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.






Hiking trails in Mount Revelstoke National Park
Hiking trail Type Difficulty Estimated time (one way) Distance (one way) Elevation change Trail description
Giant Cedars Lower Mount Revelstoke Easy 15 minutes 0.5 km (loop) 28 m (stairs) Interpretive boardwalk through old-growth cedar-hemlock forest.
Skunk Cabbage Lower Mount Revelstoke Easy 30 minutes 1.2 km (loop) 5 m Interpretive boardwalk through rare Columbia Mountain wetland.
Inspiration Woods Lower Mount Revelstoke Easy 1 h (loop) 2.5 km (loop) 133 m Gentle walk through Columbia Mountain rainforest.
Soren Sorenson 2 km Lower Mount Revelstoke Easy 30 minutes 2 km (loop) 21 m Multi-use (hiking/biking) trail through interior rainforest.
Soren Sorenson 5 km Lower Mount Revelstoke Easy 1.5 hours 5 km (loop) 63 m Multi-use (hiking/biking) trail through interior rainforest.
Mount Revelstoke Lower Mount Revelstoke Moderate 30 minutes 1.3 km 103 m Multi-use (hiking/biking) trail connecting the ski jump to the railway museum.
23 Connector Lower Mount Revelstoke Moderate 30 minutes 2.2 km 116 m Multi-use (hiking/biking) trail connecting parkway to Highway 23 North.
Nels' Knickers trail Lower Mount Revelstoke Moderate 30 minutes 1 km 78 m Explore the historic ski jump where world records were set!
Summit trail Lower Mount Revelstoke Difficult 4-5 h (uphill) 10 km 1 353 m Early 20th century trail leading from the Nels Nelsen parking lot to the summit. This trail was the first route to the now famous wildflower meadows of the park.
Lindmark Lower Mount Revelstoke Difficult 3.5 h (uphill) 8 km 982 m Steep forested trail starting at Monashee Picnic Area and ending at Balsam Lake below the summit of Mount Revelstoke.
Balsam Lake Summit area Easy 10 minutes 0.5 km (loop) 8 m Trail starts at the Balsam Lake picnic shelter and loops around the small subalpine lake.
Eagle Knoll Summit area Easy 30 minutes .75 km 27 m A secluded uphill trail with long views of Lake Revelstoke.
Upper Summit Summit area Easy 30 minutes 1 km 91 m Trail passes through subalpine forest, connecting the summit meadows with the parking area.
Fire Lookout Summit area Easy 30 minutes .5 km 11 m Trail leads to the historic Summit Fire Lookout, with a spectacular 360 degree panoramic view, and a loop connecton to the nearby Parapets viewpoints. Parapets are accessible to wheelchair users, with assistance, (slight grade).
Koo Koo Sint Summit area Easy 30 minutes .7 km 28 m Learn about David Thompson, the mighty Columbia River and ‘Nelson’s Mountains’.
Heather Lake Summit area Easy 10 minutes 0.4 km (loop) 10 m Short walk around a subalpine lake.
First Footsteps Summit area Easy 30 minutes 1 km (loop) 24 m First Nations art is found along this trail which loops through subalpine meadows, with views of the ‘Icebox’ and backcountry.
Miller Lake Summit area Moderate 2-3 hours 5.5 km 183 m Beautiful Miller Lake is a short side trip from the Eva Lake trail.
Eva Lake Summit area Moderate 2-3 hours 6 km 209 m Classic subalpine hike over gently rolling terrain leading to high elevation lake.
Jade Lakes Summit area Difficult 3-4 h to 1st lake 9 km 428 m Climb over Jade Lake Pass through treeless alpine tundra.

Lower Mount Revelstoke area

Giant Cedars Boardwalk

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.

Cedars more than 500 years old grow in the park.
© Parks Canada - Bronwyn Pavey
Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk trail

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.

