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Are you ready to head to Revelstoke? I mean, why wouldn’t you be – Revelstoke is awesome! This quaint mountain town is full of exciting things to do and see.
The best part, though?
The drive from Vancouver to Revelstoke is also a ton of fun. With plenty of interesting and scenic places to stop along the way, this road trip is sure to be one to remember!
I’ve actually done this drive countless times, which is why in this blog I will share with you all I know. Gere, you’ll learn about the absolute best places to stop on the drive from Vancouver to Revelstoke as well as some other important tips to know before you go – enjoy!
Note: The below info also works in reverse if you’re driving from Revelstoke to Vancouver.
About the Drive from Vancouver to Revelstoke (Revelstoke to Vancouver)
The drive from Vancouver to Revelstoke is 565 km long (351 miles) and takes you through some of BC’s most stunning scenery. With mountains surrounding you the entire way, you’re sure to enjoy this scenic route.
Without stopping, the drive from Vancouver to Revelstoke (or Revelstoke to Vancouver) could be completed in under seven hours. With that said, I highly recommend that you give yourself more time to explore some of the places along the way. There are a few towns and cities where you could easily spend a couple of days in enjoying all of the different things to do. Or at the very least, give yourself a full day to complete this drive and stop at the viewpoints and shorter stops I mention below – believe me, you won’t regret it!
There are a few things you should know about this road trip before you go too. In the winter, you need to have winter tires (they are required by law.) You should also give yourself more time in case the road conditions are;t ideal.
In the summer, you should prepare for traffic through some of the more popular summer destinations. Also, parking can sometimes be a problem at attractions. To avoid this, get moving early in the morning and use patience.
Otherwise, there are plenty of places to get fuel and food along this road trip, and overall, I’m sure you’re going to enjoy it (especially if you stop at a few of the places I highlight below!)
Note: If you want to take the alternative route through Whistler, this is totally possible with a little more time. Check out my blog about driving from Vancouver to Whistler for that road trip guide, and then Whistler to Revelstoke for the last part of your drive! This route is super beautiful and highly recommend it, but it is a bit longer at 630 km (390 miles). Plus, you’ll want to allow yourself a few days to stay in Whistler and explore all of the things to do there.
13 BEST Stops on the Drive from Vancouver to Revelstoke
Before we get into the best stops between Vancouver and Revelstoke, don’t forget to check out Vancouver and discover the amazing things to do there. To help you, be sure to check out all our Vancouver blogs. These include the best easy hikes in Vancouver, things to do in Vancouver for free, where to stay in Vancouver, the best things to do in Stanley Park and so much more!
Heading to Calgary next? Check out our guide to driving from Revelstoke to Calgary!
As you leave Vancouver, about 100 km to the east you’ll come to the small city of Chilliwack. Nestled in the Fraser Valley, Chilliwack is the perfect place to explore the great outdoors on your road trip from Vancouver to Revelstoke.
Near Chilliwack you’ll find lots of farms that you can visit. Head to Klasassen Farms for everything blueberries! You can buy pre-picked berries to snack on for the rest of your road trip, or if you’re up for more of an activity, pick your own blueberries. You’ll also find other products for sale here including delicious ice cream!
If you’re lucky enough to be passing through Chilliwack in Spring, be sure to stop and enjoy BC’s only Tulip Festival. This event is held at Chillwack Tulips and features over 6 million different flowers – just imagine the flower photos you’ll get! The event is help annually around April, but exact dates vary year to year based on when the tullips bloom.
The city of Chilliwack itself also has plenty of amenities if you need anything for your road trip. Here you can fuel up, grab lunch, stop for groceries, or even spend a night or two at one of the many hotels around. There’s also plenty of boutique shops and locally-owned restaurants and bars in Chilliwack well worth checking out.
2. Harrison Hot Springs
To get to this town (named after its famous hot springs), you’ll take a detour off the main highway, turning onto Highway #9 for about 20 minutes. Harrison Hot Springs has some great activities with lots of restaurants and cafés, as well as some cute shops to pick up everything from souvenirs to local art.
