There’s a scene in the 1984 classic Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom—admittedly the most cringey of the Indy series—that has me forever traumatized. To get away from a pack of cult-loving baddies on a suspension bridge, Indy gets his crew to hold on tight so he can slash the ropes—thus dropping the bad guys into the valley below when the bridge collapses. He does, they do, and my 11-year-old self knew I’d never be able to hang on.
And, yes, that’s exactly what I pictured happening just before I stepped onto the Golden Skybridge suspension bridge that crosses over a canyon floor sitting a mere 426 feet below. And yet, even while hyperventilating my way across the bridge and swearing I’d never do it again, I thought, “Man, would my niece and nephew think this place is awesome. I’ve got to get them back here.”
Kootenay Rockies Tourism/Mitch Winton/Golden Skybridge
That’s the magic of this place called Golden: it’s full of thrilling challenges that keep you coming back. Because everything around here is big. If you’re here in the winter, then you’re screaming your way down the steep and deep chutes of Kicking Horse Mountain. In summer, it’s the Via Ferrata climbing experience—likely one of the edgiest in Western Canada, with cliffside scrambles and ladder climbs—that has thrill-seeking climbers of all skill levels belaying from ground to peak. (And, like the Skybridge, you can’t actually fall—you’re clipped in the whole time. Plus, there’s also a “chicken trail” exit for those who change their minds.)
The town itself is surrounded by six national parks, and over 20 backcountry lodges stage out of the area. Not to mention whitewater rafting in the Columbia River, and over 100 kilometres of mountain bike trails.
Legend has it that when the survey camp for the CP railway settled in the area, they changed the site’s name—McMillan’s Camp—to Golden City after they heard that a nearby camp was naming themselves Silver City. Perhaps it was just competitive spirit, but they also weren’t wrong: around these parts, days are big, and days are golden.
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