Mt. Revelstoke Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

Mt. Revelstoke

Canada

Beautiful road through thick forest to Mt. Revelstoke.

Page Contributor(s): Ken Read, Canmore, Alberta, CAN; Lynn Sugden, Alberta, Canada.

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Climb Summary


        

Cycling Mt. Revelstoke, BC, Canada - panoramic view of evergreen trees, a town in the distance, a large lake, and mountain range topped  in white clouds

Cycling Canada’s Mt. Revelstoke

25.4 km to 1853m gaining 1359m at 5.4% average grade.

Cycling Mt. Revelstoke, BC, Canada - sign for Mt Revelstoke National Park, two tall Canadian flags on either side, large evergreen trees behind

Cycling Mt. Revelstoke, BC, Canada - photo collage, PJAMM Cycling logo in the corner, stretch of road with altitude sign on the side, views from above looking down over lake and town, stretch of curved road along hillside with spiky evergreens, wooden archway over two-lane road reading "Welcome - Bienvenue", cyclist climbing along roadway wearing PJAMM Cycling jersey

This gorgeous climb begins on Summit Road at the outskirts of Revelstoke, BC just off Highway 1 (Trans-Canada Highway).  This is the #2 climb in Canada and is situated generally in the center of the top Canadian climbs which are predominantly located in the southern portion of Canada’s westernmost province, British Columbia, at the confluence of the Illecillewaet and Columbia Rivers at the north end of the Arrow Lakes.

Cycling Mt. Revelstoke, BC, Canada - toll station to enter park, sign warning to watch for amphibians along the road

Even cyclists must pay.

Fee as of 2020 is $10.00 Canadian ($7.52 USD) - Official Park Home Page.

Ken Read (CAN Olympic Team 1976, 1980; 5 World Cup wins), Canmore, Alberta, Canada, writes of this climb:  “One we need to give more profile to is Mt. Revelstoke - it is, without question, the best climb in Canada. Freshly paved, minimal traffic, easy to access and cyclists are encouraged…”

Ken Read on Canadian Corner, Lauberhorn downhill in Wengen, Switzerland - 1980.

Photo: skiracing.com

The climb begins just downhill from the entrance to Revelstoke National Park and finishes 25 kilometers/15 miles up the mountain at the end of the paved footpath leading to a trailhead and information kiosk.  

Cycling Mt. Revelstoke, BC, Canada - vies along roadway of Mt. Revelstoke wildflowers blooming in the summer,  

Mt. Revelstoke in summer.

The final 0.6 miles is on a paved footpath that is closed to motor vehicle traffic and gains 251’ at 8.2% average grade.  The entrance to Revelstoke National Park is at kilometer 1.3 / mile 0.9.  As with all Canadian National Parks, there is an entrance fee for all – even cyclists ($10.00 Canadian / $7.52 USD).

Cycling Mt. Revelstoke, BC, Canada - PJAMM Cycling logo in corner, kilometer mile markers which include altitude at various locations

Markers every kilometer

0-26 km


The roadway is bordered by tall trees (red cedar at the lower elevations and spruce and fir higher up the mountain).  The ground cover is lush with many ferns at lower levels and a plethora of wildflowers the entire climb.

Cycling Mt. Revelstoke, BC, Canada - cyclist climbing along roadway lined with lush greenery and spiky evergreen trees, kilometer mile marker road sign noting km 12 / 1120 meter altitude

There are three main viewpoints just off the roadway located at 5.5 km, approximately 10 km, and 12 km, which give us spectacular views of the Revelstoke area, the Columbia, River and the Columbia Mountain Range.  

Cycling Mt. Revelstoke, BC, Canada - photo collage, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner, views from Revelstoke Viewpoint overlooking mountain ranges topped in snow, evergreen trees, lake

Revelstoke Viewpoint (km 5.3) -- one of several spectacular viewpoints along the climb.

Cycling Mt. Revelstoke, BC, Canada - photo collage, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner, views from mountainside overlooking mountain ranges, forested land, Columbia River, roadsigns along the climb

“Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks of Canada together represent the Columbia Mountains Natural Region within Canada's system of national parks. The Columbia Mountain ranges (Purcells, Selkirks, Caribou, Monashees) form the first tall mountain barrier east of the Coast Mountains. They are geologically and climatically distinct from the Canadian Rockies, found east of Glacier National Park. Mount Revelstoke National Park lies entirely within the Selkirk Range of the Columbia Mountains” (Parks Canada).  

Cycling Mt. Revelstoke, BC, Canada - photo collage, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner, yellow signs along roadway reminding to keep an eye out for amphibians crossing the road, lush greenery along roadway

Yield to the long toed salamander, Coeur d’Alene salamander, Columbia spotted frog and western toad.

Canada takes its nature, wildlife and biology seriously --

during toad migration season roads are closed to protect the creatures. 

Cycling Mt. Revelstoke, BC, Canada - up close views of long toed salamander, Coeur d'Alene salamander, Columbia spotted frog, and western toad

Photos clockwise from top left:  Long toed salamander; Coeur d’Alene salamander,

Columbia spotted frog, and western toad.

This is a bike-friendly park with many cycle-advisory images painted on the roadway surface.  There is also a sign at the park entrance requesting that cyclists ride single file.

Cycling Mt. Revelstoke, BC, Canada - PJAMM Cycling logo in corner, sign reminding Cyclists to stay to the right, stencil of bike on the roadway

Cycling Mt. Revelstoke, BC, Canada - traffic cones and orange sign in center of road noting the road is closed beyond this point, tall, spiky evergreen trees along roadside

Continue to finish 1.3 km on footpath.

 
Roadway Surface and Traffic:  The roadway surface is exceptional.  There is minimal and slow moving traffic the entire climb – this is a very safe ride.    

!Cycling Mt. Revelstoke, BC, Canada - view of cyclist following passenger van along roadway, John Johnson on bike embracing second cyclist on bike in road

60 km on that thing!

Bren, the Belgium Wildman!


Weather Report:  It can be cold at the top, even in the summer, so come prepared for temperature drops of 10 or more celsius (15-20 degrees) from the bottom to the top.  Always bring something warm for the descent from the higher level when climbing significant mountains such as this one.  On our July 2, 2016 climb there was snow along the side of the roadway beginning at about km 24.  

Cycling Mt. Revelstoke, BC, Canada - cyclist riding in very center of roadway almost completely covered in a couple inches of snow

July, 2020.


Final Note:  Beware of bears on the descent.  A cycle-friendly ranger said he almost hit a bear as he was descending at about 60 kph when it ran directly into his path while running out of the woods and across the road.

Cycling Mt. Revelstoke, BC, Canada - cyclist standing with bike in snowy roadway,  surrounded by spiky evergreen trees, wearing PJAMM Cycling jersey

Thanks again Lynn Sugden, Alberta, Canada.