While you are here, we want you to have an incredible time exploring the Kootenay Rockies. For generations, Kootenay locals have taken great care of the wonder that you see around you. We hope that you will help us continue to do so. By being a responsible visitor, you become a partner in our community efforts to conserve and respect the region’s wonderful natural attractions and heritage. Details on the Kootenay Rockies Visitor Code of Conduct can be found here: Responsible Travel – Kootenay Rockies.
- For breakfast, get your body’s furnace roaring with some specialty coffee and a turkey and brie baguette from the Bluebird Café, directly on route to the mountain. You can also grab pre-made bagged lunches for the whole family!
- Make the 15-minute drive to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort (KHMR), and get the family started on the Catamount Chair. If everyone’s feeling solid, move over to the Golden Eagle Express Gondola, and meander the 10-kilometre-long trail called It’s A Ten, and view an impressive cross-section of the whole mountain to pick out tomorrow’s runs.
- After skiing, the Whitetooth Brewing Company has a tasting room that’s the place to be, right downtown. Be careful with the session ale, it goes down really easy. Or grab a growler or your favourite beer to go, to enjoy later.
- If you still have time before dinner, and the Golden Rockets junior ‘B’ hockey team are playing on home ice, stop by the rink to take in a game.
- Treat yourself to the rustic ambiance and affordable upscale options at The Island Restaurant for dinner. The vegetable fettuccini is a perennial favourite.
- The Big Bend Café offers hearty logger-style breakfasts drawn from Golden’s industrial heritage. Dig into a lumberjack breakfast, and one of the establishment’s many homemade hot sauces.
- Once back up at KHMR (Snow Report), board the gondola and aim for Crystal Bowl, which is a wide-open catcher’s mitt below the ridgetop. Get a small taste of the alpine this way, and then take the Stairway to Heaven Chair to continue lapping the same bowl, eventually making your way to Bubbly, which connects back to It’s a Ten, or the lower blue trails.
- For lunch, stop into the Double Black Café right at the mountains base. The BLT will bring you back to life, but the Croque Madame offers even more fuel for your afternoon.
- After skiing, swing into the Art Gallery of Golden to check out fine art and artisan on display from local creatives. The base for everything arts-related in Golden, check here to see if there are any shows schedule as part of the Live Kicks concert series, or independent cinema on the marquee as part of Film Kicks.
- Having eaten heartily all day, Reposados Tacos lets you portion your dinner by the taco. If you want to go with something lighter, try the Spanish styled grilled broccolini.
- Start your day at Whitetooth Mountain Bistro. Eggs Your Way makes it impossible to go wrong for breakfast, with other options extending all the way to the vegan frittata.
- By your third day at KHMR (Resort Map), the kids want to step it up. First, use the Stairway to Heaven Chair to get into Feuz Bowl, off the back of Redemption Ridge. Slide into High Horse to get warmed up, then work your way farther down ridge each run. If this goes well, you can make the short, inbounds hike up to Whitewall, and experience a mini version of an Alaskan face.
- Peer out into the deep and wild Purcell Mountains for lunch by grabbing a seat at the Eagle’s Eye Restaurant. It’s the highest dining experience in Canada, right at the top of the gondola. The menu is extensive, but let’s face it, what everybody really wants are the truffle fries.
- Before you leave KHMR’s base area for the day, take an hour or two to explore the Golden Nordic Ski Club’s Dawn Mountain Trails, an expansive network of impeccable grooming just a couple minutes from the gondola. Nordic ski packages are available at the Golden Nordic Ski Club.
- For dinner, at this point, there’s nothing better than a good burger. Get one at the Rockwater Grill and Bar, which is also the premiere live music venue in Golden, hosting talent from across the country and beyond.
Additional dining options in Golden.
Know Before You Go – Plan ahead so you can travel safely and responsibly. Familiarize yourself with weather, road conditions, general alerts for travellers and provincial health orders & recommendations.
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Top/cover – Kicking Horse Mountain Resort at sunset; photo by Dave Best.
Words by Matt Coté. Matt is a writer, editor and wanderer based in Revelstoke. His written musings typically focus on the inner working of society and ecology, at the intersection of the landscape he most loves: mountains. Equally enraptured by robust stories of adventure and the sweetest spots to find it, no place has won him more than his own British Columbia backyard.