When driving through Rogers Pass, stretch your legs and explore these short stops in glacier national park.
By Parks Canada
Revelstoke is the perfect base to explore nearby gems like Glacier National Park! A 45 minute scenic drive east on the Trans-Canada Highway (Hwy. 1), it’s the perfect summer road trip from town – or while travelling to or from Revelstoke. Known for its steep peaks, narrow valleys and epic deep powder (snow), Glacier’s summer season is short but definitely worthwhile. Snow slowly recedes up the mountains (and with it avalanche risk) and the peak season for high elevation adventure is August. If you’re looking for a nice drive and some light exploration, the season is a little longer.
ROGERS PASS NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE.
At the centre of Glacier National Park, you’ll find Rogers Pass National Historic Site, which commemorates the completion of Canada’s first transcontinental transportation corridor. The pass continues to play a pivotal role in connecting the nation bringing the Trans-Canada Highway and CP rail line across the Columbia Mountains. Visit the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre, the family-friendly hub of Glacier and Rogers Pass, as your one-stop shop for park information. In 2021, due to COVID-19 precautions, the museum will be closed. National park passes, wilderness permits and in-person visitor information will continue to be offered at the front door.
SHORT WALKS FROM THE HIGHWAY.
Glacier National Park is known for its steep hikes and mountaineering objectives but it also features several easy walks right off the Trans-Canada Highway.
At Hemlock Grove explore the towering cedar and hemlock rainforest along a 400m barrier-free boardwalk By June, marvel at massive Devil’s Club covering the forest floor but don’t touch – every part of the plant is covered in spines!
A locals' go-to is Bear Creek Falls. This short 1 km walk (return) is one of the first trails to be snow-free in the spring. The trail drops down to a stunning waterfall, then you climb back up to the start. The trail is only accessible heading east on the highway. If travelling west, turn around at Hermit trailhead to access the turn off.
For a longer outing, Meeting of the Waters is a fairly flat 4.6 km (return) hike from the Illecillewaet Valley trailhead. Step back in history with a stop at the Glacier House ruins, a once grand hotel that welcomed the mountains’ first tourists. To reach Meeting of the Waters, follow the signs to Perley Rock until you reach a large bridge. Snap a selfie in a Parks Canada red chair or just enjoy sounds of rushing water as the Asulkan Brook flows into the Illecillewaet River.
Make a pit stop on your way to Revelstoke at one of 5 seasonal picnic areas in Glacier National Park. Stretch your legs, roll out a blanket or learn something new about the natural and cultural history of this special place.
We recommend stopping at the Rogers Pass Summit Picnic Area which is a short drive west of the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre. On a clear day, views of the Hermit Range are incredible. Before hitting the road, wander a memory garden that tells stories of the triumphs and tragedies behind Canada’s first trans-continental railway and highway.
- Anyone stopping in a national park requires a national park pass. Day passes are valid until 4pm the following day which can then be used in Mount Revelstoke National Park (just outside the community of Revelstoke).
- The hiking season in Glacier National Park is short. Some high elevation trails can remain snowbound until late-July! Check the trail conditions report before heading out.
- Pack snacks and check your fuel tank. There are no gas stations or food outlets in Glacier National Park.
- The park is home to wildlife including wolves, cougars, grizzly bears and black bears. Carry bear spray outside your pack. Ensure it is quickly accessible and know how to use it.
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Trail Status for Glacier National Park
Trails in Glacier National park may be closed to due weather, wildlife, or other factors. Plan ahead by checking Parks Canada's website.Find out what's open