The Town

Revelstoke is a tourist town known primarily for winter activities, with a world class ski resort, and heavy snowfall providing endless backcountry options. The summer season is starting to pick up as well though, as visitors flock to town to enjoy mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, and backcountry hiking. Besides being a destination in its own right, Revelstoke is also the only town between the end of Okanagan wine and lake country and the start of the Rocky Mountain national parks.

Getting Here

Revelstoke is located in the southeast of British Columbia in the Columbia River valley between the Selkirk and the Monashee Mountain ranges. The town is geographically isolated, with the nearest town over 70 km away, but driving times from Vancouver and Calgary are only 6 and 4.5 hours respectively.

The number one highway leads into town from the west and east, while the 23 brings traffic from the Arrow Lake ferry south of town. If you are north of town you already went through Revelstoke. How did you do this? Turn around and come back, there are no boulders here!

We'd give you written directions to get here from Vancouver or Calgary, but really you're just going to Google Map it anyways.

Amenities

Where to Stay

Finding lodging through the winter can be tough and is definitely more expensive, but weekends in the summer fill up too. Two resorts, a few hostels, many bed and breakfasts, hotels, and motels, and endless vacation rentals can be booked in advance of your visit. Several campgrounds near town take bookings as well. Highlights include Lamplighter Campground  just across the river and five minutes from downtown, and Williamson Lake Campground with a sandy beach and warm water. Provincial parks several km's north and south of town each have camping and swimming.

Those of you with a sweet camp set-up and a low budget: Revelstoke is surrounded by Crown Land. Many of the best lakeside spots are staked out by locals year after year, but lots of options remain. Regardless of where you free camp, remember to represent us dirtbags well. No one wants bears getting excited, so food, garbage, toiletries, and cooking dishes (even after being washed) must be stored inside vehicles. No one wants to find land mines either, so try to do your business in town, and when you gotta go in the woods follow backcountry etiquette.

North of town anywhere above the dam that isn't the provincial park is free game. Get the car onto the shoulder and even if your tent is obviously visible no one will bother you. Same deal down South (which isn't the 23 S, it's the east side of the river), get ~10 km down to where the houses end and drive right onto the flats. Keep in mind the river CAN rise unexpectedly with flooding from the dam, but so far the yearly high school grad camping party hasn't floated away.

Up the road to the Englishman boulders offers a few big pull-outs with fantastic vistas, and a few tent pads are available right at the boulders just across the bridge on the left bank. Make sure you pull well clear of the roadway: active logging starts early in the morning!

Finally, saving best for last, the lovely Frog Falls Campground is a free developed forestry campground with pit toilets near the Englishman Boulders. It is 4.3 km up the Wap Lake Forest Service Road, and shows up on Google Maps.

Groceries

Water

Groceries are expensive in Revelstoke due to our isolation, for short visits we recommend bringing food from home. There are two larger grocery stores however, and Southside Market is generally a bit cheaper than Save On Foods. For better food quality and cheap fancy cheeses try La Marché on Victoria Avenue a block west of Save On. Ray's Butcher Shop is in the same building and has great quality meats. Finally Mountain Goodness Natural Food is all organic and has great bulk food deals. It's the first building on Victoria Road after going under the tracks.

If you're in town on a Saturday morning the farmer's market in Grizzly Plaza is a must visit and you can stock up on all your veggies, fruit, eggs, and tasty treats.
Restaurants and cafes do have to give you water even if you don't buy anything if you ask, but it can be awkward. It is easier to fill up in the grocery store bathrooms, or from the taps of the public washrooms.

There is a bathroom in Grizzly Plaza on the main street (MacKenzie Avenue). Come into town on Victoria Road and turn right into the parking lot after Connaught Avenue. The building left of the furniture store has washrooms facing the parking lot. Another public washroom that locks after dark is at the ball diamonds next to the river. Come into town on Victoria Road and turn right on Campbell Avenue. Follow it to the end and down a little hill to the park. 

Gear

Internet

There are several sporty apparel stores downtown, but the only climbing equipment comes from Valhalla Pure Outfitters. The owners and staff are incredibly friendly and helpful.  They are located at 213 Mackenzie Ave - come into town and turn right at Grizzly Plaza (you'll know it when you see it!) and it's up a block on the right. 
The numerous coffee shops are good wifi hotspots, and the library has free wifi or computers you can use for up to an hour a day.

Rest Days

For hot days try Lake Revelstoke or Williamson Lake, or raft down the Illecilliwaet. Hiking options include walks around the hiking loops in Mt Revelstoke National Park and the one or two day trek up to Mt Begbie glacier. If you bring your bike, check the Revelstoke Cycling Association for trail guides. You can also rent bikes and get route info from any of the bike shops in town.

For a less active experience, Mt Begbie brewery offers a fantastic tour with generous tasting. Other indoor options for rainy days or escapes from the heat include the pool, railway and archives museums, a bowling alley, and a movie theatre. A great evening activity in the summer months is the free nightly live music in Grizzly Plaza.