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 athleticism. 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 Revelstoke’s gem all over again read on to discover the splendours that await you in this temperate 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 the Soren Sorenson 5-km trail for an easily accessible and quick ride — perfect for those just getting off work or looking to stay close to town. One of the most beautiful times to bike this trail is in the late afternoon or early evening. Few things beat the rays of sunshine filtering through the trees and illuminating the leaves. Be sure to keep an eye out for hikers while taking in the beautiful scenery on this popular trail. Looking for an incredible road ride? The Meadows in the Sky parkway was recently named the best hill climb in Canada. And, if you are looking for entertainment for the kids, take them to the Beaver Lodge Kids Bike Park for a unique way to sharpen their skills on a bike (opening July 8th, 2017).
4. Wildflower Watching
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”. Indian paintbrush, heather, arctic lupin and dozens of other species of wildflowers are the stunningly bold hues on the canvas that make up Mount Revelstoke NP. 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.
“An Evening with the Stars” is an annual evening not to be missed. Take a tour of the universe with the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, and enjoy some primo stargazing at the Nels Nelsen Chalet. This year the event will be held on September 17th from 7:00pm – 9:00pm, and is free with your park pass.
6. The Lakes
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. Sleep without a tent fly. There is no single place better to stargaze than here on a clear night.
7. Summit Area Hikes
Take 30 minutes to hike to the historic fire lookout. Built in 1927 and in operation until 1988 the tower was used to survey the area for forest fires. 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. Summit Parking Highlights
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 which often surprises people when they exit their vehicles.
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 Giants
Explore the world’s only inland cedar rainforest by taking a leisurely stroll along the half-kilometre long Giant Cedars Boardwalk, and the 1.2 kilometre Skunk Cabbage 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. Canada 150
2017 marks the 150th anniversary of Canada and Parks Canada is giving the gift to you: a free pass to all National Parks coast to coast across our amazing country! Be sure to use this pass while participating in all events hosted at Mount Revelstoke including: Take a Kid Mountain Biking on June 10, the opening of the Nels Nelsen Historic Ski Jump and the Beaver Lodge Kids Bike Park on July 8 and An Evening with the Stars on September 17. #Canada150
Words: Eliisa Tennant