Summer or winter, as you descend into Golden  from Yoho National Park , it’s easy to make out the ski slopes of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort (250/439-5400 or 866/754-5425, www.kickinghorseresort.com ) across the valley. The eight-person gondola transports visitors high into the alpine mid-June–September in just 18 minutes. The 360-degree panorama at the summit is equal to any other accessible point in the Canadian Rockies .
Graded hiking trails lead from the upper terminal through a fragile, treeless environment, while mountain bikers revel in a challenging descent in excess of 1,000 meters (3,280 feet).
A single gondola ride is adult $31, senior $24, child $13. A better deal is the lunch combo ticket for adult $49, senior $29, child $22. Mountain bikers pay $27 for a single ride while a rent-and-ride package costs $84 for the full day, including a full-suspension bike. The gondola operates through summer daily 10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
While summer is wonderful, it is in wintertime that this resort comes alive. In addition to the gondola, four other lifts transport skiers and boarders to hidden bowls and to a high point of 2,450 meters (8,040 feet), giving the resort North America’s second-highest vertical rise (1,260 m/4,135 ft). Lifts operate mid-December–early April and tickets are adult $69, senior $59, child $36.
Facilities in the base lodge include rentals, a cafeteria, and a ski school, while the summit restaurant is also open daily for lunch and Friday and Saturday for dinner.