Experience Golden and Yoho National Park
Not far into our hike, we cross a babbling creek, its sparkling water brushing the rocks like a bronze polish. We hear the swoosh of raven’s wings flying overhead, as the trail winds along strategically laid stone steps. Then, just beyond a small stand of sub-alpine firs, there it is, a secluded alpine tarn, a gentle breeze causing delicate ripples on the glimmering water.
It’s a perfect place to enjoy the fresh-baked goodies collected from Golden’s irresistible cafes, and to study our updated 2015 Golden Hiking Trail map. Available in print or digitally at tourismgolden.com/maps, it’s brimming with suggestions. For a relaxing day, we could explore Take it Easy, a 4 km trail that follows the steady-flowing Columbia River. Binoculars are a must to spot some of the common mergansers, redneck grebes, ospreys, and bald eagles that inhabit the river basin.
If we’re feeling more energetic, we’ll hike the Canyon Creek trail starting from Nicholson, a 10 minute drive south of Golden. While the start of the trail is a bit steep, it quickly leads to a smooth, broad path bordering the north rim of the deep, narrow gorge. Dating back to Golden’s early history when prospectors searched for gold, the views from three lookouts provide spectacular vistas for miles down the Columbia Valley. Just be sure to leave the earbuds at home so you can hear oncoming mountain bikers riding the trail in the downhill direction – or maybe even a woodpecker or a deer!
Photos Courtesy of Tourism Golden/Dave Best
Then by mid-July, in Glacier National Park we’ll hike the moderate trail past gushing creeks to Balu Pass, where the slopes are carpeted in dazzling, colourful wildflowers. Or, in Yoho National Park, we’ll hike the five star Canadian Rockies’ favourite, the 21 kilometre Iceline trail with its rock staircases, up-close glaciers, and see-forever high alpine views.
And for a unique thrill, we’ll ride the gondola to the top of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort to hike Terminator Ridge, enjoying an eagle’s eye view of the entire Columbia Valley.
Back in town, as we plan our next adventure, we’ll savour a scrumptious dinner on a restaurant patio. Maybe whitewater rafting? Mountain biking? Climbing? Or skydiving? And on the May 15-17, 2015 weekend, we’ll catch the Golden Mountain Festival (see goldenfest.ca) to meet professional mountain guides and bold adventurers, including festival headliner Will Gadd, Niagara Falls climber and National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2014.