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12 BEST Stops on the Drive from Whistler to Revelstoke

12 BEST Stops on the Drive from Whistler to Revelstoke

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Whistler and Revelstoke are both adventures in themselves and provide so much beauty and exciting things to do! That’s why taking a road trip from Whistler to Revelstoke is one of the most epic road trips you can do in British Columbia!

Not only are each of these locations awesome, but there are also lots of fun and exciting stops along the way!

I’m going to give you the 12 best stops for your drive from Whistler to Revelstoke. I recommend really taking your time throughout this road trip and enjoying each spot along the way.

Taking this road trip without stops would take around 8 hours to complete. But I suggest taking several days to make pitstops and enjoy each park, city, and town on this list. While these stops are listed from Whistler to Revelstoke, you can easily do them in reverse as well driving from Revelstoke to Whistler too!

From waterfalls to lakes to amazing hikes, this is sure to be a memorable and enjoyable road trip – enjoy!

About the Drive from Whistler to Revelstoke

The distance from Whistler to Revelstoke is about 560 km (348 miles), and without stops, the drive would take around 8 hours.

With that said, I highly encourage that you really take your time with this trip and enjoy and explore each of these individual stops over a several-day period. I’ve even suggested some places to stay in Pemberton, Lillooet, and Salmon Arm so you can break this road trip up over several days.

The road trip from Whistler to Revelstoke can be done year-round, however, the winter months can cause the drive to be a little more challenging, especially for those unfamiliar with driving in that kind of climate. It’s beautiful regardless of the season you visit, but the roads are much easier to drive on in the summer and fall.

If you do decide to do this road trip in the winter, your car will need winter tires for extra grip. Winter tires are mandatory on Highway 99 and most BC highways from October 1 until March 31. You could be fined if you don’t have winter tires in good condition, but more importantly, it’s much safer to have them!  

Always be sure to check road reports before heading out (especially in the winter months). With all that said, here is your list for the 12 best stops on the drive from Whistler to Revelstoke!

12 BEST Stops on the Drive from Whistler to Revelstoke

Before I get into the best stops between Whistler and Revelstoke, make sure you enjoy Whistler before you leave. To help you plan your time in Whistler, check out our blogs on the area. These include the best things to do in Whistler, where to stay in Whistler, the best stops between Vancouver and Whistler, how to plan a romantic honeymoon in Whistler, the best coffee shops in Whistler, and more!

Without further ado, here are the best road trips stops when driving from Whistler to Revelstoke.

1. Nairn Falls

Nairn Falls, BC
Nairn Falls!

Your first stop on this epic road trip is just 20 minutes outside of Whistler. Nairn Falls Provincial Park has plenty to see and do. You can explore and camp if you choose, but even a quick stop here is enough to see some of nature’s beauty at the falls!

Just a short hike (1.5 km/0.9 miles) will get you to the falls. The hike itself is pretty easy, making it manageable even for beginners and families. I do suggest having good hiking shoes for it though!

To get to Nairn Falls you’ll start just off the Sea to Sky Highway. Pull into the parking lot on the right and you will see a trail at the edge of the lot near the restrooms. The terrain is relatively flat, but does have a few ups in downs throughout it.

You’ll notice the Green River on your left throughout the hike, and it won’t be long before you can hear the falls! You have two lookouts to enjoy the views from. The first platform overlooks the upper falls and is located on the hill straight ahead, while the other platform is further down and will give you a view of the lower falls.

2. Pemberton

Baked goods at Blackbird Cafe in Pemberton, BC
Yum! Photo credit: Blackbird Cafe

Pemberton is a small village of fewer than 3,000 people located right at the base of a mountain. Mount Currie is spectacular and has been featured in plenty of movies and TV shows. It’s a great destination in all seasons with activities from hiking and biking to rafting or fishing and, of course, in the winter, skiing and snowmobiling.  

