Revelstoke is a fascinating mountain community with incredible experiences to offer beyond Revelstoke Mountain Resort.
From the deep powder to the stunning alpine scenery, Revelstoke is the epitome of Canadian outdoor adventure.
Most people are drawn to the area because of the impressive Revelstoke Mountain Resort or the challenging biking and hiking trails. And while those might be the main attractions, this region offers an array of enthralling things to do and places to see.
In fact, you just might be surprised by how much there is to experience in Revelstoke.
Rich history on display
After a thrilling day of exploring the outdoors, head into downtown and discover the pulse of this vibrant community.
Revelstoke is perfect for history buffs. Wander through the Revelstoke Firefighters Museum and then take a look at a resorted 1923 fire engine. Follow it up with a visit to Canada’s only mechanical music museum.
Or perhaps you would prefer to dig into the country’s fascinating railway history. Step inside a restored 1948 CPR steam locomotive and view an array of artifacts and exhibits at the Revelstoke Railway Museum. You can also drive over to where the famous Last Spike was driven, marking the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Music, culture & more
The cobblestone streets in downtown Revelstoke are abuzz in the summer. Travellers browse boutique shops with charming historic facades, while festivals and events abound.
Grizzly Plaza is one of the most popular places to linger. The Summer Street Festival has achieved iconic status in this community, bringing live music to downtown every single night from June to August. From farmer’s markets to vintage car shows, this picturesque spot is always bustling with activity.
But a trip to Revelstoke wouldn’t be complete without stopping by the Revelstoke Dam – a 175 metre concrete giant that visitors can explore.
So if you want a few more details on what this region has to offer, take a look at the list below:
This postcard-worthy waterfall is tucked amid the lush greenery of a tranquil forest, where the Begbie Creek spills into Upper Arrow Lake.
You’ve got several options for getting here. If you have an off-road vehicle, you could ramble down the pothole-dotted forestry service road until you reach the gravel parking lot of the Begbie Falls Recreation Site. The route is pretty narrow and rugged, so you probably won’t want to take your rented luxury sedan down this way.
You can also park your vehicle at the gravel road access and hike or bike to the recreation area. Once there, a short trail twists down from the parking lot and eventually leads to the tranquil Begbie Falls. If you’re hiking in the summer, this is a great spot to fill your water bottle with fresh glacier-fed water.
Watch out for slippery sections and exposed roots on the trail.
South of Revelstoke on Highway 23, turn left on Clough Road. Follow it for about 1 km and then turn right on Mt Begbie Road. Follow the signs to the Begbie Falls Forestry Service Road. From here you can either make the drive or hike one of several routes to the falls.
You’re greeted by life-like statues of grizzly bears as you stroll into the historic centre of Revelstoke – aptly named Grizzly Plaza.
Surrounded by quaint shops with charming storefronts, this is a picturesque spot to linger. The pedestrian-only plaza is a great place to shop, have lunch or simply soak up the mountain ambience.
The plaza is also a vibrant hub for local entertainment. From late June to August, these cobblestone streets come alive when the Revelstoke Arts Council hosts the Summer Street Festival. Every evening, people pack the plaza to hear talented performers play a range of music from jazz and reggae to country and rock. It’s a family-friendly event that has achieved iconic status in this small mountain town.
But this isn’t the only gathering you’ll find at Grizzly Plaza. Purchase fresh fruit, preserves, crafts and more at the local farmer’s market every Saturday morning from spring to fall. The area is filled with colourful awnings and crowds of shoppers, creating a fun, community-focused atmosphere.
A popular spot for fishing, swimming and simply relaxing on the soft-sand beach.
Shelter Bay Provincial Park is a gem tucked along the shores of Upper Arrow Lake, just south of the town of Revelstoke. In the summer, this tranquil spot is filled with both locals and visitors who are drawn to the area by the fun water activities on offer and imposing mountain views.
The angling here is incredible. Kokanee, rainbow trout and Dolly Varden are among the species targeted on these waters. The campground offers 17 sites, many of which feature phenomenal views of the lake. And the beach is perfect for swimming.
Some boaters use Shelter Bay as a ‘home base’ for exploring other parts of Arrow Lake (there’s a paved boat launch right at the campground) or they stick around the local shores for waterskiing.
Drive west from the town of Revelstoke along Highway 23 for about 50 kilometres until you reach the Shelter Bay Provincial Park.
The Revelstoke Dam is one impressive structure.
Rising 175 metres high, this concrete construction is one of four dams in B.C. that regulate the flow of the Columbia River. It’s also the second-largest power-generating facility in the province, pumping out enough juice to power more than 740,000 homes a year. The visitor centre features exhibits that detail how this dam was built in 1984, as well as interactive displays and information about how water is turned into energy.
The most thrilling part of this visit is taking the Penstock Gateway walk-through tour. An elevator carries you to the crest of this massive dam, where you can take in sweeping views of the area. It’s a fascinating and educational experience for the entire family.
The Revelstoke Dam is located about 5 kilometres north of the town of Revelstoke off Highway 23N.
Delve into Canada’s rich railway past at this fascinating museum.
This is the ultimate place to learn about the history of the Canadian Pacific Railway in Canada. An impressive collection of historical photographs, artwork and artifacts detail how the railway helped shape our nation.
But perhaps the most popular attraction is the restored 1948 CPR steam locomotive, which you can climb inside and explore. You’ll also find a variety of rolling stock on display, including a snow plow, caboose, tanker and more.
If you’d like to learn about one of the most iconic moments in Canada’s railway history, you can visit the Last Spike at Craigellachie. A seasonal interpretive centre, which is a satellite branch of the museum, marks where the Canadian Pacific Railway was finally completed in 1885. This site is located 45 kilometres west of Revelstoke on the Trans-Canada Highway.
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Take a soak in a hot mineral pool, rejuvenating the muscles and the mind! Alternatively for those looking for an all-day adventure, try going for a drive just outside of Revelstoke towards Nakusp, and try your hand at hiking to a secluded, natural hot spring tucked away in the forest.
Find out more information about the hot springs in Revelstoke here.
We have incredible Revelstoke accommodations suited for any kind of traveller. Call our highly knowledgeable Destination Experts who can answer any questions you may have about activities in Revelstoke, or our fabulous selection of vacation rentals. They’re available 7 days a week!