7 things to do this winter in Golden BC

Written by
Staff Writer
December 1, 2022
Last Update
January 29, 2024
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 note: Despite the abundance of family-friendly activities in Golden, BC, some of the highlighted experiences below are located in avalanche territory. It is extremely important to obtain proper avalanche knowledge and safety training. More on that below.

Visit Avalanche.ca for comprehensive avalanche forecasting, including snow behaviour, risk ratings, and valuable information. When backcountry skiing, get the required training and equipment, available for rent at Stay Wild Backcountry and Higher Ground Sports.

Now, grab your gear because here are the top 8 fun-filled activities in Golden:

1. Ski & Snowboard

Towering above the town of Golden, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort stands proudly, beckoning with world-class terrain and endless fun. Spanning 3,000 acres and featuring 120 trails, it's a paradise for riders of all levels. Renowned for its unparalleled terrain and conditions, the resort hosts the Freeride World Tour, known as the gnarliest freeride competition in North America and riders rate it as one of the tour's most challenging stops. If you find yourself in town from February 14th to 20th, don't miss the chance to witness these fearless competitors shred some insane lines. View the Trail & Village Map here.

Photo Credit: Kicking Horse Mountain Resort via Blog

A scenic 1-hour drive from Golden is Glacier National Park, where Rogers Pass stands as a global ski touring hub boasting breathtaking terrain and champagne powder. Don’t just focus on the Pass - the surrounding of Golden, BC, is a backcountry haven. This is the Canadian Rockies AKA a Ski Touring Paradise! The Resort also offers accessible slack country, unveiling possibilities in every direction.

Prepare with gear, AST (Avalanche Safety Training), and stay updated on the avalanche forecast before heading into the backcountry. If visiting Rogers Pass in Glacier National Park, secure a mandatory Winter Permit for a safe and compliant adventure.

2. Snowmobiling

Nestled in the heart of the Columbia Valley, Golden stands as a mecca for snowmobiling enthusiasts. Renowned across North America for its exceptional terrain, Golden offers a thrilling playground for riders seeking unforgettable alpine experiences. The trailblazing team at Sled Golden has not only mastered the art of trail systems but also provides comprehensive and impressive condition reports, ensuring every snowmobiler can navigate with confidence across the expansive snow-covered landscape.

Photo Credit: Sled Golden via Website

For those unfamiliar with the local geography who want to explore hidden gems, numerous tour operators offer safe backcountry excursions. Explore more with Whiten Wild, Rocky Mountain Riders, and Golden Snowmobile Rentals for additional details.

3. Explore Local Trails on Snowshoes

Not into skiing or snowboarding? No problem! Gear up with a pair of snowshoes from Higher Ground Sports and immerse yourself in the serene beauty of snow-draped trails and breathtaking landscapes. Here are our top recommended trails:

4. Ice Skating

Dance with winter and glide across Reflection Lake or savor the ambiance of the well-maintained rink at Kicking Horse. Soak up the crisp mountain air against the stunning backdrop of snowy peaks. Be sure to bring your own skates!

5. Walk with the Wolves

If you’re seeking a gentler activity for your legs or looking to create an unforgettable family experience, the Northern Lights Wolf Center is a must visit. Dedicated to raising awareness and conserving majestic wolves, the center offers short tours. Adults can opt for a 1.5 hour tour, walking freely among these magnificent creatures, providing valuable lesson and photo opportunities with no boundaries.

Northern Lights Wolf Center

6. Visit the Natural Bridge & Emerald Lake

Within a quick 45-minute drive from Golden, discover the renowned Natural Bridge and the frozen enchantment of Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park. Time it right, and you can wander along the frozen Kicking Horse River beneath mesmerizing rock formations at the Natural Bridge, crampons are recommended. Afterward, make sure to drive up to Emerald Lake and marvel at its icy landscape. This winter journey promises the perfect blend of awe and adventure.

Photo Credit: Seeing The Elephant via Blog

A word of caution: though the beauty is captivating, ensure a safe and enjoyable experience by exercising ample caution amidst these winter wonders. A National Park Pass is also required and can be purchased online.

7. Explore the Town of Golden

Embrace the charming vibes of Golden by exploring the Downtown Center . Begin your day with a warm cup from a local coffee shop, savoring the flavors that make this place unique. Then, meander through the streets, indulging in a bit of shopping, and soaking up the local culture. Don't miss the iconic Pedestrian Bridge , offering picturesque views of the Kicking Horse River. Golden's town center is a delightful blend of coffee aromas, shopping delights, and scenic strolls – a perfect way to experience the soul of this mountain gem.

Here are our top 4 coffee picks in the area:

Downtown Golden

Bonus option

Whitetooth Brewing Co - Dive into the craft beer scene at Whitetooth Brewing Co. in Golden, just a hop, skip, and a sip away from the town center and walking distance from Basecamp's Golden Lodge. This local brewery invites you to savor the essence of Golden in each frothy pint. With a range of epic flavors and a laid-back atmosphere, it's the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy the distinct taste of mountain-crafted brews.

Photo Credit: Whitetooth Brewing Co via Website

Basecamp Lodge Golden

Photo by Victor Arden

Nestled along the Kicking Horse River, Basecamp Lodge Golden is our charming timber-framed retreat. The Lodge is a short stroll from town and 15 minutes from Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Your gateway to the Selkirks, Purcells, and the Kootenay Rockies, this cozy haven is where your adventures begin.

Remember to join our Basecamp Explorer’s Club and begin earning rewards for your stays across all Basecamp properties. When you book directly on our website, you can receive up to 15% cash back in rewards.

Book your stay at Basecamp Lodge Golden.

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