Hiking at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort’s ideal location gives convenient access to a number of beautiful hiking trails. Additionally, its neighbouring town Golden, BC is also home to a number of trails for all skill levels that rewards hikers with amazing mountain views. Here are a few of the best.
The mountains around Golden, including Yoho National Park, provide some really great day hikes ranging from moderate to challenging. You could easily spend a week of day hiking at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and still have some great options for your next trip to Golden.
Although the access to hikes in the area may seem daunting, the Forest Service Roads (FSR) are fairly well maintained and do see quite a bit of traffic in the summer months. Here is a short list of hikes that we recommend for visitors to the area.
LEVEL: EASY HIKE
This easy 3.5km hike is fantastic for families with kids.
This is an easy, popular family hike that leads to a beautiful alpine lake circled by the glorious peaks of the Purcells. We suggest packing a nice picnic lunch as this gorgeous alpine lake is an excellent spot to enjoy a picnic in the mountains.
This trail is clearly marked and easy to follow. After 1.3 km, the trail forks. Choose the path on your left. (The right fork is the old trail that leads through a bog.) The trail emerges from the forest and leads you to a rock field. Look for a trail that crosses the rocks. It exists, but can be challenging to spot. Follow the trail as it climbs across the boulder slope. After passing the rock field, you are almost at the lake.
- Distance: 3.5km (one way)
- Climb in elevation: 290 metres
- There are tent pads & picnic tables
- The road to the Gorman Lake trailhead is rough in spots, especially in the last few kilometres. It is not recommended for low-clearance vehicles. Also, be aware of chip trucks on the road.
From Golden, drive north on Highway 95 (10th Ave), cross the Kicking Horse River and head towards Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and the golf course. Turn right on the golf course road. Just past the bridge, turn left on the gravel forestry road: Dogtooth FSR. (If you reach the golf course parking lot, you drove too far). At 3.7 km, stay left at the Y on the road. For the rest of the road, continue to drive straight and don’t take any left or right turns. At 12.8 km, turn left onto the Gorman FSR. The next stretch of road has switchbacks and some very rough sections. Drive for 4.2 kilometres until you reach a wooden foot bridge. Park here. The trail begins at the wooden bridge.
LEVEL: MODERATE HIKE
This 5km hike leads a sparkling lake in an alpine valley, surrounded by magnificent mountains.
The trail climbs steeply through the forest and crosses several slide paths. This path will lead you to the north end of Quartz Lake. This beautiful little lake is also popular for fishing. There are tent pads, picnic tables and an outhouse here so it’s a comfortable spot to enjoy a leisurely lunch and explore the area. This is a good hike for families with older children and teens. As with all hikes in the mountains in this area, watch for bears. The trail can be quite wet and muddy until late July so be prepared.
- Distance: 5km
- Time: 2.5 hours to the lake
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Elevation Gain: 565 metres
From the junction of Highway 95 and Highway 1, drive west on the Trans Canada Highway for about 41 km. Turn onto Quartz Creek Road. At 1.6 km, keep to the left. At 4.3 km, follow the bypass on the uphill side. (The original road was washed out here.) At one point, the road crosses a creek. Cross the bridge and park in the pullout on the right side. To reach the trailhead, walk back across the bridge. The trail starts on the east side of the road.
PLANNING A VACATION TO KICKING HORSE?
We have a selection of vacation rentals in Kicking Horse and Golden to suit a variety of needs. Call our highly knowledgeable Destination Experts who can answer any questions you may have about hiking at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, or our selection of accommodations.