Revelstoke Mountain Resort looks like a fab place to go skiing in winter. However during the summertime, the resort turns into a mini play area for tourists (and locals) with a whole range of activities from axe throwing to mountain biking, disc golf and even swinging around on an Aerial Adventure park. The thing we really fancied was the Pipe Coaster. The idea is, you take a gondola up the mountain, then zoom down on a rollercoaster that uses gravity to let you fly down the ski slopes.
We were driving back to Vancouver (and back to Monty) on this day, so we couldn’t stay for long…but we got up early to attempt to ride the Pipe Coaster before our road trip across BC.
Revelstoke Pipe Coaster
We’d read online that you need to arrive early to ride the Pipe Coaster at the weekend, so we got to the resort 15 mins before everything opened. There was a looong line, but we got in line and bought tickets. You have to buy a ticket first; Then, after that, you pick up a number from the lady by the gondola. We were worried we would not have time, so we checked with staff and they said our estimated wait time would be an hour.
There are two options for getting to the start of the ride, you can go up in the gondola, or you can hike up. We were originally planning to ride the gondola, but once we found out we had an hour to wait…we decided to hike up.
I was dressed for a travel day, but wearing a little black dress won’t stop me from hiking!
Map for the Pipe Coaster Hike
We just followed the signs up the mountain, but this gives you the basic idea about the hike. It was 5km, with just under 400m of elevation gain. It’ll get your heart pumping away, but the trail is easy to follow and not hard.
See people ride the Pipe Coaster as you hike
The thing that made this walk the most fun, was watching other people fly down the Pipe Coaster! It really built up anticipation for our own rides!
How busy are the trails?
Revelstoke Mountain Resort was the busiest place we visited in 2020. There were loads of people milling about, waiting for their turn to ride the gondola. However, there were no other hikers when we visited (and not many mountain bikers this early in the morning.)
Views from Mount Mackenzie
I also really enjoyed the views from the trail. You will zig-zag up the ski slopes as well as through the forest. So there were plenty of views over to Mount Begbie and down to the marshland by the Columbia River.
If you are running low on time, you can skip one part of the walk (along ‘big easy’ and ‘take it easy’) For the top half of the walk, you will be further away from the delighted screams from the Pipe Coaster.
If you follow the path we did, the very last section takes you down the hill again to the top of the Revelation Gondola and the start of the Pipe Coaster.
Pipe Coaster Queues
Now although the Pipe Coaster *looks* like great fun; Unfortunately it isn’t very well organized. We hiked up to the Pipe Coaster line, but we were not allowed to join the line until our numbers came up. Although we were originally told our numbers would take around an hour, after two hours, we were still not even able to join the queue. I checked again with one of the staff at the top of the gondola, she thought it would be *at least* another 2 hours before we could ride the Pipe Coaster(!)
If you plan on riding the Pipe Coaster in the summertime, it would be better to come on a weekday, or very early in the morning on a Saturday. We arrived before it opened on a Sunday, but all the people who had waited all day the previous day had priority before us. I *think* that is why there the wait was sooo much longer than we were told. I still like the idea of giving this a try, but I would not bother visiting again at the weekend.
We had already stayed longer than we originally intended, so we gave up. We took the gondola down and went back to guest services to ask for our money back. I was a bit sad the we couldn’t ride the Pipe Coaster. But the views from the Gondola on Revelstoke Mountain Resort are still pretty fabulous.
Other Summer Attractions at Revelstoke Mountain Resort
If you have longer to spend at Revelstoke Mountain Resort in the summertime, there are a whole range of things to keep you busy in addition to hiking and the Pipe Coaster. We spotted signs for disk golf (where you throw frisbees into goals), axe throwing, mountain bike trails as well as an Aerial Adventure Park (below).
Food at La Baguette
There is a mini chain in Revelstoke called La Baguette where we nearly always stop for food when we’re driving through this area. We were delighted to see they have a small shop at Revelstoke Mountain Resort. We grabbed sandwiches to go from here for our drive back to Vancouver.
We had fun with our mini Pipe Coaster hike even though we didn’t actually ride on the Pipe Coaster. Anything that mixes mountains and roller coasters is a good idea to me!
It’s a shame they couldn’t be more honest about the wait times, especially as they knew the number of people ahead of us in the queue. What do you think? If you could visit on a weekday (when the wait times are more minimal) would you give this a go?
Fancy something less busy? Other Adventures near Revelstoke:
- Miller Lake and Eva Lake (Meadows in the Sky)
- Jade Lakes (The best hike of 2020 for us)
- There are loads of hikes in Glacier National Park – we tried the Great Glacier Trail
- Just outside Revelstoke is the Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk – great for birdwatching
- The Giant Cedars Boardwalk if you like massive ancient trees
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