Cedar Lake in Golden, British Columbia, is the perfect base for your summer adventures. You can stay camping, enjoy hiking, mountain biking, swimming, or stand-up paddle boarding. This blog post includes all the details you need to know about Cedar Lake and the surrounding area.
Cedar Lake in Golden, BC, is a small wilderness lake that is a favourite spot for all visitors and locals. Located only 12 km from downtown Golden, it offers lots of activities. Hikers and mountain bikers explore the extensive trails before cooling off in the lake. Families like to stay camping while kids enjoy the beach and water.
And if that wasn’t enough, Cedar Lake is also a great destination in winter for ice skating, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
While Cedar Lake is hidden and quiet, away from the roads, it’s just a short drive away from town. The forest dirt road leading to the lake is in very good shape, so no car should have a problem visiting.
Useful info about Cedar Lake in Golden, BC
- Location: south of Golden, follow signs to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, then turn left onto Dogtooth Forest Service Road, MAP here
- The campground at Cedar Lake is paid
- The day-use area and parking are free
- Pit toilets are available
- The closest grocery store is Kicking Horse General Store at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort (6 km away), with many staples and alcoholic drinks. Another grocery store is Save-On-Foods in Golden (12 km away)
30 Fun things to do in Golden
Cedar Lake in Golden, BC
Camping at Cedar Lake
Cedar Lake Recreation Site offers 22 maintained sites. They operate on a first-come, first-serve basis, so plan to arrive in the morning if you’d like to get a spot.
Each campsite is quite big, but it’s suitable for tenting, small campers and not big RVs (there are no hookups). Our Smile Campervan would be perfect for camping at Cedar Lake. The campsites have privacy, a picnic table, and a fire ring. I like that the sites are shaded with tall trees while the beach offers lots of space without shade.
Overnight camping is available for a fee of 15 Cad/night. You can find the Cedar Lake Recreation Site map here.
Swimming & water activities
When driving to Cedar Lake, you can go through the campground to the parking area that’s close to the toilets and the beach, or you can continue straight on the dirt road until you arrive at the lake from another side where locals with dogs like to hang out which is a bit quieter.
The beach is a gorgeous place with plenty of space for everyone. The floating dock has been recently upgraded to a footbridge leading to a bigger dock with stairs, an enjoyable place to jump to the lake.
You can also find an easy gradual entry into the lake on the other side (pictured below). It also most likely will have parking spots if you arrive mid-day.
The best way to enjoy Cedar Lake in the summer is from a SUP. You can paddle around the lake to watch for wildlife or escape the shore’s noise, admire the mountain views, and cool off by jumping into the lake. Float Golden provides stand-up paddleboard rental if you don’t have your own.
3 Day Itinerary for Golden
There used to be a high rope swing along the mountain bike trail, but, as a local nurse told us, it was cut off due to too many injuries.
Whatever floatie you have, bring it along. Cedar Lake is a fun place for water activities, and the water is warm enough for a swim, which was a welcome change for us coming from the Rockies, filled with cold alpine lakes.
Mountain biking & hiking at Cedar Lake
The Moonraker Trail system that starts from the campground has over 50 km of trails.
The 7 km trail along Cedar Lake takes you along the shores of three more lakes. Or you can walk only 1.6 km to check out Cedar Lake 2. The trees provide shade until you return to the lake to cool off.
Many trails surround the lakes, so pick up a map from the Visitor’s Centre, from one of the outdoor stores, or download one here.
The Moonraker trail system also connects to Canyon Creek, offering more challenging biking routes both uphill and downhill. If you’re not afraid of heights, the canyon views are spectacular.
More amazing mountain biking is at Mount 7 or downhill at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.
More fun activities in Golden
- Golden Skybridge: suspension bridges, zipline, and more
- Via Ferrata Climb at Kicking Horse Mountain
- Meeting Buffalos at Rocky Mountain Buffalo Ranch
- Camp Moose Trail, glamping in the woods
- Northern Lights Wildlife Wolf Center