Welcome to Revelstoke:
A six hour drive East on Hwy 1 from Vancouver, BC (or 5 hours West from Calgary, AB) gets you to the railway (and deep powder) town of Revelstoke B.C. You may have heard of the new ski area that opened in 2008 that made the small town boom. What you may not know is that this winter pow mecca can hold its own in the Summer as well.
A 5,000 foot (1500m) descent awaits you on Sale Mountain/Martha Creek - accessible via a road shuttle
Revelstoke's new Frisby Ridge alpine trail gives you stunning views on a 25.8km out and back xc ride
The Revelstoke Cycling Association
started in 1994 to create still non-existent urban bike routes. Since then they have put on cycling events in the Mount Macpherson ski area and previously in the Mt Mackenzie area until it was taken over by Revelstoke Mountain Resort. Another freeride area (Boulder Mountain) had 40km of trails that were impacted by logging. The RCA had a resurgence of members and volunteers in response and reaction to the proposed Boulder trail closures. To prevent it from happening again the club gained more members from a wider cycling background strengthening an already active mountain bike community.
Previous to these incidents, the RCA had been active in obtaining funding from many local government agencies, including the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT), Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CRSRD), Ministry of Forest Fire Crews and dedicated volunteers to work on the McPherson Ski area, Martha Creek trail as well as to create a new alpine trail on Frisby Ridge. Much credit must go to the RCA's past executive for these efforts in particular to Rob Mohr. This is emblematic of how active local government has been in British Columbia in seeing mountain-biking as good for the community, but also in putting dollars to supporting mountain - biking (as recounted in this PB article
Already previously mentioned but bears repeating is the RCA's key role in helping build the the 12.9km Frisby Ridge trail. Frisby is the newest Alpine Epic trail in BC. It is largely machine built and accessible to riders (and hikers) of all levels. Frisby is a great initiative that will give ever lasting value to the town, tourism and the mountain bike community.
Stu and Robert railing flower-strewn alpine meadows on the descent off Frisby Ridge
Revelstoke has four main riding areas: Mount McPherson - buff XC; Boulder - freeride playground; Sale-Martha/Keystone/Frisby - alpine epics; and Mount MacKenzie - finding itself again.
We love this town in winter and summer and have visited many times. However, for this trip we contained ourselves to three rides. Mt. MacKenzie - "Crowbar"
We were fortunate to have Brendan from Flowt Bikes and Skis
guide us on this ride.
This trail is accessed by a nice 2wd road climb. The trail initially traverses and has many up and down sections. It culminates with a descent of some steep loose, rocky pitches. Great local ride! It's prototypical BC XC which usually means that the more technical sections would be freeride in many other areas so pick your choice of bike accordingly.
For complete pictures, video and GPS go here
Brendan from Flowt Bikes and Skis on a buff section
Getting into the rock face section
Today we met Jordy who's one of the XC section reps of the RCA to ride Revelstoke's newest alpine ride; Frisby Ridge.
As mentioned this 12.9km trail was funded by the CBT and CRSRD to create an alpine ride accessible to riders of all levels. They succeeded. You gain 720m at the high point in over 10.6km. The remaining mileage is to the lake and back. Plans are to build a loop around the lake.This gradual climb creates a fast descent on the way back to the barn! Remember, uphill riders have the right of way!
There are plans to build it to 34.5km (see map here
Off Hwy 1 West of the Columbia River Bridge turn onto Westside Road. Drive past Glacier House Resort at 7km and continue up the gravel road to the parking lot. The gravel access road is a 2wd road, but has some waterbars where lower-slung vehicles will want to take it easy.
This trail can be as long as you want it to be since it's an out and back, beware of oncoming riders, horseflies, blackflies and mosquitos.
For more pictures, videos and GPS tracks go Here
Frisby Ridge Alpine
Even the dog loved it!
The alpine flowers were insane
We also rode some of the freeride trails which drop off the Frisby parking lot. You'll have to ride down the graveled access road, then cut over to the trail head. Maps are available from bikeshops; you'd be advised to check in with the local shops too for conditions and updates on the Boulder trails. Boulder freeride trails are depicted in this video provided by Cam Kaegi. Thanks Cam!Martha Creek
This is a must do ride in Revy and has seen a ton of work in the last couple of years. Formerly a lesser known trail kept on the down-low it's now featured in the Visitor Center maps and handouts. Most of the work has been to ameliorate water-logged sections of the trail as it winds back and forth down the mountain and has involved re-routes and building boardwalks. Support the Revelstoke Cycling Association
so they can continue to maintain this trail!
The trail starts in the alpine at 2100m and drops to 650m in 10km exiting on Hwy 23 near the Martha Creek Provincial campground. The first section has some pedaling and was rerouted about 4 years ago to create a longer trail and to avoid a really bad swampy area.
There are two other sections of the trail that can be accessed lower on the service road (from about the 1500m mark) if the weather doesn’t permit riding from the top or your car can’t make it. Like most alpine trails in this area, the snow usually stays until July. Check Revelstoke Cycling Association
Webpage for trail updates! It's an easy trail to find and easy to stay on as there's really only one way to go and that way is mostly down.
More pictures, video and GPS tracks Here
Martha Creek descent is accessed from the Sale Forest Service Road. Drive 20km down Hwy 23 past the Martha Creek Provincial Campground and drive 15 km up the road to the Hydro Towers. The last 5km are rough and require a vehicle with good tires and preferably 4 or all wheel drive. There is a winter route and summer route. The summer route is better for driving.
Technical Revy singletrack
Overview Video of our weekend of riding: Some Dining Opportunities in Revelstoke:
Faster in the trees
Wait, before we're done we have to stop at the Chalet Bakery
for donuts and breakfast!
Chalet Bakery has been a Revelstoke mainstay for many years. It is a standard stop for Cream Horns, Cookies, lunch and breakfast. Lee is there so often they refer to him as the "Cream Horn guy"!
We also had dinner at The Woolsey Creek Bistro
. The food served at the Woolsey is not small-town at all (in the negative sense). You will get incredibly creative cooking served at reasonable prices. We've timed road-trips just so we can be sure to get dinner here. If you’re looking for some fine food Sylvie has what you need!
Fine Revy Dining
Revelstoke has a great diversity of riding, has signature alpine trails of the downhill and AM/XC variety with views of some of the proudest mountains in British Columbia, and should definitely be on your list of places you should ride before you die!Have you ridden in Revelstoke before? Do you want to ride there now? Share your stories below.