It's a great feeling when you know you got the perfect shot. The light is right, the colours all work, the views are inspirational. Golden, BC is one of the most photogenic places in Canada - it's hard to take a bad photo here. If you like curating a beautiful feed, here are 10 of the most instagram worthy spots in Golden, BC.

What makes Golden so special, you might be wondering? Check out its track record. It's:

  • Located at the heart of 6 National Parks
  • In the Purcell Mountain Range
  • Borders on the Canadian Rocky Mountains
  • Nestled in the Columbia Valley
  • Surrounded by the Columbia Wetlands (the world's largest intact wetland)

One of these distinctions is enough to put a place on the map, but having all five! It adds up to endless places that are worthy of making it to your instagram feed.

Instagram worthy is our way of saying, ‘Wow, this is spectacular. I want to capture it and remember it. I'll share it for inspiration and so others can plan to experience it one day too’. It also has the added benefit of making your followers a wee bit jelly.

We’ve lived here for a lot of years and adventure is the name of our game. Being outside is our happy place and exploring is what we live for.

The 10 spots we recommend will blow you away, so get your selfie stick, tripod, or trusty photo taking arm ready.

If you’re visiting the area and need a starting point, here are our recommendations.

10 Instagram Worthy areas in Golden, BC - some of the best and most beautiful photo taking spots


1. Holt Lakes

The skinny:

Two alpine lakes perched on a bench. They're surrounded by huge peaks and a cascading waterfall that blankets the mountainside. This place is what dreams are made of.

The best spot to get your shot:

If you hike south of the lakes to the ridge line, you’ll be looking down on the two lakes. It’s an amazing vantage point to see the expansiveness of the whole area, and the sparkling lakes below.


Holt Lakes in Golden BC

Looking down on the Holt Lakes as you hike in from the south.


It’s hard to put into words how you’ll feel when you see the Holt Lakes for the first time. The scale, beauty, wilderness and landscape - it's humbling and breathtaking.

It is one of the most magical spots around Golden, BC, and given its remoteness it doesn’t see a lot of traffic.

If you want scenery for days, without many other adventurers, this is a great option.

You can access this hike from two different ways - Kicking Horse Mountain Resort or Gorman Lake. We recommend looking into both options before making your plan. We prefer to take the Gondola to the top of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and hike in from the south.

Plan to spend at least one night camping by the lakes - you'll be SO happy you did.


Sitting by Holt Lakes in Golden BC

Sitting beside the lakes, listening to the waterfall drop away.


2. Mummery Glacier

The skinny:

You'll be hiking to a glacier. Probably enough said? It creates waterfalls and ice caves and 360 degrees of perfection.

The best spot to get your shot:

When you get to the top of the hike, follow the ridge line down to the right. It will bring you to the waterfalls you can see in the photo below. Not for the faint of heart, but more than worth the effort.


Waterfalls on Mummery Glacier Hike, Golden BC

Snap up these beautiful waterfalls at the top of the Mummery Glacier Hike.


Hiking into the Mummery Glacier is a journey we take every summer. You can use any number of superlatives you’d like, but words don't do it justice.

The Mummery Glacier offers everything you imagine when envisioning the perfect mountain destination. Big scenery, big peaks, waterfalls painting the mountainside. Greenery, rivers and expansive views of the lush valley below. Solitude and serenity - only interrupted by the squeaks of the pikas, popping out to say hello.

It’s perfection in every sense of the word. This hike is an out and back, and even if you don’t make it to the top you’ll reap the rewards of wonder all along the way.

It’s a full day adventure in the remote backcountry, so take the time to make a suitable plan.

*Please note: if you hike to the top, do not go onto or near the glacier. Seracs exist and crevasses and meltwater can be dangerous.


Hiking to Mummery Glacier Golden BC

You'll want to spend some time up here, taking it all in.


3. Gorman Lake

The skinny:

An alpine lake that’s surrounded by mountains. It’s never too busy and the hike in isn't very hard.

The best spot to get your shot:

Hop in the canoe and paddle to the far side of the lake. You’ll get shots surrounded by the blue green water, and from the lush greenery on the far side of the lake.


Gorman Lake Hike in Golden BC

Paddle the canoe across the lake for stunning views and a nice spot to relax.


Oh Gorman. We have a soft spot for this one. It’s pretty and calming and we’re always happy when we find ourselves there.

The hike in isn’t very challenging, so we’d say it’s accessible for all hiking abilities. The drive in is where the sportiness happens. A higher clearance vehicle would be best, but we see little cars up there every time we go too.

