I just spent time in Canada, traveling to the province of BC to the little town of Golden for some Canadian Rocky adventures. Since I like to go off the beaten tourist path I passed up the well known town of Banff and kept going to Golden, an old railroad town of 4000 people perfectly positioned in the valley below Kicking Horse Mountain. Golden BC has 6 national parks, 3 mountain ranges, and 2 historic rivers all easily within reach which puts it in the perfect position for summer (and winter) adventure. This week I packed my days in Golden full of hiking, river/wetlands sightseeing, wildlife viewing, white water rafting, and paragliding while learning more about the history of this little known town. It was the home of adventure travel in the Canadian Rockies (starting in 1899) thanks to it’s vision and relationship with Switzerland.
Yoho National Park’s beautiful views! Emerald Lake is a short drive from Golden! You can rent canoes and get out on the water or simply enjoy a drink or stroll by the lake.
A foggy morning on the Columbia river. It gave the Wetlands Tour we did an eerie feel! But it was a beautiful way to see the wetland wildlife and landscapes.
Riding to CPR ridge on the Kicking Horse Mountain gondola. Kicking Horse is a ski resort in the winter and a hiking and mountain biking playground in the summer. At the top is a Eagles Eye restaurant lodge with views of multiple mountain ranges – a super way to spend lunch!
Want to be a Swiss Mountain Guide in Golden? Then this is the snazzy outfit you get to wear! We met Rudi Gertsch who came to Canada from Switzerland to be a mountain guide and adventure travel advocate. The guides were hired back in 1899 by the Canadian Railway to create the first remnants of adventure tourism in the area…and let me tell you – they did a great job! At 68 Rudi still runs his heli skiing business in Golden. This man not only dressed great – but he had more adventure in him than I have in my little finger.
Morning clouds blanket Golden. Every morning I’d wake up above the clouds at Kicking Horse Mountain. The town of Golden which lies in the valley below was covered by clouds which would burn off in the morning. But it made for some spectacular Canadian Rocky sunrises!
Disclosure: I was a guest of Tourism Golden and Destination BC for this trip. However all of the opinions expressed here are my own. I had been wanting to see the Canadian Rockies for a long time and getting to the lesser known town of Golden was the perfect destination for my style of travel.