Surrounded by the Rocky Mountains, Purcell and Selkirk Mountains and close to six of the most breathtaking national parks in Canada (Banff, Glacier, Jasper, Kootenay, Mount Revelstoke and Yoho), Golden is a prime spot for your next trail running adventure. If you’re looking for a week of alpine adrenaline, we’ve got you covered.
Golden is recognized as a trail runners dream destination with more than 120 kilometers of stunning, flowy singletrack throughout the Columbia Valley. If you’re feeling fit and you’ve got a trail map, you can get anywhere from downtown – approximately 10 km of reasonably flat, double-wide gravel based trails called the Rotary Trails encircle the Town of Golden, including a few serene stretches that meander beside the Kicking Horse and Columbia Rivers.
If you have a car, and want to get straight into the mountains, the CBT Mainline is a short 2K out of town if you’re heading towards Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. CBT Mainline is a classic network (and local fave!) that is super approachable, technically friendly, and tons of fun! You can easily run “out and back” if time isn’t on your side, or take alternative routes back to your car that parallel the Columbia River. The kilometres expand as you can opt to continue on to the Moonrakers trail system (via Cedar Lake, also an option to park at Cedar Lake and swim in the lake after a hot run). The Moonraker system has 60+ km of trail including a trail known as T4 that summits Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.
A trail not to miss in the Moonrakers is Canyon Creek, a spectacular run along the rim of a deep canyon. If you don’t have time to run there via Cedar Lake, you can drive south to Nicholson and park at the bottom to get easy access to extraordinary views. Driving to the base will expedite your run or hike, as this version is a 4K out and back trek, with plenty of bang for your buck (don’t be discouraged by the first 15 minutes of steepness, it levels out!) Parking at Nicholson also increases the family friendly aspect of this trail. There are many opportunities to view the canyon on this trail, along with three obvious lookout points. This area is even home to a resident population of mountain goats – if you’re lucky, you may just catch them grazing on the slopes as you ascend!
Every year, Moonrakers is utilized during The Golden Ultra, an epic 3 day stage race weekend in Golden. At the end of September, runners arrive in Golden from all over the world to challenge themselves at this event. Get a taste of what these races are like by checking out these trails in Golden during trail running season, which is usually May – October.
For more Golden and area trail running blogs: https://www.tourismgolden.com/activities/summer/trail-running#posts
To find out more about the Golden Ultra race weekend: www.goldenultra.com