Skunk Cabbages grow in low-elevation wetlands.
© Parks Canada - Rob Buchanan
Inspiration Woods

Length: 2.5 km (round trip)
Hiking time: 1.5 hours (round trip)
Elevation change: 612 to 745 m (133m)
Trailhead: Meadows in the Sky parkway – km 1.9 (first switchback above the Welcome Station)
Map coordinates: 118°12’13”W 51°1’27”N (trailhead)

This pleasant forest walk suits its poetic name. Trees typical of the interior cedar-hemlock forest, including western hemlock, western white pine and Douglas fir line the trail. Black and light green beard lichens hang from the trees and rich carpets of moss and ferns remind you that this is a wet-belt forest. Along the tiny creek, watch for the spine-covered devil’s club – the bane of off-trail travel in these mountains.

This trail is noted for its display of mushrooms in September and October. Please remember that mushroom collecting is not permitted in national parks.

Because of its low elevation, Inspiration Woods is a popular hike both early (April-May) and late (October-November) in the season. In winter, visitors often snowshoe around the trail.

Inspiration Woods has a looped end; you will be able to return to the trailhead by carefully following the directional arrows and ignoring the disused sections of the old trail and road.

Inspiration Woods
Soren Sorenson (2km and 5km loop trails)
Hiking Time:
2 km Loop
: 30 minutes;
5 km Loop: 1.5 hours

Elevation change:
2 km Loop
: 573 to 594 m (21m);
5km Loop: 573 to 636 (63m)

Trailhead:
Meadows in the Sky Parkway km 1.4; Nels Nelsen Historic Area
Map coordinates: 118°11’39”W 51°0’25”N (trailhead)

This trail started as a cross-country ski route before the Mount MacPherson trails were developed outside the park, on the opposite side of the Columbia River valley. Today the Soren Sorensen trail is a popular cycling route that also provides a pleasant walk.

This is one of the few places in the park where you might see snakes. Two harmless species, the common garter snake and the western territorial garter snake make their homes along this route. Please try to avoid them as you cycle.

You have two options in hiking this trail: a 2km or 5km loop. You also can connect with the Meadows in the Sky Parkway at the far end of the 5km loop.

Dog walkers on the 5km loop
Mount Revelstoke

Length: Hiking route: 1.3 km; biking route: 1.5 km
Hiking time: 30 minutes (uphill)
Elevation change: 470 to 573 m (103m)
Trailheads:
Upper: Meadows in the Sky Parkway km 1.4; Nels Nelsen Historic Area
Lower: Track St. W, Revelstoke (150 m southeast of the Railway Museum, at the Tournament of Champions Plaza)
Map coordinates: 118°11’39”W 51°0’25”N (upper trailhead); 118°11’55”W 51°0’12”N (lower trailhead)

This short trail gives both hikers and cyclists a way to connect with the Meadows in the Sky Parkway and the park’s trail system from within the City of Revelstoke. The trail begins
at the Tournament of Champions Plaza, which celebrates the history of skiing and international ski jumping competitions on Mount Revelstoke.

The trail uses an abandoned segment of the summit road as far as the current parkway. Here hikers can cross the road and rejoin the trail. Cyclists will need to climb a short way uphill to the cycling route provided on the right. Both routes take you to the Nels Nelsen Historic Area.

23 Connector trail (connects the Meadows in the Sky Parkway with Highway 23)

Length: 2.2 km (1-way)
Hiking time: 30 minutes (uphill)
Elevation change: 471 to 587 m (116 m)
Trailheads:
Upper:
Meadows in the Sky Parkway km 1.2 (125m below the Welcome Station)
Lower: Highway 23 North (1.4 km north of intersection with Highway 1)
Map coordinates: 118°12’20”W 51°1’5”N (upper trailhead); 118°12’46”W 51°1’19”N (lower trailhead)

As the name suggests, this trail provides a way to connect with Highway 23 going north from Revelstoke. Most often used by cyclists, this trail also provides a pleasant walk through rich woodland.

