Your Guide to Visiting 3 National Parks while in Golden

Written by
Staff Writer
October 4, 2022
Last Update
First Published on

The town of Golden, British Columbia is perfectly situated in the Canadian Rockies. Towered by larger-than-life jagged peaks with new perspectives around every corner. It’s a mecca for any kind of mountain lover out there. What you may not know though is Golden, is at the center of 3 of Canada’s most stunning National Parks; Yoho, Glacier and Kootenay.

This is how you can easily visit all 3 National Parks during your stay at Basecamp Lodge in Golden.

Yoho National Park

The Iceline Trail in Yoho National Park

Yoho National Park is situated just east of Golden. Less than 25 minutes away is home to glacier lakes, massive rock walls, sheer, snow-capped mountains and many stunning waterfalls. The hiking in the area is so good that locals have named Yoho “Hiker’s Paradise”.

For the rugged adventurer looking for an epic time, the Iceline Trail features numerous alpine glacier lakes, a jaw-dropping view of one of Canada’s tallest waterfalls (more on that below) and 360 views the second you breach the tree line. Rated as difficult only because of its distance, the average hiker can complete this 21km (13mi) loop with approximately 1000m (3280ft) of elevation within 5-9 hours.

For a more leisurely outing, you can take a short hike to Wapta Falls. Approximately 5km (3.1km) round trip with only 125m (410ft) elevation, this waterfall is as wide as the entire Kicking Horse River. A great option for a last-minute adventure or a family outing.

We can’t mention Yoho without talking about Takakkaw Falls. At 373m (1224ft) falls, this is Canada’s second tallest waterfall, and the best part is that you can practically drive right up to it.

Other spots worth checking out in Yoho include:

Glacier National Park

Mount Sir Donald Glacier National Park

As you drive west out of Golden, you’ll shortly enter Glacier National Park; a massive playground for all mountain enthusiasts. The snow lovers out there will say this area shines in the winter. Due to its elevation and location within the Rocky Mountains, Glacier National Park can see some of the deepest powder days of the ski season if backcountry skiing is your thing.

It won’t take long to realize there’s plenty to do here. For the ones that are pressed for time, simply driving out to the Rogers Pass Discovery Center and back (a round trip of ~ 2 hours) will have your jaw dropping along every twist and turn of the TransCanada.

If time allows, here’s a list of must-do stops within Glacier National Park:

Kootenay National Park

Radium Hot Springs

Kootenay National park offers a slightly different but unique experience to the Canadian Rockies. South-East of Golden you’ll soon enter unique-looking mountain ranges created over time by a mix of icy glacier rivers and steaming hot springs.

Speaking of hot springs, just an hour away from Golden are the Radium Hot Springs. You guessed it, one of the best relaxing activities around is soaking in these natural hot tubs, right off the side of the road. Open year-round, these mineral-rich springs range from 37 to 40 degrees Celsius (99-104 Fahrenheit) and are circled by beautiful views. To take it even further, they also have a pool right next to the springs, all set for a family fun outing.

As for hiking and exploring, the list is endless. True hardcore enthusiasts can brave the famous Rockwall Trail that traverses 3 alpine passes. Others can enjoy easily accessible lakes such as Boom Lake, Arnica Lake and Floe Lake.

If you’re in the mood for a day road trip, you can easily loop the majority of Kootenay National Park and circle back into Golden. Not only will you be in awe of the massive mountain ranges, but you will also pass through Banff National Park on your way back making that a fourth bonus National Park visit!

Other activities worth checking out:

Needless to say, the town of Golden is perfectly nestled in the heart of the Rockies with a never-ending list of things to do. On top of the 3, National Parks mentioned, eager travelers can make day trips to Jasper, Mount Revelstoke and Banff National Park as well. Are you ready to explore everything this mountain town has to offer? Book your stay at Basecamp Lodge in Golden now for a truly remarkable stay.

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