If you hike up later in the summer, you'll find the trail lined with alpine flowers, the colours popping in the alpine grass. Everything about a day at Gorman is lovely and we know you’ll leave with a camera full of shots.


Paddling across Gorman Lake, Golden BC

Paddling across Gorman Lake.


4. From the Top of Mount 7

The skinny:

Look down on the Columbia Valley, Columbia Wetlands, Town of Golden and across at the Purcell Mountain Range.

The best spot to get your shot:

Drive to the top and walk out onto the hang gliding launch pad. From here, it’s 180 degrees of nothing but perfection.


Views of Golden BC from the top of Mount 7

Looking down on Golden and the Columbia Valley from the top of Mount 7. Photo: Darren Trapp


The views from the top of Mount 7 are some of the best - if not the best - in Golden. We’ve been up here for many picnics and evening sunsets and it still blows us away every time.

It seems the sun likes to light up the valley, reflecting off the Columbia River as it meanders down the valley. It creates a glowing, sparkly dance below. It’s hard to take your eyes away.

Get to the top of Mount 7 by taking the Bowle-Evans Forest Service Road. It’s about a 20 minute drive and is completely worth the potholes.


Views from Mount 7 in Golden BC

It seems like the sun always sparkles from Mount 7.


5. Thompson Falls

The skinny:

A bright blue, crystal clear, cascading glacial waterfall - without the crowds.

The best spot to get your shot:

If you’re looking at the falls, walk downstream towards the forest. There’s a rocky outcrop which provides the perfect platform to look back upstream towards the falls.


A girl looking down at Thompson Falls

Taking in Thompson Falls from the perfectly placed rocky outcrop.


Thompson Falls is your go to for a waterfall with bright blue and turquoise glacial water.

Low water is the best time to visit Thompson Falls for these bright, beautiful colours. It'll also allow you to see the features of the canyon and the the steep, twisting drop off. This occurs later in the summer in August and September.

On the edge of Golden, BC, it’s easy to get here, offering a relaxing afternoon adventure.

Sometimes beautiful waterfalls are synonymous with tour buses, crowds and cameras everywhere. Not so with Thompson Falls. It’s stunning, natural, wild and it’s off the beaten path enough there’s a chance you’ll get it all to yourself. At least for a while.


Girl by waterfall on the Thompson Falls hike

A perfect place to escape the crowds and take in a beautiful waterfall.


6. Kicking Horse River

The skinny:

It's crystal clear, brilliant blue, rugged and wild. Surrounded by mountain peaks and evergreen forests, it's a real mountain river.

The best spot to get your shot:

Drive east out of Golden to the Beaverfoot Forest Service Road. Drive down the FSR for as long as you’d like and use any of the trails down to the river. Any of these lookouts with unveil this flowing beauty.


Kicking Horse River and Canadian Rocky Mountains

The Kicking Horse River flowing by the Canadian Rockies in the Beaverfoot Valley. Photo: Maur Mere


The Kicking Horse was the first river in British Columbia to receive a Canadian Heritage River designation. Everything about it is beautiful and brilliant. Its history, geology, geography, landscapes and the adventure it provides.

The Kicking Horse River changes a lot month to month, as its flow depends on mountain runoff and glacial melt. River levels are higher in the spring when there’s a lot of melt, turning the river a chocolate milk brown.

For the bright blue colour you’re likely after, head out later in the summer. August and September are the best months for something that looks like this:


Looking down on the Kicking Horse River, Golden BC

The beautiful bright blue Kicking Horse River. Photo: Maur Mere


Not only is it beautiful, the Kicking Horse is also a world renowned whitewater rafting river. If your instagram account is calling for adventure, consider adding a rafting trip to your plans.

There are full day or half day trips available and you can use our trip selector tool to find an adventure that suits you best. There are 5 trips to choose from and you don't need to have any rafting experience.

Rafting the Kicking Horse with Glacier Raft Company is the number one activity on TripAdvisor, and has been so for 10+ years.


Rafting the Kicking Horse River, Golden BC

Rafting the bright glacial waters of the Kicking Horse River - the #1 Activity in Golden on TripAdvisor for 10+ years.


7. The Moonraker Trail Network

The skinny:

Over 50 km of trails that will bring you to many different forests, lakes and relaxing spots.

The best spot to get your shot:

Walk or bike past Cedar Lake 1 to Cedar Lake 2. Use the bridge to cross the marsh and it’ll bring you to a little beach. This is the spot for photos and swimming.


Biking Moonraker Trails in lush forest

Biking one of many trails in the Moonraker Network.


