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Golden (British Columbia)

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Columbia-Rockies : Golden
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Golden is a small town in the Columbia-Rockies portion of the Kootenays in British Columbia. [1]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.

  • British Columbia Visitor Information Centre, Golden Donald Upper Rd. Information from around British Columbia. Does not answer visitor enquiries by phone or email.
  • Kicking Horse Country Chamber of Commerce, 500 10th Ave N. Carries only local information.

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. [2]. 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 [3]

Get around

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

  • Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge, (located in downtown Golden). The longest covered, free-span timber frame pedestrian bridge in Canada. It spans the Kicking Horse River. Built by volunteers from around the world, it won the Communities In Bloom, Most Innovative Project for 2001. It intersects with a walking trail that circles the town, and is great for photos.
  • Northern Lights Wildlife Wolf Centre, 1745 Short Road (Blaeberry Valley), +1 250 344 6798, [4]. Open 365 days a year, from 9AM to 9PM in July and August, and from 10AM to 6PM during the rest of the year. Promotes wolf conversation. The centre houses wolves, as well as presenting an interpretive talk about their behaviour and the work to help protect them. $10 / adult, $8 / senior or youth, $6:00 / child, $30 / family.
  • Golden and District Museum, 1302 11th Ave S, +1 250 344 5169, [5]. Open from May to September, M-F, 9AM - 12:00 noon and 1PM - 5PM. Primarily houses displays on local history. That is, exhibits on the railroad, Swiss mountaineering guides, and the background and life of the early settlers. Currently (2007) it is home to a display on David Thompson, in honour of the bicentennial of his passage through the Golden area. Admission is a bargain at $2 per person.

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

  • Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, 1500 Kicking Horse Trail, 1 866 754 5425, [6]. Ski resort in winter and mountain bike park in summer, KHMR is Golden's biggest attraction. Those less enamoured with adventure recreation can take a ride up the gondola or tour the grizzly bear refuge.

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.

  • Alpine Rafting, 1416 Golden View Rd, +1 250 344 6778, [7].
  • Glacier Raft Company, 612 7th St N, +1 250 344 6521, [8].
  • Wet N Wild, 1509 LaFontaine Rd, +1 250 344 6546, [9]. Also the site of McLaren Lodge, an adults only accommodator.

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

  • Canadian Rockies Tandem Paragliding, +1 250 344 3214, [10].

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

  • Columbia River Safaris, +1 250 344 4931, [11]. Offers both jet boating near the mouth of the Columbia River and a wetland float trip in the mornings and evenings which is ideal for seeing wildlife.
  • Golden Golf Club, 576 Golf Course Drive, +1 250 344 2700, [12]. Ranked as the best value in British Columbia. $59-$65 per adult.

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.

  • Cedar Lake, (from downtown drive down 7th St N, across a oneway bridge and then 6 km up Kicking Horse Drive until you come to a fork in the road. Turn left onto a gravel road. You will come to a three way fork, take the centre road. On the next fork, turn left to get to the boat launch and right to access the beach.). A pleasant little lake that you can swim, fish, or boat in. Popular among locals and great for picnics.
  • Golden Swimming Pool, 1408 9th St S, +1 250 344 2118, [13]. Open in the summer only from 6:30AM - 10PM. Schedules vary and can be found on the website. Public swim: $2.20/child, $2.75/student, $4/adult, $9/family.

Golden's location makes it a good starting point for many hikes in the area. A comprehensive listing can be found through Golden Hikes [14]. 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.

  • Bear Corner Adventures''', 2054 Blaeberry Rd, +1 250 344 4785, [15]. The only company that offers year round riding. Acts as a bed and bale for those traveling with horses.
  • Flying W Trail Rides, +1 250 344 0495, [16]. Located at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.
  • Goldenwood Lodge, 2493 Holmes Deakin Rd, +1 250 344 7685, [17]. Offers 1 hour to half day rides. Also available for accommodation, with packages available.

Entertainment

  • Kicking Horse Culture, +1 250 344 6186 (), [18]. The Golden Arts Council, organizes local artistic performances. In the summer, they run Summer Kicks which offers a concert every week. Free.
  • Kicking Horse Movies., 802 10th Ave S, +1 250 344 5510. The local movie theatre. Shows one video a week.

