When to visit
- Very Favourable
What to do
- Worth the detour
- Must see
The small town of Golden is a must for visitors to the region, with six of the most stunning national parks that Canada has to offer right in its own backyard: Banff, Glacier, Jasper, Kootenay, Mount Revelstoke and Yoho.
You may see some real cowboys in Golden… After all, it was adventure and the lure of gold that brought the first explorers to the area.
Yoho National Park
This national park offers much more than a forest and towering rock faces. Take the time to visit Takakkaw Falls , plunging a dramatic 250 meters over a rock face. A narrow winding road leads to the falls, with several tight hairpin turns, accessible only by car, small RV or bicycle from mid-June to mid-October. As the parking lot fills up quickly, it is better to go at the beginning or end of the day.
You will also want to stop off at Emerald Lake to breathe in the fresh mountain air and marvel at the incredible colour of this glacial lake. You can also take a short hike along the edge of the lake, and why not stop for a meal at one of the restaurants of magnificent Emerald Lake Lodge? Warning, the parking lot is small. Once again, it is best to arrive early or at the end of the day to avoid the crowds.
Yoho National Park
Season: Open year-round, 24 hours a day.
Visitor Centres: The Yoho National Park Visitor Centre (located on the Trans-Canada Highway in the community of Field) is open every day from May 1-30 and October 1-December 31, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and June 1-September 30 from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Admission fee: In 2019, the admission fee is $9.80/day/adult and free for youth 17 and under. An annual Parks Canada Discovery Pass is $67.70/adult.
Kicking Horse River
The Kicking Horse River, one of the wildest and most intense recreational waterways in Canada, is the ultimate setting for whitewater rafting. Numerous rafting companies offer trips to suit all levels of ability and experience. You will be captivated by the breathtaking scenery!
Where to eat
- $ Inexpensive
- $$ Moderate
- $$$ Upscale
- $$$$ Fine dining
Bacchus Books & Cafe ($)
Bacchus Books and Café offers an eclectic selection of new and used literature. Amidst the books upstairs is a tiny but delicious cafe with excellent coffee, fresh baking and daily specials. A great spot for breakfast or a simple healthy lunch, with a wide and original selection of bagels and homemade soups. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
409 9th Ave North, Golden / 250-344-5600
Eagle’s Eye Restaurant / Kicking Horse Resort ($$-$$$)
Visit Canada's highest restaurant at 7,700 feet above sea level for an exquisite mountaintop dining experience. With its panoramic views and world class menu, it will be a meal to remember. Reservations are strongly recommended. Take the Golden Eagle Express gondola up the mountain for lunch, served daily from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Also serves dinner Friday-Saturday from 5 p.m. Reservations recommended.
1500 Kicking Horse Trail, Golden / 250-439-5425
Cedar House ($$$-$$$$)
Cedar House Restaurant offers the finest dining in Golden. Indulge your taste buds in cuisine that celebrates sustainably sourced fish, natural meats, organic produce and some of BC’s finest wines. The quality and freshness of the food, along with the warm and inviting decor, make for a memorable dining experience. Dinner reservations are recommended. The restaurant is open every day from 5 to 10 p.m. in high season, Thursday-Sunday in low season.
735 Hefti road, Golden / 250-344-4679
- Very Favourable