Revelstoke resort guide - a general overview
Revelstoke was created as a rail town during the 1880's and also at the 'second crossing' point of the Columbia River. When Lord Revelstoke of Baring Brothers bank found the necessary investment to complete the Canadian Pacific Railway the town was renamed from Farwell to Revelstoke in his honour. The area originally gained importance as a mining and logging area but began to grow as a tourist destination after the Trans-Canada highway reached the town in 1962.
Although there was a single short chairlift accessing the lower slopes of Mount MacKenzie from the 1960's it was not until 2007 that the modern base ski resort at the foot of the mountain was opened and named: Revelstoke Mountain Resort. The two stage gondola accesses the mid mountain area and from there are two fast quad chairs that reach the upper slopes. The area is now one of the largest (over 3,000 acres) in Canada with a huge vertical drop of over 1,700 metres from top to bottom.
The ski area is best for expert skiers who are either happy in the trees (on bad weather days) or cruising the high altitude powder bowls best accessed by helicopter or snow-cat when the sun shines. There is nothing that an intermediate would be happy tackling. On skiers' left there are very long groomed black runs (not overly steep) and on skiers' right there are the ungroomed bowls like North Bowl. The access to the latter is through a cliff band which can be 'tricky' to 'alarming' depending on your entry point. Below the bowls are large areas of gladed tree skiing - perfect on a big snow day.
Revelstoke is one of Canada's snowiest resorts. In the 1971-72 winter it received over 80 feet of snow. A more normal season still gives over 40 feet of snow (13+ metres). It's no wonder that Selkirk heli-ski operate from here, along with various cat skiing operations.
- 3 hours
- 5 hours
- 6 hours
510m - 2,225m
Level of skiing
- Snow sure
- Ski area
- Charm factor
- Resort layout
- Fine dining
- Short transfer
- Resort value
- Fantastic off-piste terrain
- One of the snowiest Canadian ski resorts (average snowfall of 450 inches each winter)
- Great cat and heli-skiing opportunities
- Great views of the Columbia valley
- The Aquatic Centre (sauna, pools and hot tubs) is a good attraction when the weather is bad
- Difficult to get to from the UK
- The modern resort base is very small and the old town 7 km away
- Very limited skiing on groomed runs for early intermediate skiers
Revelstoke Resort Restaurants
The old town of Revelstoke has some options but nothing that could be classed as truly fine dining. The base resort is quite smart but tiny with one condo hotel, one restaurant, one coffee shop, a pub/bar and a sports shop. The Rockford is the best option in the resort base and in town the 112 at the Regent is the best option. The Woolsey Creek is another reliable option.
Revelstoke Mountain Restaurants
As in most North American resorts there is not a great choice of on-mountain restaurants. The mid station Revelation Lodge serves adequate fare but gets very crowded at peak times. A better bet might be La Baguette which is in the base resort where you can get baked goods, filled rolls and soups. If you want something fancier the Rockford offers table service.
Revelstoke Apres Ski
The Rockford again is the place to be. Largely as it's the only place to be. In the old town the Village Idiot is a pub style restaurant serving pizzas and good burgers as well as being quite lively in the evenings at the bar area. The Last Drop in the Powder Springs Hotel and the River City (live music here) at the Regent Hotel in the old town are both worth a visit on a night out.
This is in limited supply but the Village Idiot in the old town comes closest to offering a nightlife scene.