Mount Revelstoke National Park
Mount Revelstoke National Park is tucked between the ice-capped Monashee and Selkirk mountains about a half-an-hour drive Northeast of Revelstoke. It is home to the mountain caribou, mountain goat and grizzly bear, and Summer wildflower displays that radiate with orange, yellow and purple. Avalanches and unpredictable weather make the 260 square-kilometre park a place into which visitors should enter with caution. On the ‘highway of Life’, everyone should travel the Meadows-in-the-Sky Parkway: it winds upwards through the park’s old-growth cedar and hemlock forests. Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall, visitors may walk, bike, ski, snowshoe, or drive all or some of the 26-kilometre trail. Heaven finally appears at about 4,920 feet above sea-level in the form of great hiking, strolling, picnicking, and photography at Balsam Lake. Mount Revelstoke National Park’s other trails provide hikers with a choice between short, valley-bottom strolls and steep, more difficult climbs. The park’s back-country huts are the closest thing to a hotel that one will find; back-country fanatics much prefer a meal cooked over an open fire to one served at a fancy restaurant. Campers should come prepared with full camping gear and expect to ‘portage’ to their campsite that is inaccessible by road.
Glacier National Park
Hiking, skiing and climbing Glacier National Park's 1,349 square kilometres of peaks, glaciers and forests is like riding a roller-coaster. Reaching the Nakimu Caves requires that one hike steep and narrow valleys: up 2,600 feet over a mountain pass and then down again. Steep, rugged mountains attract mountaineers from around the world and challenged engineers to carve a winding path for trains through Rogers Pass in the 19th Century. Grizzly bears, mountain goats and other wildlife live amongst the same rock, snow, and ice that challenge rock climbers of all levels. Bears don’t mind the lack of a restaurant in the park, and they can be seen helping themselves to dandelions and flowers in late Spring. The park’s three designated back-country campsites make the existence of a hotel quite unnecessary to those who prefer ‘roughing it’ to ‘pampering’. Glacier National Park is located Northeast of Revelstoke; like Mount Revelstoke National Park, avalanches and bears mean that visitors should educate and prepare themselves before taking a trip to Glacier National Park.
Arrow Lakes Provincial Park
Why buy a seafood restaurant meal when one can fish for Rainbow Trout and Kokanee Salmon in the Columbia River? Each of Arrow Lakes Provincial Park’s 17 campsites has a fire ring and picnic table, perfect for cooking and enjoying a feast in the great outdoors. A beach and boat launch provides access to Arrow Lake’s refreshing waters; horseback riding and bike trails make it possible to explore the mountainside. Big horn sheep, grizzly bears and elk may be seen roaming this terrain that is located in-between the Monashee Mountains and Selkirk mountain range. Arrow Lakes Provincial Park is about 50-kilometres South of Revelstoke: away from hotels, restaurants, and the stresses of everyday life.
Blanket Creek Provincial Park
Blanket Creek connects with the Columbia River, and the park is one of four provincial parks on the Arrow Lakes Reservoir. Blanket Creek Provincial Park is a wonderful place to bring the whole family to canoe, kayak and boat in the Summer season. The warm, sandy beaches of the park’s man-made lagoon also provides for some great swimming. With over 60 vehicle-accessible sites and a ‘dog-off-leash’ area, Blanket Creek Provincial Park is an easy place for the whole family to enjoy. The park is 25-kilometres South of Revelstoke, a quick drive back from the high life of the great outdoors to a civilization of restaurants, hotels and shopping.
Martha Creek Provincial Park
Martha Creek Provincial Park is located on the banks of the Columbia River, and it is the only provincial park on Lake Revelstoke. Boating, fishing, canoeing, swimming, and fishing are popular water sports activities, while the park’s sandy beach has an indoor cook shelter and picnic field. Picknickers of all ages may burn-off excess hamburgers and hot dogs at the volleyball net, adventure playground and horseshoe pit. A stop at the BC Interior Forestry Museum on the way home may help campers understand the importance of the old-growth forests in which they sang and roasted marshmallows. If roughing it at Martha Creek Provincial Park is out of the question, Revelstoke’s hotels and restaurants are only a short drive South.