Western Canada: The Road to Golden

Continued from Through Kootenay to Radium Hot Springs

Note:  Our trip to Canada was taken in May 2008

After exploring the length of Kootenay National Park in British Columbia, we decided to drive from the village of Radium to Yoho National Park.

This hour-long stretch of the 95, known as The Road to Golden, proved to be one of our favorite places in the Canadian Rockies — and it’s not even part of a national park.

The 95 is marked by small, gentle hills of kelly green grass covered with bright yellow dandelions. This is what passes for landscaping here, and its perfection makes me question our passion for garden perennials.

Every quarter mile is another small working farm with a softly weathered barn and huge (irrigated), green field dotted with burly cows or shaggy, spotted horses.

Each field slopes down to a wide, braided river floodplain cut through with train tracks, where slow-moving red, black and yellow boxcars wend their way. This floodplain in turn gives rise to massive Rocky Mountains, thick with evergreens and capped with snow.

The road ends in the surprisingly large town of, well, Golden.

Even though it’s in British Columbia, Golden is not unlike a mountain town in the Pacific Northwest of the US, with a couple hemp-based clothing stores and a place to fix your bike.  But here they’re situated between two national parks, and have begun to court their own tourists with destinations like The Kicking Horse Resort.

In the small village center, there’s a design-y little bistro, Whitetooth Mountain, a handful of Greek restaurants, and the warm and inviting Bacchus Books & Cafe.

With a three-hour drive to its two closest airports in either direction (Calgary to the east, Cranbrook to the south), Golden would be my idea of a place to stay amidst a more extended trip to the Rockies.

But there’s so much beauty back up in Lake Louise, we couldn’t possibly regret our stay at the Post Hotel.

* For more photos from the road to Golden, click here.

 

Continued in Oh, Yoho

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