Canadian Rocky Mountains playground

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In November 2014 Katie Goldie @goldiehawn_ had 5000 Instagram followers. One year later she has 100,000 followers and growing! An active mountain gal who loves hiking, skiing and boating Katie lives on acreage outside Lethbridge, Alberta and her playground is the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Mention the Rockies and most people think of the breathtakingly beautiful landscapes in Jasper National Park and Banff National Park. But Katie’s love for the outdoors has led her to explore just as stunning lesser-known places like Yoho National Park and Kootenay National Park in British Columbia. To most people, Katie is living the dream. Read on to get to know her better. 

canadian rocky mountains

This is stunning. Where is it?

canadian rocky mountains

Yoho National Park in British Columbia has some of the best spots, like Emerald Lake, Natural Bridge and Lake O’Hara. The Natural Bridge actually has a man-made bridge that I was standing on. Many of the places we explore are very tourist friendly. I just like to add some zest to it with kayaks and people in my photos. 

I haven’t been to Lake O’Hara yet, it is extremely hard to get a camp reservation there. Next year though, watch for photos!  

canadian rocky mountains

Numa Falls is in Kootenay National Park. This park is pretty large but you can access it from Hwy 1. If you follow this road you can get to some hot springs in Radium. It is in British Columbia

Describe a typical day in your life

During the weekdays I usually get up three times a week at 5am to go running and then work is at 7am at a local Daycare Centre. I usually chase children around until 5.30pm and then go to one of the three gyms I work at to teach a fitness class.

I’m home by 7.30pm make dinner and go to bed. I’ve had this schedule for the past couple years, except I used to run a lot more a year ago.

I was often doing a half marathon every weekend. Now weekends are for the mountains.

I picked up hiking pretty heavily last summer and so for the past year and a half most weekend I am travelling to the mountains to either hike or just take photos. canadian rocky mountains

Are you a professional photographer?  

canadian rocky mountains
I knew nothing about cameras before Instagram and my Instagram was mainly iPhone pictures when I started out. I found that people loved my hiking photos, usually the pictures I took on top of mountains where most people rarely went.

I went with that and started posting more hiking photos. It has been a little over a year since I started “serious” Instagram posts. I bought a starter DLSR and now only shoot with a DLSR for my feed. I usually collect a few favourite images from the weekends and post at least once a day throughout the week. I enjoy sharing my beautiful backyard and trying new creative ways to share it.

What photography equipment do you use?

I have a Canon Rebel t5i and I have about five different lenses, 10-18mm being one of my most used. 

100,000 followers is impressive! How long did it take you? 

canadian rocky mountains
Last November I was at about 5,000 followers. Now I am over 100,000. It was slower at first but did come in cyclic waves.

As I grew larger the exponential growth became faster. Some weeks are better than others, but I try to not get caught up in the numbers. I am happy I made it this far!

Could you share your three most popular photos?

Do you have any tips for budding Instagrammers?

Post good photos, things that people are interested in seeing. Be true to your image and yourself. Have a personality, people like to follow people.

I honestly don’t use many apps. Social Blade and Icono Square are some of the ways I keep track of my following.

How did you get the bird to sit on the palm of your hand?

canadian rocky mountains
Lots of people have asked this! Honestly these birds are called “Grey Jays” or more commonly “Whiskey Jacks” and people in the touristy areas overfeed these birds.

All we had to do was put out our hand and the bird flew right onto it looking for food. Feeding these birds is very illegal so it is important for people to know not to feed them. We were lucky the little guy was curious.  

What’s it like living in a beautiful place like Canada?

I am so thankful every day to live where I do. If I didn’t live here I would probably make it work out so that I did live here. I do not take it for granted at all. I am out every weekend in the mountains trying to find new areas to explore or new shots to create. I’m absolutely in love with where I live.   canadian rocky mountains

What’s your favourite season?

That is tough because I love them all! Winter is a little less busy for me because I am not backpacking every weekend but I love to be backpacking every weekend so I love summer. I love winter because the snow is beautiful and I love to ski but if I had to pick one season it would be late summer. The weather is good in late summer and opportunities are endless.

What are the top five places you’d recommend visiting in Canada?

I would recommend anywhere in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, more specifically:

1-Jasper National Park– Beautiful Mountains as it’s less busy than Banff and an adorable mountain town.

2-Banff National Park has the most beautiful mountains in the world

3-Waterton National Park is a really quiet place and totally different than any other mountain areas

4-Glacier National Park is just across the border in the USA and has easy access to tons of hikes and exceptional beauty.

5-Whistler/Squamish BC is one of my favourite places for mountains and ocean. Need I say more?  

What’s the most challenging activity you’ve done?

Most hiking has been a challenge for me. Some hiking that I have done has not only been a physical challenge but a mental one. I have done some pretty exposed mountains which take a lot to overcome fear. Physically I have hiked over 60km in a weekend with a 25lbs pack on. It is all fun though, or I wouldn’t do it. canadian rocky mountains

Favourite restaurants

Umm, not really a big restaurant goer but here is three awesome spots: The Tavern (Banff), Cinnamon Bear (Coleman), Patricia’s Street Deli (Jasper).   

Favourite scenic views

Lake Louise and Moraine Lake in Lake Louise and Upper Waterton Lake, Waterton. 

Favourite cities

Whistler, Banff and Jasper.

If you had to move to somewhere else in Canada where would you go?

Squamish in British Columbia because it’s close to Vancouver and Whistler but it’s still relatively affordable. Also Squamish has climbing, biking, hiking, yoga and so many more activities I am interested in.  

Do you have any advice for photographers visiting Canada?

If it looks pretty it is probably worth it to take out the camera.

Three places on your bucket list



Glacier National Park in British Columbia

Katie Goldie is an Alberta-based photographer who loves mountains

Discover Canada

For more things to do in Canada see Best of Canada.

Canadian Rocky Mountains playground