Revelstoke's historic downtown (Picture BC photo)
With the breathtaking Glacier National Park nearby, and bordered by both Mount Revelstoke National Park and Revelstoke Mountain Resort on Mount Mackenzie, Revelstoke will appeal to keen outdoor enthusiasts and extreme winter sports seekers.
Situated at a strategic crossing of the Columbia River, this Kootenay Rockies city (population: 7,230) is surrounded by the impressive and towering Selkirk and Monashee mountains.
From hiking and mountain biking in summer, to challenging downhill skiing, heli-skiing and cat-skiing, Nordic skiing, backcountry skiing and snowmobiling in winter, getting out of doors here is mandatory – and compellingly convenient.
The recently expanded Revelstoke Mountain Resort has brought a lot of new people to town. Having the longest lift-accessed vertical in North America (1,713m/5,620ft) may have something to do with that, but it doesn't tell the whole story.
The fact is, although it has become a major winter destination, Revelstoke is not one of those chic, "cookie-cutter" ski villages. For more than a hundred years, Revelstoke has been a railroad town – the Canadian Pacific Railway is still the town's second largest employer, and the place resonates with down-to-earth authenticity and friendliness.
Downtown, find block after block of heritage buildings, (a Heritage Walking Tour brochure is available from the Visitor Centre) and, in summer, there's a farmers' market and music in the bandshell at Grizzly Plaza.
In summer, get outside. Start with Mount Revelstoke National Park. Drive to the top of the mountain on the 26km/16mi Meadows in the Sky Parkway and hike on one of the trails. Or hop on two wheels and bike a riverside trail or at the Mount MacPherson Nordic ski area.
In winter, get outside… some more. Go skiing or snowboarding, heli-skiing or cat-skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, or anything else one can dream of doing in a landscape that's buried in Kootenay Rockies powder.
At any time of year, learn more about the history of this mountain community by visiting museums such as the Revelstoke Museum, or explore the city's railway heritage at the Revelstoke Railway Museum.
Revelstoke's summer festival calendar includes the Revelstoke Vintage Car Club Show and Shine (June), Timber Days and Stoked to get Spanked XC Mountain Bike Race (both in July), and the Glacier Softball Challenge and Railway Days (both in August).
In January, the Swatch Freeride World Tour is hosted at Revelstoke Mountain Resort, and for the entire month of February, the Revelstoke Winter Spirit Festival celebrates all things snow.
For more information about Revelstoke and the surrounding area, check with the Revelstoke Visitor Centre, downtown on Campbell Avenue. The community also operates a seasonal Visitor Centre located on Orton Street.
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