Nels' Knickers Interpretive trail

Length: 400m (1-way) 
Hiking time: up to 30 minutes (from lower trailhead)
Elevation change: 589 to 667 m (78m) 
Lower trailhead: Nels Nelsen Parking lot
Map coordinates: 118°11’39”W 51°0’25”N (trailhead)
Upper trailhead: Meadows in the Sky Parkway km 1.4

Step into place and imagine yourself soaring through the crisp winter air above cheering crowds, your skis touching snow 56 meters past the takeoff. Parks Canada is proud to present Nels' Knickers, an interactive sculpture of the famous ski jumper’s pants on a cantilevered viewing platform. Experience the same exhilaration as Nels and many other historic ski jumpers did as you stand at the edge of this one of a kind hands-on exhibit.

To get a workout start at the lower trailhead and head up the trail built on the historic landing site. Various viewing platforms are available along the way to take in the views and catch your breath. For a more relaxed experience park at the upper trailhead and stroll along a flat trail to the historic ski jumping site and exhibit at the top. From here you can choose to head down the landing site trail or stay up top before continuing on your adventures. Picnic tables are also available at the upper trailhead. Stop and learn about the only place in Canada where world records in ski-jumping have ever been set. 
The exhibit opens July 2017.

Nels' Knickers
© Parks Canada/Rob Buchanan
Summit trail

Length: 10 km
Hiking time: 4-5 hours (uphill)
Elevation change: 573 to 1926 m (1353m)
Trailheads:
Lower:
Meadows in the Sky Parkway km 1.4; Nels Nelsen Historic Area
Upper: Meadows in the Sky Parkway km 25.5; Heather Lake (upper shuttle bus stop)
Map coordinates: 118°11’39”W 51°0’25”N (upper trailhead); 118°8’34”W 51°2’48”N (lower trailhead)

This trail leads from the base of Mount Revelstoke all the way to the summit. It dates from the turn of the 20th century and was the first route to the park’s famous wildflower meadows. You can hike from the bottom up, or arrange for a ride to the upper trailhead and walk downhill.

The Summit trail gives hikers a cross-sectional look at life zones in the Columbia Mountains. Starting from the Interior cedar-hemlock forest, it climbs through the lower subalpine and ends in the upper subalpine.

At the lower trailhead you can see the remains of an historic ski jump on the slope to the left. As you hike the first part of the trail, you pass through the overgrown runs of a former downhill ski development. Look for North America’s smallest bird, the Calliope hummingbird, in this area.

Starting from the lower trailhead, you will cross the Meadows in the Sky Parkway at six locations. At the seventh meeting, the trail follows the original roadway for several hundred metres. Watch for trail signs on the left showing where the roadway becomes a trail again. After this final section through the forest, the trail emerges beside the Balsam Lake cabin. From here you have the choice of hiking another kilometer to the summit of Mount Revelstoke on the Upper Summit trail, walking along the road to the summit or catching a ride on the shuttle bus if it’s operating.

Lindmark trail

Length: 7.5 km
Hiking time: 3.5 hours (uphill)
Elevation change: 864 to 1846 m (982m)
Trailheads:
Lower:
Meadows in the Sky Parkway km 7.3; Monashee Lookout Picnic Area
Upper: Meadows in the Sky Parkway km 24.6; Balsam Lake Picnic Area
Map coordinates: 118°11’5”W 51°0’37”N (lower trailhead); 118°8’56”W 51°2’29”N (upper trailhead)

Revelstoke Mayor C.F. Lindmark was an early booster of the scenic values of Mount Revelstoke. Support by local citizens, including the mayor, led to the establishment of Mount Revelstoke National Park in 1914.

The Lindmark Trail traverses the same life zones as the Summit Trail, but has the advantage of not crossing the parkway.

Hikers can follow the trail from either end. Just below the upper trailhead there is a small subalpine lake locally known as Eagle Lake – a quiet gem on a busy day. Balsam Lake, at the upper trailhead, is only 1 metre deep. At Balsam Lake, you will be able to take a short side trip on the Eagle Knoll Trail or connect with the Upper Summit Trail leading to the top of Mount Revelstoke.

