hotels, lodges, B & B’s, and campgrounds in the summer. You can stay right on the ski hill at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort or you can stay within the town of Golden. Accommodation is fairly inexpensive in the winter months and a bit more expensive in the warmer months. However, it’s much cheaper than staying in Canmore or Banff.

There is a wide range of places to stay in Golden BC, including cheap motels (we’ve stayed at the Rondo motel, and was decent for the price) and mid-range hotels such as the Best Western Golden BC. We stay at a lot of Best Westerns across the country and always enjoy the free breakfast (most include this), free WiFi, and free parking.

For Kicking Horse Resort itself, we’ve stayed at Copper Horse Lodge, which is pictured above. This was a great place that is about a 1-minute walk from the ski resort. They have an excellent breakfast, huge rooms, a beautiful cozy fireplace in the main lobby, free cappuccinos, and an in-house fancy steakhouse, which is where we had dinner during our stay. Steak, shrimp, salmon – it’s delicious!

Golden BC camping can be found during the warmer months. Popular campgrounds include the Goldenwood Lodge Campground, as well as a variety of campgrounds in the provincial and national parks.

Looking for more things to do in Canada ? Check out these articles below:

  • Things to Do in Canmore
  • Things to Do in Banff
  • Things to Do in Calgary
  • Things to do in British Columbia
  • The Best Hot Springs in BC

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Things to Do in Golden

About Matthew G. Bailey

Matthew G. Bailey is the founder and editor-in-chief of Must Do Canada. Growing up in Alberta to a mother from Quebec and a father from Newfoundland, Matt spent his childhood playing hockey under the Northern Lights and hanging out in the forest before moving to Calgary and travelling to more than 250 cities spanning 42 countries and 6 continents. He loves travel, learning new things, playing sports, writing, making videos, photography, and scuba diving. You can also find him at LiveLimitless.net .

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Getting Here

Golden's Must-Visit Attraction

Experience wonder above the columbia valley.

Adventure awaits at Golden Skybridge, home to Canada’s highest suspension bridges. As you walk 426 feet above an expansive canyon, engulfed by the Columbia Valley, the epic views of the Rocky and Purcell mountain ranges will take your breath away. Beyond the incredible skybridges, there’s plenty more to see and do. Take a thrilling ride through the forest, along the canyon edge and down the mountainside aboard the Railrider Mountain Coaster, soar through the sky on our zipline, climb towards the clouds on our rock wall or try your hand at axe throwing – there’s fun for everyone at Golden Skybridge.

Buy Tickets

Adventure Pass

Get the full Golden Skybridge experience with an Adventure Pass. Along with the suspension bridges, the Adventure Pass gives you access to the Railrider Mountain Coaster, Sky Zipline, Canyon Edge Challenge Course, axe throwing and our climbing wall. Available for pre-purchase or as an on-site upgrade.

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Carve the canyon three times aboard Canada’s longest mountain coaster. Our Triple Track Pack includes a Bridge Pass plus three rides on the Railrider Mountain Coaster. Ramp up the thrill level with each run or go full speed ahead every time — the choice is yours. Available for pre-purchase or as an on-site upgrade.

Bridge Pass

Take a stunning stroll over the canyon atop Canada’s highest suspension bridges. Our basic admission pass is perfect for short visits to Golden Skybridge, giving you access to the walking trails, bridges and Treetop Play Area. Can be upgraded with Triple Track Pack, Adventure Pass or Canyon Swing on-site.

Canyon Swing

Freefall into the canyon solo or with a co-adventurer, tethered safely in a paraglide harness. Our Canyon Swing will catch you on the way down and send you into sweeping arc over the rugged terrain below. Available as an add-on with any admission pass (Bridge Pass, Adventure Pass, Triple Track Pack).

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This place was so fun!! Highly recommend for a family or friend adventure. Everything is well maintained, all the staff are super friendly & the zipline/ other activities are super cool. I’d come back!

Tripadvisor

We had the best time of our cross province journey here. The zipline was by far the most amazing experience, doing 55km/hr over an 800ft valley. A once in a lifetime thing at Canada's highest suspension bridge.

What an amazing experience, it is a must. We will no longer just drive through Golden. You must make a stop and enjoy the amenities.

Excellent for families. So fun! My kids are 8, 5 and 1 and they all enjoyed this activity. The kids really liked the playground space.

Lonely Planet

The Golden Skybridge will soon become an iconic experience for Canadian and international visitors alike.

Daily Hive

The newly constructed attraction has two suspension bridges that make them the highest in Canada.

AFAR

Highest suspension bridge in Canada offers most astonishing view.

Vancouver Sun

Trek above the trees on B.C’s new Golden Skybridge.

As far as your eyes can see and your feet can walk you are upon the territory of the Ktunaxa Peoples and the Métis Nation Columbia River Society. Akisqnuk First Nation (called Akisqnukniks in Ktunaxa) are people of the Ktunaxa Nation, located near Windermere, BC.  Ktunaxa (pronounced tun-a-ha’) is the name of the Kootenai Tribe in the Kootenai Language.

The Indigenous people moved upon this land 14,000 years before the arrival of the first European people. They moved through this area in cycles with the seasons, gathering and hunting as they went. 

Historically, other Indigenous peoples also harvested, hunted, fished and settled seasonally within the area, including the Shuswap peoples who for centuries have travelled to and inhabited the Ktunaxa homelands.

The Secwe’pemc (pronounced Se-KWEP-umk-wh) is the name of the Shuswap Tribe in the Shuswap language and they live on reserve land near Invermere, BC. 