Grab breakfast or lunch at Blackbird Bakery, where everything is baked fresh by a French pastry chef. They open early and close when everything is sold out. Try an almond croissant or a sandwich and sit outside to see the mountain views. For something stronger, there are also two craft breweries and a distillery here – check out the award-winning organic potato vodka!  

Pemberton is an excellent place to go horseback riding with more horses per capita here than any other area in the entire province! Take a guided horseback tour while you’re here with tours ranging from an hour to a full-day adventure.

Spend a night at the beautiful all-suite hotel Pemberton Valley Lodge. This is great for relaxing on the road trip – especially in the outdoor pool and hot tub with mountain views! I recommend spending a night here if you want to hike Joffre Lakes (the next activity on the list) because it gets really busy in the summer and you’ll want to get there early, so leaving first thing in the morning gives you a head start. 

3. Joffre Lakes

A couple stand on a rock at the Joffre Lakes near Whistler, BC
At Joffre Lakes just outside of Whistler.

This is a must-visit on the drive from Whistler to Revelstoke! The highlight of the hike through Joffre Lakes Provincial Park is Lower, Middle, and Upper Joffre Lakes with stunning turquoise blue water. The color is due to “rockflour” or glacial silt that lies suspended in the water and reflects the blue and green wavelengths from sunlight – it’s breathtaking!

The hike is about 10 kilometers (6 miles) long (return) and goes uphill as you work your way to Upper Joffre Lake. Along the way, you’ll see the three amazing lakes, creek crossings, great views of the mountain range, a waterfall, and the Matier Glacier at the top overlooking Upper Joffre Lake. To get back, simply retrace your steps and enjoy the easier hike down and a second look at these stunning lakes.  

In the summer, this is a super popular destination and parking can be a problem. The parking lot often fills up and you’re not allowed to park on the road. Sometimes they run shuttle buses from a nearby overflow parking lot, but this isn’t always true. 

To avoid having any problems getting a parking space, get here at sunrise to get a spot in the parking lot. You’ll also be one of the first ones on the trail and enjoy it in peace (this is exactly what we did when we visited last summer). When you’re done your early morning hike and then hit the road early to your next spot. This is why I recommend staying a night in nearby Pemberton.

4. Seton Lake

the u-turn viewpoint of Seton Lake
This is the view if you do the hike from Seton Lake.

Stop here to take a short one-kilometer (0.6-mile) hike to a popular spot overlooking the lake with part of the Sea to Sky Highway making a U-shape in the foreground – known as the Duffey Lake Road U-Turn. It’s a great road trip picture!

To get to the hike, you’ll park in a gravel area and cross the highway to a path on the other side. Follow the trail to get to the Seton Lake Lookout and enjoy the view!  

If you want to stay longer, Seton Lake is perfect for a swim! There’s a beach (but no sand!) with a marked-off swimming area. Or, rent a canoe and head out onto the lake. The water is so clear and blue here, it looks like a postcard.

5. Lillooet

The Fraser River runs through a canyon near Lillooet, BC
You can see just how desert-like the landscape is!

Lillooet is a small town along the Fraser River with some really dramatic mountain scenery on the way to Revelstoke. During the Fraser River Gold Rush around 1858, Lillooet was one of the largest towns in North America as thousands of people flooded in looking to get rich. Now, you can see artifacts from the Gold Rush era inside the Lillooet Museum.  

It has a hot, desert-like climate with some of the warmest temperatures ever recorded in Canada. With a long growing season, you’ll also find orchards and wineries around here – try some of the award-winning wine from Fort Berens Estate Winery. While you’re here, walk across the Old Suspension Bridge. It was built more than a century ago and is just open to pedestrians now.  

You can also spend a night here around the halfway point of the drive from Whistler to Revelstoke. Check out the Reynolds Hotel for a nice place to stay with some historic charm (it was built in the 1940s) that has recently been updated. It has a great restaurant to eat at and a little convenience store to stock up on road trip essentials for the rest of the journey.