Lindmark trail

Summit area

Mount Revelstoke's summit area, easily accessible by automobile, gives visitors a special opportunity to explore an alpine area. Without stopping at the numerous viewpoints along the Meadows in the Sky Parkway, the drive to summit takes about 30 minutes.

Parking is provided a short distance below the summit, at Balsam Lake. Large recreational vehicles are asked to park in the first parking lot near the cabin, just before the lake. To protect the fragile flower meadows at the summit, the road between Balsam and Heather Lakes is closed to most traffic. A shuttle bus is provided at peak times to provide an easy lift between the lakes. Alternatively, you can walk up the road or hike the Upper Summit Trail.

Balsam Lake trail (around the lake)

Length: 500 m (loop)
Hiking time: 10 minutes (round trip)
Elevation change: 1835 to 1843 m (8m)
Trailhead: Meadows in the Sky Parkway km 24.6; Balsam Lake picnic site
Map Coordinates: 118°8'56"W 51°2'29"N (trailhead)

Balsam Lake offers a pleasant stroll completely around a tiny alpine lake. At one time there was a campground at one end. With growing visitation to the summit, the campground was removed to protect the fragile high-elevation environment.

Balsam Lake
© Parks Canada - Karen Best
Eagle Knoll trail

Length: 1 km (loop)
Hiking time: 30 minutes (round trip)
Elevation change: 1835 to 1862 m (27m)
Trailhead: Meadows in the Sky Parkway km 24.6; Balsam Lake picnic site
Map Coordinates:
118°8'56"W 51°2'29"N (trailhead)

This litle trail takes you from the busy parking lot on a short stroll up to a forested knoll overlooking the Columbia Valley.

From the parking lot, follow the trail beside the picnic shelter at the far end of the lake. Along the shore, trail signs point the way to Eagle Knoll. For a bit more exploring, continue past this point to the next junction and a sign indicating the upper end of the Lindmark Trail. If you follow this dirt trail for about 10 minutes, you will discover a tiny gem known locally as 'Eagle Lake' nestled in the ridges. Return by the same route to the parking lot.

Eagle Lake
© Parks Canada - Karen Best
Upper Summit trail

Length: 951 m
Hiking time: 30 minutes (uphill)
Elevation change: 1835 to 1926 m (91m)
Trailheads:
Lower:
Meadows in the Sky Parkway km 24.6; Balsam Lake parking lot (lower shuttle bus stop)
Upper: Meadows in the Sky Parkway km 25.5; Heather Lake (upper shuttle bus stop)
Map Coordinates: 118°8'56"W 51°2'29"N (trailhead)

This continuation of the Summit Trail is a pleasant walk through the upper subalpine forest between Balsam and Heather lakes.

To return from Heather Lake to Balsam Lake, you have the option of taking the shuttle bus if it is running or walking down the connector road. If the flowers are at their peak, you'll see some of the best displays along the road. If the skies are clear, you will be able to see Mount Begbie and other Monashee Mountains on the western horizon and the Selkirk Mountains to the east.

Upper Summit trail

© Parks Canada - Jeff Bolingbroke

Fire Lookout trail

Length: 350 m (return)
Hiking time: 30 minutes (round trip)
Elevation change: 1922 to 1933 m (11m)
Trailhead: Meadows in the Sky Parkway km 25.5; Heather Lake (upper shuttle bus stop)
Map Coordinates: 118°8'34"W 51°2'48"N (trailhead)

The goal for this hike is the historic fire lookout you can see on the summit. Built in 1927 and in operation until 1988, it is now designated as a Federal Heritage Building.

Although the building is no longer used, it is surrounded by a viewing platform that provides outstanding views of the mountains. When the fire lookout was in operation, the tower person would look for forest fires from the upper story of the building. They also would hike to several natural lookouts in the summit area to make observations.

The trail winds steeply up the slope between the parking lot and the tower. For an easier grade, keep to the bottom trail (straught ahead) until you reach a more gentle slope up the back of the fire tower knoll.

