Before the new millennium, there was a small-town ski hill known as Whitetooth here, and other parts of the slope below the Dogtooth Range were used for heli-skiing.
When Kicking Horse Mountain Resort opened in 2000, it was the first four-season mountain resort to open in the Canadian Rockies for 25 years.
The Story Behind Kicking Horse
Golden's connection to the Kicking Horse River is obvious enough (the river flows right through town) but it was the adventure behind the name that spoke to the developers of the new resort.
The story involves the geologist Sir James Hector, who was in the Rockies in 1858, looking for a viable route for the railway. Kicked by his horse and unconscious, he was presumed dead and was being carried to a burial site when he suddenly and miraculously came to. He went on to find the pass, which was to become known as Kicking Horse Pass in honour of that ornery steed.
Populated by a mix of blue-collar workers and no-collar extreme adventurers, Golden is a town that is surprisingly clear about where it is going. Bucking the trend in the BC ski resort development scene, Kicking Horse was developed with the support of more than 90% of Golden's residents. Eventually, the resort will expand to cover more than 1,600ha/4,000ac.
On any given Kicking Horse day, chances are several other fellow skiers will have come from Calgary. Golden's closest big city is just a couple of hours along the Trans-Canada Highway.