6. Marble Canyon Provincial Park

A lake in Marble Canyon Provincial Park
How beautiful is this lake!?

Marble Canyon Provincial Park is a good spot to stretch your legs or even camp for the night. There’s a small campground with about 30 sites right between two lakes. Every campsite has access to the lake with a sitting area below where you park. There’s a beach here as well as some good hiking trails and fishing.  

It’s located in the Pavilion Mountain Range, which is a limestone canyon – you’ll notice the white, chalky-looking peaks (which differ from the granite of the other mountains close by).

The unique rock formations here also make it a popular spot for rock climbing! 

7. Cache Creek

With so many provincial parks around here, Cache Creek is a good place to base yourself if you want to stay longer and explore. Juniper Beach Provincial Park and Elephant Hill Provincial Park are both less than 15 minutes away.  

Cache Creek is also an ideal place to visit one of the western ranches in the area. The Historic Hat Creek Ranch lets you live the life of a gold miner from the 1860s Gold Rush in British Columbia. You can ride a stagecoach, try panning for gold, make a nail at the blacksmith shop, and even stay in a cabin, prospector’s shack, or even a unique covered wagon.  

There are also quite a few motels here at the junction of the Trans Canada Highway and the Cariboo Highway (Highway 97). Try the Bear’s Claw Lodge for log cabin-inspired motel rooms to spend a night in the area.

8. Kamloops

Kamloops Lake as seen from the Trans Canada Highway
Kamloops Lake as seen from the Trans Canada Highway between Cache Creek and Kamloops!

Regardless of the season you visit, Kamloops is sure to be a fun-filled stop on your drive from Whistler to Revelstoke. If you go in the winter you can experience downhill skiing or snowshoeing. Or hike or paddle on a nearby lake or river in the warm months of summer – there’s just so much to do in Kamloops!

Kamloops actually has over 100 lakes within an hour of the city! Regardless of the water activity you decide to experience, it’s sure to be a great day on the lake. Kamloops Lake allows you to see old stone train bridges, tunnels, rock bluffs, and potentially even an eagle’s nest!

Did I mention the endless hiking opportunities? Endure the wide-open grasslands, ponderosa pine forests, sandstone canyons, and steep valleys of Kamloops. The Kenna Cartwright Nature Park has 40 km (25 miles) of trails itself. Sunset or sunrise gives you a particularly beautiful view of Kamloops and the Thompson Valley. There are even several beaches and picnic areas as well.

The BC Wildlife Park gives you the opportunity to see wild animals up close. Most of the animals here are rescued as it’s a rescue and rehab center. You’ll find over 60 different species including Clover the Spirit Bear, a rare white bear that is the only Kermode Bear in captivity in the world! There’s even a splash park, playground, and mini-train for the kids. Admission to the park is $14.95 CAD for adults.  

9. Blind Bay

Blind Bay as seen from above
Blind Bay is one of the more scenic places to explore on the lake!

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

Salmon Arm Wharf
The Wharf is huge!

I lived in Salmon Arm for a few years and fell in love with this small city. 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 the lake, Salmon Arm has something for everyone.

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.
  • 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.

If you feel like you want more time in Salmon Arm (I don’t blame you!), 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.

11. Sicamous

a houseboat hot tub on Shuswap lake near Sicamous, BC
Sicamous is a popular spot to go on a houseboating adventure!

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 if you have kids (or adults!) who love a treat.

12. Revelstoke

The Gondola on the Revelstoke Mounts Resort
The ride up is just as stunning as the views from the top.

You’ve finally made it to the end of your Whistler to Revelstoke road trip! And what better place to finish? Revelstoke, BC is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Canada. 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:

  • 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!

Related Read: Want to continue further? Check out our guide to driving from Whistler to Banff or Revelstoke to Banff for other detailed road trip itineraries!