Mount Revelstoke firetower trail with pond and wildflowers
© Parks Canada - Karen Best
Koo Koo Sint trail

Length: 1 km (loop)
Hiking time: 30 minutes (round trip)
Elevation change: 1906 to 1934 m (28m)
Trailhead: Meadows in the Sky Parkway km 25.5; Heather Lake (upper shuttle bus stop)
Map Coordinates: 118°8'34"W 51°2'48"N (trailhead)

This trail celebrates the explorer David Thompson. During his explorations in the early 1800s, Thompson charted tens of thousands of square kilometres of western North America for the North West Company. The Aboriginal people of the mountains knew him as "Koo Koo Sint" - 'the man who looks at the stars.' Throughout his explorations, Thompson made frequent observations of the stars with a sextant, an instrument that allowed him to determie his precise location.

Thompson was the first European Canadian to travel the entire Columbia River from its source to its outlet at present-day Astoria, Oregon, USA. The stretch of the Columbia visible from the Koo Koo sint trail was the last reach of the river canoed by Thompson and his team in 1811. Watch for the signs on the trail presenting the epic story of Thompson's explorations.

Download the Koo Koo Sint trail guide (PDF, 400 KB)

Heather Lake trail

Length: 400 m (loop)
Hiking time: 10 minutes (round trip)
Elevation change: 1914 to 1924 m (10m)
Trailhead: Meadows in the Sky Parkway km 25.5; Heather Lake (upper shuttle bus stop)
Map Coordinates:
118°8'34"W 51°2'48"N (trailhead)

For a short stroll, you can walk right around this little lake - just follow well-used paths closest to the shoreline.

At least three species of mountain heather grow in this area. They are easily separated by their distinctive colous: red, white and light yellow. Mountain heathers are part of a high-elevation parade of colour we celebrate each year at the summit. The show starts with yellow glacier lilies in July and culminates in an August kaleidoscope of white valerian, yellow arnica, purple lupine, pink mountain daisies and paintbrush in many shades of red.

Heather Lake with bench and wildflower meadow in foreground and mountain in background
© Parks Canada - Karen Best
First Footsteps trail

Length: 750 m (loop)
Hiking time: 30 minutes (round trip)
Elevation change: 1920 to 1944 m (24m)
Trailhead: Meadows in the Sky Parkway km 25.5; Heather Lake (upper shuttle bus stop)
Map Coordinates: 118°8'34"W 51°2'48"N (trailhead)

This short loop walk explores the subalpine meadows and provides several lookouts. First Footsteps presents the traditions of the Secwepemc, Ktunaxa and Okanagan First Nations through sculpture and artwork. The people of these three nations have lived in the columbia Mountains for thousands of years. This mountain-top sculpture walk presents their stories in their own words.

The trail passes the "Icebox" - a large cleft in the rock containing snow year-round.

First Footsteps can be easily linked with the nearby Koo Koo Sint trail for 60 minutes of reasonably easy mountain-top hiking.

First Footsteps Trail
© Parks Canada - Rob Buchanan

Miller, Eva, and Jade lakes

Day hikes to the park's high country lakes offer superb mountain hiking across rolling terrain studded with flower meadows and scenic vistas. Most visitors will want to see both Eva and Miller lakes on one hike - if you go to Eva first, Miller Lake is only a short side-trip that you could take on your way back to the trailhead.

If you want to explore the Jade Lakes, we suggest an early start as there is a great amount of elevation change for one day's hiking. The reward will be experiencing the true alpine tundra in Jade Lakes Pass and vistas of the exquisite jade-green waters of the lakes. In the pass, look for golden-mantled ground squirrels and true alpine birds such as American pipit, rosy finch and golden eagle.

Backcountry camping passes are required for overnight trips to either of the campsites and can be purchased at the welcome station kiosk at the beginning of the Meadows in the Sky Parkway or at our office in the City of Revelstoke. There are designated backcountry campgrounds at Eva Lake and Upper Jade Lake.

