Two bikers riding down a dirt single-track trail through the forest.

Where to Go Mountain Biking in Golden

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Adaptive Trail in the CBT Trail System | Kootenay Rockies Tourism/Mitch Winton

In most BC mountain towns, jumping on a bike and heading for the trails is one of the best ways to meet the locals–and Golden is no exception. The Golden Cycling Club and its 400 members–10 per cent of the town’s population–rally together every year to host bike workshops, build new trails, and welcome bike-minded individuals to explore Golden.

The season kicks off with the annual Totally Spoked Bike Fest and rolls right through summer with poker rides, toonie races, and an epic 24-hour cross-country mountain bike event. Most trails are easily accessible from town and vary from technical steeps to smooth rides. Don’t have a bike? Higher Ground rents cross-country bikes and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort has a fleet of full-suspension downhill bikes. If your ride needs a little love before you hit the trail, tune-ups are available at Higher Ground, Derailed and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.

Here are some of the best places to ride.

Downhill Mountain Biking

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort | Ryan Creary

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

These lift-accessed trails are where you ride if you’re looking for gravity-fueled downhill without the hard grind uphill. There are 3,700 feet (1,128 metres) of vertical, 28 trails to choose from, and views that span three mountain ranges. After a few hours of pedaling, refuel at Canada’s highest restaurant before dropping in to ride It’s a 10, Rock Garden, and Dirt Devil. Before you pack it in, be sure to stop at the Grizzly Bear Refuge and look for Boo, the mountain’s resident bear.

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Mount 7 Trails

This network of trails is well suited for the riders who seek aggressive downhill runs. Trail names like Dead Dog and Kamikaze speak to the level of riding downhill bikers need to tackle these lines. Slug it up the 14-km (8.5-mi) Peter Bowle Forest Service Road (FSR) to the launch pad and watch paragliders and hang gliders take off before making the leap yourself. If you make it to the top and find you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, just ride the FSR back down.

Cross-Country Mountain Biking

CBT Mainline Trail | Kootenay Rockies Tourism/Dave Best

CBT Mainline Network

This is one of the most accessible trail networks from Golden’s downtown centre. Follow the paved connector over the Columbia River, and you will hit the CBT Mainline trailhead. These trails are smooth and fast, with the occasional jump, bridge, and berm tucked under the trees and between the bushes. This series of trails connects to the Moonraker Trail System, so you have the option to up the ante and explore a little deeper into the forest.

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Moonraker, Canyon Creek Trail System | Kootenay Rockies Tourism/Best Impressions

Moonraker Trails

This is where you will find some of the best views of the Purcell and Rocky mountains, alongside a mix of beginner and intermediate single-track, with some technical sections thrown in for advanced riders. These trails wind past clear lakes and fields of mountain flowers. For challenging uphill, technical downhill, and a trail that rims a canyon, head to Canyon Creek. There are over 60 km (37 mi) of trails in the CBT, Moonraker, and Canyon Creek network–enough to keep you pedaling for days.

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Mountain Shadows Trail | @andymacbee

Mountain Shadows Trails

This 20-km (12-mi) network of technical single-track offers spectacular views of the Columbia Valley Wetlands from viewpoints along the steep Cliff Side Trail. Many of the trails are a good ride in both directions, making this a good place to ride in the morning and swim in Reflection Lake in the afternoon. The lake is the access point to this network and is also a great place to watch paragliders flying high above. The Golden Super Loop, a three-to four-hour loop that connects three of Golden’s main trail networks, runs through this area.

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Rotary Trail | Kootenay Rockies Tourism/Mitch Winton

Rotary Trail

This gentle, in-town loop of trails winds along the Kicking Horse River, past residential areas, and along treed paths. The trail circles town for 7 km (4 mi) with a number of entrance and exit points, a perfect way for cyclists of all abilities to explore Golden. Crossing the Kicking Horse River on the longest timber-frame, covered pedestrian bridge in Canada is one of the trail’s highlights. The main entry point for these trails is from downtown’s Golden Spirit Square.

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See this trail map to help you plan.

Originally published in June, 2016.

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