Where to Stay in Revelstoke

Sutton Place hotel in the snow at Revlstoke Moutnain resort
Photo Credit – Sutton Place Hotel

When it comes to choosing where to stay in Revelstoke, you have plenty of hotels to consider! Here are some of my personal favorites:

Cheap Stays

Frontier Motel – The Frontier Hotel is your cheapest option in Revelstoke. In all honesty, it’s very basic but the rooms only cost up to $74 a night for a queen room for two people.

Stoke Hotel – This hotel is a very good budget option that includes breakfast. It’s located right in town and has really good reviews!

Best Hotels

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.

Ramada hotel – Ramada hotels are always a great choice around Canada. Their rooms are luxurious and well priced. the hotel in Revelstoke is close to town and a great place to stay during your visit.

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!

Renting a Car in British Columbia

Winter road in British Columbia, Canada
Get out and explore in a rental car. The views from the road are just as amazing as the destination!

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 is relatively cheap especially if you get a budget car. The cheapest car with a pickup and drop-off in different locations is around $70 CAD per day. The price does vary though depending on the time of year. For car rentals, I use the website Rental Cars.com. It’s a search engine with lots of deals with good customer service. In fact, I’ve used Rental Cars.com 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!

Canada Travel Essentials

Bailey stands on a mountain in essential gear for the Canadian Rockies
A windproof jacket and Buff will save you in the mountains!

Before you decide to head off and explore the gorgeous mountains, lakes, towns, and cities around Canada it’s important to have the right equipment. Of course, it’s likely you’ll have most of the basics already but there are some common items people forget that I never travel without.

Crampons: In winter crampons are super handy, but what people don’t realize is that they come in handy in summer too. In fact, up until mid-July, you can still expect icy conditions in the mountains. The pair I use is only $29 and they have lasted me 3 seasons so far!

Waterproof shell: Most people will have this item but I thought I’d include it anyway since it’s so handy in Canada. The Columbia waterproof jacket is a lightweight windproof jacket that will seriously save you in many situations. The best part though? It comes in pink!

Bear bells: These are a must and for the price, you shouldn’t hike without them. The bear bells I use are only $12 and they come with a silencer (a must) so you can easily travel with them.

Scent-proof bag (for bears): Most people think you only need to keep the smell of food away from you when you’re overnight camping. However, bears can smell the food in your bag while you’re hiking and the best way to avoid an encounter is to use a scent-proof bear bag. Basically, you put your food in the bag and the bear cannot smell it while you’re hiking. This is one item most people never have (I never hike without it) but it could save you and the bear.

Buff: I love my buff! Seriously, I go nowhere without it both in winter and summer. There are a few brands around but I always buy the original Buff (you know, the one from Survivor!) They’re a little more expensive but the material is good quality and both breathable and quick drying.

Dry bag: I have expensive camera equipment so I always travel with a dry bag large enough to fit some of my equipment. It can be a camera, book, binoculars, or even my keys. Regardless, a dry bag gives me peace of mind! The MARCHWAY bag is really good quality, and when not in use, takes up only a small amount of room.

Binoculars: I love my binoculars! Seriously they have come in hand so many times especially when I’m looking for wildlife. The best part is, I use a set that only costs $27 and they serve my basic needs without any issues!

Before you go…

Bailey from Destinationless Travel snowshoeing in Revelstoke
Thanks for reading!

So what do you think?! I told you your drive from Whistler to Revelstoke would be filled with some pretty epic stops. Whistler and Revelstoke are amazing destinations in themselves, but that doesn’t mean the journey to them can’t be enjoyed.

Let me know the stop you’re most looking forward to in the comments! If you enjoyed this post be sure to check out some of our other Canada posts:

33 BEST Things to do in Whistler in Summer

Things to do in Golden in Winter

Guide to Visiting Whistler in December

How to Plan the MOST ROMANTIC Whistler Honeymoon

13 BEST Stops on the Drive from Vancouver to Kelowna
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