Here at Glacier Raft Company, we're all about adventure. With a huge mountain playground right outside our doorstep, Golden, B.C. offers endless opportunities for outdoor activity.
Golden is surrounded by six national parks (that alone should give you a sense of how amazing the hiking options are), but there are also tons of great hikes that aren’t actually in the parks.
With so many options, we know the idea of picking one or two can be a bit of a daunting task – especially if you are only in town for a few days and really want to make the most of it.
The Glacier Crew are always outside as much as possible, and on any days when we're not rafting, there will be at least a couple of us wandering around the trails somewhere. Our constant quest for adventure, and our love for wandering through the forest, means we have thoroughly explored the trails in and around Golden.
In chatting with some of our staff, here is our list of the 5 Best Hikes Near Golden, B.C.
1. Applebee Dome
Although Golden is lucky enough to have six national parks in the area, there are also a few provincial parks close by. One of the most prominent – and often forgotten about – is Bugaboo Provincial Park, located approximately 60 kilometers south of Golden.
This gorgeous spot not only boasts some of the best climbing in Canada, but its hiking is also pristine. Carmen, Glacier’s Owner, says her favourite in the park is the Conrad Kain Hut and Applebee Dome trail.
This hike can be done in one long day, and more often than not that’s what we choose to do.
That being said, if you do have the time and want to do some camping, Carmen recommends staying overnight in the Applebee Dome. Applebee Dome is 1 km further up the trail past the Conrad Kain Hut, and spending the night will give you extra time to soak in the scenery.
We’re seen a lot of mountains in the area, and we’ve done a lot of camping, but there’s something about the Applebee Dome that’s different. We’re not going to say the views will take your breath away because it’s a bit too cliche, but it will give you the feeling that you’re visiting some place really special.
The views of the glaciers and the spires and the huge peaks all around - we think it’s something you’ll never forget!
This area can be quite busy in the summer because it is a known destination for climbers, but don’t let that deter you. Or, if you have any flexibility in your schedule, plan to go later in the season.
We try to go sometime around mid-September and we’ve had the entire dome to ourselves (more than once!) You’ll need to plan for colder hiking/camping, but we think the solitude is well worth it.
The trail is a moderate-to-difficult hike, as it does gain quite a bit of elevation – about 930 meters.
Important Note: Porcupines in the area have been knows to chew cars. Be sure to use the chicken wire provided at the trailhead to wrap your vehicle. You don’t want to come back to any nasty surprises.
2. Mummery Glacier
Although a bit of a trek to get to the trailhead, this hidden gem is one hike in the area that's definitely worthwhile if you're up for an adventure.
Glacier’s owner Ryan says this trail is his favourite in the area – which says a lot considering he has been exploring Golden for the past 14 years!
Ryan, and anyone else he can wrangle up, tries to make it to the Mummery every summer, because it’s just that special.
The solitude and serenity, the views and landscapes, the challenge and the scramble - everything about it makes it such an awesome hike.
Located in the Blaeberry, this hike climbs up more difficult terrain before coming to a stunning view of the Mummery Glacier.
You can hike up to the glacier and down the same trail, or you can go for a bit of a scramble past the glacier and down a series of ledges to make it into a loop (you will connect back to the same trail at the bottom of the valley).
If you want to let your inner mountain goat out, tackling the loop is a good challenge, and our staff really enjoys it!
We’ve always done this hike in a single day, but it could be split into two if you’re keen to find a place to camp.
While the road to this hike was washed out for several years (making it an even greater adventure because it required a stream crossing and long bike ride in), it has since been repaired so you can drive right to the trailhead.
3. Sherbrooke Lake
Recommended by Colin, this full day trek is an easy-to-moderate hike up to a lake that is fed by the Wapta Icefield – the same glacier that feeds the Kicking Horse River!
A short three-kilometer hike to the lake itself, Colin says that it’s best to continue on the trail past the lake. The trail steepens once you pass the lake, and leads upward into a dome that overlooks the water from above.
Heading past the lake will lose most (if not all) of the crowds, and we think the views here are even prettier. You’ll see the many steams and waterfalls that feed the lake, and there are some cute little boardwalks that wind their way through the dome, as the area tends to be very wet.
You can stop in the dome and enjoy some snacks or a picnic (because the hike it quite short it’s easy to carry in lots of good food), or you can keep heading onwards and upwards.
See how you’re feeling, as the day is totally up to you!
Colin’s tip for the trip: “Watch out for bugs around the lake!” Not to worry, they aren’t big, biting bugs. They are swarm and swarms of little, buzzing bugs that are more of a nuisance than anything. Once you pass the lake and start ascending, you’ll leave them all behind too.
The trailhead is located 68 kilometers east of Golden on Highway 1, and starts at the parking lot of the Great Divide Lodge.
4. Table Mountain
A fairly difficult hike close to Golden, this trail offers a stunning view that overlooks the town, the Kicking Horse River and its mountain landscape.
Laura, a member of our office staff, says the hike is a great half-day trip that will get your heart pumping and your blood flowing. Although there is not much to view on the way up, the forest keeps the trail entertaining enough, and the view at the top makes the uphill battle worth it.
The trek is only a 4 1/2-kilometer return trip, but the steep climb makes it feel a lot longer. It can be done in a few hours, and is a great hike for those looking to get in an afternoon workout.
The trailhead is 6-kilometers from town and hidden on Highway 1 - just a few minutes before the Kicking Horse Rest Area. It is located off the corner of a switchback, where a small parking lot sits about 500 meters up the road.
5. Canyon Creek
Recommended by Glacier’s very own handyman Eric, Canyon Creek is suitable for all hiking abilities (great for kids and dogs too!)
This cruisy hike starts out fairly steep (but only for a very short distance), as it quickly tapers off to a steady incline that overlooks the canyon.
The trail continues on for a several kilometers, but there are also mini-loops within the trail system that can bring you back out to the parking lot.
If you stay on the main trail long enough, it will loop you around all the way back to Cedar Lake in Golden.
The trailhead is located just 10 minutes south of Golden in Nicholson, and it will bring you to some gorgeous mountain views while still offering a nice, gradual walk.
There are many more fabulous trails to check out around the area – Wolverine Pass, Iceline Trail, Mount Hunter, among others.
While these are our 5 favourite hikes near to Golden, you can also check out our recommendations for:
If you are looking for some more information about hiking in Golden, we also recommend checking out GoldenHikes.ca. This awesome database compiles the various hikes in the area, rating each trail according to difficulty and location, while also providing detailed directions.
Now go live an adventure!
Cheers from all of us here at Glacier