Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort (1-866-754-5425) is 14 km/8 mi from Golden. The resort is under two hours west of Banff and one hour from Lake Louise. Kicking Horse is named for an 1858 event when Sir James Hector was presumed dead after being kicked by a horse; he regained consciousness before burial. Known as the ‘Champagne Powder Capital of Canada’ for its abundant dry snow in winter, the resort also offers the world’s largest grizzly bear refuge for resident ‘Boo’ (summer tours/programs) and a sightseeing gondola that rises to Eagle’s Eye restaurant (Canada’s highest). There’s lift-assisted downhill skiing and mountain biking, plus summit hiking trails in summer and many lodging, dining and nightlife choices. Adult lift tickets are $90.
- Golden Eagle Express Gondola rises to an upper ridge. It’s an exhilarating 1,260-m/4,133-ft run down one of the region’s highest vertical rises. Four other lifts include Stairway to Heaven quad that accesses Feuz Bowl, former heli-ski terrain.
- Four other ski lifts include Stairway to Heaven quad that accesses Fuze Bowl, former heli-ski terrain. Four powder bowls and ridge traverses to 87 steep chutes define the resort’s signature terrain.
- The Pony family ski zone has expanded, and a new Learning Centre offers lessons and camps. The newly renovated childcare facility provides daycare for children 18 months to 5 years, and offers one- to two-hour lessons for kids.
- Tube Zone is serviced by the Jelly Bean surface lift. Drop by Saturdays for disco tubing.
- Village Rink has a fire pit, warming yurt and music. Skate rentals are available; hockey sticks are allowed.
- Kicking Horse Powder Express runs ski/board day trips (includes lift pass) in winter from Banff/Lake Louise. The one-day $90 package includes lift ticket and shuttle. Book with Discover Banff Tours (1-877-565-9372); they also offer Grizzly Bear Refuge/sightseeing tours in summer.
- Eagle’s Eye Restaurant with timber and stone decor and awesome views is Canada’s highest restaurant. Ride the gondola to daily lunch (11 am-4 pm) and dinner on Friday and Saturday nights (reserve). Inquire about special dinner events through the winter season.