The Moonraker Trail Network is awesome. With so much terrain to explore, you can craft your perfect adventure. Whether you’re on foot, bike, kayak or a stand up paddle board, there are options.

With many different trails covering such a large area, it’s also easy to find your own little spot to stop for a while. Stretch out or lay back and soak in the sounds and smells of the mountain air.

It’s easiest access point is the Cedar Lake Recreation Site. From here you can set off in several directions, making a loop that’s as long or as short as you’d like.


Biking by Cedar Lake

Biking past Cedar Lake in the Moonraker Trails.


8. Dainard Lake

The skinny:

A stunning alpine lake that’s a short and easy hike to get to. The drive is much longer than the hike itself.

The best spot to get your shot:

Hop in one of the canoes and paddle across the lake. Start walking up the trail behind the lake and you’ll look down on spectacular views.


Dainard Lake is one of best photo spots in Golden BC

Looking down on Dainard Lake from the trail above.


We love Dainard Lake. If you want to get somewhere special, but your legs don’t feel like taking a big hike, this is the perfect spot.

You can walk around the lake, paddle across it, or hike up behind to get to a second higher alpine lake.

Heading to Dainard means your day can be as cruisey or adventurous as you’d like. You can relax and take it all in, or go for a stroll, and you’ll have endless opportunities for snapping great photos.

You’ll drive a ways down the Beaverfoot Forest Service Road to get to the trailhead. From where you park it’s under 20 minutes to walk to the lakes.


Dainard Lake Hike - a girl with her dog

Dainard Lake is a dog friendly area so your pup can get in on the fun.


9. Wapta Falls

The skinny:

A wide, 30 m waterfall in the Kicking Horse River. Located in Yoho National Park, it’s a beauty.

The best spot to get your shot:

Scramble down to the base of the falls and walk out to the islands in the middle of the river. This is only possible at lower river levels, but it’ll allow you to be at the base of the falls looking up.


aerial shot wapta falls yoho national park

Aerial shot of Wapta Falls. Photo: Tourism Golden


Wapta Falls is an easy to get to waterfall and it’s a very photogenic spot. Later in the summer - August and September - the Kicking Horse River turns to a bright shade of blue. This is when you'll have the sparkling blue water cascading 30 m down to the river below.

It’s stunning!

You definitely won’t be alone on this hike, but there is some space to spread out. It’s a spot you’ll want to spend some time relaxing anyways, so be patient and you’ll get your instagram gold.


Wapta Falls in Yoho National Park, B.C.

Taking in the rainbow that often forms in front of Wapta Falls.


10. Yoho Lake

The skinny:

The scenery and wilderness you'd want to reward you at the end of a mountain hike, is what you get at Yoho Lake.

The best spot to get your shot:

Anywhere! As soon as you get to the lake you can’t go wrong. It’ll be perfection regardless of where you wander.


Yoho Lake Hike, Yoho National Park

Iconic red Parks Canada chairs at Yoho Lake. This photo was from early summer when there was still ice on the lake.


Okay, so this one isn’t technically in Golden, but it’s close and is a very easy day trip.

Another alpine lake, Yoho Lake is somewhere you’ll want to spend some time. The colour, the scale, the remoteness and peacefulness. It all adds up to an amazing day.

Being in Yoho National Park, you’ll find a couple of the iconic, red, Parks Canada chairs. They provide the perfect contrast to the blue and green backdrop.

There are a couple picnic tables if you want to bring a spread for lunch, or sprawl out on the ground like we like to do. Feel the warm earth beneath your feet, and the sunshine on your face.

Our favourite way to get to Yoho Lake is to start at Emerald Lake. Walk around the lake to the far end, and follow the trail up. The trail is well marked and signposts will lead you to this sparkling blue beauty.

And - a big bonus is that heading into Yoho Lake means you get to take in Emerald Lake too. Both as you walk around it, and looking down on it from the trail above.


Hiking to Yoho Lake in Yoho National Park

Hiking down from Yoho Lake, you'll take in the beautiful sight of Emerald Lake.


Wrapping Up the best and most beautiful photo taking spots in Golden, bc

And there you go. Golden, BC has to be one of the most photogenic spots in Canada. These 10 Instagram Worthy Spots in Golden, BC won’t let you down, and we hope you enjoy your adventure.

They’re also the tip of the iceberg. If you’re in the area and need other suggestions, come in and say hello or drop us a note. If you're looking for a place to stay in Golden, we highly recommend Whitewater Lodge. It's a cozy B&B located on the edge of town.

We love this area and we’ll be happy to recommend other spots we know you’d love to explore.

Happy adventuring from the whole crew, here at Glacier Raft Company