Spring In The Valley: Why You Should Be Excited
We're getting into the wonderful time of year when the lines between winter and summer start to blur. You can find winter on the mountain peaks but start to feel spring down in the valley. It’s the best of both worlds; adventure seekers can spend the morning skiing and play the afternoon away on mountain bike trails.
This year's springtide feels refreshing, here are a few happenings that are making it so special:
We Welcome Back Wildlife To The Valley
If you’re around Golden this time of year, you’ll likely catch glimpse of the many migratory birds that are starting to flock back from their winter travels. The wetlands that stretch along the floor of the Columbia Valley just south of Golden go on for over 15,000 hectares and are home to hundreds of birds, amphibians, mammals, and fish. In 1996, local residents and government agencies came together and designated that this stretch of the wilderness be protected. Eventually, the Wetlands received international recognition for their importance to the wilds of British Columbia. We're lucky to have them right at our backdoor and be able to experience them in low-impact and sustainable ways. Spring, above all seasons, is wonderful to see unfold in the wetlands; bird watching, paddling, or walking, you can watch the wetlands fill up from winter’s melt.
Biking and Trail Running Season Are Kicking Off:
Spring in Golden is an enchanting play on the senses; the forest thaw is scenting the air with pine and spruce; meanwhile, the mountains keep their snowy caps and the valley sprouts green foliage, creating a beautiful, and temporary, contrast on the landscape.
Down in the valley, the mountain biking trails are starting to come alive, and already ambitious bikers and trail runners are spending good time out there. Every day the trails reveal a bit more of themselves and give you extra ground to cover.
Explore these trails with the 2023 Bike Map, which is officially out as a digital resource on our website. You can also find the trails through the Golden BC App, which has convenient features like live GPS so you know where you are when out on the trails. Use this map to explore the 120+ kilometers of cross-country and downhill biking trails that will wind you through the forests of Golden and reveal those striking white-peaked mountains.
Hiking season, too, isn’t far off and to celebrate we’ve released our 2023 Hike Map, which shows you all the trails surrounding Golden, even in Yoho, Kootenay, and Glacier National Park. What's on your list this year? Waterfalls, big views, and alpine lakes? Take a peek at this map, the options are endless. Find a digital form here. The Golden BC App is also a great resource for hiking and everything else in Golden.
Early Season Bike Laps
Credit: Margus Riga
Getting To Golden: Transportation Updates
The 26 kilometers of the Trans-Canada Highway between Golden and Yoho National Park is being upgraded to a modern four-lane design. Three phases of the project have been completed and only 5 kilometers of winding 1950’s era highway remain to be completed. Work to widen this began in the spring of 2021 and is winding down now with the intent of being completed by the winter of 2023.
In the meantime, travel through this stretch of highway can be limited due to closures for construction. Here are a few important dates for this spring:
April 7th-10th: Easter Long Weekend.
The highway will be open with no stoppages from 12 PM on April 6th to 12 PM on April 11th.
April 12th-15th: Extended 24-hour closure.
From 12 PM on April 11th to 12 AM on April 16th, the highway will be closed 24 hours a day for all traffic. If you are traveling at this time, you will have to use the alternative route down Highway 95 through Radium. Following April 16th, the construction zone will go back to intermittent and nightly closures.
May 19th-May 23rd: May Long Weekend.
The highway will be open with no stoppages from 12 PM on May 19th to 12 PM on May 23rd.
June 12th: The highway opens for the summer.
After June 1st, the highway will be open during the daytime, with occasional brief interruptions to accommodate moving equipment and materials. Overnight closures will be likely.
*This schedule is subject to change, so make sure to check the Kicking Horse Construction Calendar or DriveBC before traveling.
Kicking Horse Canyon
Credit: Elore Braden