We are grateful to these First People for allowing us to work and play in their territory.​

Produced with the cooperation of the Golden Museum, The Akisqunuk First Nations and the Secwe'pemc Tribe.

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11 Best Things to See and Do Between Banff, Alberta and Golden, BC

May 16, 2022 in Hiking , Outdoor Activities , Things To Do in Golden

The Canadian Rockies stretch between BC and Alberta, and they’re one of the most picturesque landscapes in Canada. There’s so much to see and do between Banff and Golden, and here are our suggestions for the must see sights, hikes and natural attractions.

If you’re basing yourself from Golden or Banff, you can take day trips to any of these destinations. There’s enough to do to allot many days to this area, so plan to spend as much time as you can.

Regardless of how much time you have, here are the best things to see and do between Banff, Alberta and Golden, BC.

Our suggestions flow from east to west. If you're based in Banff, the first suggestion is your closest attraction. If you're travelling from Golden, you'll want to consider them in reverse.

11 BEST things to see and do between banff and golden

1. johnston canyon.

Johnston Canyon is beautiful, but as with any cool spot it can also get super busy. Tour buses like to stop at Johnston Canyon so that’ll give you a sense of the crowds you may face.

While it’s worth a visit, if you’re travelling in the summer try to get there first thing in the morning, or wait and go in the evening. If you’re visiting in the spring or fall it won’t be as busy.

The canyon carves way back into the rocks. You’ll be walking through the forest and along the side of the canyon to the first and second falls. To get to the first falls is an easy flat walk, taking roughly 30 minutes to cover the 1.2 km. You’ll climb a little bit as you continue onto the second falls, which will take another 30 minutes or so.

Family walking by Johnston Canyon, one of the best things to see between Banff and Golden

Taking in one of the waterfalls at Johnston Canyon. Photo: Banff and Lake Louise Tourism

As you climb you’ll be looking down on Johnston Creek below.

If you happen to find yourself there in the summer when the water levels are right, you may see some of our raft guides kayaking down the canyon.

2. Lake Louise and Moraine Lake

Looking down on Lake Louise AB

Looking down on the iconic Lake Louise.

It goes without saying, but if you're travelling between Banff and Golden, you’re likely going to find yourself at Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. These two spots have exploded in popularity in the last few years, so while they’re too iconic to miss, you’re going to want to plan ahead. Make sure you book the shuttle bus that gets you to the lakes, as there is no vehicle access during peak season. It's just too busy.

You must book the shuttle in advance, as no walk up seating is available day of. Don't leave this until the last minute - get on it as soon as you select your dates.

Lake Louise and Moraine Lake don’t need much explanation. Two of the most famous lakes in the Canadian Rockies, we know you’ve seen them on book covers and postcards.

Both are beautiful, but we prefer Moraine Lake for the scenery. It’s smaller than Lake Louise but the surrounding landscapes pack a very big punch.

Both lakes offer canoe rentals on site if you’re up for a paddle. You also have the option to rent an inflatable kayak in Golden . You'll get it for a lot longer at a fraction of the price, and can explore to your hearts content.

Couple canoeing on Lake Louise

You can rent a canoe and go for a paddle on Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.

3. Sherbrook Lake

Another lake worth mentioning, the Sherbrook Lake hike is roughly 6 km. Found in Yoho National Park, you’ll be walking through pretty forest until you pop out at the glacial lake.

If you’re looking for a more mellow option, this hike is one of the easiest in the Park. There's very little elevation gain and the trail is well worn in.

Girl walking to Sherbrook Lake on hike in Yoho Park

First glimpses of Sherbrook Lake.

If you’re feeling up for it, we recommend hiking past the lake. There are boardwalks over a marshy area, and then you’ll climb up past the waterfalls that feed the lake. It’s very pretty and adds some extra beauty to the experience.

If you keep going you can get all the way up to Mount Niles. It looks over at the Daly Glacier and down towards Takakkaw Falls. This longer hike is still doable in a day, so pack some extra snacks and layers in case your legs want to keep going.

4. Takakkaw Falls

The 2nd highest waterfall in Canada, Takakkaw Falls, is stunning. Found in Yoho National Park, it cascades 343 m down into the Yoho River below. The Daly Glacier feeds Takakkaw Falls. Because it's glacial fed, the volume is greatest in spring and early summer when the meltwater is at its highest.

Looking at Takakkaw Falls from Iceline Trail Hike

Looking across at Takakkaw Falls and the Daly Glacier from the Iceline Trail (see suggestion #5 below)

Takakkaw Falls is very easy to get to. You can drive right to it, and then take a short walk to the base of the falls if you wish. There are many hikes that start at Takakkaw Falls, so if you want to put some miles on your hiking boots, this is a good place to spend a day (or two). See suggestion # 5 below for one of our favourite hikes that starts right by Takakkaw Falls.

From Takakkaw Falls, the Yoho River is one of the tributaries of the Kicking Horse River. The Kicking Horse winds its way into Golden, and is one of the most popular whitewater rafting rivers in BC.

5. Iceline Trail

You’ve likely heard of the Iceline Trail, even if you’ve never hiked it. It’s one of the most popular trails in Yoho National Park and the Canadian Rockies. It takes you 15 km through the alpine, past glaciers, over streams and through beautiful lush forest.

The Iceline Trail takes on average 5 hours to complete, so you’ll likely want to allot a full day to this journey.

girl hiking iceline trail between golden bc and banff alberta

Starting to enter a forested part of the Iceline Trail after coming down from the alpine.

