Let’s just take a second to describe Golden, BC.

Mountains. Rivers. Wildlife. Scenery. Adrenaline. Adventure.

These are just a few words that come to mind when thinking about our home. Our tiny town in the mountains has quite the reputation for being a destination for the outdoor enthusiast.

So much is accessible in such a small area. Whether you like water sports, flying through the air, motorized vehicles or hitting the forest trails in silence, we can help point you in the right direction.

Here's our list of the Top 5 Best Summer Activities in Golden, BC:

1. Hiking

Golden is located at the heart of 6 National Parks (Yoho, Glacier, Kootenay, Banff, Jasper and Revelstoke). It's what makes this town one of the most ideal locations for mountain lovers. So, naturally, hiking and trekking in the woods comes out as one of the top activities in Golden, BC.

 

Girl hiking to Gorman Lake in Golden BC

Hiking towards Gorman Lake in Golden, BC

 

Whether you are looking for a short, half-day hike or a multi-day trek through the backcountry, Golden is the perfect hub for it all.

We spend a lot of our free time hiking and can recommend some gems in pretty much every direction. To us, getting away from the crowds and hearing only the sounds of the forest is as happy as life can be.

 

Hiking in Golden British Columbia

Hiking from Holt Lakes to Gorman Lake in Golden, BC

 

You can check out the 5 Best Hikes Near Golden, BC here

We also spend a lot of time in the National Parks and have done almost all of the hikes in both Glacier and Yoho National Park. Here are our recommendations for the 5 Best Hikes in Yoho National Park and the 5 Best Hikes in Glacier National Park.

Golden is also a welcoming spot if you're travelling with your four legged friend. There are several dog friendly options for hiking, and for some ideas you can check out the 5 Best Dog Friendly Trails and Hikes in Golden, B.C.

Tourism Golden's 'Golden Hike Trail Map' is an excellent resource for all the hikes in Golden and the surrounding National Parks, as well. They're free and you can find them in pretty much every shop and business around town (we have a bunch here).

2. Trail Running

Many people will agree that Golden is a place to, how do we say it.. up your game. The challenging terrain keeps training interesting, and sometimes forces you out of your comfort zone. For this reason, it's not surprising that running on the hiking trails has taken off here.

For runners, Golden’s trail system has it all. From the easier routes to more difficult uphill climbs (and everything in between), the immense trail network keeps runners happy.

For several years now, the Golden Ultra showcases these unique and challenging trails in town through its 3-day stage race. The 85 km ultra marathon attracts runners from all around the world. Day 2 has them making their way up 2500 meters to the summit Kicking Horse Mountain Resort before running all the way back down to valley bottom.

 

Trail running in Golden British Columbia

Made it up Mount Hunter in Golden, BC. A slog for sure, but well worth the views!

 

If you're coming to Golden and would like to stretch your legs, here are some areas we recommend checking out:

  • Moonraker Trail Network
  • CBT Mainline
  • Mountain Shadows
  • Rotary Trail

The Golden Hike or Bike Trail Maps that are created each year by Tourism Golden are an excellent resource for planning your route. They clearly show the networks of trails that wind around town, and also showcase the National Park trails.

 

3. RAFTING & kayaking - whitewater and flatwater

We love the water and the thrill it provides, there's no doubt about it! Rafting and kayaking are a given, considering Golden is home to two of the most beautiful rivers in the Canadian Rockies. Not to mention the views…

WHITEWATER

The Kicking Horse River truly is a marvel in its own right, being one of the most challenging, entertaining and beautiful rivers in BC.

The Kicking Horse is a glacial fed river that winds through Yoho National Park and the Canadian Rockies, before entering Golden, BC. The river is celebrated daily with the whitewater rafting scene that exists here in the summer.

It offers gentle scenic rafting on the calm Upper Canyon, great, continuous white water on the exciting Middle Canyon, and heli rafting experiences for anyone who rafts the Lower Canyon.

There are full day and half day options available, and no experience is required for any of the trips. If you need some help narrowing down the options, check out this Trip Selector.

There is an annual kayak celebration that occurs at the start of summer to honour the sport, as well.