Miller Lake trail

Length: 5.8 km (one-way)
Hiking time: 2-3 hours to lake
Elevation change: 1778 to 1931 m (153)
Trailhead: Meadows in the Sky Parkway km 25.5; Heather Lake (upper shuttle bus stop)
Map coordinates: 118°8'32"W 51°2'49"N (trailhead)
Camping: Not permitted
Lake info: Depth - 27m; Ice-free mid-July to mid-October

At the turn of the century, school inspector A.E. Miller explored the park area and wrote articles in the Revelstoke newspaper extolling the region's scenic beauty. This alpine lake, named in his honour, continues to be a favourite day-hike destination. During the last ice age, a glacier sat in the basin now filled by the lake. The moving sheet of ice ate away at the depression and formed this bowl-shaped lake.

The beginning of this hike follows the same route as the Eva Lake Trail. At a junction about 5.4 km from the start, the trail to the right leads to Miller Lake. A point jutting into the water makes an ideal lunch stop.

Eva Lake trail

Length: 7.1 km (one-way)
Hiking time: 2-3 hours to lake
Elevation change: 1778 to 1957 m (179m)
Trailhead: Meadows in the Sky Parkway km 25.5; Heather Lake (upper shuttle bus stop)
Map coordinates: 118°8'32"W 51°2'49"N (trailhead)
Camping: Permitted in the designated sites at the lake only. Backcountry camping passes are required for overnight trips.
Lake info: Depth - 12m; Ice-free mid-July to mid-October

This trail is named after Eva Hobbs - an active early member of the Revelstoke Mountaineering Club formed in 1909. The trail crosses gently rolling country in the upper subalpine zone just below the treeless alpine. In some places, the trail passes through strips of stunted subalpine fir, mountain hemlock and Engelmann spruce. Where local conditions inhibit tree growth, the trail skirts and crosses meadows, which are carpeted in August with subalpine wildflowers.

As you hike down into a boulder-strewn side-valley, listen for hoary marmots (a sharp, human-like whistle) and pikas (a soft bleat). About 5.4 km from the trailhead, there is a junction with Miller Lake Trail. Fifty metres further at another junction, the trail to Jade Lakes leads off to the right. The trail straight ahead continues to Eva Lake. Overnight camping is permitted at the designated campsite. Open fires are not allowed in the park, so make sure you pack a small stove.

A trail around the water's edge leads to an impressive viewpoint looking north across the Coursier Creek valley. The old cabin at the lake was built in 1928 for the Mount Revelstoke park warden. It is one of the oldest buildings in the park and designated as a Federal Heritage Building.

There are designated backcountry campgrounds at Eva Lake. Backcountry camping passes are required for overnight trips.

Eva Lake / © Parks Canada - Jeff Bolingbroke
Jade Lakes trail

Length: 9.4 km (one-way)
Hiking time: 3-4 hours to Upper Jade Lake
Elevation change: 1778 to 2206 m (428)
Trailhead: Meadows in the Sky Parkway km 25.5; Heather Lake (upper shuttle bus stop)
Map coordinates: 118°8'32"W 51°2'49"N (trailhead)
Camping: Permitted in the designated site at Upper Jade Lake only. Backcountry camping passes are required for overnight trips.
Lake info: Upper Jade Lake: Depth - 14m; Ice-free late July to mid-October;
Lower Jade Lake: Depth - 23m; Ice-free late July to mid-October;

The jade-green waters of the Upper and Lower Jade Lakes have been photographed countless times by hikers with the strength to climb over the pass leading from Miller Lake to the Jade Lakes.

Follow the route described for Eva Lake as far as the second junction (5.4 km from the trailhead). Take the trail leading to the right. This trail ascends the steep slope above Miller Lake. Near the summit of the pass you enter the treeless alpine tundra with its far-reaching views of mountains and valleys.

Many hikers call it a day at the summit of the pass and spend some time here enjoying the commanding views. Energetic hikers may continue down the other side of the pass on a steep trail that becomes less distinct near the lakes. Overnight camping is permitted, but fires are not, so be sure to pack a small stove. Backcountry camping passes are required for overnight trips.

Jade Lake trail / © Parks Canada - Guillaume Lansac