Ramble in the Rockies – Day Three: Golden

Ramble in the Rockies – Day Three: Golden

Enjoying Hot Springs en route to Golden

If we wanted to experience the true wilderness the Rocky Mountains had to offer, today was that day. Leaving the beauty of Fernie behind us we headed toward our next destination Golden. On our way we stopped at Lussier Hot Springs – a true wilderness hotspot.

Unsure what to expect from steaming natural pools the view alone was worth the trip. A mixture of hot and cold pools to relax in was the perfect start to our morning.

We couldn’t have been more in the heart of the wilderness of the Rockies. With wildlife such as Herons, Kingfishers and Golden Eagles flying above whilst the River flows literally inches away from you there really aren’t many reasons to leave this spot.

However leave this beautiful spot we must. Playlist on at full volume back on the bus we headed toward our next destination. The Mountain town of Golden. Our guide Steve also made an additional stop not listed on the itinerary. A short walk through through some forestry and across a train track leading us to a secluded beach.

We spent the next hour skimming stones, chatting amongst ourselves, enjoying the views and taking group photos.

A Golden Mountaineer Lodge

Climbing back on bus we made our way to Golden. The Glacier Mountaineer Lodge was our home for the next two nights and was by far the best of the trip. In this stunning Mountain town (out of season of course) we needed to make a stop at a local supermarket for a large supply of beers – of course.

This was the first and only accommodation where we all had separate rooms. It was a nice change especially considering the quality of the rooms.

The only problem was the fact that it was out of season which meant there wasn’t much around that was actually open for us. Although only a few hours later we were all fast asleep in our rooms ready to attack the next day.

Hiking Yoho National Park

Surrounded by six National Parks including Yoho National Park Golden is not short of beautiful scenery. Rising early in the morning Yoho was our destination.

Again it was a great opportunity for us to walk in smaller groups and get to know each other better. Our guide Steve did a great job (as he did throughout the trip) of pointing out all of the different wildlife in the area.

Wapta Falls in Yoho National Park

A 30-minute walk later and we arrived at Wapta Falls on Kicking Horse River. For such little effort the reward is well worth it and something the entire family could enjoy. There were plenty of photo opportunities along the way – and the photo above shows just how stunning this waterfall really is.

Exploring Natural Bridge

Natural Bridge was next. Carved out gradually over time by the Kicking Horse River this unique rock formation is a must-see. Steve had mentioned it would be busy which it was but not too much that we couldn’t explore a little bit. Being able to cross via the various rocks really demonstrated the true power of the river and that of nature in general.

We were also able to drop down to the shoreline where the water flowed a little more gently for yet a different perspective.

Having spent some time exploring and taking in the views it was time to get back on the bus and head to our next destination. Emerald Lake.

Emerald Lake awaits

Our first look at the variety of Lakes the Canadian Rockies has to offer was Emerald Lake. A beautiful turquoise green and with plenty to see and do it was obvious why this area is such a massive tourist attraction.

The first stop was to grab some lunch and then we set off on the easy Emerald Lake Loop. The walk was nice and flat and is approximately 5.2km long. The scenery again had us all in awe of the place.

Looking out over the lake there were people starting out on more difficult hikes into the mountains, people canoeing on the lake itself and people just relaxing and taking it all in.

A couple taking in the views Emerald Lake has to offer

Having finished the walk in about an hour and a half we gathered around – trying not to disrupt a wedding. Steve then gave us the option of staying at Emerald Lake for the remainder of the afternoon or setting out on another hike about half an hours drive away.

Hoodoo Creek

This second hike was Hoodoo Creek. Some of the group opted to explore Emerald Lake a little more and the rest of us set off for another hike. If we thought it was anything like Emerald Lake we were about to find out otherwise.

Starting out fairly easy the route soon turns a lot steeper and requires more effort. Even early on in the hike there were great views of Abraham Lake and the surrounding mountains.

We reached the Hoodoos and re-grouped before we started to head back to the bus. It was nice to have tackled a fairly easy but challenging hike after a relatively busy but easy mornings activities.

Bears don’t climb trees

On the way back to our accommodation we stopped for a couple of pints at a bar in Golden. As we had found already the service was brilliant and the beer and food weren’t too bad either. The highlight of the trip was about to happen on the way back though.

All of a sudden Steve pulled over and pointed out a Black Bear mum and her three cubs grazing at the side of the road. Watching from the window the cubs soon began to play fight which resulted in the three of them clambering up the trees at the side of the road.

Back in Fernie whilst we rafted Elk River one of the guides had told us it was very rare to see bears in trees. I assume he meant fully grown bears and not cubs.

A perfect end to the perfect day

Considering we were only a few days into the trip, the group had already bonded well. Having picked up supplies from the supermarket to make our dinner. Spaghetti Bolognese was the dish of choice. With everyone wanting to lend a hand once settled in, we all went to our own rooms with different ingredients. Making different parts of the dishes and then all meeting up in one room later on and bringing everything together.

Music playing, great food on the go and lots of stories accompanied by a multitude of beers made for the perfect end to the perfect day. Made even better by watching the beautiful sunset over the Mountains from our balcony.


  • Mike Richardson

    Mike is a Mancunian who is usually found hiking the Mountains in the Lake District. He has a passion for the outdoors and loves a pint after a day in the Mountains.

Mike Richardson

Mike is a Mancunian who is usually found hiking the Mountains in the Lake District. He has a passion for the outdoors and loves a pint after a day in the Mountains.

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