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“Great Expert Only Terrain” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
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Ranked #1 of 66 things to do in Golden
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Kicking Horse has attracted rave reviews after just seven seasons for its awesome vertical, deep powder and spectacular terrain mix. With an express gondola accessing over 4100 ft (1260m) of vertical, you’re bound to ski and ride an impressive feat of terrain comparable to only that of heli-skiing. Coupled with summer activities such as mountain biking, wildlife education, and alpine sightseeing, this is a place where the stories are almost too tall to believe.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
56 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Great Expert Only Terrain”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2013

Great steeps, and chutes. Not great for those learning and families with younger children. The snow at the top of the mountain is usually good, but it can get quite icy at the bottom. Runs off the gondola can take 30-45 minutes round trip which means a typical day is between 4-5 runs. Still it's got amazing terrain not found anywhere else and is one of my favourite ski hills!

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank Valerie K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
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  • Any
English first
Alberta
Level Contributor
106 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Love the Mountain”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 13, 2013

I find the line ups are really long on weekends. They need to add more cars to the gondola or some high speed lifts.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Karen K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bowen Island, Canada
Level Contributor
285 reviews
85 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 239 helpful votes
“A pretty scary place!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2013

It seems people either love or hate Kicking Horse, and that depends mostly on their level of skiing ability, plus the conditions of the days skied/boarded.

I certainly enjoyed some aspects of KH, but overall, there are some pretty insurmountable problems.

First off, the mountain itself is just not friendly. A big steep slab of Eastern exposure, topped by craggy ridges. Very difficult to site the lifts- the bottom to top gondola, while well designed and fast, ends mountaintop, has no mid mountain station- so any run commits you to a full 4000 foot vertical drop, and, in our case, sheet ice conditions on the lower half of the mountain.

There is one alpine chair lift that runs along a windy ridge, and descent from there, aside from one run, necessitates a nasty traverse along the top ridge.

Not that there isn't good terrain on the mountain. There are some wonderful bowls - Feuz Bowl and Bowl Over, but their access is extremely problematic.

As well, there are nice, steep, fall line groomers, like Blowdown or Bubbly, but again, in the variable conditions we faced, the lower reaches were solid ice.

The mountain signage is bad- no delineation between black and double black- and to me, many of the chutes and bowl entries rated a double. This is simply not acceptable for most skiers/boarders.

Also, there is a culture of disregard for warning signage. There were 'Avalanche Danger' signs with yellow polyprop. line strung, but many, many people were simply going under them. In fact, without doing so, about half the upper reaches would be unobtainable.

While the lower reaches of the mountain are more conventional, and there is intermediate terrain, the lifts servicing those areas are slow and one only open on weekends.

The day pass pushes $90 with taxes, and to me, unless there were dumps of fresh powder, the mountain isn't worth it.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Peter F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Lots of friends to be found on powder day!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 4, 2013

Love the access to 3 bowls via one lift and the natural ski landscapes. The lines are non-existant and the powder below Stairway to Heaven chair was my playground all day

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank Vickerym
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
whitecourt
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Favorite Resort!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2013

well what can i say about this hill/resort other than amazing. I have been to kicking horse numerous times in both summer for downhill mountain biking/sightseeing, and winter for snowboarding.

Lets start with summer. I attended a wedding at the eagle eye restaurant in the mid summer months and the service was nothing short of exceptional. The food at the eagle eye restaurant was fantastic and the chef even catered to my lactose intolerance upon questioning a certain sauce. They quickly made up some fancy sauce in the kitchen just for me. Needless to say i was impressed at this, especially since i was only a wedding guest lol. all the staff were more than helpful and happy to attend to anything brought up.
-The Downhill Mountain biking, i had to rent equipment and a bike from the rental shop at the bottom of the hill and if i can recall it wasnt anything astronomical in terms of price, very reasonable considering the equipment you are given. the terrain was awesome and we had a full day of riding, never once getting bored, or limited to ammount of terrain. Alot was above our skill level, but we still had ample ammounts of terrain to keep us entertained. Overall I couldnt of asked for a better day or introduction into downhill mtb. Again the staff were great and very helpful.

The Hotel: Although rather pricey, it is in the same ballpark as every other on hill Hotel you find at other resorts. If you want to stay on the hill you are gunna pay for it just like everywhere else. I cant say one bad thing about it when i did stay. It was exactly what you pay for. a room with an awesome view, hot tubs, fireplace etc all very nice. The pub down the road was pretty sweet too. 2x4 Jenga blocks and beer just go hand in hand.

Winter time!
-Never have i experienced a hill with as much to offer! in terms of terrain and snow. If you want steep and deep this is the place. even after days of now new snow fall, a short hike will reward you with usually untracked lines. If your not into chutes,deep, steep, terrain there is also alot to offer. the lower mountain is all sorts of nice begginner to intermediate runs. As for those who complain about the gondolla, get real.. It takes you from bottom to the top in something like 17 minutes! thats pretty damn good. sure this hill isnt flooded with chairlifts to ever nook and cranny on the mountain but thats what makes it nice. If their were chairs to every peak then you wouldnt have the untracked snow you can reach from a short hike like you have now. Also the lift tickets are the same price or very close to a mountain like marmot basin, which is a baby in comparrison with half the terrain and features. Theres nothing like riding on a weekend and feeling like you and your friends or family are the only ones on the mountain. its huge and uncrowded.

The Lift lines: Well yes since the gondolla is the ride to the very top yes it can get crowded, but so do most other hills like lake louise. If its a pow day or a busy weekend then what do you expect? The ammount of people at the hill doubles or more. realistically the lines are the same everywhere when conditions are similar. All in all the gondola is fantastic and fast.

Food: The best burger i have ever had no joke has been at peaks grill. It was like a eating a meatloaf hamburger lol it was amazing. The beer was beer...Good. and what else could you ask for after your day or at lunch than reasonably priced good food and drinks.

Other then that i guess i could say seeing boo the bear at his little bear santuary was pretty awesome, the gondolla takes u right over top of his area as well so keep a look out in the summer. the hiking around off the gondolla was pretty fun in the summer as well. got to have a snowball fight in august on T2 peak. In summary this is an awesome resort year round with friendly staff and locals and if you havent had the chance to go or you have been hesitating, dont hold out its a must do. Just do a bit of reading up on the place, trail maps, attractions etc and you will have an awesome time. Or as always talk to some locals. :D

* sorry for the length of review lol *

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank nygel s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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