I’ve never stopped in Golden before, but I should have. It’s a cute little town between the Rocky Mountains and Columbia Mountain ranges with access to six national parks: Banff, Glacier, Jasper, Kootenay, Mount Revelstoke and Yoho.
Two rivers meet at the town, Kicking Horse River, famous for whitewater rafting, and the Columbia River, which meanders through the longest protected wetlands in North America. You can ski, snowboard, snowshoe, and snowmobile in the winter, downhill or cross country mountain bike, and white water raft in the summer, and hike all year round.
Golden has a municipal campground right in the city limits down along the Kicking Horse River. The campground has cycling and hiking trails that extend from there to many other areas around town.
There were some warnings about black bears having been sighted along the trails this week so we made sure to make lots of noise as we went.
Bears are almost a daily event in our front and back yard at home, so we’re almost ho-hum about them. Recently though, our little 20lb, scaredy-cat dog Teddy ran a bear out of our yard so we know we just can’t trust him off leash anywhere in the wild. With Toonie, our 5lb. Chihuahua, we’re always ready to swoop her up by the leash if we see anything that wants to eat her. Even squirrels out-size her.
We didn’t see any bears on our hike, but we did see a big horn sheep, munching on grass on the hill above us. Everywhere we go, I tell Harold how I’ve always seen the sheep in that location before, but they never show themselves when he comes through. Finally, he can tick that one off his list of animals he was ready to claim a non-belief in. We’re still looking for elk, caribou, and moose however.
Overnight spot: Golden Municipal Campground & RV Park
Includes: firepit, picnic table, 15amp power, other hookup options available
Extras: firewood, coin operated showers
Comments: Great views from most sites on the river, mountains, trains. Cycling and hiking trails from the campground extend all over the town.
Cell & Wifi: Bell Mobility-Good Fido-Good
We stayed at the municipal campground in 2006 when we were heding across Canada. It was April and we stayed free of chrge. Pretty spot right beside the river.
They charge now but it wasn't expensive. It's still very pretty and an excellent location right by the river with hiking and cycling trails that go right through and off to other places around town.