7 things to do this winter in Golden BC

Written by
Staff Writer
December 2, 2022
Last Update
First Published on

So you’ve decided to plan a winter trip to the beautiful mountain town of Golden, British Columbia, but now what? Golden, BC is known for its incredible skiing, snowmobiling, hiking and its small mountain town charm.There’s no doubt this place and surrounding mountain ranges are packed with winter activities.

Here is everything you need to check off your list during your stay this winter in Golden, BC.

Important message: Although Golden, BC is packed with family friendly activities, some activities highlighted below are in avalanche territory. This means proper avalanche knowledge and safety training is required. More on that below.

1. Ski & Snowboard

Steep lines, world class terrain and endless amounts of fun are to be had at the local ski resort in Golden, BC. Kicking Horse Mountain Resort features 120 trails with over 3,000 acres of skiable terrain meaning there’s something for every  level of rider out there. To give it more credibility, every year, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort hosts the Freeride World Tour (the gnarliest freeride competition out there) with riders rating it one of the more difficult stops along the tour. If you’re in town from January 13th to 18th, definitely make sure to make your way to the resort to enjoy the thrill of watching these riders stomp some serious ground.

Photo by Jeff Bartlett

Rogers pass in Glacier National Park is one of the ski touring capitals of the world, boasting amazing terrain and even better snow. On top of that, the areas surrounding Golden, BC aren’t to be overlooked if exploring the backcountry is on your checklist . These are the Canadian Rockies afterall, AKA Ski Touring Paradise! With amazing slack country accessible from the resort as well, there are endless options, no matter which direction you choose.

Having your proper gear, AST (Avalanche Training Safety) and knowing the current avalanche forecast are instrumental to getting into the backcountry.

2. Snowmobiling

Riders from across Canada and the United States travel to the Columbia Valley every year for some of the best snowmobiling in North America. This is truly an epic place to take your sled on alpine rides. The team at Sled Golden does a fantastic job at maintaining trails and providing condition reports for all areas around Golden.

Photo by Dave Best

If you aren’t well versed in the geography of the area and want to experience some of the local hidden gems, there are many tour operators who can take you out for a fun day in the backcountry (safely). Check out Whiten Wild, Rocky Mountain Riders and Golden Snowmobile Rentals for more information.  

3. Wapta Falls

In the summer months, these falls are packed with visitors trying to get the best view of these impressive 107 meters (361ft) wide falls. However they still remain one of the hidden jewels of the BC interior and during the winter months, the falls freeze over leaving a truly remarkable landscape. The hike to get there is relatively short at 5km (3 miles) roundtrip. Do note that winter trails can be extremely slippery so a good set of crampons and poles are often recommended.

4. Walk with wolves

If your legs are in need of something a little more mellow and/or you’re looking for a great experience  for the whole family, the Northern Lights Wolf Center is a must. This Wolf Center is dedicated to raising awareness and conserving our majestic wolves.

Short educational tours are available or adults can book a 1.5 hour tour where you’ll be free to walk amongst these majestic creatures. With no boundaries between yourself and the wolves, this tour is truly remarkable and offers plenty of valuable lessons and photo opportunities.

5. Nordic Skiing

The Dawn Mountain Nordic Centre is located just 1km from the base of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and has a total of 33km (20 miles) of groomed cross-country ski trails. As you twist and weave through the towering trees, a unique mountain view awaits you around every corner. With beginner and expert loops available, you can easily spend a quick hour or an entire day exploring this facility!

6. Breweries

Did someone say beer? Welcome to Whitetooth Brewing Co. After a long day playing in the mountains, there’s arguably no better spot for some apres-ski vibes. This is not your typical small town microbrewery. Their offerings are highly and meticulously curated and sought after by. Their beer is consistently winning awards year after year.

7. Coffee Shops

No small town is complete without a handful of quaint coffee shops and cafes. Whether you just need a morning coffee or you’re on a serious hunt to find the best coffee, here are our top picks in the area;  

Avalanche Safety

As mentioned, avalanches can occur in the backcountry. Planning your day accordingly and understanding the dangers are crucial to remaining safe.

avalanche.ca is your starting point for all avalanche forecasting. Here you can find information on how the snow has been acting, the forecasted risk ratings per zone, as well as a plethora of information to get you up to speed about avalanches and how to mitigate the likelihood of getting caught in one.

If you plan on going backcountry skiing, make sure you have the required training and proper equipment. Avalanche equipment can be rented at Stay Wild Backcountry and Higher Ground Sports.

Basecamp Lodge Golden

Photo by Victor Arden

Situated along the banks of the Kicking Horse river, Basecamp Lodge Golden is a beautiful and cozy timber framed building, located only a short walk from town and 15 minutes from Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. There’s no shortage of things to do in the area and no better place to call home while exploring the Selkirks and Purcell mountains ranges and the Kootenay Rockies. This is where your Adventures begins. Book direct and save!

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