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:

  • Moon River Gift Gallery, +1 250 344-5313. A selection of local art and knick knacks.

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.

  • 180 Mountain Sports, 421 9th Ave N, +1 250 344-4609 or +1 866 344-4609, [19].
  • Canyon Creek Outfitters, (at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort).
  • Selkirk Sports, 504 9th St N, +1 250 344-2966.
  • Summit Cycle, 1007 11th Ave S, +1 250 344-6600.

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

  • Bacchus Books and Cafe, 409 9th Ave N, +1 250 344-5600. ?-6PM. New and used bookstore is on the ground floor, cafe is above. Serves bagels, soup, sandwiches, salad. Open till 6PM.
  • Canadian 2 for 1 Pizza, 519 9th Ave N, +1 250 344-7241.
  • Any of the numerous fast-food places up off Highway 1, including but not limited to McDonalds, Subway, Dairy Queen, Tim Hortons and A&W.

Mid-range

  • Apostoles Restorante, 901 10th Ave S, +1 250 344-4906 (), [20]. 11AM-11PM. A Greek family restaurant. The food's good, but service is very slow. You should probably make reservations for dinner
  • Eleven 22, 1122 10th Ave S, +1 250 344-2443, [21]. Open for dinner. Excellent fusion cuisine. Reservations recommended. 5PM-11PM.
  • Golden Grizzly Cookhouse, 1002 Trans Canada Hwy N (Right off the Highway #1.), +1 250 439-1833. Decor features photographs of many local, providing a homey touch. Food is fairly basic steak & pizza.
  • Cedar House, 735 Hefti Road (Drive 5 min south of Golden, turn left onto Almberg Rd and then onto Hefti), +1 250 344-4679 (), [22]. Organic food, fine dining, scenic mountain atmosphere. Ranked one of the top 50 places to eat in Canada by the National Restaurant Guide. Definitely make a reservation, especially during peak season.
  • Eagle's Eye, 1 866 754 5425, [23]. Accessible only by gondola at 7700 ft above sea level. Having eaten here - the food is sublime, but make sure if you go, you go on a clear day to make the most of the views. Bonus: it's much more reasonable for lunch.
  • The Kicking Horse Grill, 1105 9th St S (Turn south at the lights), +1 250 344-2330 (), [24]. Contemporary canadian cuisine in rustic log building. awarded resort restaurant of the year for north Americain 2005. make reservations the place gets packed in the season.
  • Corks Restaurant & Bar, Kicking Horse Mtn Resort, Cache Close (inside Copper Horse Lodge), +1 250 344-6201 (), [25]. Enjoy an experience of fresh, delicious, flavourful food, served in hearty portions, complimented by exceptional new world wines and great service from knowledgeable staff.

Drink

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

  • The Golden Taps Pub, 505 9th Ave N, +1 250 344-7155. Great food, drinks and a nice cozy atmosphere. Taps is pretty small so it fills up quickly, but the servers are incredibly friendly and always make you feel welcome.Great food too lots to choose from. They have events a couple of nights a week - Wednesdays there are snowboard movies and giveaways all night, Thursdays is open mic night.
  • The Local Hero Pub & Restaurant, #3 Cache Close (up near Kicking Horse Resort beside The Highland Lodge), +1 250 344 7220. 15:00 to late. A Scottish mountain pub specializing in single malt Highland whisky and Scottish meals. Friendly relaxed atmosphere with low-beamed ceilings, wood-burning fireplaces and many nooks and crannies will literally bring Scotland to you! Settle in with a dram and chat to family, friends and other guests of the Lodge and resort. There is even an outside fireplace incorporated into the stone exterior of the pub, with plenty of outdoor seating on large decking area. Kids welcome.
  • Mad Trapper, 1203 9th St S (near Overwaitea), +1 250 344-6661. Also operates as a cold beer and wine store.
  • Moberly Pub, 1398 Hartley Rd (west of Golden in the Blaeberry Valley), +1 250 344-6566.
  • Rock Water, 429 9th Ave N, +1 25- 344-5951. Just up the street from Taps. Used to be called Packers. Rock Water is the place to go for bands, dj's, and big nights out. Warning: it is pretty dingy during the day. They do offer accommodation, it often closes earlier than the other bars, but if its busy will keep going all night long. It has a few pool tables etc for entertainment. Now home of the "fresh beat" Mondays. (A 1/2 hearted attempt to grab the Monday party from the former Roadhouse
  • The Roadhouse, +1 250 344-4821. Unfortunantly the famous Roadhouse and its fresh meat mondays is no more.
  • Fire Pit BBQ Smokehouse, 1105 HWY1 Frontage Rd (at the Park Inn Hotel in between the Prestige Inn and the Sportsman Lodge), +1(250)344-5222. 7AM-midnight. Southern style BBQ great breakfast, all food is made and smoked in house. A lounge with some big screens local draft. Two patios (front and back). $5-28.

