Revelstoke

British Columbia, Canada

Revelstoke is probably one of the newest resorts in the world, yet it already has a grand reputation thanks to its (seriously great) terrain and facilities.

Scout Loves

  • The challenging inbounds terrain and excellent backcountry.
  • Here you’ll find the longest lift-accessed descent in North America – 1,713 vertical meters/5,620 feet.
  • There are modern facilities at the base area.
  • The downtown area is cute and historic.
  • There are many great cat and heli skiing operations nearby. 

Scout Tips

  • Good accommodation options in Revelstoke are fairly limited. There is only one option at the ski area.
  • If you’re an advanced skier, the hike at the top of The Stoke lift is well worth it.
  • There is not a huge amount of terrain for beginners and lower intermediates.

Scout Review

It’s hard to believe that as recently as 2006, Revelstoke ski resort didn’t exist. Since it opened it’s been photographed and filmed for so many ski magazines and films that it just seems like it’s been around for ages.  

However skiing certainly isn’t new to the area – people have been skiing here since 1914, and in the 1960s a single chairlift stretched about halfway up the mountain. Then nothing much happened until the early 2000s, when construction for the new resort officially began. (The lifts finally started turning December 2006).

Revelstoke’s excellent reputation far outweighs its age, and yet there is still so much potential for growth. And that will happen too, since the master plan includes the installation of another 17 lifts and a huge terrain expansion.

Revelstoke today is a mountain for serious skiers. The terrain is challenging, fun and plentiful, and the conditions are almost always good. There are also plenty of options in the area for backcountry touring, cat skiing and heli skiing – extending the Revelstoke experience way beyond the boundary ropes. It’s the perfect place to mix and match your mode of uphill transport. And if you’ve come for heli skiing, you’ll have the comfort of knowing that if it’s a down day (with no flying), you can at least shred some awesome terrain at the resort.

And down days will happen since it can really dump in the mountains around Revelstoke. On average, the Selkirk Mountains receive a whopping 12-18 meters (40-60 feet) of snow per year, though the resort itself receives a little less. The area holds the record for Canada’s snowiest single winter – 2447cm/80ft fell during the winter of 1971-72 on Mt Copeland, just outside of town.

Due to heavy snowfalls, the roads in and out can often be shut (mainly due to avalanches) – so much so that the town has a nickname: ‘Revelstuck’. On those occasions the town can run out of accommodation quickly so it’s worth booking ahead.

Revelstoke Mountain Resort is situated about a 10 minute drive from downtown. Being in its infancy, there’s not much to the resort base area, though the facilities that are already in place are impressive and modern – particularly the Sutton Place Hotel, which is luxurious and modern.

Meanwhile, downtown Revelstoke is quite a contrast. It’s a historic mining town that’s currently enjoying the ski tourism boom. Old buildings line the streets, made all the more beautiful by the amazing scenic backdrop of the Selkirk Mountain Range. While it’s a bit of a sleepy old town, it’s authentic and friendly and there are certainly a couple of good restaurants, bars and even a place or two that serves decent coffee. (Our Revelstoke Scout Field Guide has all the details).

Just don’t be surprised when it all changes quickly as Revelstoke’s reputation catches on with the masses.

Revelstoke Skiing

Like any resort, Revelstoke offers a variety of terrain catering to all levels – starting with a magic carpet right at the base area for first timers. Strong intermediates will also have fun on long groomers and the easy off-piste skiing. But with just 7% of the terrain allocated to beginners and the next 45% to intermediates, the biggest reason to come here is for the challenging advanced terrain.

The resort has three main fast lifts (one gondola and two express quads) serving 1263 hectares (3121 acres) of terrain. Since most of the resort is below the tree line, there is a ton of fun tree skiing to be had. Within the boundary ropes there are 16 different gladed tree areas (with fun names like ‘Glades of Glory’, ‘Stop at the Road Glades’ and ‘Snorkel Glades’), although a few of them are quite tight. Above the tree line there are some exceptional steeps and a few cliffs, some of which can be skied to while others require a short hike.

Thanks to its fast lifts and rather remote location (2.5 hours from the nearest airport), Revelstoke rarely gets crowded. That said, there are plenty of keen locals who come out of nowhere on powder days, so it can get tracked out pretty quickly.