This trail has you walking right past Takakkaw Falls (our recommendation #4). It’s worth allowing time to do the short walk to the base of the falls when you finish the hike. One because it's pretty, and two because the mist will feel so good!

There are also lots of picnic tables and private sitting areas by the river. They're great spots to refuel and give the legs a little stretch.

This trail is a loop and can be done in both directions. Both ways will have you doing a climb early on, but for whatever reason we prefer the clockwise direction. This has you starting at the hostel and finishing by the falls.

6. Natural Bridge

You’ll pass the Natural Bridge on your way up to Emerald Lake, so if you’re heading that way it’s worth a stop.

Natural Bridge BC

A super cool rock formation with water cascading underneath the Natural Bridge.

The Natural Bridge is an amazing rock formation that spans the Kicking Horse River. It’s one of our favourite places to stop every time we’re driving through Yoho National Park. Water eroded the rock beneath a hard band of limestone, causing the river to cascade down, underneath the ‘natural bridge’.

There are different lookouts so you can see the formation from many different angles. The interpretive signs are also very interesting and informative. They explain more about the processes that created this beautiful feature.

7. Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake offers the brilliant, bright blue waters you see on any postcard from this area. It’s a stunning spot and is deserving of a visit. If you’re into a quick stop you can snap some photos and grab a coffee or tea at the cute little lake side cafe.

friends hiking down towards Emerald Lake in BC

Looking down on Emerald Lake from one of the hiking trails north of the lake.

If you have more time to enjoy here, you can rent a canoe and go for a paddle. You could also go for one of the hikes that are accessible from the Lake. There’s a walking trail around the lake, for a cruisy, flat walk, or you can venture up into the alpine behind the lake.

At the back of Emerald Lake is the trailhead to Yoho Lake. It’s a moderate hike that takes you up behind Emerald Lake, and we love it so much it's our next suggestion below.

8. Yoho Lake

Either we’ve lucked out, or this trail isn’t quite as busy, but we never tend to see many fellow hikers on this trail.

This hike takes you to the back of Emerald Lake, and then up into the saddle and onto Yoho Lake. It’s another beautiful alpine lake, surrounded by jagged mountain peaks and shrubby alpine trees.

We love it here and it’s a spot you can relax and enjoy where you are. You can sprawl out and stretch, or enjoy some food on one of the picnic tables.

There are also a couple of the iconic, red Parks Canada chairs if you want to sit back in comfort and enjoy the view.

two people enjoying red Parks Canada chairs by Yoho Lake between Golden and Banff

Soak in the views from one of the comfy Parks Canada chairs - one of the best things to see between Banff and Golden!

Being in the Park, it’s a well marked and well maintained trail, meaning you’ll have no trouble finding your way.

9. Mount Hunter

Mount Hunter is always one of the first hikes we can do in Yoho Park each spring so it holds a special place for us. It always makes us happy to get out in our hiking boots and hit the trails.

If you’re visiting this area early in the summer when many of the other alpine hikes are still snowy, this could be a good option.

Mount Hunter is a steepy. It’ll have you walking 3.4 km to the first lookout, and 6 km if you head up to the top.

Views from Mount Hunter is one of the Best Things to See Between Banff and Golden

Looking down on the Beaverfoot Valley and Kicking Horse River from Mount Hunter

The first lookout brings you to an old fire tower. This is a fine place to stop, but if you have the energy to keep going, we recommend heading on to the top.

The steepest pitch is at the end (or maybe it just seems that way as we get tired). The views of the Beaverfoot Valley and Kicking Horse River below are stunning, and they're one of the best things to see between Banff and Golden. It seems there’s always a nice breeze up there too, which is a welcome reward for the grunt to get there.

10. Wapta Falls

Another waterfall worth your attention is Wapta Falls. Also located in Yoho National Park, Wapta is the biggest waterfall on the Kicking Horse River. You’ll take a pretty forest walk to get there, which is a bit over 2 km each way.

There are vantage points above the falls as you’re walking in, and you’ll see a path winding down to the base of the waterfall at the end of the path.

looking down on Wapta Falls, a main attraction between golden and banff

Looking down on Wapta Falls near the end of the trail. From here you go down to the base of the falls.

It’s worth going down if you’re feeling up to it. You’ll feel the glacial mist on your face and have beautiful views looking back up at the falls. Wapta Falls is 107 m wide and getting to the base takes roughly 35 - 45 minutes.

For roaring falls and the most water pouring over, head to Wapta in the spring. This is when the most meltwater is coming down from the glaciers and mountains. If you want to see it when it’s the beautiful, bright glacial blue, that happens later in the summer as river levels drop.

11. Kicking Horse River

As you make your way to Golden, a visit to the Kicking Horse River is a must. As you’re driving into (or out of) Golden you’ll see the Kicking Horse flowing through the canyon below. There are some good vantage points if you want to stop and take some photos, but getting in a boat and paddling downstream is the best way to take it all in.

Rafting the Kicking Horse River is one of the Best Things to See Between Banff and Golden

The Kicking Horse turns this beautiful shade of blue as river levels start to drop - it's absolutely one of the best things to see between Banff and Golden.

You’ll be surrounded by mountains and forests as you float on the clean, glacial waters.

River rafting tours run daily on the Kicking Horse River from the start of June until mid September. With six trips to choose from, there are options ranging from a gentle, scenic float trip to a full day whitewater adventure.