Sleep

  • Kicking Horse Kabins, 1732 Oberg Johnson Road, 250 439 1117, [26]. Luxurious Canada 4* 3bed 2bath lodge, quiet location. Groups all year, couples rate in spring and fall. info@kickinghorsekabins.ca. 10 mins from town center $150-$390. (51.416123990357065,-117.00920104980469)

Budget

Hostels

  • Caribou Hostel, 1401 Adolph Johnson Rd (Located in the scenic Blaeberry Valley west of Golden.), +1 250 344-4870 (), [27]. checkin: 4PM; checkout: 11AM. Located on Moberly mountain this quiet family run hostel is just 10 min west of Golden. Families and groups welcome. The Moberly Pub is just a 2 minute walk through the woods. $25/night..
  • Kicking Horse River Lodge, 801 9th St. N., +1 250 439-1112 or +1 877 547-5266 (), [28]. Services include a licensed cafe, laundry facilities, and, most essential of all, shuttle service up to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Within walking distance of downtown, ideal for the traveller without a vehicle. Dorm rooms with single beds $31, private rooms begin at $100 and increase significantly in price for additional people..

Camping

  • Golden Eco-Adventure Ranch, McBeath Rd (Located in the small community of Nicholson, 5 minutes south of Golden), +1 250 344-6825 (), [29]. 400 scenic acres. Full campground facilities include modern plumbing, laundry, internet, and full service for RV's. Rents bikes and kayaks. Has a swimming pond with beach and playground equipment. $20-$35 based on type of campsite.
  • Golden Municipal Campground, 1407 9th St. S, +1 250 344-5412, [30]. Right on the river. Within walking distance of downtown. $15-$20.
  • Sander Lake Campground & Cabins, (Located in the small community of Nicholson 5 minutes south of Golden. Go all the way down McBeath Road and from there follow the gravel access road.), +1 250 344-6517 or +1 250 344-7043 (), [31]. Right on Sander Lake, where you can canoe or swim. Quiet and isolated. Beware: large RV's will not be able to make it up the access road. $12-$15/site with 2 adults, $2 for electricity, $3 per additional adult, $75 per cabin, showers & firewood included..
  • Whispering Spruce Campground, 1430 Goldenview Rd, +1 250 344-6680 (, fax: +1 250 344-6165). Conveniently located off Hwy #1. Open from April 15 - October 15. $18-$28..

Mid-range

Bed and Breakfast

  • Mount 7 Guesthouse & Bnb, 1308 Selkirk Drive, +1 250 344-4707 (), [32]. Delicious organic continental breakfasts with phenomenal baking. Hardwood floors, jacuzzi, twin or king sized bed, private bathroom. $90-$100, depending on season and room.


  • Ambler House, 815 12th St S, +1 250 344-5001 or +1 866 333-5001 (, fax: +1 250 344-5181), [33]. Historic house, dating from 1893. Outdoor hot tub. Located directly in town. $89-$129, depending on room and season.
  • Auberge Kicking Horse B&B, 1306 Selkirk Drive, +1 250 344-3997 (, fax: +1 250 344-3998), [34]. Delicious continental breakfasts with phenomenal yoghurt parfaits. Hardwood floors, jacuzzi, queen or king sized bed, private bathroom. $80-$95, depending on season and room.
  • Kicking Horse Canyon B&B, 644 Lapp Road, +1 250 344-6848 (), [35]. The owner is really friendly and an amazing cook. Decor is historical, creating a great atmosphere. A little out of town.

