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Golden and Kicking Horse Country | Fast Facts

Located in the Rocky Mountain Trench, Golden lies 711 km/441 mi from Vancouver, BC and 258 km/166 mi away from Calgary, AB.

Golden is located within three hours drive of two international airports – Calgary International Airport to the east, and the Canadian Rockies International Airport in Cranbrook to the south.

Golden’s elevation is 800 metres or 2,600 feet above sea level. Its coordinates are latitude: 51°17’54.000” N and longitude: 116°58’54.000” W.

Golden is located at the heart of 6 National Parks - Yoho, Glacier and Kootenay, Jasper, Banff and Mount Revelstoke, with no one park being more than a 2 hour drive.

Golden is at the junction of two heritage rivers: the Columbia and Kicking Horse Rivers

In 1882, Golden City became a base camp for the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) in its westward expansion. After 1885, with the railway in operation, the town abbreviated its name to "Golden."

Golden’s average summer temperatures measure between a high of 25°C/77°F and a low of 9°C/48°F.

Golden’s average winter temperatures measure between a high of -6°C/21°F and a low of -14°C/7°F.

The Town of Golden’s average annual snowfall is 184 cm or 72 inches. Average annual snowfall at the alpine snow stations of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is 750 cm or 295 inches.

On average, Golden receives 306.3 mm or 12.1 inches of rain per year (less than one-quarter the rainfall of Vancouver).

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort has the highest restaurant in Canada, The Eagle’s Eye, at 2347 m/ 7700 ft.

Golden is home to a number of award winning restaurants that offer an authentic rustic fine dining experience, including Whitetooth Mountain Bistro, Cedar House restaurant, Eleven22, and the Island amongst others.

Edelweiss “Swiss Village” was built in 1911 by the Canadian Pacific Railway, specifically for employees hired and brought from Switzerland for their experience as mountain guides.

Kicking Horse River was named in 1858, when James Hector, a member of the Palliser Expedition, was kicked by his packhorse while exploring the river. Hector survived and named the river and the associated pass as a result of the incident.

Orphan grizzly bear Boo has been a resident of Grizzly Bear Refuge at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort since 2003.  He lives in the world’s largest enclosed and protected grizzly bear habitat.

Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge is the longest freestanding authentic covered timber frame bridge in Canada. It measures 150 feet (46 m) long. The bridge was completed in September 2001.

Mountain biking, hiking, rafting, paddling, fishing, bird watching, hang-gliding, paragliding are all summer activities in Golden.

Each May, Golden hosts the annual Golden Mountain Festival to celebrate the many facets that define us as a real mountain town. Each year a theme is chosen that has helped define the area over the centuries, and which still plays an important part in everyday life and culture of the town today.

Winter activities include cross-country skiing with over 35 km of cross country ski trails, exceptional downhill skiing at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, and 240 km of groomed snowmobile trails in four maintained areas.

Bugaboos Lodge, the birthplace of heli-skiing, is in Golden’s backyard, as well as three heli-ski operators and one cat-ski operator.

Boasting the most backcountry lodges on the continent, Kicking Horse Country offers backcountry hikers and skiers rustic or luxe dorm-style cabins or ensuite chic, as they explore the wilderness.

The Moonraker, CBT and Mountain Shadows mountain biking trail systems offer over 100km of cross country options ranging from easy beginner rides to thrilling black & machine made trails.

Golden hosted the world-renowned Psychosis mountain bike race from 1998-2008. It has been described as the “longest, most-demented single-track downhill mountain bike race in the world,” and a “1200 m. pulverizing descent into madness.” The course and sister trails are still available to daring mountain bikers.

At the Columbia Wetlands, the longest protected wetlands in North America, visitors can paddle their own canoe or take a guided boat tour to spot heronries, beaver dams and eagles’ nests (just a few of the 200 species that make the wetlands their home).

Summer Kicks, a free summer concert series, takes place in Golden’s town square. Big name features include Ziggy Marley, Roberto Lopez and Bruce Cockburn.

Annual events that bring athletes and visitors to Golden include the newly created Golden 24 a twenty four hour mountain bike relay event, the Willi Muller XC Paragliding and hang-gliding Challenge, the Western Open Downhill Mountain Bike Race and Motion Notion music festival.

The Golden Golf Club is an 18-hole golf course is set in a perfect combination of beautifully maintained fairways and untouched wilderness. On September 29, 1984, 'The Longest Hole' fundraiser was played from Parson to Golden and claimed a Guinness Book World Record for the longest golf hole ever played. 

Northern Lights Wolf Centre is one of the few places in North America that provides the public the opportunity to walk with wolves in their natural habitat.


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Contact Information: 

Andy Brown - Communications and Social Media Coordinator 
Phone: (250) 439-1111 | (250) 939-8076
Twitter: @TourismGolden
Instagram: @TourismGolden
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