Visit Mount Revelstoke National Park in August for its Stunning Vistas & Wildflowers
While travelling to the larger and typically more popular mountain parks of Banff and Jasper in Alberta, visitors who take the Trans Canada Highway will pass through Mount Revelstoke National Park; however, this park is not to be overlooked as a destination all of its own.
Mount Revelstoke National Park is small by National Park standards, covering only 260 square kilometres, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in diversity. The park begins in the valley bottom at 470 metres above sea level and then rises to over 1,800 metres – all accessible by paved road. Summer, however, is a short season in Mount Revelstoke, and the summit is often snow-covered until July. But in August the vibrant colours of the wildflowers grace the roadside and along with the stunning views offered along the way you will have to stop for a photo or two.
Mount Revelstoke National Park is only a hop, skip, and a jump away from the community of Revelstoke. In less than an hour you can go from standing on the mountaintop to having a bite to eat in the city centre.
What to Do
Highlights in Mount Revelstoke National Park include:
- Meadows in the Sky Parkway: The crown jewel of Mount Revelstoke is the Meadows in the Sky Parkway – a 26 kilometre aptly named paved road allowing easy access to the subalpine meadows and its picture perfect carpet of vibrant flowers. Once you reach the end of the parkway, take the Summit Shuttle to the very top and bask in the awe-inspiring views.
- Geocaching: Print your Geocaching Passport from the Parks Canada website before you leave home, then set out on the Soren Sorensen trail. Find five or more of the eight hidden caches, answer the questions in your passport, and then redeem your completed passport for a limited edition Mount Revelstoke National Park geocoin at the Revelstoke Parks office.
- Flowers and Fires: Time your trip for mid-August and take in the short but sweet summer season at the summit. Take a stroll along the short Firetower Trail to the Summit Fire Lookout, originally built in 1927, and imagine what it would have been like to be stationed here, keeping your eyes peeled for signs of smoke on the horizon.
- Valley Bottom Walks: For a change of pace, check out the Giant Cedars Boardwalk Trail or the Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk in the valley bottom and get a sense of just how diverse this National Park truly is.
- Hiking: Mount Revelstoke really comes into its own when it comes to longer hikes. Eva Lake, Miller Lake, and Jade Lake are all spectacular day hikes (a long 19-kilometre day, in the case of Jade Lake) that have the benefit of starting at the top of the Meadows in the Sky Parkway, thus greatly reducing the amount of vertical you need to tackle on foot!
- Nels Nelsen Ski Jump: Hike up Mount Revelstoke’s newest trail and back in history to the Nels Nelsen Ski Jump – last used over 40 years ago!
In the Area
While you are visiting Mount Revelstoke National Park, consider exploring some other sites in the area. BC Hydro’s Revelstoke Dam Visitor Centre allows visitors to get close and personal with hydro generated power in British Columbia with either a self-guided or guided tour. For a true mountain town experience, cap off your time in Revelstoke with a visit to Revelstoke’s own Mt. Begbie Brewing Co. offering one hour guided tours and tastings.
Where to Stay
There is a new (2020) frontcountry campground in Mount Revelstoke National Park – Snowforest Campground which also includes three MicrOcube units that you can rent. There are also lots of other options nearby. Try one of the three campgrounds in nearby Glacier National Park, one of the private campgrounds in Revelstoke proper, or one of the nearby Provincial Parks. My personal favourite is Martha Creek Provincial Park 20 minutes north of Revelstoke. This Provincial Park is lovely – right on the water and far enough out of the community to feel remote while being close enough to pop into town for supplies or entertainment.
Mount Revelstoke National Park can be easy to miss if you are in a hurry to get somewhere else. Plan an extra day or two in your vacation to explore the park – you won’t be disappointed!
Check out more blogs in the National Parks & Historic Sites series:
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Published: August 3rd, 2017
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