The Kicking Horse Kayak Festival typically happens at the end of June, and kayakers from all around the Rockies show up to compete and participate in the event.

 

Kayaking the lower canyon of Kicking Horse River

Whitewater kayking into the lower canyon of the Kicking Horse River

 

If you're coming to Golden and would like to whitewater kayak, Golden has a very active kayaking Facebook page. This would be the best place to ask for information, or hook up with fellow paddlers.

 

FLATWATER

The Columbia River is our second beauty. The Columbia River is is largest river flowing into the Pacific Ocean in North America, and the wetlands provide a critical habitat for hundreds of bird, fish and mammal species.

This is a much calmer, slower moving river, and it provides the opportunity for scenic kayak trips and wildlife viewing.

Both rivers flow directly through the town of Golden, and renting an inflatable kayak is the best way to experience it. 2 person inflatable kayaks are very stable and they allow you the freedom to explore at your own pace. You can lay back and relax and let the river take you, or paddle into some of the smaller channels to explore the hidden parts of the river.

You'll be paddling through the Columbia Wetlands and will end up back in the heart of downtown Golden. It's a great way to soak up some afternoon summer sun, while being surrounded by mountains on one of British Columbia's most iconic rivers.

 

Kayak tours on the Kicking Horse and Columbia Rivers in Golden BC

The stunning confluence of the Kicking Horse and Columbia Rivers on an evening, scenic kayak paddle

 

You can learn more about kayak rentals, or reserve yours by clicking HERE

4. Mountain Biking

The extensive trail networks here in town are not just for running shoes. CBT, the Moonrakers, and Mountain Shadows are three trail networks within town limits that are all bike-friendly.

They truly allow Golden to showcase its mountain biking culture. It’s a sport that not only has locals moving, our trails attract visitors from all over to experience the fun - especially when you consider there are over 100 kilometres of quality bike trails to explore.

 

Mountain Biking in Golden British Columbia at sunset

Evening ride in Mountain Shadows. Photo: Tourism Golden

 

The extensiveness of the trails means there are options for everyone. If you're travelling with young kids or are new to the sport, there are lots of gentle, flowy trails. Looking for a bigger challenge as a seasoned biker? Golden has that too.

In addition to the awesome trail maintenance that occurs every year, Golden hosts a few races aimed at highlighting the trails. Golden Two-Four offers 24 hours of cross country mountain biking, while the Totally Spoked Golden Bike Fest provides a glimpse into the wonders of biking in this mountain town at the start of the summer.

The Golden Bike Trail Map is an excellent resource for planning your route. All trails are clearly marked and maps can be picked up for free in numerous stores around town, or at the Tourism Golden office on main street.

The Golden Cycling Club also has a really great trail app. Download it to your phone before setting off and easily find your way.

We love biking a lot and if you're looking for some direction check out the 5 Best Mountain Biking Trails in Golden, B.C. - according to the Glacier Crew.

 

Mountain Biking in Golden British Columbia

Overlooking Canyon Creek in the Moonrakers in Golden, BC

5. Skydiving

If you ever feel like jumping out of an airplane and floating back to the ground, we have to admit that Golden is probably the best place to do it. Locals in Golden are quite used to hearing screams coming from above during the warmer months.

Looking up, you will see little coloured specs in the sky floating back towards the ground.

 

Skydiving in Golden, BC

Skydiving over the Purcell Mountains, Selkirk Mountains and Rocky Mountains in Golden

 

With absolutely stunning bird-eye views of the Purcell, Selkirk and Rocky Mountain ranges, and two giant rivers flowing below, skydiving here is true bang for your buck.

The views are great, the air is crisp, and when you arrive back on the ground, you can amp up your adrenaline again by participating in any one of the activities above.

So there you have it, our Top 5 Best Summer Activities in Golden, BC. We love exploring, and hope that you can experience some of the amazing adventures Golden has to offer.

If you have any comments or suggestions we'd love to hear from you. Leave us a note in the comments below, or emails trips@glacierraft.com

Live an adventure!

Cheers, from the Glacier crew