Golden, British Columbia is an adventure town. Whitewater rafting, paragliding, climbing and of course mountain biking, are just some of the activities it is known for. People travel to Golden from near and far looking for adventure and many of them arrive by van or RV, pulling a trailer or carrying a tent. If you’re one of these people and looking for a campground for your Golden mountain bike adventure this post is for you. This Golden campground review looks at one campground that embodies the adventurous spirit in Golden.
As the name suggests, the Golden Eco Adventure Ranch (GEAR) puts outdoor adventure at the forefront. And with riding nearby, it is a great basecamp for your Golden mountain bike adventure. You can even ride right from the campground to one of Golden’s popular riding areas. What’s more, this campground offers all the amenities a mountain biker could want!
” The views from the campground are amazing. There are mountain views of both sides of the valley, so you’ll be able to get an overview of where you’ll be riding!”
The Golden Eco Adventure Ranch is actually located just south of the town of Golden, BC in Nicholson, BC. It is a ten minute drive from the campground to downtown Golden and sits on 400 acres of land. There are even a few resident horses on the property. The views from the campground are amazing. There are mountain views of both sides of the valley, so you’ll be able to get an overview of where you’ll be riding!
Access to the campground is easy as it is located just west of Highway 95. Highway 95 south is the route you would take if you’re headed from Golden to Fernie, another area hotspot for mountain biking.
Check out my campground review of the Mount Fernie Provincial Park Campground, if you’re planning to take a trip in that direction.
How close is the riding?
There is riding very close to the campground. GEAR is located on McBeath Road and just 1km down that same road is the Gudjonson trailhead. This trailhead is the southern access point for the trails in the Moonraker riding area.
Moonraker is mainly cross-country oriented. For the most part it is a collection of abandoned cross-country ski trails that have been resurrected for use as mountain bike trails.
See the Trailforks riding area map for the Moonraker trails below.Moonrakers on Trailforks.com
While Moonraker is the closest of the riding areas to GEAR, other areas are also very accessible.
The CBT trails are located just north of the Moonraker trails and can be linked with them very easily. CBT is another very popular cross-country oriented riding area.
On the same side of the valley as Moonraker and CBT is the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. The resort is a lift-accessed mountain bike park that operates during the summer season. The resort and the Moonraker/CBT trails are linked via the Scalli Mag singletrack trail.
And last, but certainly not least, on the opposite side of the valley is the infamous Mount 7. From GEAR, it is only a few minutes drive to the Reflection Lake trailhead, the starting point for trails in the Mount 7 and Mountain Shadows riding areas. Mount 7 is home to impressive, mainly downhill oriented shuttle riding, while Mountain Shadows has a more cross-country feel.
Tell me about the sites
GEAR has a lot of sites. No matter what type of camping you prefer, there is a site for you. There are walk-in tent sites, drive-up tent sites, van sites, back-in RV sites, pull-through RV sites and even yurts!
Here is a breakdown of the types of sites and their numbers:
- Walk-in tent sites – 27
- Drive-up tent sites – 11
- Van sites – 12
- Back-in RV sites – 23
- Pull-through RV sites – 21
- Yurts – 3
For a PDF map of the tent and van sites, click here.
For a PDF map of the RV sites, click here.
What’s at each site?
Each site, whether for tent, van, RV or yurt, contains a firepit and picnic table.
All van and tent sites are non-serviced. Most of the tent sites are located in the trees. Some are very private, but some are placed close together with few trees. Walk-in tent sites are quite close to where you park your vehicle, so access is not difficult. Drive-up tent sites each have one parking stall for a vehicle.
“In general, most of the RV and tent sites are well separated by trees making the privacy in the sites good.”
All RV sites have access to 30 amp or 50 amp power, as well as water. Seven of the pull-through RV sites are 50 amp. The rest are 30 amp. There are no sewer hookups, but the campground does have a pump-out that can be used by registered campers, free of charge.
In general, most of the RV and tent sites are well separated by trees making the privacy in the sites good. The exceptions to this are the van sites. They are located on a grass field with no natural barriers for privacy.
