Come adventure in Mt. Revelstoke & Glacier National Parks.
Revelstoke’s mountain parks offer something for everyone. Revelstoke is the gateway to two breathtaking National Parks: Mount Revelstoke National Park and Glacier National Park. As part of Canada’s 150th birthday celebration, all Canadian National Parks are free in 2017! Pick up your free park pass at the Revelstoke Visitor Information Centre.
Glacier National Park has excellent options for camping and hiking, and you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views on every hike. Founded in 1886, Glacier National Park is a year round mountain park paradise. It’s a hiker’s dream in summer and a ski touring mecca in the winter, with snow-capped peaks as far as the eye can see all year long.
Want to check the National mountain parks out in advance? You can now peruse Street View for Google Maps! Explore Mount Revelstoke National Park and Glacier National Park from the comfort of your own home!
Other mountain parks which provide excellent camping options in the Revelstoke area are Martha Creek Provincial Park situated north on Highway 23N, Blanket Creek Provincial Park located south of Revelstoke on Highway 23S, and Shelter Bay Provincial Park, also south of Revelstoke on Highway 23S just before the Shelter Bay to Galena Bay ferry.
Easy: Mount Revelstoke National Park has many awesome low-key experiences. Beginner hikers can easily access the subalpine backcountry from the Meadows in the Sky Parkway (26km paved road, with plenty of photo stops). New this year is a fun and interactive Kids Bike Park, as well as the “Nels Knickers” exhibit – we guarantee a view over town unlike any other! You may also visit at the aptly-named Giant Cedars Boardwalk Trail for an awe-inspiring half-kilometre stroll through an ancient cedar forest, or stop for a picnic at the Skunk Cabbage Picnic Area and then walk the 1.4km Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk Trail. Glacier National Park is home to the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre, which houses a replica of a historic railway snowshed. An essential place to start or end your day, this recently-renovated information centre features a theatre and exhibits about the triumphs and tragedies behind the building of Canada’s first transcontinental railway.
Intermediate: Mount Revelstoke National Park is a hiker’s park. Recreational hikers will enjoy the many opportunities to access the alpine from the summit. Take a cruise through the meadows on one of the many walking paths: Balsam Lake, Eagle Knoll, Koo Koo Sint, Heather Lake, or First Footsteps. In Glacier National Park, the Columbia Mountains are steep and the valleys narrow, allowing for only a few easy hikes and a good number of difficult ones. If you are up for the challenge, head to Marion Lake – a steep forested hike along the first leg of the Abbott Ridge Trail. Once there, if you still have momentum, continue up the Abott Ridge trail to alpine tundra that ends on a narrow ridge. The views are out of this world!
Difficult: Mount Revelstoke National Park offers some great full day excursions for the avid hiker. Take the trail out to Miller and Eva Lakes (5.5 and 6km one-way respectively). If you have the
energy, continue on to Jade Lakes (a 9km one-way hike). Glacier National Park offers a ton of mountaineering adventures for those with the know-how. The famed Mount Sir Donald is a local favourite amongst experienced climbers.
Mountain Parks FAQ’s
When are the wildflowers in bloom in Mount Revelstoke NP & Glacier NP?
Plan your visit while they are in season between mid-July to September. Blooms may vary depending on weather and snowpack.
Which mountain parks have the best camping?
All of the mountain parks offer some camping options. Mount Revelstoke National Park has no vehicle-accessed camping, but there are two backcountry camping areas to hike into. Glacier National Park has a total of 95 sites at three campground areas. Martha Creek Provincial Park and Blanket Creek Provincial Park each offer gorgeous campsites and full services, and Shelter Bay Provincial Park has accessible sites and no services.
Will we see bears in the mountain parks?
The Columbia Mountains and Revelstoke’s mountain parks are home to lots of wildlife, including black and grizzly bears. Read Parks Canada’s bear safety primer here. Check with park staff when you arrive in the park about bear sightings and trail alerts. Ask park staff or read Bears and People to learn more about reducing your risk of encountering bears when camping in the backcountry or what to do if you encounter a bear. Here are some of our tips for Happy Hiking in Bear Country!
Mountain Parks – Locals Tip
Abbot Ridge in Rogers Pass is a locals’ favourite. Find the trailhead at the Illecillewaet campground and then hike 6.8km one way up 1,029m of elevation gain for unsurpassed views.
Feeling fit? Challenge yourself by road biking up the Meadows in the Sky Parkway in Mount Revelstoke National Park. It’s 26km of fresh asphalt and blooming wildflowers – what’s not to love?