Golden (British Columbia)

Golden, British Columbia

Golden is a small town in the Columbia-Rockies portion of the Kootenays in British Columbia. Established in 1883 as a railway base camp, Golden was originally named Cache. The name was later on changed in an effort to compete with the nearby camp of Silver City. Since 2000, and the development of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, Golden has become increasingly tourist oriented. Currently Golden has a population of 5000, but a drawing area of approximately 15 000. The face of the town is changing with the development at the ski resort drawing a multitude of transient visitors and wealthy Albertans purchasing second homes.

There are two visitor information centres located in Golden.

Get in

Golden is located at the junction of Trans Canada Highways 1 and 95. It is 4 hours north of the US border on Highway 95. The nearest major airports are Calgary, 3 hours east on Hwy 1; Edmonton, 8 hours northeast via Hwy 93 and Highway 16; and Vancouver, 8 hours west on Hwy 1.

Golden is on the Greyhound bus route, accessible from most cities in Canada. . The bus stop is unfortunately not in the town proper, but rather at the Golden Husky Travel Centre, which is located off Hwy 1. If you are heading into the town proper it is about a 20 minute walk. There are no passenger trains that stop in Golden. Golden does have a very small airport, that private planes can fly into. It is operated by the Town of Golden

Get around

Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge

Golden is so small that you don't absolutely need a car (especially if you are staying in the proximity of the centre). The town is divided by a river and each side has a supermarket (IGA on the north, Overwaitea on the south) which makes it easy to get the necessities by foot.

Mount 7 Taxi (+1 250 344-5237) is open 24 hours - a trip across town will probably cost you $10-15, up to Kicking Horse is likely around $30-40.

During the winter months, Kicking Horse Resort runs a Snow Shuttle ($6/trip as of Feb 2007 - daily, weekly, monthly passes are available) which runs every 2 hours or so. The Snow Shuttle does a route going around town, up along the strip on the highway (Transcanada 1) and up to the mountain.

Of course the easiest thing is to have a car, especially if you want to explore. There is a National Car & Truck Rental, 915 11th Ave S, +1 250 344-9899, in town, however, their fleet is very limited. There may also be some in nearby towns (Kamloops, Revelstoke, Canmore, Invermere). Otherwise Calgary would be a good bet.

See

Do

Golden's main appeal for the tourist is the wide array of adventure sports that it is home to. In the winter, visitors should head for the newly built Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, ideal for the experienced skier or snowboarder. In the summer, activities to consider include whitewater rafting, hiking, mountain biking, and hang-gliding.

Recreation

Paragliding in Golden BC after launch off of Mount 7

Three whitewater rafting companies operate out of Golden. All raft the Kicking Horse River, which is known for having one of the longest stretches of class four rapids in the world. There is no appreciable difference between the companies.

Mount 7 is a world-renowned heli/para-gliding site, home to several past world records. Tandem paragliding is a great option for amateurs.

More sedate activities are also available, ranging from float trips to golf.

There are a number of lakes in the area which might appeal to fishermen or canoeists. However, there is no place which rents canoes in Golden, so those interested should bring their own equipment.

You can go swimming in either a local lake or the outdoor swimming pool.

Golden's location makes it a good starting point for many hikes in the area. A comprehensive listing can be found through Golden Hikes. Do be aware that most hikes are at high elevations and will definitely be under snow until mid June and quite possibly until late July, depending on the year's snowfall. There is also a 7 km walking path, The Rotary Trail, which circles the town. The section along the river is particularly nice. Start at the Pedestrian Bridge.

Horseback riding, in the area surrounding Golden, is also popular among tourists.

Entertainment

Buy

The majority of Golden's stores are located downtown on 9th St N, with a few being based on the other side of the river on 10th St S. Anyone interested in shopping can probably browse through the entire town in about three hours. For souvenirs check out the:

For those in town to participate in any sort of adventure recreation, there are a variety of sporting good stores in town that rent equipment.

Also, as of summer 2007, Golden has started having a regular Farmer's Market. It is in operation in the summer, on Wednesdays from 2PM - 7PM, on 10th Ave N. Lots of local products ranging from honey to pottery.

Eat

For such a small town Golden has a remarkable number and variety of places to eat, ranging from numerous fast-food places up on the highway strip, to pub-grub, to lower and high-end restaurants.

Budget

Mid-range

Drink

Numerous cafes in Golden are licensed, as well, but these are the best if you're looking for a pub.

Kids welcome.


Sleep

Budget

Hostels

Camping

Mid-range

Bed and Breakfast

Cabins/Lodges

All of these have a central lodge and cabins for rent. Accommodation in the lodge will include breakfast.

Motels/Hotels

On Mountain - Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

Go next

Golden is in the heart of the national parks, many of which are close enough to be feasible day trips. Yoho National Park is located 30 minutes west on the Trans Canada Hwy #1, and Banff National Park lies directly beyond. Kootenay National Park and the small town of Radium are hour south of Golden on Trans Canada Hwy #95. To the west, on Hwy #1, lie Glacier National Park, Mount Revelstoke National Park, and the community of Revelstoke.

Routes through Golden

Kamloops Glacier NP  W  E  Field (in Yoho NP) Banff
END  N  S  Radium Hot Springs Cranbrook


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