Part 1: Revelstoke
If you are a skier, you may be familiar with the famous Powder Highway, which connects eight ski resorts in British Columbia. Some call this mountainous area the Canadian Rockies, and some call it the Kootenay Rockies. The region includes four ranges: Rockies, Purcells, Selkirks, and the Monashees. We explored three ski resort areas during the off-season. The resorts run their gondolas from late spring to the fall so you can ride to the ridgetop. Then go on a hike, ride your mountain bike, or have a beverage and a burger and just enjoy the view.
Revelstoke Mountain Resort was our first stop and is one of the more popular ski resorts. It features a 5620-foot vertical drop, the biggest in North America. The resort is at the base of Mount Mackenzie, which tops out at 8058 feet.
On this bright summer day, I disembarked from the gondola at Mackenzie Outpost, marveling at the terrific view of the Monashee Mountains. I was tempted to grab a burger but wanted to hike first. On the ride up, I shared the gondola with many mountain bikers on their way to enjoy the vast array of trails. I was focused on hiking. There are many options, some of which will get you way up into the high alpine range. Mackenzie Ridge looked very interesting since it is near Mount Mackenzie's base. However, that required several hours, so I opted for a shorter hike, Split Rock Falls. I enjoyed the walk and the falls.
We wanted to do more hiking and check out another mountain. We took the 15-minute drive to a road called Meadows in the Sky Parkway in Mount Revelstoke National Park. We had a delightful drive up to the mountain top, enjoying the scenic views. The most exciting moment was when a large moose suddenly crossed our path, but unfortunately, we were too startled to capture a photo. Nevertheless, we reached our hiking destination without any further wildlife encounters.
We enjoyed the short Balsam Lake hike, which is just one of many hikes to choose from. After a busy day, we returned to Revelstoke to think about our dining options.
For such a small mountain town, Revelstoke provides many dining options. We checked into the Regent Hotel and checked out the view of the towering (close to 9000’) Mount Begbie and the glaciers. Then we looked at street level, saw Kawakubo, and noticed their specialty is sushi. To begin, we ordered the veggie spring rolls, which contained mixed greens, yam tempura, avocado, and sesame dressing. The dish was accompanied by wasabi mayo sauce which added a flavorful kick. The Spicy Salmon Roll with fresh salmon and avocado with a nice spice and topped with tobiko fish eggs was equally enjoyable. The last delightful dish was the Snow Crab California Roll with avocado and cucumber, and of course, having the pickled ginger to go with the sushi was excellent.
We returned to our hotel, and adjacent to the lobby was the 112 Restaurant. The smell of the steaks was so enticing that we decided we needed to check it out tomorrow. Now it was time to relax and then head to bed.
The Modern Bakeshop and Café was a great way to start the day. On this warm summer day, the cold brew was a great starter. I enjoyed the Southwest Burrito Breakfast sandwich, and Elizabeth really liked the Quiche; both were excellent fuel for our kayaking scheduled for later in the morning. For good measure, I also selected a scone to go.
After breakfast, we took the short walk back to the hotel and noticed folks setting up for the Saturday Revelstoke Farm & Craft Market, a great venue from April to mid-October. People were already starting to line up for one of the more popular vendors, Stoke the Fire. We were not ready for hot sauce so early in the morning, so we strolled around and enjoyed listening to the live music and all the arts and crafts on display.
After kayaking on the Columbia River (see below), we headed to Old School Eatery for dinner. It is indeed an old school building that housed the Mountain View School, founded in 1914. It was an active high school until 2012. The Old School Eatery has been educating locals on great food since 2018.
Elizabeth enjoyed the Lamb Baharat braised with cherry tomatoes, honey harissa, Moroccan carrots, and pearl cous cous. It had a great blend of spices, and the lamb was tender and delicious. My Linguine Primavera with pesto, roasted red pepper, fried cappers, and topped with prawn skewer was also delightful. The marinara sauce was light and flavorful. We each enjoyed our meals so much that there was minimal sharing. However, we did share a bottle of the merlot from Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery. It was a great B.C. wine with smooth, velvety tannins and a nice full body. It went great with our meal.
We found a fantastic spot to launch our kayak on the Columbia River at Five Mile Boat Launch. Technically this is Lake Revelstoke since it is between the Revelstoke Dam to the south and the Mica Dam to the north. While we paddled, we enjoyed the perfect weather conditions and beautiful mountain views. Always know the weather and water conditions and have the appropriate gear when kayaking.
While paddling, we saw a fisherman and chatted for a while with him. He seemed more interested in enjoying the weather than catching fish. We were about finished with our kayaking and noticed three mountain climbers going up a steep rock face. They seemed too busy focusing on the rock wall to chat, so we assumed they were having fun. When we returned to town, we noticed that Free Spirt Sports rents out inflatable Standup Paddleboards (SUP.) So that is an option if you don’t have your own.
We finished two fun-packed days and headed east for our Golden B.C adventures. Read all about that journey here.
Editorial disclosure: food, beverages, and lodging were generously provided.