In addition to a firepit and picnic table, the yurts have a small deck and lawn chairs. According to GEAR’s website, the yurts contain a double bed, a futon, fire extinguisher, broom and dustpan.
- If you try to make reservations (see reservation details below) online, but the website says the campground is full, try giving them a call. Others have had success in securing a spot this way.
- In my experience, the sites are well maintained and clean, although the ground can be a bit uneven. If you’re in a trailer or RV I would suggest bringing levelling blocks with you!
- If you’re in an RV or trailer without a bathroom, ask for a site at the west end of the RV loop. It can be a long walk to the bathroom/shower building from the east end of the loop.
What’s the cost?
Pricing for the campsites are as follows:
- Walk-in tent sites – $33.33/night
- Drive-up tent sites – $33.33/night
- Van sites – $33.33/night
- Back-in RV sites – $38.10/night
- Pull-through RV sites – $43.80/night
- Yurts – $49.00/night
There is a discount of one free night when seven or more consecutive nights are booked in advance.
Pets are allowed at a maximum of two pets per campsite and a fee of $5.00/night, per pet. Pets are not permitted in the yurts.
Firewood is available for sale at the front office at a cost of $7.00/bundle.
Laundry facilities are available at a cost of $3.00/wash and $2.00/dry. The washers and dryers are large industrial-sized units.
What are the amenities like?
For me, what really makes GEAR stand out as a campground are the amenities. As a result, they are a major focus of this Golden campground review. It would be difficult to find a campground that has more to offer guests. Here is a list:
- Warm showers
- Flush toilets
- Potable water
- Horseshoe pit
- Swimming pond
- Events centre
- Beach volleyball
- Warming hut
- Laundry facilities (pricing info above)
- RV pump-out
The playground is well equipped with a slide, teeter-totter and swings, among other things.
Showers are provided free of charge and there are four each for both men and women. The showers are located in a heated building along with the flush toilets and laundry facilities. There are two outhouses located in the tenting area. Potable water is available at a tap in the tenting area, in the bathrooms and at each RV site.
There is a warming hut, complete with wood stove, located in the tenting area.
WiFi is available in the vicinity of the main office and there is cell service in the campground.
If you’re looking for ways to pass the time, there is a horseshoe pit and a beach volleyball setup. Near the east side of the campground there is a swimming pond surrounded by a small beach. There is even a large open field used as a landing area for paragliders.
Adding to the versatility of the campground is an events centre, available for bookings by telephone.
The main office has a small store stocking items such as bug spray, sunscreen and fire starter. Also in the main office is information on area activities. They will even book many of them for you!
Can I make a reservation?
Reservations for all sites can be made on GEAR’s website or by telephone. There is no reservation fee. Cancellations can be made up until 7 days prior to the booking date for a $15.00 cancellation fee. Reservations cancelled within 7 days will not be refunded.
Is there anything else I should know?
Check-in time is 2pm and checkout time is 11am.
Quiet time comes into effect at 10pm.
You may want to bring some bug spray with you. Depending on the weather and time of year, the mosquitoes can be a nuisance.
All the amenities a mountain biker needs!
With its numerous amenities, Golden Eco Adventure Ranch (GEAR) makes your camping experience easy. As a mountain biker I find a few of these amenities to be particularly important when choosing a campground. Showers are a must-have after a long day of riding. Laundry facilities are great, especially if you are at a campground for an extended period of time. Everyone has a limited number of riding clothes and they all need to be washed some time! And, if you’re in an RV/trailer, electricity is handy to charge up your gadgets.
Put all the amenities available at GEAR together with the well-spaced, treed campsites and you have something that isn’t always easy to find. Campsites with water and electricity that are also private and treed enough to truly feel like you’re camping are uncommon. So, if you’re looking for a basecamp for riding in Golden, BC, look no further than this Golden campground review. Check out GEAR, it’s got all the amenities a mountain biker could want!
Stay tuned for future Golden campground reviews to see how they stack up against GEAR!
For more information on other things to do in the Golden area, visit the Tourism Golden website. For news, events and updates related to the area trails visit the Golden Cycling Club website.