Hiking in Revelstoke can be as challenging or leisurely as you would like it to be. However, no matter where you go you’re sure to be met with stunning mountain views. With such a vast network of trails to be explored, we have compiled a list of the very best trails for hiking in Revelstoke.
Hiking in the Revelstoke area provides rewarding mountain views and rugged terrain. But despite the mesmerizing beauty that awaits trekkers, the trails here aren’t usually clogged with travellers.
Although the Revelstoke region has been on the radar of skiers for a few years now thanks to the epic powder at Revelstoke Mountain Resort, the hiking scene has been far quieter. This is great for anyone looking to hike to get in touch with nature, as fewer fellow hikers on the trails means a more serene outdoor experience.
With the spectacular Selkirk Mountains to the east and the Monashee Mountains to the west, the Revelstoke area provides vast terrain for exploration.
If you’re heading deep into the backcountry, expect a rugged journey. Overgrown sections of trails and steep elevation gains are just a few of the challenges that await you on these mountains. Closer to town, the paths are generally better maintained, but many can still be pretty tough. Hop on the Illecillewaet Greenbelt Pathway for a gentle and scenic jaunt or take on the steep Summit Trail that begins near the railway museum.
Additionally, the Columbia Mountains area has a somewhat short alpine hiking season. The snowpack sticks around in some areas until early July, offering only a three-month window for backcountry treks.
With Revelstoke having such vast mountain terrain, there’s a massive network of trails and backcountry to be explored. However, with skill-level, duration and accessibility in mind, here is our list of the top hiking trails to try in Revelstoke.
An easy scenic route that is friendly for walkers of all ages.
The Illecillewaet Greenbelt Pathway might be difficult to spell, but it is easy to enjoy. This family-friendly walking path gets a lot of traffic throughout the year because it is an inviting trail that offers great views of the valley, the local sawmill and the local power substation.
It is an easy and relatively flat trail that runs along the Illecillewaet River, through quiet wooded areas, peaceful ponds and green meadows. The Greenbelt is a conservation area that is managed by the Illecillewaet Greenbelt Society, so this area is well maintained and has plenty of wildlife. Be sure to wave at the many families you will see strolling down this welcoming trail on a sunny afternoon.
You can start the trail at Centennial Park in Revelstoke and finish at Powerhouse Road, or you can access it via the Edward Street Trailhead near the skatepark. You can find a free Revelstoke Trail Guide at the Visitor Information Centre that includes a map of the trail.
A pleasant lakeside trail ideal for walking, running or biking. Williamson Lake Trail offers you the chance to stretch your legs and enjoy the gorgeous views of this glittering blue lake.
Along the first half of the hike you will discover a collection of enormous old growth stumps that were logged many years ago, with evidence of springboard notches made by lumberjacks of another era. Seeing the sheer scale of these stumps will give you an idea of what the Columbia valley must have looked like over a century ago.
This trail is not often used by w Revelstoke locals, so it will usually be free of crowds – except perhaps for a few hikers staying at the nearby campground.
This trail begins at the Williamson Lake Parking lot and makes a circle of the lake clockwise. Williamson Lake is a 10 minute drive south from Revelstoke. Just follow the signs along the highway to the airport.
Upper and Lower Jade Lakes get their name due to the surreal jewel-like green colour of the water. And these sparkling gems make the perfect destination for a relaxing hike.
To get to Jade Lake you will need to take the trail marked as Eva Lake, which will cross through the gently rolling countryside and into the upper subalpine zone. About 5.5km from the trailhead you will find a junction where the trail to Jade Lakes heads off to the right.
The Jade Lake trail will take you up a steep slope into the treeless tundra, treating you to breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys and mountains that are certainly worth the climb. Listen for the sharp whistling sounds of the hoary marmot, a large mountain squirrel that is common in this area. This hike is not for the faint of heart – prepare for lots of elevation gain and to cross many loose rock slides along your way.
As this hike is almost 20km round-trip, it is recommended for advanced hikers only. Overnight camping on the trail is permitted, but make sure you bring a small stove because fires are not allowed.
There are trailheads for this hike on the Meadows in the Sky Parkway at 25.5km, as well as at Heather Lake on the upper shuttle bus stop.
This hike leads you to a beautiful, sparkling blue-green lake that is surrounded by towering mountains.
On the way to the lake, enjoy alpine meadows with gorgeous views of stunning mountains. After following this trail for about two kilometres, you’ll come to a Y-junction. Take the left-hand trail if you’d like to trek down to the lakes.
On this route, you’ll hike through dense forest and climb from about 1800 m to just over 2000 m before descending to the lake. This is a great, short hike for the whole family.
But if you take the right-hand path, expect the terrain to get tough quick. In fact, the route becomes harder and harder to find as you climb higher toward the summit. Local hikers recommend sticking to the northwest ridge all the way to the top, where you’ll be treated to sweeping mountain views. The scenery makes this trek one of the most popular trails in the Revelstoke area.
From Revelstoke, drive south along Airport Way. Take Akolkolex-Crawford-Dupont Forest Service Road. From the end of the pavement, it is about 33km to the McCrae Lake Trail.
The Summit Trail is a challenging uphill adventure that takes you through a cross section of ecosystems in the Columbia Mountains.
This is a strenuous hike through the forest from the base of Mount Revelstoke to Balsam Lake. If you are looking for some heavy-duty exercise, you will love the thrill of making your way uphill on this scenic path.
The Summit Trail is very well marked and winds through beautiful subalpine and alpine forest. It begins with stands of cedar and hemlock, climbing through lower and upper subalpine regions as you gain altitude. The Summit Trail emerges by the Balsam Lake Cabin, where you can choose to continue on the Upper Summit Trail to the peak.
The best time of year to tackle the Summit Trail is in August ,when you can enjoy a colourful burst of wildflowers in bloom. During the fall months you can also experience the red, orange and yellow leaves and pleasant cool and dry temperatures.
The trail starting point is located behind Farrel Road, which is right behind the Revelstoke Railway Museum on 719 Track Street.
We have a variety of Revelstoke vacation rentals that are equipped with all the necessities to enjoy a great Revelstoke getaway. Call our highly knowledgeable Destination Experts who can answer any questions you may have about hiking in Revelstoke, or our Revelstoke accommodations. They’re available 7 days a week!