6 Places to Go Mountain Biking in Golden

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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 is a list of the top places to ride in Golden provided by our friends at the BC Visitors Centre @ Golden. Ride on.

1. Kicking Horse Mountain Resort: Downhill, Lift-Accessed

This is where you ride if you’re looking for gravity-fueled downhill without the hard grind uphill. There is 3,700 feet (1,128 metres) of vertical to ride, 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, make sure you stop at the Grizzly Bear Refuge and look for Boo, the mountain’s resident bear.

Mountain Biking at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort in Golden. Photo: Kootenay Rockies Tourism

Lift-Accessed Mountain Biking at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Photo: Dave Best/Kootenay Rockies Tourism

2. Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) Trails: Cross-Country

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 network, so you have the option to up the ante and explore a little deeper into the forest.

Columbia Basin Trust Mainline Trail beside the Columbia River. Photo: Dave Best/Kootenay Rockies Tourism

Columbia Basin Trust Mainline Trail beside the Columbia River. Photo: Dave Best/Kootenay Rockies Tourism

3. Moonraker Trails: Cross-Country

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.

Canyon Creek Trail on the Moonraker Trail System in Golden. Photo: Best Impressions/Kootenay Rockies Tourism

Canyon Creek Trail within the CBT, Moonraker, Canyon Creek Trail System. Photo: Best Impressions/Kootenay Rockies Tourism

4. Mount 7 Trails: Downhill

This network of trails is well suited for the riders who seek aggressive downhill runs. This zone was host to the suitably named Psychosis Race, known in the mountain bike community as being one of the steepest, longest and fastest downhill mountain bike races in the world. 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 the paragliders and hang gliders take off before making the leap yourself. If you make it to the top and find you’ve bit off more than you can chew, just ride the FSR back down.

5. Mountain Shadows Trails: Cross-Country

This 20-km (12-mi) network of technical single-track offers spectacular views of the Columbia Valley Wetlands from the 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 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 the paragliders flying high above. The Golden Super Loop, a thee-four hour loop that connects three of Golden’s main trail networks, runs through this area.

Mountain Shadows Trail in Golden

Mountain Shadows Trail. Photo: @andymacbee via Instagram

6. Rotary Trails: Cross-Country

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, perfect for cyclists of all abilities to explore Golden. Crossing 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.

Rotary Trails in Golden. Photo: @tourismgolden via Instagram

Rotary Trail. Photo: @tourismgolden via Instagram

Read this overview of the trails found on Tourism Golden’s website to get more information, including trail maps and access points.