You can check out all your options for a Kicking Horse River rafting tour . Experience isn't needed for any of the trips, as an experienced river guide will be leading each boat.

guests smiling with paddles in the air as they raft the kicking horse river

Paddles up for an awesome adventure - there are 6 river rafting trips to choose from on the Kicking Horse River.

Book a Rafting Trip on the Kicking Horse River

And there you go. If you're planning a trip through the Canadian Rockies, you'll be driving between Banff, Alberta and Golden, British Columbia. There are so many sights to see and attractions to enjoy and we hope these suggestions of the 11 best things to see between Banff and Golden are helpful to make the most of your visit.

If you have any questions we'll be happy to help. Leave us a note in the comments below, or send an email to [email protected].

If you're looking for other hiking options, here are recommendations for 5 of the best hikes in Yoho National Park

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Surrounded by the Canadian Rockies, Purcell and Selkirk mountains, Golden offers spectacular terrain and dry champagne powder at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and in the surrounding backcountry. Nestled between  five world class ski resorts , this authentic Canadian mountain town is the perfect base for your next winter adventure. 

15 minutes from downtown, the legendary  Kicking Horse Mountain Resort  is a host of the Freeride World Tour and has one of the highest vertical drops in North America. The more adventurous can take a  heli-ski or cat-ski trip , or hire an experienced ACMG guide and head out to the Bugaboos or  Rogers Pass , ski touring capital of the world, or stay in one of over 20  backcountry lodges  to experience the thrill of spectacular terrain and the world’s best powder. With world class  cross country skiing  trails,  snowshoeing , fat-biking, ice skating, and tubing, not to mention guided  snowmobile tours , great  dining options and unique cultural events, Golden truly offers something for everyone.

Golden is the proud home of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. From sweeping alpine bowls to gentle groomers, Kicking Horse has something for everyone. Learn more about what makes Kicking Horse Mountain Resort with local ski instructor John Parry in "The Locals Lowdown".

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20 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in British Columbia

Written by Lana Law and Michael Law Updated May 26, 2022 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

British Columbia's mountains, lakes, islands, rainforests, beautiful stretches of coastline, picturesque cities, attractive towns, and world-class skiing make it one of the most popular destinations in Canada .

Most visitors to BC begin in Vancouver , which makes a great starting point for touring the province. A short flight or ferry trip from here will take you to Vancouver Island and the provincial capital, Victoria . Less than a two-hour drive from Vancouver is the resort town and ski destination of Whistler . In the interior of BC, the Okanagan Valley is another year-round hot spot, with the beaches on the shores of Okanagan Lake, golf courses, and numerous ski resorts.

For a more complete overview and to help plan your itinerary , see our list of the top tourist attractions in British Columbia.

1. Whistler

2. vancouver island, 3. okanagan valley & kelowna, 4. tofino and pacific rim national park reserve, 5. vancouver and stanley park, 6. victoria & the inner harbour, 7. yoho national park, 8. old-growth forests, 9. butchart gardens, 10. haida gwaii, 11. glacier national park, 12. salt spring island, 13. kootenay national park, 15. emerald lake, 16. mt. robson provincial park, 17. barkerville historic town, 18. hell's gate airtram in the fraser canyon, 19. squamish, 20. revelstoke, map of tourist attractions in british columbia.

Whistler

At the foot of the Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains , Whistler is the center of the biggest winter sports area in Canada. In 2010, this world-class ski resort attracted much international attention when it hosted the downhill ski events for the Winter Olympic Games.

While it is closely associated with skiing and snowboarding in Canada , Whistler is a year-round destination with hiking trails , mountain biking trails, golfing, and beautiful scenery to explore in the summer. Visitors don't even need to ski or be active to enjoy this lovely town. One of the main attractions is the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, which joins Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. The distance covered is a record breaking 4.4 kilometers. The ride takes only 11 minutes and offers spectacular views of the area.

Whistler Village is a modern, upscale town with luxury hotels, high-end shopping, and fine dining. Although, you can still find casual restaurants and regular retail and grocery stores.

The town's close proximity to Vancouver, only a two-hour drive from the city, means it is also easily accessible. The drive to Whistler from Vancouver along the Sea-to-Sky Highway is beautiful. Popular stops on this route include the community of Squamish and Shannon Falls.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Whistler

Vancouver Island

On Canada's far western coast, Vancouver Island is home to some spectacular coastal scenery, mountains, lakes, and other natural attractions, as well as lovely small towns and the provincial capital of Victoria . Coastal beaches provide year-round surfing, particularly near the popular tourist town of Tofino and nearby Pacific Rim National Park .

Vancouver Island is the largest island on the Pacific coast of North America. Much of it is very remote with limited access. If you take the time to explore the island, you'll find some incredible hiking trails , including the epic multi-day West Coast Trail , one of the best hikes in Canada . Campers can find a variety of excellent campgrounds spread around the island.

Vancouver Island is located west of the city of Vancouver and reached either by a short flight or a ferry ride. Ferries or flights will take you to the Victoria area or into Nanaimo , another popular town on the Island.

Okanagan Valley

Found in the interior of the BC, the Okanagan Valley, most often referred to simply as the Okanagan, is a lush, sunny valley with lakes, beaches, rolling mountains, and orchards. At the heart of the region is the 120-kilometer-long Okanagan Lake and the city of Kelowna on the eastern shore of the lake. Other popular towns in the area include Summerland , Peachland , Penticton , and Vernon .

The Okanagan has hot dry summers and mild winters making it a popular retirement destination and a prominent summertime retreat for people from across British Columbia and neighboring Alberta. Some of the most common summertime activities are houseboating, golfing, and spending time at the beach.