A great place to spend a night is at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort. This way, you can try out the famous hot springs for free as a hotel guest and join other well-known past guests like Clark Gable, John Wayne, Michael Bublé, and Liam Neeson.
There are five different hot mineral springs pools including indoor and outdoor pools. The water here has among the highest concentrations of dissolved mineral solids of any mineral spring!
If you don’t want to stay at the resort, there is a public hot springs pool you can visit for a couple of hours. Or head down to Harrison Lake to enjoy the beach which has areas for swimming, playgrounds, and lots of other water activities. Finish the stay here with a meal of authentic German food at The Black Forest Restaurant. Book a table on the large balcony overlooking the lake and try one of their famous Schnitzel dishes!
3. Bridal Veil Falls
One of my very favorite stops on the drive from Vancouver to Revelstoke is Birdal Veil Falls. This huge 60-meter tall waterfall (197 feet) cascades over a large roack face, creating an appearance like a bridal veil. It’s beautiful and impressive. In fact, it is the 6th largest waterfall in all of Canada!
This is the perfect place to pull off the highway and go for a hike to a spectacular waterfall. From the parking lot, it’s a short hike of only 15 minutes on a relatively easy path to reach the Bridal Veil Falls waterfall.
While you’re here, plan to stay a bit to enjoy the park. Bridal Veil Falls is located within a provincial park. There’s a great area here for a picnic, so bring lunch!
You can find the fall’s location on Google maps.
Note: The falls are only open during the summer months
Hope is a small town on the route with some neat things to do and is a good place to spend a night on the drive. As you drive around town, you’ll notice all the wooden sculptures throughout thanks to an International Chainsaw Carving Competition that takes place here every year. It’s why Hope is called the Chainsaw Capital of the World!
Kawkawa Lake is a nice spot with a beach, picnic area, a dock, and a large parking lot. It’s a popular spot for waterskiing and stand-up paddleboarding and is easy to get to off the highway. It’s also warm enough to comfortably swim in during the summer (unlike some other glacier lakes), so take advantage of a stop here on a warm day!
Another way to cool off is with a drink at Mountainview Brewing Co. It’s the first craft beer brewery in town! Grab a pint along with the yummy snacks and sandwiches they serve and enjoy the view. All the beer is brewed right in Hope with fresh mountain water! Try “The Dark Side of Town” with classic dark German lager or “Main Squeeze” a sour ale brewed with organic peaches and plums.
If you want to spend a night here, Hope has some really great Bed and Breakfasts and hotels to stay at. Set up on Thacker Mountain, the High Hopes Bed and Breakfast has private balconies with every guest room so you can enjoy the view of the mountains, the town itself, and the nearby Coquihalla and Fraser Rivers. Plus the homemade breakfast is superb!
5. Othello Tunnels
When driving from Vancouver to Revelstoke, a stop at the Othello Tunnels is a must! They are located east of Hope in Coquihalla Provincial Park.
These abandoned train tunnels and bridges were built by blasting through solid granite in 1914. The Canadian Pacific Railway needed a route to connect the Kootenay Region with the coast of B.C. and built the railway over three mountain ranges. It’s considered one of the world’s greatest engineering feats for the time.
It’s free to explore the tunnels and is a fun adventure for the whole family. The tunnels start only 10 minutes from the parking lot and it takes about 20 minutes to walk through all five of them. It does get quite dark in some parts, so bring a flashlight (or your phone) as you wander through.
The scenery around the tunnels on the trail is beautiful too with the Coquihalla River, so make sure to have your camera on hand. This area has even appeared in several movies – look for the cliff above Tunnel #2 where the cliff jump scene was filmed for Rambo: First Blood.
