Totally Golden: ATVing through the mountains

The weather is getting colder, and the leaves on the trees are turning into gorgeous colours.

The town is starting to get a bit sleepier, but not at Canadian Off-Road Adventures, where the all terrain vehicles are still climbing mountains and splashing through puddles and mud.

We left on our three-hour adventure at 1 p.m., and did a few circles making sure we had the ropes. A brake check, and some safety stuff, and off we went, up the road to Gorman Lake. I had driven the road once before in a small car, but the road has deteriorated a bit since then. If you want to take an adventure into the mountains, I highly recommend checking out Canadian Off-Road Adventures. Our trusty guide Colin Braun lead us up the road, and checked to make sure we were all feeling confident in our driving skills.

Driving the ATV isn’t hard. It wasn’t long before Braun checked to see if we wanted to do some single track riding through the forest. Our first detour off the main forestry road was short but exhilarating. It was a good taste for our longer detour later.

The rain started coming down a bit just as we took off on the adventure, but Canadian Off-Road Adventures owner Che Koroll was prepared for us, and packed along some rain gear for us to use. Being from Golden, I was prepared, and dressed in many layers to keep warm as we headed up the mountain.

The group was small. Only another couple came with us, and they shared an ATV. Groups throughout the summer only reach four to six people maximum. If there is any more than five people in a group, the company will send out additional guides to accommodate the difference in skill levels, and ensure everyone’s safety.

On the way back to town, we chatted a bit about how the summer went, and the different types of people the company takes on adventures. Riders of all different skill levels come out regularly to ride in the mountains around Golden. I pretty much grew up on ATVs, and was feeling very confident on the entire tour. Some people go a bit slower, and it is up to the guide to accommodate all different types of drivers. There are some parts of the road that follow along cliff edges, and some rocky bumpy parts, but it wasn’t anything too intensive.

We reached the end of the road at the parking lot to Gorman Lake, and got off to stretch our legs a bit. The snow line is already creeping its way down the mountain tops, creating breathtaking scenery. On our way back down, we crossed through the creek instead of passing over the bridge like we did on the way up. It was fun to splash through the water, and even though I was a bit nervous about being swept away, it was a cinch.

We took off through another single track that lead us down a path with many little washouts along the way. We kept a steady pace through the woods, through the colourful trees, and even saw a grouse. After a while, the path came to an end, and we turned back to the main road.

Before getting back to the bottom, Braun took us on another detour, this time a short distance up a side road to a lookout high above Golden. In the distance, we could see the plume from the Redburn Creek fire, and the tiny specks of Golden’s buildings. The rain had completely stopped by now, and it was getting evidently warmer the closer we got to the bottom.

Riding an ATV through the mountains is a fun adventure for anyone. Drivers must be at least 16 with a valid driver’s license, and passengers must be at least four feet tall, and fit into the smallest size helmets.

The ATV season will continue until there is too much snow to go. Contact Canadian Off-Road Adventures to get out and enjoy the scenery while the leaves are still bright and beautiful, or consider booking a trip for your summer holidays by calling 250-290-0002, or e-mail, or look at their website for more details at

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