In winter, many people come here to enjoy some of the best ski resorts in British Columbia , including Big White Ski Resort and SilverStar Mountain Resort.

Surfer in Tofino

This tiny tourist town on the edge of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is the perfect place for nature lovers looking for a coastal retreat. Endless stretches of beach attract surfers year-round, but most people come here simply to stare out at the waves, storm watch in the off season, or walk for miles on the hard-packed sand.

Off the beach, visitors can hike through old-growth forests or camp along the oceanfront in some of the most stunning coastal scenery in British Columbia.

Couples often come here for a romantic getaway and to relax at one of the luxury seaside resorts and charming lodges . A variety of tours are also offered in the area, from kayaking on Clayoquot Sound to whale watching.

Tofino has an extremely remote feel to it, but it's relatively easy to access from places like Victoria or Nanaimo. Nearby, Ucluelet is another small town that makes a nice day trip from Tofino.

  • Read More: Top Things to Do in Tofino

Stanley Park

Stanley Park is one of the great features of Vancouver that sets it apart from other major cities across Canada. This huge green space on the edge of the downtown core offers a beautiful nature retreat for visitors and locals.

The park is home to ancient cedars and huge Douglas fir trees. The seawall is one of the main attractions, offering miles of scenic paved path for walking, jogging, or biking. Trails also run through the forest. Within the park is the Vancouver Aquarium , as well as various other attractions, including totem poles, gardens, and beaches.

  • Things to See and Do in Stanley Park
  • Top-Rated Attractions & Places to Visit in Vancouver

Victoria's Inner Harbour

Located on Vancouver Island, Victoria is the capital of British Columbia and one of Canada's most scenic cities. Removed from the mainland, this city has the feel of a small town, but is home to a wealth of attractions and things to do . The city is considered by many locals and tourists alike to be one of the best places to visit in BC.

You'll find a mix of people living here, from retirees fleeing the cold in one of Canada's warmest cities to young tech workers and a large segment of the population working for the provincial government. Somehow it all works, and the people of Victoria tend to be relaxed and friendly, always happy to point you in the right direction should you get lost.

At the heart of the city for both locals and tourists is the Inner Harbour , dominated by the grand Empress Hotel , built in 1908 for the Canadian Pacific Railway. This area is always alive with visitors and locals enjoying the waterfront, particularly in the summer when restaurants open their patios for outdoor dining and street performers take to the sidewalks.

If you are looking for things to do, take in the incredible mountain and ocean views from hiking trails in and around Victoria . For something a little less strenuous, consider High Tea at the Empress Hotel or wander by the Parliament Buildings.

Read More: Best Campgrounds near Victoria

Yoho National Park

Yoho National Park is home to some of British Columbia's most rugged and scenic mountain terrain. Snowcapped peaks, waterfalls, rivers, and crystal-clear lakes, including spectacular Lake O'Hara , draw large numbers of visitors to this park during the summer months.

Incredible hiking trails allow easy access to the backcountry, but even a drive through the park offers enough exposure to appreciate the landscape. If you are touring Yoho National Park by car, one of the highlights is Takakkaw Falls, one of the highest falls in North America .

  • Read More: Exploring the Top Attractions of Yoho National Park

Author Lana Law at Eden Grove

BC has some of the world's most intact old-growth forests, these giant trees have stood as sentinels over the millennia. A visit to one of the stands of trees is a humbling experience that makes you feel small and insignificant.

The old-growth stands are located around the province, but the most accessible locations are on Vancouver Island. The most popular and easiest place to see the trees is at Cathedral Grove on Highway 4 between Qualicum, near Parksville , and Port Alberni. Here, you'll find walkways throughout the giant trees along with informational exhibits.

Another great spot to see the old growth trees is in the Pacific Rim National Park near Tofino. Excellent trails with raised boardwalks wind their way through the trees, up and down small valleys and over burbling brooks.

If you truly want to see the trees in their natural environment and have a sense of adventure, head to the logging roads north of Sooke in the small town of Port Renfrew. Up here are groves of majestic trees, some of which are threatened by logging. The main groves are Avatar Grove and Eden Grove . You'll find short walks through the forest along some stretches of boardwalk in both areas.

You'll need a high clearance vehicle to see the ones at Eden Grove, as the road gets very rough at one point. Most people drive to this point and walk along the road to the grove. Of all the groves in BC, this is the one most in danger of being cut down. See it before it's gone.

Butchart Gardens

Set in an old quarry, Butchart Gardens offers a fabulous display of plants, trees, and flowers. Located just outside Victoria, the mild climate is perfect for changing seasonal displays. Spring through fall is outstanding, when the spring blooms come out and the fabulous display of summer color peaks.

Fall brings the changing leaves of autumn and a burst of color from a wide variety of trees and blooming plants. Extensive walkways wind their way around themed gardens and water features over the 20-hectare property.

Official site: https://www.butchartgardens.com/

Haida Gwaii

Haida Gwaii is one of Canada's undiscovered treasures. These remote islands provide a wealth of culture and natural beauty, but are often overlooked by tourists. Formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, Haida Gwaii is an isolated group of more than 150 islands in the Pacific Ocean at the western edge of the continental shelf. The two main islands, Graham and Moresby , are located about 50 kilometers and 150 kilometers respectively off the coast of British Columbia.

The native inhabitants, the Haida people , are thought to have lived on these islands for at least 8,000 years. They were known as proud warriors and daring navigators. With their awesome 20 meter-long war canoes, they traversed the length of the Inside Passage as far south as Puget Sound.