6. Falls Lake
If you’re looking for a place to stretch your legs and go for a hike, then Falls Lake Trail is the perfect place to stop. From the parking lot, you’ll hike for about 30-minutes until you reach Falls Lake. Here, you’ll see the stunning lake surrounded by towering mountain peaks. You’ll see Nak Peak on the left and Zoa Peak on the right.
The lake is a good spot for a swim on a hot day, a nice place to have lunch or a snack, or just relax and enjoy the view.
Merritt is a small community off the highway that is a great place to stop for food or fuel on the drive. It’s known as the “Country Music Capital of Canada” and you can easily see why while wandering through the town.
There are murals of country music legends throughout the town, including many that are tributes to artists who have performed here including Keith Urban, Leeann Rimes, Johnny Reid, and Aaron Pritchett.
If you’re in a hurry, there are a variety of fast-food restaurants here to choose from. If you have a bit more time, visit Kekuli Café. They serve yummy Indigenous food in a coffee shop environment. The fresh, handmade Bannock (including Bannock sandwiches) are raved about by locals and tourists alike!
To break up the trip, Merritt has some good hotel options. The Best Western Plus Merritt Hotel is the newest hotel here with 83 rooms, a pool, and a free breakfast. If you stay here, the nearby Nicola Lake is another great area to explore to extend your road trip.
Kamloops is one of the bigger cities located on this road trip from Vancouver to Revelstoke. This makes it a good stop to fuel up, get groceries, go out for a nice dinner, and just enjoy the city life for a day or two. Besides that, there are actually quite a lot of other adventurous things to do in Kamloops too.
Whether you want to go downhill skiing or snowshoeing in the winter, or enjoy the long summers with excellent weather from April to November by hiking or paddling on the nearby lakes and rivers, Kamloops is a fantastic place to visit in any season.
There are around 100 lakes within an hour’s drive of the city! These are perfect for just about any type of water sport you can imagine. To see Kamloops Lake from the water, take a boat trip around it. Historic stone railroad bridges and tunnels, as well as rugged bluffs and perhaps even an eagle’s nest, will all be visible.
There are several hiking opportunities in Kamloops with various terrain options. The Kenna Cartwright Nature Park is a nice option, with 40 kilometers (25 miles) of pathways. There are a number of beaches and picnic areas, as well as spectacular views of Kamloops and the Thompson Valley. Go out at sunset or sunrise for a very breathtaking view.
Visitors to the BC Wildlife Park may get up close and personal with over 60 different species. It’s a rescue and rehabilitation center, and the vast majority of the animals have been rescued. There’s a splash park, a playground, and a mini-train for the kids. The park’s adult entry price is $14.95 CAD with discounts for children and seniors.
Where to Stay in Kamloops
There are plenty of hotels to choose from to base yourself in Kamloops for a while and enjoy the city and surrounding area.
For a more luxury option, try the South Thompson Inn and Conference Centre. It’s located on 55 acres of green space surrounded by mountains and the South Thompson River. The rooms have great views, there’s a 24 hour hot-tub overlooking the river and nearby hiking trails.
Budget travelers can grab a room at the Kings Motor Inn. It’s a very reasonably priced place to stay with large rooms.
Side trip to Vernon or Kelowna:
From Kamloops, you can go on a bit of a detour if you want to explore the Okanagan Valley. The Okanagan is known for beautiful lakes, warm weather, delicious fruit, and most importantly, wine! Head to the cities of Kelowna and Vernon first, then if you want to venture further south you can check out Osoyoos or Peachland.
Related Read: Check out the beautiful drive from Kamloops to Jasper for an altrenative road trip!
9. Blind Bay
Blind Bay is located along the Shuswap Lake, making it an excellent location for kayaking, swimming, water skiing, fishing, or any other water activity your heart desires! You may even be lucky enough to catch a world-renowned ‘Kamloops Fighting Trout’ if you give fishing a try.
Even if you visit in the winter, you’ll still be occupied! Blind Bay is a huge snowmobiling destination come winter time, so take one out for a spin.
