Mountain Biking In Revelstoke – Everything You Need To Know

Where Is Revelstoke?

Only in recent years has mountain biking in Revelstoke really taken off. Thanks to landmark events such as the Dark Horse Invitational women’s-only free ride, the area has quickly made a name for itself and become a staple for British Columbia and Canada’s MTB community.

Mountain Biking In Revelstoke
Image: Destination BC/Reuben Krabbe

Revelstoke is a small city located approximately 400 kilometres (250 miles) northeast of Vancouver. It is situated on the banks of the Columbia River and is surrounded by the Selkirk and Monashee mountain ranges. Synonymous with skiing and snowboarding, Revelstoke is enjoyed as a year-round recreational hub with incredible hiking, sledding, and fishing also on offer.

Why Is Revelstoke So Great?

You’ll love mountain biking in Revelstoke because the area boasts over 200 kilometres (125 miles) of cross-country and downhill mountain bike trails, as well as a world-class bike park. Whether you’re seeking enduro or downhill, there’s something for every rider. Additionally, there are several local bike shops and tour operators in Revelstoke that offer bike rentals, guided tours, and shuttle services.

Mountain Biking In Revelstoke
Image: Destination BC/Robin O'Neill

When Is Bike Season In Revelstoke?

It’s safe to start dusting your bike off in April. Trails in the valley will be ridable at this time. To enjoy trails at higher elevations, you may have to be patient. Late May or early June should see the alpine start to become accessible and you can typically ride right through to September or early October. Of course, this is dependent on weather conditions. Weather in the mountains changes quickly and so it’s always best to check trail status and weather reports ahead of time.

The Revelstoke Bike Park at Revelstoke Mountain Resort typically opens in early June and remains open until early September. During this time, the park is open seven days a week, with adrenaline-pumping, lift-accessed riding available.

Mountain Biking In Revelstoke
Image: Destination BC/Robin O'Neill

How To Prepare For Mountain Biking In Revelstoke

Mountain biking in Revelstoke can be very physically and mentally demanding. You’ll want to have a good base level of fitness. Cardio is essential for stamina and endurance, and strength training will help to keep your legs in check–particularly on those gnarly uphills.

Refresh your technique ahead of time and refamiliarize yourself with cornering, braking, and balance. It’s worth noting that Revelstoke Bike Park is best enjoyed by intermediate or advanced riders; beginner riders may wish to enjoy one of Revelstoke’s many cross-country trails instead. Confidence and control are key.

Mountain Biking In Revelstoke

Also key is the proper gear. You’ll want a helmet and gloves, and either goggles or shades to protect your eyes. Dress for freedom of movement and temperature regulation, and consider investing in padding to protect your knees and elbows. A decent chamois will also go a long way to keeping you comfortable on your ride.

Make sure your bike is in good condition and get it serviced before your trip. It’s a good idea to ride with a spare tube as well as tools in case of an emergency. Be prepared for any weather, and be sure to stay hydrated and fueled throughout your ride by bringing a bladder full of water and plenty of snacks stashed on your person. 

Mountain Biking In Revelstoke
Image: Destination BC/Dave Silver

Which Is The Best Bike Trail In Revelstoke?

There are four trails that stand out to us as being some of Revelstoke’s best but, honestly, it’s hard to narrow it down!

1.    The Mount Macpherson Trail Network is an extensive trail network that has over 60 kilometres (37 miles) of singletrack trails suitable for all skill levels. There are forested sections, open meadows, and technical rocky sections, too. The trails are well-marked and maintained, and you can expect plenty of stunning views of the surrounding peaks.
2.    Frisby Ridge Trail is a popular trail in Revelstoke. This is a challenging 22-kilometre (13.6-mile) ride that rewards riders with stunning alpine views. The trail is located just outside of town and features a steep climb followed by a long descent. Check out Wandering Wheels if you need a shuttle.
3.    We have to include Revelstoke Bike Park! It has over 30 kilometres (19 miles) of trails and 45 features, including jumps, berms, and drops. The park is lift-accessed, making it easy to get up the mountain and enjoy the descent.
4.    If you’re an advanced rider, Keystone Standard Basin Trail is for you. Located near the Revelstoke Mountain Resort, it features technical rock gardens, blood-pumping steep descents, and tight switchbacks along with incredible alpine vistas. This trail is not for the faint of heart!

Mountain Biking In Revelstoke
Image: Destination BC/Ryan Creary

Is Revelstoke An Expensive Town?

Revelstoke is very reasonably priced when compared to other MTB destinations in Canada. Accommodation is likely your largest expense while visiting but you’ll find a great hotel room for under $130 per night when you visit midweek or in the shoulder season. It’s a great idea to keep an eye on seasonal offers by subscribing to email bulletins or following your preferred hotel on social media.

Dining is typically pretty casual in Revelstoke and there are ways to bring the cost of food & drinks down. Choose a hotel room with a kitchen or kitchenette where you can prepare your meals, and perhaps visit Save On Foods and the liquor store in Revelstoke to stock up. Remember to pack your lunch/carry snacks to keep you fueled. 

Mountain Biking In Revelstoke
Image: Destination BC/Boomer Jerritt

Which Is The Best Hotel For Mountain Biking In Revelstoke?

The Sandman Hotel in Revelstoke is located on the Trans-Canada Highway, just a short drive from downtown Revelstoke and Revelstoke Mountain Resort. It offers a variety of rooms and suites, including rooms with kitchenettes. 

Guests enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi and overnight parking, and pets are welcome, too. There’s even an indoor pool and hot tub so you can soak your tired legs, and onsite dining is provided by Denny’s.

Mountain Biking In Revelstoke