Originally known as "The Cache", Golden was a base camp for Major Albert Bowman Rogers and his survey crew during the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway's tracks. When a camp to the east became known as "Silver City", Rogers and his survey crew renamed their camp "Golden City". After four years, "City" was removed from the name, as it seemed pretentious for a place that only had tents and some quickly-made buildings.
Tourism became popular in the early 1900s with the hiring of Swiss guides by the Canadian Pacific Railway. The lure of fresh, unconquered peaks and indeed the prospect of viewing and experiencing the untouched wilderness of an infant country enticed Europeans and eastern Canadians to fill Canadian Pacific Railway passenger cars and their hotel rooms.
To make Swiss employees feel more at home the Canadian Pacific Railway constructed chalets of Swiss concept and called their accomplishment Edelweiss Village. Today the original homes stand overlooking Golden as the town progresses into the age of tourism.
Golden is located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, where the Kicking Horse River and the Columbia River meet. Situated at the cross roads of the Trans-Canada Hwy (Hwy 1) and Hwy 95 South, Golden sits not only on one of the major trade routes (TransCanada Highway) of Canada, but offers access to some of the most pristine backcountry around. Golden is 713 km (443 mi) north-east of Vancouver, 268 km (166 mi) west of Calgary and 562 km (349 mi) south-west Edmonton.
The Golden Museum collects and preserves the history of Golden and its neighbours. The collection includes newspapers dating back to 1891, maps and plans, personal histories, over 2200 photographs, and artifacts.
Just 30 minutes away, Banff National Park is home to incredible mountain peaks, hoodoos, hot springs, immense valleys, dense forest, meadows blanketed in wildflowers, and unforgettable lakes and rivers.
Known as the "Serengeties" of North America, the wetlands contain the second largest concentration of blue heron in western Canada, with a colony of more than 300 pairs. Over 265 species of birds also come to the wetlands during their annual migration.
Moose, cougar, wolves, grizzly bears, coyotes, mink, river otters, and beaver are some of the mammal species found here. Colorful reptiles and amphibians also live here, including Rubber Boa, Painted Turtles, and the endangered Leopard Frog.
Activities at or near the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort are plentiful. Experience the majestic beauty of the Rocky and Purcell Mountains on a guided snowmobile tour, or try some snowshoeing on the nearby trails. Cross-country skiing is another popular activity.
The world-renowned Kicking Horse River provides an exciting 32 km (20 mi) journey through Yoho National Park and the Canadian Rockies. Suitable for beginners or experts.
Golden hosted the longest singletrack downhill mountain bike race in the world (Psychosis) for 10 years. The race may be a thing of the past, but the trails still beckon.
Mount Seven is one of the world's best areas for paragliding and hang gliding (consisdered in world's Top 5); thermals from the Great Rocky Mountain Trench have carried gliders more than 200 km (124 mi). Eight world records, including a 325 km (202 mi) hang gliding flight, and all Canadian records, including a 128 km (79 mi) tandem paragliding flight, for distance and time have been set from the launch at Mount 7. Book a tandem flight and let an experienced guide take you on the ride of your life.
Walk with Wolves
Golden has the only place in Canada where visitors can walk with wolves, in a natural Rocky Mountain setting, and discover the truth behind the mystery of these marvelous animals. Located at the Grizzly & Wolf Interpretive Centre.