Shuswap Lake Provincial Park and White Lake Provincial Park are also nearby providing even more to explore. Hike the stunning nature trails of Shuswap Lake Provincial Park, or go fly or ice fishing for rainbow trout at White Lake Provincial Park.
10. Salmon Arm
I actually lived in Salmon Arm for a many years. There is so much to do in Salmon Arm, especially if you love the outdoors! Explore stunning natural attractions, or spend a relaxing day at Shuswap Lake right next to town.
Aside from the outdoor activities, there is also plenty of amazing food (lots of fresh produce!) and even delicious wine. On the off chance I haven’t quite sold you yet, check out some of the top things to do in Salmon Arm:
- Go hiking – This region has some pretty stellar hikes if you’re ready to get outside and get active. One of my favorites is Mt. Ida, which is a large 1,564-meter mountain south of Salmon Arm. There are a few routes to take up the mountain, but if you are up for a challenge, try the Mount Ida Loop. It’s a 33km loop with 1,598 meters of elevation gain – quite the trek, but so worth it. If you are looking for a more low-key hike, try out Raven Trail or Shuswap North Rail Trail, both of which are fairly easy, and go around Shuswap Lake. The short walk to Margaret Falls (pictured above) is also worthwhile.
- Visit the most Northern winery in BC – Larch Hills – You absolutely cannot visit this region of BC without trying out some local wines. Larch Hills offers some of the most delicious wines, and you can try them out during a free cellar door tasting. Once you’ve learned a little about the wine, how it’s made, and what your favorite is, you can go to the tasting room, enjoy a glass and take in the stunning views from their property.
- Walk the largest wooden Wharf in North America – I bet you didn’t think going to Salmon Arm meant visiting a record-setting wharf! As the longest wooden wharf in North America, it’s got a pretty interesting history. You can enjoy walking on the wharf year-round, taking in the scenery of Shuswap Lake. If you’re around during the summer, you’ve got to go and enjoy some live music and meal from food trucks! It’s got a fun, community feel to it, so make sure to get in on the action.
Where to stay in Salmon Arm:
If you feel like you want more time in this area (totally understandable!), stay overnight at one of Salmon Arm’s hotels. The Hilltop Inn is a popular choice especially with the larger rooms that can fit small families. This hotel also has a pool, free parking, and breakfast included.
If you’re traveling with your significant other or are after a luxury stay The Inn at the Ninth Hole Bed & Breakfast is really the only option. The rooms here are beautiful and surprisingly cheap. Of course, this place includes an exceptional breakfast and is in a beautiful area outside Salmon Arm.
This little town is the houseboat capital of Canada with people coming from all over to the beautiful lakes in the area. Houseboating on Shuswap Lake is a unique way to spend a few nights out on the water enjoying this area.
Houseboating season goes from June until October. While there will be lots of houseboats especially in July and August, this is a big lake with 1,000 kilometers (over 600 miles) of shoreline, so there’s lots of room.
If you’re here in the winter, the community borders four mountain ranges and has been voted as having the best snowmobiling in western Canada. There are also some nice local trails for snowshoeing.
Stop by for fresh milk, ice cream, and cheese from D Dutchmen Dairy where everything is produced on-site. It’s a small family-owned farm in Sicamous that focuses on high-quality ingredients. The milk is sold in glass containers to keep it cold for longer and you can even buy egg nog here at Christmas!
They also have 62 different flavors of ice cream which has been called BC’s Best Ice Cream – making this a must-visit attraction in Sicamous if you have kids (or adults!) who love a treat.
12. Enchanted Forest
Right on the Trans Canada Highway about 30 minutes before you get to Revelstoke is The Enchanted Forest. For anybody visiting Revelstoke with kids, The Enchanted Forest is a must! Here, the kids can let their imaginations run while while climbing the tallest treehouse in BC and paddling in a row boat in real beaver ponds.
There are cute little figurines from fairy tales and nursery rhymes throughout the property along with a castle and very regal-looking 800-year-old cedar trees. Admission is $14 CAD and includes a variety of activities on the property.
