This 4,000 resident community lies at the point the Kicking Horse River joins the Columbia. Golden is the popular jumping-off point for both Glacier and Yoho national parks. There are a number of white water rafting companies offering exciting one day or multi-day adventures.
The road from Golden to Radium winds along a fairly level roadway along the Columbia River valley. To the east are the Rockies and the continental divide, to the west are the Selkirks and the Purcells, the holy grail of deep powder heli-skiiers. The Columbia River valley here is tall and deep, but the river is still small, compared to the size it gets by the time it passes Revelstoke (and having drained several more hundred miles of Rockies slopes). To the west of town you see the tree-cleared runs of Golden’s ski hill, with Canada’s second highest vertical drop.
To the east of Golden is the Ten Mile Hill, which is in the process of being “twinned” and straightened, and features the stunning Park Bridge over the Kicking Horse River, which is best seen from the Kicking Horse Rest Area before that climb (or at the bottom of the hill if travelling across the bridge westwards). This hill winds cautiously down the mountainside, and has a number of impressive rockslide protection features, ranging from concrete barriers that are several feet thick to heavy chain link fences anchored high on the rocks and draped over the cliffside to keep small rocks that might burst from the rock wall from bouncing out and damaging fast-moving cars and trucks on the highway
To the west of Golden is the small town of Donald, lying just north of the Trans-Canada Highway, on the east bank of the growing Columbia River. The area is best know for the lush Blaeberry Marshlands south of town, as well as the gateway to the Lake Kinbasket, which was created when the Columbia River was dammed by the Mica Dam in 1973. You can catch glimpses of Lake Kinbasket to the north as the Trans-Canada Highway climbs west of the Columbia River.
Golden was first known as The Cache and Kicking Horse Flats. In 1883, when Canadian Pacific Railway surveying assistant Frederick W Aylmer heard about a development west of Banff being called Silver City, thought to call this community Golden City. The term “City” was dropped when the CPR arrived in 1885.
Annual Events: Kinsmen Home & Trade Fair (April), Bear & Bird Festival (May), Mt7 Psychosis Mountain Bike race (June), Show’n’Shine Car Rally (July), Canadian Paragliding Championship (August), Golden Rodeo (August),
Golden and District Museum
This museum is housed in an a restored on-room schoolhouse and contains many local historical items.
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
PO Box 839
1500 Kicking Horse Trail
Golden, BC V0A 1H0
(250) 439-5425, Toll Free: 1 (866) 754-5425
Mother Nature provides super-dry air to create and preserve Kicking Horse’s perfect Purcell Powder. 106 runs dropping 4,133 feet. North-East facing slopes allow for excellent snow retention. Just 3 hrs west of Calgary or 1 hour west of Lake Louise.
Brisco is 29 km north of Radium (70 km south of Golden) and named for Captain Brisco, who accompanied Captain John Palliser on his early explorations in 1959. The first settlers cam in the 1880s, mainly by miners. Spillamacheen, named for the Indian word for “white water,” is located at the confluence of the Spillamacheen River and Bugaboo Creek. Lead and silver were mined at the Silver Giant Mine, and transported out by steamboat on the Columbia River. A road was built joining Spillamacheen and Brisco in 1885, and in 1913 the first train came from Golden
Radium was first known as Sinclair Hots Springs, after an adjacent canyon named for trader James Sinclair (1806-1586) who brought Oregon-bound emigrants through the Canyon in 1841. The place was renamed in 1915 after high radioactivity was detected in the area’s springs. Radium is a short 100 km detour south of Golden.