Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is a world-class ski resort located in the Canadian Rockies near the town of Golden, British Columbia. The resort boasts an impressive vertical drop of 4,133 feet (1,260 meters) and over 2,800 acres of skiable terrain. With an average annual snowfall of 275 inches (700 cm), Kicking Horse is a haven for powder hounds and offers some of the best skiing and snowboarding in North America.
The resort's signature feature is its abundance of steep, challenging terrain. Kicking Horse has a reputation for having some of the most difficult inbounds runs in North America, including the famous "Champagne Powder" and "Whitewall" runs. However, there are also plenty of groomed runs for intermediate and beginner skiers, making Kicking Horse a great destination for skiers of all levels.
Kicking Horse offers a variety of lifts, including a gondola that takes skiers from the base to the summit in just over 12 minutes. The gondola offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and the town of Golden. Once at the summit, skiers have access to over 120 runs and 85 inbound chutes, many of which are steep and challenging.
One of the unique features of Kicking Horse is its abundance of off-piste terrain. The resort offers guided heli-skiing and cat-skiing trips for those looking to explore the backcountry. The resort's snowcat operation, called "Eagle's Eye Adventures," takes skiers and snowboarders to the top of the mountain, where they can access over 200,000 acres of untouched powder. The heli-skiing operation, called "Purcell Heli-Skiing," takes skiers to even more remote locations, where they can experience some of the best skiing in the world.
For those looking for a more relaxed skiing experience, Kicking Horse also offers a variety of amenities and services. The resort has several dining options, including the award-winning Eagle's Eye Restaurant, which is located at the top of the mountain and offers stunning views of the surrounding peaks. There are also several lodging options, ranging from luxurious slope-side condos to budget-friendly hotels in nearby Golden.
In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Kicking Horse offers a variety of other winter activities, including snowshoeing, ice skating, and tubing. The resort also has a terrain park, which features a variety of jumps, rails, and other features for freestyle skiers and snowboarders.
See the Kicking Horse Gallery
Kicking Horse is named after the Kicking Horse River, which flows through the town and is known for its exceptional whitewater rafting opportunities. The town is also home to one of the most popular ski resorts in North America, which draws thousands of visitors every year.
The history of Kicking Horse begins long before the arrival of European settlers in the region. For thousands of years, the land around Kicking Horse was inhabited by the Ktunaxa First Nation, who lived off the land and the wildlife that roamed the area. The Ktunaxa people called the area "qat'muk," which means "the place where the rivers meet."
In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, European explorers began to venture into the region in search of new trade routes and resources. Among these early explorers was David Thompson, a British-Canadian fur trader who was the first European to map the region. Thompson established a trading post at nearby Kootenae House, which was a hub for the fur trade in the region for many years.
In the mid-19th century, the discovery of gold in the area brought a wave of prospectors to the region. The town of Golden, located just a few miles from Kicking Horse, was founded during this time as a center for the gold rush. Many of the early settlers in the area were miners, who came to the region in search of riches.
Despite the harsh conditions and challenges of life in the Canadian Rockies, the settlers in the region persevered and the town of Kicking Horse began to take shape. In the early years, the town was primarily a trading post and a stopover point for travelers en route to other destinations. However, the development of the railroad in the late 19th century changed everything.
The Canadian Pacific Railway was built through the Kicking Horse Pass in 1885, connecting British Columbia to the rest of Canada for the first time. The railway brought an influx of new settlers to the region, as well as a wave of tourists and adventurers. The town of Kicking Horse began to grow rapidly, with new businesses and attractions popping up to cater to the influx of visitors.
One of the most significant developments during this time was the construction of the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. The resort was built in the late 1990s and quickly became one of the most popular ski destinations in North America. The resort is known for its challenging terrain, breathtaking views, and excellent skiing and snowboarding conditions. In addition to skiing, the resort also offers a range of other outdoor activities, such as hiking, mountain biking, and whitewater rafting.