For more fun, the Skytrek Adventure Park is located right next door. It has zip lines, a treetop obstacle course, climbing walls, and jungle gyms for the little ones. Both of these parks are open seasonally from May until October.
You’ve finally made it to the end of your Vancouver to Revelstoke road trip! And what better place to finish? Revelstoke, BC is one of the most beautiful places to visit in British Columbia. It has everything you could want! Mountains, lakes, glaciers, vast forests, and friendly people!
It’s all about the outdoors here. For my nature lovers out there, Revelstoke is a paradise waiting to be explored. From hiking trails to beautiful scenery it can be a little overwhelming when deciding what to do. Here are some of the best things to do in Revelstoke:
- Explore Mount Revelstoke National Park – Just outside of Revelstoke is a beautiful national park full of fun hikes. Be sure to drive the Meadows in the Sky Parkway for epic views, and then do one of the trails from the parking lot at the top. My favorite is the hike to Edith Lake.
- Take the gondola up at Revelstoke Mountain Resort – It’s easily one of the best views in Revelstoke with the added bonus of not having to walk up! Don’t get me wrong, I love hiking but sometimes you just want to take it easy. There are two gondolas at the resort. The first takes you to the top of the mountain coaster. This second gondola is a good 10-minute ride, and at the top, you have breathtaking panoramic views of the valley!
- Ride the Pipe Mountain Coaster – This cool gravity-fed roller coaster is one of the top attractions in Revelstoke. If you want to, this coaster can fly down the hill, and it’s actually super fun and gets the adrenaline going. Of course, you can go as fast or slow as you want and the coaster actually has brakes – so it’s great for kids too. The Mountain Coaster is located at the top of the first gondola at the Revelstoke Mountain Resort.
- Hit the slopes in winter – Revelstoke, BC is famous for the number of awesome things to do in the winter. It’s not hard to see that this small mountain town is a winter paradise! Revelstoke is famous for huge yearly snowfalls and steep mountainous terrain that could challenge even the most skilled. But, if you’re like me and are more suited to green or blue runs then they have that too!
Heading to Banff next? Read our road trip guide including the best stops on the drive from Revelstoke to Banff.
Where to Stay in Revelstoke
When it comes to choosing where to stay in Revelstoke, you have plenty of hotels to consider! Here are some of my personal favorites:
Stoke Hotel – This hotel is a very good budget option that includes breakfast. It’s located right in town and has really good reviews!
Coast Hillcrest Hotel – This highly rated hotel offers guests a comfortable stay at a reasonable price. They have an onsite fitness center, sauna, hot tub, as well as a restaurant. The location is central and the large selection of room types means there is something suitable for everyone including families.
Sutton Place Hotel – If you want to be close to the action in winter or summer then this is easily your best option in Revelstoke. Its located right at the base of the Revelstoke mountain resort and comes with a pool. They offer studio apartments or suites!
You can browse all the accommodation in Revelstoke here!
Renting a Car in British Columbia
If you’re arriving in British Columbia via plane, then I can’t recommend getting a rental car enough. British Columbia is a large province and traveling between the best places to visit in BC requires transport. Although you can use public transport on some occasions, this means your trip will not only require more time but more planning.
Car rental in Canada isn’t relatively cheap, but it’s not that expensive either, especially if you get a budget car. The cheapest car with a pick-up and drop-off in different locations is around $100 CAD per day. The price does vary though, depending on the time of year. For car rentals, I use the website Discover Cars. It’s a search engine with lots of deals with good customer service. In fact, I’ve used Discover Cars all over the world, including in Chile, New Zealand, and Australia.
Another popular option is to rent a campervan or motorhome (only for the brave in winter.) Using Motorhome Republic, you can search hundreds of deals across multiple companies to pick a great vehicle and the cheapest price. Having a motorhome is a stunning way to see Canada, and using crown land and campsites, you can often camp for free or very cheap in the most beautiful places imaginable!