Visitors and locals alike flock to Mount Revelstoke National Park every year for its staggering views, meadows of vibrant wildflowers, and a multitude of scenic hikes for any level of fitness.
The 260 square-kilometre park blends a compelling history with an array of natural features, ensuring it has something to enchant everyone. So, whether it’s your first time in the area or you’re a long time local looking to fall in love with this Revelstoke gem all over again, read on to discover the splendours that await you in this temperate inland rainforest.
1. Trail Running
Step off the asphalt and take a run through a rainforest instead! The Inspiration Woods trail offers a 2.5-kilometre round-trip jaunt. The trail features mostly mellow terrain with a few hills, footbridges and exposed roots just to keep things interesting. The trailside streams, moss covered forest floor and towering red cedars keep this trail cool in the summer making it the perfect place to take a run during warmer temperatures.
2. The Nels Nelsen Ski Jump
Park in town and step through the Winner’s Circle gateway, accessed behind the Revelstoke Railway Museum, to view this iconic piece of Revelstoke’s history. This 40-minute walk will teach you about Nels Nelsen, Isabel Coursier, and the other skiers who took the ski jumping world by storm, shattering records in the 1920s on this now decommissioned ski jump.
Check out one of Canada’s iconic hill climbs, the Meadows in the Sky Parkway. Take in the beautiful scenery and iconic Revelstoke mountain views as you snake up the 26km road to the summit area. Feeling competitive? Check out the Mount Revelstoke Steamer race on the road in August.
The park also has the Beaver Lodge Kids Bike Park for smaller children to practise their bike skills whilst learning all about the park’s flora and fauna, and the Soren Sorensen 5km looped trail for mountain biking close to town.
4. Wildflower Viewing
The aptly named Meadows in Sky Parkway has wildflower meadows that will make you want to run with your arms outstretched singing “The Hills are Alive”. Castilleja, heather, arctic lupin, and dozens of other species of wildflowers paint the canvas of the hillsides with some stunningly bold hues. Dotted along the paved summit road and located all over the mountain side these flowers will have you reaching for your camera dozens of times over.
The dark skies of the park are the perfect spot to see the stars. See the Perseid meteor shower in August, or spot the milky way when the sky is clear.
If you’d like to learn more, join Parks Canada every Wednesday at the Illecillewaet Campground in Glacier National Park when the sky is clear, to learn about the night sky. Meet behind the campground kiosk after sunset for the sessions.
6. Eva Lake
One of the most celebrated hikes in Revelstoke is the Eva Lake trail. From rolling country carpeted with subalpine wildflowers to a boulder-strewn side-valley, this hike leaves nothing to be desired. The view when you reach the lake is breathtaking: towering peaks reflected in calm, clear waters. For those looking for additional adventure hike in a tent to the lake and camp overnight at their designated site.
7. Summit Area Hikes
Learn about the history and culture of the first nations people of Revelstoke on the First Footsteps trail, or take 30 minutes to hike to the historic fire lookout. Alternatively, step back in time to the early 1800s and hike the one-kilometre Koo Koo Sint Trail celebrating David Thompson and his explorations of Western North America.
8. Balsam Lake
Drive 30 minutes from the highway without stopping and you’ve landed yourself in one of the world’s most stunning parking lots. Park at beautiful Balsam Lake and take a leisure trail around the lake on this short 500-metre loop. Take in the wildflowers and the crystal clear waters but be sure to bring a light jacket. Big elevation gains mean cooler temperatures — a fact that can catch people out when they head up there.
9. Cabin Views
The perfect place to take a picnic dinner in Revelstoke is to the Monashee Lookout! Majestic is the only word that can be used to describe the scene from this vantage point; the city at valley bottom to stunning views of the Monashees give an all encompassing view of Revelstoke. Dine at one of the picnic tables or cuddle up to a fire in the Monashee Lookout cabin with their free firewood.
10. Walk Amongst the Giants
Explore the world’s only inland cedar rainforest by taking a leisurely stroll along the half-kilometre long Giant Cedars Boardwalk. This attraction is must-do whether you are just looking for a place to stretch your legs while on the road, or spending a day adventuring in Mount Revelstoke NP.
11. Explore the Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk
Explore the boardwalk through the wetlands of the Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk. Learn about the unique ecosystem of this part of the region and keep your eyes peeled for the abundant wildlife that calls this place home.
Original Words: Eliisa Tennant