Revelstoke For Families

If your kids are beginners, there are some great value beginner packages. Your children will have fun on the baby slopes, but if they’re progressing towards low intermediate, there isn’t a lot of short terrain for them and their legs may get tired on the long runs. But if you have the type of kids that can rip and shred, then they’ll have as much fun as you. And you’ll love the kid’s lift ticket price ($30 for a day ticket for kids under 12 – while kids under 5 ski free!).

Note that if you are expecting to ski all day while your kids under 5 are in ski school think again – kids aged 3-5 can only do a 2 hour group lesson. A full day for kids aged 6-9 goes from 9.30am-3.30pm and costs $118 including lunch. However these can be combined with childcare in the Mountain Child Care center. There’s also the Kids ROC (Revelstoke Outdoors Center) that opens at 8.30am in conjunction with the Snow School program. It also offers evening programs Thursday-Sunday from 5-7.30pm with dinner included, leaving the adults free to après.

Revelstoke Accommodation

The Sutton Place Hotel is Revelstoke Mountain’s only on-mountain accommodation. It’s a fantastic option if you don’t mind staying away from the main center of town, and would prefer the convenience of being right at the resort. There are only a few restaurants and cafes at the base area, so you may find yourself venturing into town for a bit of variety if you’re staying more than a few days.

In town, the accommodation options consist mainly a collection of fairly dated highway motels and nice B&Bs, plus a few lodges.

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Resort Activities

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Scout Field Guide >

Revelstoke offers some excellent activities for skiers and boarders, beyond the regular ski school. At the Revelstoke Outdoors Center (which is also the ski school) you can organize cat skiing, day touring with guides, and avalanche courses. The resort offers fantastic combo packages that include a prep day at the resort with a Snow Pro, followed by a day of cat skiing and a day of heli-skiing. Additional backcountry days can also be added to the program.

There are plenty of heli-skiing operations near Revelstoke – with Selkirk Tangiers Heli Skiing being the closest.

Other activities on offer include snow tubing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, paragliding and dog sledding. There’s also a day spa at the resort base.

Getting There and Around

Revelstoke Mountain Resort offers a daily shuttle to the resort from the town of Revelstoke. Once you’re at the resort, it’s easy to get around simply because there’s not much to the base area!

Getting to Revelstoke isn’t as easy as other resorts (which is, in many ways, what makes it so much better). The nearest airports are Kelowna and Kamloops (each 2 hrs 15 mins). Calgary is 4 hrs 45 mins and Vancouver is 6 hrs 30 mins. If you time it right, there is one Saturday flight from Calgary into the tiny Revelstoke airport – or you can, of course, fly your private jet there any time you like.

There are shuttle services from Kelowna to Revelstoke, however having your own car would definitely provide a lot more flexibility. The drive to Revelstoke is quite spectacular whichever way you come from (be aware that the roads can close), but particularly from the Calgary direction over Rogers Pass. If you’re renting, you’ll probably want to consider getting a 4WD or at least snow tires to feel safe.

Revelstoke is a fantastic resort to combine with others to make a bit of a road trip out of it. If coming from Calgary you can easily combine it with Kicking Horse, Lake Louise and the Banff area ski resorts, or from the Kelowna direction with Silver Star or Sun Peaks when coming from Kamloops.

When To Go

Snow conditions at Revelstoke can vary widely from year to year, and significant snow is required to allow some of the lower, off-piste areas to open fully. There is snowmaking for the main trails in the lower mountain. Weather can vary significantly from top to bottom on the same day so you’ll want to check the ski report in the morning.

February is a great time to go as it has reliable snowfalls and coverage, while the end of January and March can also see good dumps. Spring skiing can be fantastic, though conditions can get pretty sloppy down the bottom.

Revelstoke Mountain Resort usually opens for the season at the end of November and operates until late May or even early April.

Facts & Figures

Mountain Information   Lifts   Terrain    
Base Elevation 1680ft / 512m Gondolas 1 Beginner 7%  
Summit Elevation 7300ft / 2225m Express Quads 2 Intermediates 45.5%  
Vertical Drop 5620ft / 1713m Surface Lifts 2 Advanced 47.5%  
Skiable Area 3121ac / 1263ha          
Annual Snowfall 360-540in / 9-14m          
Longest Run 9.5 miles / 15.2km          
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