The best things to see and do between Banff and Golden
Beautiful hikes and places to visit
We have put together some of our favourite places to visit, several of them are a bit more off the beaten path so they should be less busy than popular spots like Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.
This hike is a short and easy family friendly hike to the beautiful Sherbrook Lake, a turquoise mountain lake surrounded by peaks - a great spot to jump in for a swim on a hot day. There is also the option to keep hiking and exploring futher past waterfalls and higher into the alpine.
This lake is the most incredible blue colour and is a UNESCO world heritage site. The mountains surrounding the lake contain the famous Burgess shale- fossil evidence of ancient sea life from when these mountains were actually under the ocean! The walk around Emerald Lake is easy and short, and as you get further around the crowds lessen. You can also visit the cute shop on site, which sells gorgeous products and hires out canoes by the hour. A perfect way to explore the lake.
THE NATURAL BRIDGE
This feature is on the road to Emerald Lake and is well worth stopping and having a look at. This is one of several waterfalls the mighty Kicking Horse River flows over. The rock formation used to actually span across the river- hence the name natural bridge, but after a spring of very high water it actually eroded and collapsed. The Natural Bridge is a powerful reminder of how much influence water has in shaping the landscape.
Located just 15 minutes from our Hydra river base this incredible waterfall is an easy hike and one of our favourite places to visit. It is the largest waterfall on the Kicking Horse River, at about 18 metres high and 107 metres wide. The falls can be viewed from two different starting points- we recommend the hike that starts off the Trans Canada. This hike takes you right down to the base of the waterfall, where there is a large mound you can stand on and enjoy the refeshing mist created by the power of the falls. It makes for a great photo oppportunity.
This hike starts just opposite the Wapta Falls hike and is well worth the climb as you will be rewarded with the most incredible views of Chancellor Peak, the Beaverfoot Valley and the Kicking Horse River - you can even see the little red rooves of our Hydra River Base! The trail climbs through the forest and you reach the first look out after 3.4km, the view from here is amazing but we highly recomend you carry on the extra 2.6 kms to the very top. Here there is an old fire watch tower and the views are unreal!
THE KICKING HORSE RESORT
The Kicking Horse Resort has it all! The Golden Eagle Express gondola carries you to an elevation of over 7,700 ft and into the alpine. From here you can explore many ridges and bowls, each providing stunning views of the surrounding Purcell and Rocky Mountains. There is also Boo the bear to visit, he is a massive grizzly that was rescued as a cub and has his own increadible enclosure complete with his own pond. For more info check out https://kickinghorseresort.com/purchase/hiking/
THE KICKING HORSE RIVER
So we maybe biased!! But we think a rafting trip is the best way to see the most stunning scenery, and enjoy some of the best and most thrilling white water rafting in all of Canada! For over 30 years we have been rafting the Kicking Horse and our guides are some of the most experienced (and friendliest!) on the river. No matter what kind of adventurer you are, we have the perfect trip for you- from a calmer and gentler family float to full adrenaline!
We operate three tours a day so you are sure to find a time that fits in with all the other adventures you have planned. See https://www.raftbanff.com/Our-Trips/Rafting-Trips to help chose your perfect rafting trip
There are so many sights to see and attractions to enjoy if you're planning a trip through the Canadian Rockies, and we hope this list of some of our favourites spots between Banff and Golden, has helped