Nothing beats a cold shower, sipping a well-earned beer in a hot tub and then crawling into a cloud like bed with the smell of fresh mountain air after a day of hiking. While not to under play the epiceness of the mountains, there’s something to be said about being able to retreat to comfort and maybe even luxury after a day on the trail. Staging your summer hiking adventures from the base of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort will not disappoint, the variety of adventures will keep you busy for days on end! From winding valley bottom hikes to alpine traverses this list should keep you going for a while, especially with a refreshing nightly reset.
KICKING HORSE MOUNTAIN RESORT HIKES
Taking the gondola up is a great way to gain quick alpine access and will make for a rewarding hike in any direction. Not to mention the option to end with a decadent bite at the tallest restaurant in Canada, Eagles Eye Restaurant. Here are few hikes available from the top of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.
Terminator RIDGE + PEAK
Head towards the marked CPR Ridge trail, which we also recommend doing as a separate hike, more info below. Follow the signs south for Terminator. You’ll cross under the gondola and pop out on the wide ridge walk. The summer reveals the shear ruggedness of the Purcell Mountains, hard to believe most ski this with ease in winter! Keep walking until you see a sign to the east for Terminator Peak. Prepare for ropes, boulders and careful footing as you push up to this iconic Kicking Horse Mountain Resort Peak. Take in the elevated views of the resort, base, town of Golden and surrounding valley, it’s a breath taker!
Alternatively you could experience Terminator Peak by signing up for the Via Ferrata course, definitely the more adrenaline-pumping route!
Recommended to add on after completing Terminator Peak for the full experience but can be accessed with out first visiting the peak. From the gondola head towards CPR ridge and cut right onto the labeled Terminator Ridge trail, continue on the ridgeline past the Terminator Peak trail. As you pass behind the bulk of Terminator peak you’ll be exposed to terrific views off the back of Kicking Horse Mountain, take it all in before you head up, up and away. Stay left on the winding trail complete with rock staircases to the top of T2 Peak. Arriving at the tranquil alpine meadow summit you’ll be greeted by the seemingly endless views of the Columbia Wetlands and beneath your feet the town of Golden BC.
CPR RIDGE / BOWL OVER / IT’S A TEN
Centrally located this astonishing ridgeline lets you see it all. From the top of the gondola wander down CPR Ridge as far as comfortable, but we recommend a loop instead of a there and back for a change of scenery.
Bowl Over CPR Loop: At the end of CPR Ridge cross under the gondola at tower 15 and begin the hike up Bowl Over. You’ll get glimpses of a seasonal tarn and surely enjoy the elevation gain through the wild flowers and scattered trees. The final steep will have you in perfect shape for a beer on the patio of Eagles Eye.
It’s A Ten CPR Loop: A the end of CPR Ridge head towards Crystal Bowl on It’s A Ten. Be cautious of bikers as they also share this route and have the right of way. Enjoy the smooth wide trail and admire the meadows below and peaks above from the wild open basin trail.
Note that these can be linked in any direction, as all trails are two-way. You can also do It’s a Ten to Bowl Over and skip CPR Ridge, but trust us, you don’t want to miss it, it’s stunning.
DOGTOOTH RIDGE + TRAVERSE
From the top of the gondola head towards Crystal Bowl on It’s A Ten road. After a short 200m you’ll veer left at the Y intersection. Here you’ll gain a familiar winter peak opening views to the west side of the resort and beyond. A view only accessed from this hike, it’s unique and often one of the quieter hikes.
For those craving a multi day or one really, really, really big day, you can extend your hike from here and cover the entire Dog Tooth Range. You’ll need a car waiting for you at the opposite end, maps, backcountry communication and your own beta to conquer this not so well worn route. No doubt here that your preparation will be rewarded with pure mountain bliss as you walk in the wild side of ridges and peaks before descending back into the valley.
HIKES NEAR KICKING HORSE MOUNTAIN RESORT
So you’ve checked all the resort hikes and are craving more? These recommendations will have you covered.
A relatively easy hike with unbelievable views! High clearance vehicles are advised to reach the trailhead off of the Dogtooth Forest Service Road. From the end of the road it is 3.3km and 290 meters of elevation again through a mature forest and boulder field before you’ll find the pristine Gorman Lake! An outhouse, picnic tables and a canoe await your arrival and provide a perfect place for lunch and an afternoon of peak scrambling. Extend your hike my walking the circumference of the Lake or by hiking up and over to Holt Lakes. Please be respectful of the canoe so it remains a treat for all to enjoy for years to come.
DAWN MOUNTAIN SKI TRAILS
Over 25km of trails wind the base of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort offering endless loops, connections and valley strolls. Choose the length of your wander by studying the map outside the closed lodge. The bears love these berry filled trails too, so be sure to pack the bear spray, bring some pals and make some noise.
Connect all 4 Cedar Lakes by following a series of trails. Maps are available at the visitor center in Golden. The daring will enjoy the rope swing and all will welcome a dip in the lakes on a hot day. A sign on the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort access road will show you the entrance to the Cedar Lakes trails. 500 meters form the junction is a parking lot. Please note these trails are multi purpose and bikers use them frequently.
There’s no shame in down days. When your body begs for shoes other than hikers explore the list of possibilities!
- Frisbee Golf is the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors with out spending all day on your feet.
- Meet Boo the Grizzly Bear.
- Adrenaline junkies will love taking a whirl on the bike trails.
- Swim at Cedar Lake.
- Check out the Tourism Golden event calendar for live music or other town happenings.
Words & Photos by Abby Cooper