Cabins/Lodges

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

  • Alpenrose Cabins, (off the Trans Canada Hwy 1, 1 km west of Golden), +1 250 344-5549, [36].
  • Blaeberry Mountain Lodge, Moberly School Road (16 km northwest of Golden), +1 250 344-5296 (), [37].

Motels/Hotels

  • Best Western Mountainview Inn, 1024 St N, +1 250 344-2333 or +1-800 528-1234.
  • Golden Rim Motor Inn, 1416 Golden View Rd., +1 250 344-2216 or +1 877 311-2216 (), [40]. Has an indoor pool with a waterslide. The Canyon's Edge Restaurant, which is an excellent family restaurant, is in the same building.
  • Mary's Motel, 603 8th Ave N, +1 250 344-7111 (), [41]. This motel possesses a rare trait for motels in Golden - it is located right downtown, within 10 minutes walking distance of most shops and restaurants.

On Mountain - Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

  • Copper Horse Lodge (A small boutique mountain lodge, just 100 paces from the Golden Eagle Express gondola. 10 rooms with spa style bathrooms, featherbeds, mini fridges, down duvets and quality linens. Deluxe suite with private jacuzzi and large sitting area. Guest lounge area with wood burning fireplace. Breakfast is included with your stay - full hot in the winter and deluxe continental in the summer . Corks Restaurant + Bar onsite. Outdoor hottub. An exceptional mountain lodge experience.), #2 Cache Close, Kicking Horse Mtn Resort, Toll Free in NA 1877 544 7644 or +1 250 344 7644 (), [42]. $140 to $250 depending upon season. Includes breakfast..
  • Highland Lodge, #3 Cache Close, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, +1 250.344.7272 (, fax: +1 250 344 7275), [43]. checkin: 16.00; checkout: 11.00. The Highland Lodge is a traditionally built stone and wood boutique Scottish mountain lodge set within the heart of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. The Lodge comprises of 10 luxuriously appointed bedrooms, all of which have en-suite facilities, TV, DVD and Satellite and have their own private balconies with spectacular views over looking the surrounding mountain ranges. At the centre and heart of the Lodge is the Great Room. This has been designed to provide a quiet and relaxing focal place to enjoy with your family and friends in front of wood burning fireplace. Hot gourmet breakfast, wireless internet and us of the outdoor hot tub all included in pricing. Dinner available on request. Includes breakfast $135 to $340 depending upon season. (51.29302,-116.96678)
  • The Prestige Mountainside Resort, 1049 Trans Canada Hwy N, +1 250 344-7990 or +1 877 737-8443 (), [44]. 4.5 stars and Golden's nicest hotel. $100-$350/ night, based on single occupancy, price dependent on room and season. Not sure why this would be considered splurging?? It is on the transcanada Highway with truck traffic in front, 24 hours a day. But just the same it is an okay place to stay but if you are splurging to stay here, there are other spots that will be a lot more special. </sleep>
  • Purcell Mountain Lodge, (Accessible by helicopter only. Flights go out of Golden.), +1 250 344-2639 (), [45]. Open July 7 - Oct 3, and Dec 28 - Apr 4. Located 2200 metres above sea level on the edge of Glacier National Park. A spectacularly scenic base for helihiking or heliskiing. For a three night stay (the minimum) $1100-$2260/person. Includes accommodation, helicopter flight, food, and guiding..
  • Vagabond Lodge, 1581 Cache Close, toll free North America 1 866 944 2622 or 250 344 2622 (), [46]. checkin: 16:00; checkout: 11:00. Directly across the road from the Gondola at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. [47] All rooms have feather rest beds, private bathrooms with heated floors, carpeted floors and antique armours. Six rooms have balconies with great views of the Rocky Mountains. Huge guest area with wood burning rock fireplace, bar (but no liquor licence, so guests may bring their own). Downstairs is a secure ski/snowboard room, boot dryer, games room with a pool table and satellite TV, and an outdoor hot tub. $135-$250 per room based on double occupancy; prices depend on season, include breakfast..

Get out

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
KamloopsGlacier NP  W noframe E  Field ( in Yoho NP) → Banff
END  N noframe S  Radium Hot SpringsCranbrook




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