Today, they are more famous for the skill and artistry of their carving. Their totem poles and elaborate argillite carvings can be found in every ethnographic museum on the Canadian Pacific coast.

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park, along with Mount Revelstoke National Park a few miles further west, is a scenic area and a favorite with climbers and hikers. The parks lie in one of Canada's most inhospitable mountainous regions, the almost inaccessible northern Selkirk Range of the Columbia Mountains .

The landscape is one of jagged peaks, steep descents, and narrow valleys cut deep into the rock. There are approximately 400 glaciers in and around Glacier National Park. At lower levels, up to about 1,300 meters, the dense forests are home to some enormous old trees - western red cedars, hemlocks, and firs - as well as a ground cover of ferns. Mountain goat, woodland caribou, black bears, and grizzly bears are some of the wildlife that can be found in the park.

Most visitors simply drive through, but there are numerous hiking trails and camping facilities. Rogers Pass National Historic Site is also located within Glacier National Park.

Official site: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/bc/glacier

Salt Spring Island

In the Gulf Islands between Victoria and Nanaimo, Salt Spring Island has a small population and is known for its laid-back Bohemian lifestyle. Around this scenic island are artists' studios and farms selling cheese and homemade products. Funky shops sell clothes and trinkets you might expect to find in Southeast Asia.

The main town on the island is Ganges , where visitors will find ice cream shops, cafes and restaurants, and more traditional retail establishments and souvenirs. There is a provincial park on the oceanfront with walking trails, camping facilities, and day use areas. The island also offers inns and other accommodation options.

Ferries run from Tsawwassen on the mainland (Vancouver), Swartz Bay (Victoria), or Crofton (Nanaimo).

  • Read More: Top Attractions & Things to Do on Salt Spring Island

Kootenay National Park

Kootenay National Park, in southeastern British Columbia, adjoins Banff National Park and Yoho National Park , and takes in the magnificent western flank of the Canadian Rockies. The main mountain range in Kootenay National Park reaches heights of over 3,000 meters, and the landscape features rugged rocky ridges and sawtooth peaks, snow and ice-covered mountains, cirques, glaciers, hanging valleys, and narrow gorges cut deep into marbled limestone.

Numerous day hikes in the park pass some of these unique sites and natural features. Key highlights in Kootenay are the narrow gorge of Marble Canyon , hiking around Sinclair Pass , and Stanley Glacier .

Official site: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/bc/kootenay

Nelson

Nelson lies in a beautiful spot on the western arm of Kootenay Lake , surrounded by the snow and ice-covered peaks of the Selkirk Mountains . This former mining town grew up at the end of the 19th century and quickly developed into a tourist center and one of the best cities in British Columbia . The town still has many carefully preserved Victorian buildings, which give it a charm all of its own. Nelson is also known for attracting artists and young adults interested in alternative lifestyles.

Nearby is the wild country of Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park , containing numerous picturesque mountain lakes. Most of this pristine mountain region lies at a height of more than 2,100 meters above sea-level. Kokanee Peak , at 2,774 meters, towers majestically above the rest of Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park. Also nearby is Kokanee Creek Provincial Park with sandy beaches and campsites.

Canoeing on Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake is one of the most spectacular lakes in the Canadian Rockies. Its green hues and glass-calm waters never fail to win the hearts of the casual visitor and amateur photographers. This lake is near the Alberta border but is considerably less busy than Moraine Lake or Lake Louise, and if you only have time for a quick look and don't want to take shuttles, this is the place to visit.

An easy, level gravel trail runs along one side of the lake for 5.2 kilometers and offers walkers incredible views of the surrounding mountain peaks and glaciers. Another popular pastime here is canoeing on the clear waters of the lake. Rentals are available at the concession stand near the lakeshore.

If you work up an appetite or thirst, stop in at the historic Emerald Lake Lodge . Dine inside the building and admire the architecture dating from 1882, or grab a patio seat and soak up the surroundings. If you want to spend the night here, be sure to book well in advance.

Mt. Robson Provincial Park

Near the BC-Alberta border, north of Jasper , Mt. Robson Provincial Park is home to Mt. Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies , at 3,954 meters. The magnificent mountain landscape is dominate glacier-capped peaks and huge waterfalls.

One of the most popular hikes here is the 25-kilometer trail through the " Valley of the Thousand Falls " to the lovely turquoise lake at the foot of Mt. Robson. On rainy days, the name "thousand falls" becomes obvious as the streams of water pour off the cliff walls.

The area was designated a provincial park in 1913. Even in those days, mountaineers and tourists were drawn to the area, undeterred by the distances involved. Today, the remoteness of this park means that it does not see the great numbers of tourists seen by parks to the south.

Official site: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/mt_robson/

Barkerville Historic Town

Barkerville Historic Town has an interesting history. In 1858, when news spread that gold had been found in the fluvial sand of the Fraser River, there were soon thousands of men panning for gold all along the river and its tributaries. In the summer of 1862, Billy Barker made his sensational find here at Williams Creek and a typical gold-digging town of simple wooden huts, tents, saloons, and shops sprang up almost overnight. Until it burned down in 1868, Barkerville was the "largest town west of Chicago and north of San Francisco".

Although the town was immediately rebuilt, the end of the gold boom was already apparent. The introduction of machinery meant there was a need for fewer men. Following the end of the gold-rush, Barkerville continued, but was inhabited by settlers and lumberjacks.

