On the Trail
Hiking in Mount Revelstoke National Park offers you the chance to explore the rugged Columbia Mountains.
Mount Revelstoke's trails range from short, valley-bottom strolls, to steep, tough climbs. Some offer spectacular panoramic views of mountains from subalpine meadows lush with wildflowers, while others wind through stands of old-growth cedar-hemlock forests.
Whatever trail you choose, come prepared for travel in a rugged mountain environment and unpredictable weather.
The 'Hiking in Mount Revelstoke National Park' brochure contains a map and information on trails. The publication “Footloose in the Columbias,” formerly published by the Friends of Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks, includes details on trail length, hiking time, difficulty, elevation gain and special features. Voluntary safety registration is available.
Giant Cedars Boardwalk Trail
Cedars more than 500 years old grow in the park. © Parks Canada - Bronwyn Pavey
A half kilometre boardwalk takes you into the heart of the park's old-growth forest, among cedar trees that may be more than half a millennium old. Signs along the way relate the importance of functioning ecosystems. Benches are provided so you can relax and breathe in the serene forest atmosphere. Trailhead is at the Giant Cedars Picnic Area, 30 km east of Revelstoke on the Trans Canada Highway.
Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk Trail
Skunk Cabbages grow in low-elevation wetlands. © Parks Canada - Rob Buchanan
A 1.2 km trail and boardwalk leads you over a swamp inhabited by muskrat, beaver, skunk cabbage and a host of birds. Signs help you identify the plants and animals you see along the way. This fascinating place is at its best from May through July. Trailhead is at the Skunk Cabbage Picnic Area, 28 km east of Revelstoke on the Trans Canada Highway.
Meadows in the Sky Trail
Wildflower meadows blossom in August © Parks Canada
One kilometre of paved trail takes you through a sub-alpine meadow. Signs provide information about this fragile area where winter lasts up to nine months of the year. A point of interest is the Icebox, a shaded rock cleft where snow persists throughout the summer. This trail is at its best in late July and early August when the wildflower blooming season is at its peak. Trailhead is at the summit of Mt. Revelstoke, a 25 km drive from the town of Revelstoke.
Cycling is allowed on the Trans-Canada Highway and the Meadows in the Sky Parkway, as well as on 2-km and 5-km trails at the foot of Mount Revelstoke. A connector trail links these trails with Highway 23 North.
More on cycling in Mount Revelstoke National Park...
Snowshoeing and Ski-touring
© Parks Canada
A blanket of white settles on Mount Revelstoke by mid-November each year, making the park a great destination for snowshoers. The Meadows in the Sky Parkway is ploughed to the entrance gate, and offers good snowshoeing opportunities with connections to the Inspiration Woods and Soren Sorensen 5 k trails.
Visitors can also snowshoe up the Mount Revelstoke Trail from the Tournament of Champions trailhead in town to the Nels Nelsen Historic Area. The Soren Sorensen 2 k Trail, which starts at the Nels Nelsen Historic Area, offers great beginner snowshoeing.
Please note that the Nels Nelsen Ski Jump itself is an avalanche area and is not open to the public in winter. The lower area of the Meadows in the Sky Parkway is rated as Simple avalanche terrain, and visitors should be alert for snow slumping from rock-cuts along the roadway.
The day-use areas in the Illecillewaet Valley (Giant Cedars and Skunk Cabbage) are inaccessible in winter due to the very heavy snowpack. These trails do not lend themselves to snowshoeing because of the stairways and boardwalks.
The spectacular terrain and heavy snowfall in the park create some good ski touring opportunities higher up Mount Revelstoke. Caribou Cabin, an overnight shelter at Km 19 on the Parkway is accessible by touring skis or snowshoes, via the Summit Trail or the Parkway itself. Caribou Cabin is booked through the Revelstoke Administration Office – please ask for a map of the route to the cabin.
Mount Revelstoke National Park is avalanche country and voluntary safety registration is recommended if you are planning to ski into the high country. Check the Canadian Avalanche Centre forecast for the North Columbia – Monashees and Selkirks. Winter travelers must be knowledgeable of avalanche terrain and have self-rescue capability and appropriate training to ensure their own safety.
Please note that there is no overnight
use beyond Caribou Cabin in order to protect mountain caribou. If you want to support caribou conservation efforts, the best choice is to avoid caribou habitat altogether in winter, as your ski or snowshoe tracks could inadvertently lead predators into important habitat or intimidate caribou into avoiding these areas. The Mount Klotz area in the Mount Revelstoke backcountry is closed to all public use during the winter months
in order to protect important mountain caribou habitat.
The granitic peaks of the Clachnacudainn (pronounced CLAK-na-KOO-din) range east of the summit of Mount Revelstoke offer good scrambling and Class 4 climbing. Also, a locally popular rock face known as the Lauretta Slabs is accessible within a short distance of the Trans-Canada Highway.
Climbing requires special skills and equipment. For advice on routes and conditions, contact us by phone - 250-837-7500 - or by email.
The booklet “Footloose in the Columbias” contains information on access routes, as does the “American Alpine Club Climber's Guide to The Columbia Mountains of Canada Central” (1992), ed. John Kevin Fox (The AAC Press, 113 East 90th Street, New York 10128).