Golden, British Columbia
By John McKiernan
Pull on your woolies, grab your shades and get out the Canadian Rockies through Golden.
Winter in Golden has so many incredible opportunities, you’re gonna need a raging blindside blizzard to keep you indoors. Golden is the spectacular home to all things winter including skiing, ice shoeing, curling, ice fishing and so much more. Below is some information to help you plan your next winter season.
The Dawn Mountain Trails at the base of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is a 28 kilometre network of some of the best-groomed trails in the Canadian Rockies. Maintained by Bombardier 400 snow groomers, the track-set trails range from gently rolling beginner loops to challenging tracks for more advanced skiers. When you’re ready for a break, slide into the 8-10 person warming hut, complete with a wood stove, just 1 kilometre (0.6 miles) into the trails. The word “heaven” about describes this hut. Many more maintained trails lie just minutes from downtown Golden. Ski rentals are available.
If you are looking for a more extreme and natural experience, head out to the Moonraker trails. Unless a fellow XC skier has broken trail, chances are you’ll find fresh, fluffy snow waiting for you.
Strap on the ‘raquets’ and go crunch some snow on the trails around Kicking Horse Mountain Resort or the Moonraker area. Other than that, take a left turn anywhere and head out in the woods for a snowshoeing odyssey. (Just make sure to bring a compass!) A good tip is to venture out on a snowmobile to get to those incredible, yet hard-to-reach places.
Golden has a number of great skating areas for you to lace ’em up. Check out Reflection Lake for a bit of skating on a natural surface. You can also visit the new outdoor skating area at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort or the Golden & District Recreation Centre’s arena for indoor public skating.
If your idea of fun is cracking a hole in the ice and dropping a lure, Golden has your bait. With lots of lakes in and around Golden, this is the perfect opportunity to try out that new thermos. Locals say Susan Lake is especially good and that the best spots are often only accessible by snowmobile.
Golden’s Curling Club was the first curling club in B.C., opening its doors December 11, 1893. Check out the Golden curling rink if you want to get your rocks off and get into the house.
Get out the GT and old wooden sled and get nostalgic. Snake Hill (by Reflection Lake, behind the rodeo grounds) is said to be the best tobogganing in the area.
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
For alpine purists – skiers and boarders alike – Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is the ultimate destination. Here the snow is a lot lighter and a little deeper than anywhere else in the Kootenay Rockies and, with 4,133 feet of vertical and 70 inbound chutes, it’s one unforgettable ride on this horse!
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is a world class skiing and riding destination and is situated on the mountainside just above Golden. The resort is renowned for absolutely breathtaking views as well as boasting the Rockies’ highest vertical (1,260 metres or 4,133 feet), 106 different runs, 70 inbound chutes, ski-in ski-out lodging and exceptional staff.