Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is a year-round resort situated at the confluence of the Kicking Horse and Columbia rivers—just outside Golden, Alberta. Known best for its world-class ski runs, reliable powder, and easily accessible backcountry terrain, Kicking Horse is a summer resort with epic mountain biking, hiking, and wildlife viewing opportunities. The resort is also home to Boo, the orphaned grizzly bear.
Kicking Horse boasts the fourth highest vertical drop in North America and a unique mix of terrain. You’ll find everything from gentle, beginner-friendly slopes to long cruising downhill runs and extremely steep faces, bowls, and heli-skiing options. In winter, you can also opt for cross-country skiing, tubing, ice skating, snowshoeing, or snowmobile tours.
During the summer months, the gondola remains open delivering visitors to 7,700 feet (2,347 meters) for sightseeing, hiking, and thrilling downhill mountain bike adventures. The resort also has a Via Ferrata climbing route and a disc golf course, but the highlight is the Kicking Horse Grizzly Bear Refuge, where you can meet Boo, the resident grizzly bear.
Things to know before you go
- Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is a must-see for outdoor sports enthusiasts.
- Not just for skiers, the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is a year-round resort with a huge variety of outdoor activities available in both summer and winter.
- The Kicking Horse gondola operates in the summer for hiking and sightseeing.
- The mountaintop Eagles Eye Restaurant serves up gourmet eats with epic panoramic views, reservations are strongly recommended.
How to get there
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is located 171 miles (275 kilometers) east of Calgary and 90 miles (145 kilometers) west of Banff. The closest major airport is in Calgary and the resort operates a weekly shuttle to and from Calgary International Airport during the winter months. In summer, the resort is most easily accessed by car.
When to get there
Ski season runs from early December through mid-April with the most reliable conditions in January and February. Compared to Whistler and Revelstoke, Kicking Horse is more remote and less crowded, but visit mid-week to ensure short lift lines. The best time to visit Kicking Horse for summer activities is the end of June through early September.
The Story Behind Boo the Grizzly Bear
Boo and his brother—Cari—were born in the wild, but orphaned in 2002 when their mother was shot by a poacher. The Kicking Horse Grizzly Bear Refuge was designed specifically for the two cubs by the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Sadly, Cari did not survive his first winter, but Boo has lived at the refuge ever since.