Today, visitors will find a restored gold-mining town with about 75 historic buildings making this a fun destination and one of the best places to visit in BC. In summer, costumed interpreters dressed in period costume act out "living history," making it possible to visit a printing-works or smithy, a typical general store, a barber shop, or the "Barkerville Hotel" and feel completely transported back to the times of the gold-rush.

In winter , visitors can participate in snow and cold weather activities, like skating and tubing, or simply enjoy a hot chocolate and some time outdoors.

Official site: http://www.barkerville.ca/

Hell's Gate Airtram in the Fraser Canyon

A three-hour drive east of Vancouver is one of Canada's most impressive gorges. Here, the raging torrents of the Fraser River force their way through a narrow pass, known as Hell's Gate, between rocky walls towering almost vertically above the river.

The Hell's Gate Airtram is the best way to view this part of the Fraser Canyon. In days gone by, the Indians found a perilous way across by using ladders. Today, a funicular railway , with impressive views of the wild gorge below, leads down to the lower bank 150 meters below. At the base, are souvenir shops, a restaurant, and a small information center. A climb of a few minutes takes visitors down a reasonable path to the white, foaming river below. The opposite bank can be reached by means of a swaying suspension bridge .

Official site: http://www.hellsgateairtram.com/visit/

Boats at the docks in Squamish

Once a sleepy town with an industrial economy, Squamish today is a fast growing, bustling community. Filled with an eclectic mix of those fleeing Vancouver, longtime locals, and a transient population made up of skiers and climbers, Squamish has a vibe all its own.

The city is located at the far end of Howe Sound and is spread out along Highway 99. Downtown is a collection of interesting and functional stores and, of course, a good number of coffee shops. Although the town is nice, the main draw here is the scenery, with the 700-meter-high Stawamus Chief rock face and Shannon Falls both located nearby.

Stawamus Chief and Garibaldi Mountain in Squamish, British Columbia

One of the popular things to do when visiting Squamish is to ride the Sea to Sky Gondola. This incredible sightseeing experience allows you to access areas that would normally take long hours, if not days, of hiking to reach. At the top, a suspension bridge extends to a fantastic lookout.

In the summer you used to see kiteboarders and their colorful kites racing across the water. Unfortunately with the closure of the road to the launching site due to environmental concerns, this spectacle is now much, if not completely, diminished.

Read More: Top-Rated Hikes in Squamish, BC

Powder skiing in Revelstoke

The small town of Revelstoke, more commonly referred to as "Revy," is one of the best places to visit in the interior of BC. Roughly halfway between Banff and Kamloops, Revelstoke is known as one of the premier destinations in Canada, if not the world, for heli-skiing. Towering peaks stuffed with powder snow surround the town, and people come from far and wide to make fresh tracks in the untouched wilderness.

If heli-skiing isn't in your budget, the local ski hill, Revelstoke Mountain Resort, is a good option. The resort gets its fair share of the legendary snow falling on the nearby peaks. The town itself is a decent place to stay, with a cute main street and an excellent railway museum.

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  1. 30 EPIC Things to do in Golden, BC (2023 Guide!)

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  2. 20 Things to Do in Golden, British Columbia

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  3. 4 Reasons to Visit Golden, BC

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  4. 11 AMAZING Things to do in Golden, BC

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  5. Visit Golden: 2021 Travel Guide for Golden, British Columbia

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  6. 5 Hidden Gems Near Golden, British Columbia

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  1. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Golden (Updated 2024)

    11. Kinbasket Lake. 20. Bodies of Water. Kinbasket Lake (or Kinbasket Reservoir) is a reservoir on the Columbia River in southeast British Columbia, north of the city of Revelstoke and the town of Golden. The reservoir was created by the construction of the Mica Dam. See full details. 12. Golden Nordic Ski Club.

  2. 30 EPIC Things to do in Golden, BC

    Dawn Mountain is a popular spot to try cross-country skiing in Golden, with 33 km (20 miles) 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.

  3. Things to Do in Golden

    Experience canoeing, paddle boarding, kayaking, rafting and fishing or just enjoy the steady flow. There are plenty of things to do in Golden, BC, Canada. With 6 national parks, 3 mountain ranges and 2 historic rivers, and activities such as hiking, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, canoeing, fishing, skiing, heli-skiing, snowboarding ...

  4. Things to Do in Golden, Canada

    11. Kinbasket Lake. 20. Bodies of Water. Kinbasket Lake (or Kinbasket Reservoir) is a reservoir on the Columbia River in southeast British Columbia, north of the city of Revelstoke and the town of Golden. The reservoir was created by the construction of the Mica Dam. See full details. 12. Golden Nordic Ski Club.

  5. Golden, BC Canada

    Welcome to Tourism Golden, the official tourism site for Golden and Kicking Horse Country, BC Canada. With a varied selection of accommodations and many activities to experience in spring , fall , winter and summer , including family-friendly activities, the friendly mountain town of Golden continues to be a perfect holiday destination from ...

  6. 37 BEST Things to do in Golden, BC (2024 Update)

    Marvel at Takakkaw Falls. Takakkaw Falls, "Tak Falls" for short, is the second-highest waterfall in Canada and one of the most impressive waterfalls in the Canadian Rockies. At 373 meters high, Tak Falls is a sight to behold. The falls are fed by the meltwater of the Daly Glacier, part of the Waputik Icefield.

  7. 33 Fun Things to Do in Golden, BC

    24. Canoe or SUP on Emerald Lake. Emerald Lake is a popular year-round destination, and the main attraction of Yoho National Park, the closest national park to Golden, is Emerald Lake. Unlike most lakes in the Rockies which have turquoise colour, the Emerald Lake is very different and breathtaking.

