Grizzly bear crossing a stream (Canadian Tourism Commission photo)
The mountains and river valleys around the town of Golden provide habitat for a multitude of wildlife species, including black and grizzly bears.
What makes a visit to Golden exceptional, however, is the 100% certainty of being able to view a grizzly bear – even when he's hibernating – at the Grizzly Bear Refuge at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.
Grizzly Bear Refuge
The Grizzly Bear Refuge at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, 14km/9mi above Golden, is a 9ha/22ac fenced area high on the mountainside and is home to an orphaned male grizzly bear named Boo. This young bear has been living here since 2003 (although he has escaped from his enclosure in the past to pursue a female grizzly).
The refuge provides an unprecedented opportunity for biologists to study grizzly bear behaviour, and a chance for the rest of us to see this magnificent animal in an enclosed but otherwise natural setting. Access to the refuge involves a ride on the chairlift and a short walk to the interpretive centre. Since Boo tends to be less active during the heat of the day, plan to visit during the morning or late afternoon.
If time permits, don’t miss other wildlife viewing opportunities near Golden, such as renowned bird watching along the Columbia Wetlands, or a scheduled walk with a pack of gray wolves at the Northern Lights Wildlife Centre.
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