Revelstoke Mountain Resort – Pipe Coaster Hike

Revelstoke Mountain Resort – Pipe Coaster Hike

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.

Revelation Gondola

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.

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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:

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40 thoughts on “Revelstoke Mountain Resort – Pipe Coaster Hike

    1. I am sure there are days when there is no line at all… but it’s good to at least be aware that they lie massively about the wait times! 1hr vs at least 4hrs is a biiiig difference.

  1. I’m wondering how old you have to be to ride the Pipe coaster, because it looks like a blast! For sure my big kids would love arial adventure park, and with gorgeous views it could be a fab family activity!

    1. I think they have to be 3+ to ride along with a parent, and 8+ to ride on their own (as long as they are 4’2” tall)

      We saw lots of kids having a blast on this!

    1. We saw some great mullein as we hiked up through the grasses, but if you mean the photo looking up the ski hill from below, those are just yellowing leaves – they do look a bit like lilies in my photo though don’t they!

    1. Yeah. πŸ™ I guess it worked out (ish) as we fitted in an unexpected hike aaand we got our money back, so we rode the gondola for free!

  2. Too bad you couldn’t ride it, although you did make the most of your time there. It seems as if these coasters are getting more popular at ski resorts. It suppose it’s a good way for people who don’t hike to experience the outdoors–albeit at breakneck speed. Disney parks meets wilderness. Hummm.

    1. Yeah, I heard they are building one here in Vancouver too (on Mount Seymour). I think it is fab, as long as they use it to teach about leave no trace at the same time!

      Nature doesn’t have attendants to pick up rubbish in the way Disney resorts do.

  3. Oh my gosh how fun does this look? I had no idea this was something that can be done in Revelstoke. Good tips about the lines though. I’m planning to do a couple hikes out this region in the summer so I’ll add this one to the list and plan it strategically to hopefully avoid too big a crowd

    1. Yeah, I had read that it never gets too crowded, so I didn’t expect it to be so mad when the resort first opened! I’ll watch out for your post about actually riding it next summer! 🀣

  4. How disappointing after all that hard work you couldn’t ride it! But the views look amazing and it seems like a really good hike nonetheless. Wishing you better luck next time! Thanks for sharing your experience.

  5. Wow, the pipe coaster looks so much fun! What a shame you didn’t get to ride! It sounds like the organisation needs some work, but I can see why it is so popular! The hike looks pretty though with some lovely views. And the view from the gondola is stunning! Hopefully you’ll have an opportunity to return and take a ride!

  6. That’s disappointing that you couldn’t ride the pipe coaster down. At least the hike was lovely. And would definitely try it on a weekday!

  7. Aww, this looks like another fun one (+ I haven’t eaten lunch yet so now I’m super hungry, haha). I’d love to check this out someday on a weekday! (It’s a shame they weren’t honest about the wait times! :[ )

  8. A road trip across BC is on my bucket list! Thank you so much for sharing all the information and incredible photos. I’m saving this for when I finally make it there!

  9. Well, that wait was awful, but at least you got your money back, got a good hike and nice gondola ride out of it. Unfortunately, I am now obsessed with the Pipe Coaster ride, so please go back there during the week in summer and write a report and shoot some nice videos going downhill.
    I remember, I did something similar when I was a kid and I ended up getting stuck behind someone who was going downhill as slowly as possible while I was hoping to break the sound barrier.

    1. That would be my worry too! I was going to let my husband go first, as I didn’t want to be in his way for a speed run if he didn’t use the brakes at all! 🀣

  10. I’m sorry, I stopped reading after you described the Pipe Coaster because now that’s all I want to do in Revelstoke! Haha.

    It’s such a pitty that it was so disorganised, but even without the coaster, the hike definitely looks worth it!

  11. This looks like a lot of fun! There is a very similar pipe coaster in Dalat, Vietnam that I’ve ridden on. The ride up was on the same coaster tracks using a chain-pull type of thing, which admittedly was a little frightening just because of how steep it was. I think a gondola would’ve been much more pleasant! It’s a real shame that you guys didn’t get a chance to do either the coaster or the gondola but I’m glad the hike still had some impressive views. Partly because of the pandemic, but also just in general, I am always very hesitant to schedule activities on the weekends because of how crowded it can be. People from the previous day having priority though, and the employees not being upfront about it, is a different level though!

    1. Oooh that’s cool that these are a thing all around the world!

      Yeah, I guess they weren’t used to it being quite that popular. The B&B we were staying at thought we were mad for even trying to go when it opened. They said it never gets that busy!

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