  8. 32 Best Things to Do in Golden BC (2024 Guide)

    22. Fish on the Columbia and Blaeberry Rivers. Golden BC is home to some of the best fishing spots in Canada. The Columbia River and Blaeberry River are two popular locations for fly fishing, where you can catch species such as rainbow trout, bull trout, and whitefish.

  9. THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Golden (Updated 2023)

    Things to Do in Golden, Canada: See Tripadvisor's 30,974 traveller reviews and photos of Golden tourist attractions. Find what to do today, this weekend, or in October. ... Tours near Golden. ... Columbia River is a big deal both North and South of the border and the vast wetlands extending up from Invermere in BC through Golden and out past ...

  10. 26 Of The Best Things To Do In Golden BC

    2. Go Skiing at Kicking Horse. image via Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Kicking Horse Resort is one of the best ski resorts in Canada and is also on BC's powder highway which is renowned for awesome powder skiing. If you love skiing steep terrain and powder then you have to visit Kicking Horse near Golden.

  11. 12 Best Things to do in Golden, BC

    Fun Fact: Between 1910-1912, six chalets were built by the CPR for the Swiss guides and their families.This historic community named Edelweiss Village stands just on the outskirts of Golden. You can buy the whole 50+ acre village for less than the price of a house in Vancouver. (Mind you, you can buy a lot of things for less than the price of a house in Vancouver!)

  12. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Golden (Updated 2024)

    Top Things to Do in Golden, British Columbia: See Tripadvisor's 29,827 traveller reviews and photos of Golden tourist attractions. Find what to do today, this weekend, or in February. ... Hotels near Kicking Horse Mountain Resort Hotels near Golden Skybridge Hotels near Northern Lights Wildlife Wolf Centre Hotels near Kicking Horse Pedestrian ...

  13. Golden, Britsh Columbia

    Information. 1-250-439-7290. Visit Website. 1000 Trans Canada Highway, Golden BC.

  14. Things To Do In Golden BC

    Calgary to Golden BC: Calgary is a short 3-hour drive from Golden and 262 kilometres in distance. Things To Do in Golden BC. As mentioned in the beginning, Golden is surrounded by six beautiful national parks; Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Glacier, Kootenay, and Mount Revelstoke. There are also many provincial parks.

  15. 7 Hikes in (or Near) Golden

    Terminator Ridge at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Lift-accessed alpine lets hikers sit on top of some of BC's tallest peaks in record time. At Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, the scenic Eagle Express Gondola takes you to 7,700 feet (2,346 metres), where your hike begins. From the top of the gondola, walk along the south ridge-just below ...

  16. Five Fun Things to Do in Golden This Summer

    Golden's legendary ski resort, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, is equally thrilling throughout the summer season. Top alpine activities include hiking, downhill mountain biking, disc golf and Via Ferrata—a safe, guided climbing route, using steel cabling and ladders affixed to the mountainside. For the ultimate Canadian wildlife encounter ...

  17. 3 Day Itinerary for Golden, BC

    Our 3-day itinerary for Golden, British Columbia, covers outdoor activities for all adventure seekers that visit this wonderful town. Nestled in British Columbia, between Columbia and the Rocky Mountains, lies Golden, a small mountain town known for amazing year-round outdoor activities. We visited Golden many times over the years and kept ...

  18. Golden Skybridge: Suspension Bridge and Adventure Golden, BC

    Experience Wonder Above the Columbia Valley. Adventure awaits at Golden Skybridge, home to Canada's highest suspension bridges. As you walk 426 feet above an expansive canyon, engulfed by the Columbia Valley, the epic views of the Rocky and Purcell mountain ranges will take your breath away. Beyond the incredible skybridges, there's plenty ...

  19. Things to Do in Summer

    Visit one of six national parks surrounding Golden; Yoho , Glacier , Banff Lake Louise , Jasper , Kootenay and Mt. Revelstoke for historic sites and hiking trails. Take a walk with the wolves, visit Boo at the Grizzly Bear Refuge, or a guided tour of the Columbia River and Wetlands, home to hundreds of species of wildlife, birds, and fish.

  20. 11 Best Things to See and Do Between Banff, Alberta and Golden, BC

    11 BEST things to see and do between banff and golden. 1. Johnston Canyon. Johnston Canyon is beautiful, but as with any cool spot it can also get super busy. Tour buses like to stop at Johnston Canyon so that'll give you a sense of the crowds you may face.

  21. THE 5 BEST Golden Tours & Excursions for 2024 (with Prices)

    These experiences are best for tours in Golden: Private Full Day Tour of Yoho National Park with Licensed Guide; Skybridge Adventure Golden BC from Canmore & Banff; Kicking Horse River Rafting Family Adventure; See more tours in Golden on Tripadvisor

  22. Things to Do in Golden this Winter

    What you see, is what you get. Surrounded by the Canadian Rockies, Purcell and Selkirk mountains, Golden offers spectacular terrain and dry champagne powder at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and in the surrounding backcountry. Nestled between five world class ski resorts, this authentic Canadian mountain town is the perfect base for your next winter adventure.

  23. 20 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in British Columbia

    2. Vancouver Island Vancouver Island . On Canada's far western coast, Vancouver Island is home to some spectacular coastal scenery, mountains, lakes, and other natural attractions, as well as lovely small towns and the provincial capital of Victoria.Coastal beaches provide year-round surfing, particularly near the popular tourist town of Tofino and nearby Pacific Rim National Park.