Our first port of call was Radium Hot Springs, a village located nearby the Kootenay National Park, with (you guessed it) Hot Springs. Unfortunately we didn’t realise that Boxing Day was also celebrated in Canada and didn’t think this would effect the Hot Springs opening hours, which it did because Canadians do celebrate it, so we weren’t able to visit the pools.
The following day we drove to Golden, a town 163-miles west of Calgary and 443-miles east of Vancouver. The town is near to the Kicking Horse Resort which is world renowned for it’s snow and powder conditions.
Surprisingly, we do not ski and intended to use the town as a base to visit other resorts where accommodation was more expensive. One of these was Banff. We drove to the town with intents of spending the day walking about and exploring but sadly Kelly slipped on a patch of black ice on arrival, landing on her back and hitting her head on the floor resulting in some serious bruising and mild concussion!
We did stop for lunch at a vegetarian restaurant called Nourish before we headed back to Golden. We tucked into a delicious and warming meal, which we thoroughly enjoyed, it was the perfect antidote to the cold.
The next day we explored Golden a little more. First we took in the Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge, which is the longest freestanding timber frame bridge in Canada. It is 150-feet long and constructed in a Burr arch structure from Douglas-fir. After crossing the bridge and enjoying the view, not that we could see much of the mountains as they were hidden by the snow clouds, we went for lunch at Bacchus Books and Café. We tucked into some delicious homemade soup whilst taking in all the books surrounding us. To round off our day we popped to The Golden Taps to enjoy some of the local craft beer.
We left Golden heading north to the small town of Hinton. Hinton is located outside of the town of Jasper, which is famed for it’s wildlife and outdoor activities and is located close to the Skytram which transports people to the famous ski resort in The Whistlers.
In order to get to Hinton we drove up the Icefields Parkway which enabled us to travel through both Banff and Jasper National Parks. From the Parkway you can see glaciers, rivers, lakes, canyons, icefields and waterfalls. The views were truly spectacular, especially with the pristine white snow, but be warned, if you choose to do this drive in the winter make sure that your vehicle is fitted with snow tyres, that you’re confident driving in snow and icy conditions and that you have completely fuelled your vehicle as there are no gas stations en route.
Whilst staying in Hinton we headed into Jasper and despite the cold went for a stroll around Pyramid Lake, enjoying views of the mountains and watching the ice skates tear round the lake. We braved the cold some more and took a mini adventure to Medicine Lake and Maligne Lake, which were both absolutely stunning.
Our final stop before we reached the city was the ski resort of Whistler. Famed for the 2010 Winter Olympics, we skirted over all things sporty and headed to Naked Sprout Juice Bar Café for a delicious lunch.
Once we’d got some fresh air and stretched our legs we took the Sea to Sky Highway in Vancouver and this is where we’ll leave today’s post.
If you haven’t seen the video relating to this part of our trip, be sure to check it out here.
Finally, here are a few of our favourite photos.