Are you looking to go hike up in the Revelstoke Mountain Resort? If there’s one hike up there that we would recommend it would be hiking up to the McKenzie Outpost. It’s one of the best activities you can do in Revelstone during summer. You will be stunned with the gorgeous views of the mountain ranges that surround Revy.
Just to warn you, if you’re not ready for a lot of elevation gain then we recommend one of our other hikes in Revelstoke that are a bit easier on the knees (find our other Revy hikes here). And in case you didn’t know, Revelstoke Mountain Resort has the longest vertical descent of any ski resort in North America. Just from knowing that you should prepare yourself for an uphill battle, haha.
All jokes aside though, even though it’s a brutally steep hike, the hike is absolutely worth it. The hike is sort of split into a few sections. For the majority of the hike, you’re walking right under the gondola and you get some epic views of waterfalls and mountains in every direction.
After that, you get to enjoy a bit of climbing on big boulders (and getting lost if you don’t pay attention.) There is also a lot of “are we there yet?” because you can’t see the peak until the very end and it really feels like an absolute journey up to McKenzie Outpost.
We, unfortunately, didn’t have much to go off of because the hike up to McKenzie Outpost isn’t really documented anywhere on the internet. Most people usually ride up the gondola and hike up even further. Since the gondolas weren’t operating yet we decided to hike from the bottom.
Surprisingly there was an easy trail to follow for the majority of the hike. With all the photos and information we’ve gathered you hopefully shouldn’t have too much difficulty navigating your way to the top. The only thing we can’t promise is not getting sore knees.
Practical information about the hike up to McKenzie Outpost
Distance: 17.54 km return / 10.9 miles return
Elevation: 1095 meters / 3592 feet elevation gain
Type: Loop or in-and-out (depending how you do it)
Length: 5-7 hour return (including breaks)
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Other related posts
- 6 Must Do Hikes in Revelstoke
- 5 Gorgeous Spots for Camping in Revelstoke
- Big Eddy Bluff Trail – Hiking in Revelstoke
- Begbie Falls via Bluff Trail – Hiking near Revelstoke
- Echo Lake – Camping and Hiking near Revelstoke
Why you should hike up the McKenzie Outpost in Revelstoke
If you’ve skied the mountain during the winter or know the ski resort, then it’s always fun to see what it looks like in the summer months. Like most mountains, Revelstoke turns lush and green in the summer time.
It’s unbelievable seeing how green it gets after how much snow Revelstoke gets every winter. Thankfully, already in late May, the majority of the snow is gone from the mountain up the McKenzie Outpost which allows you to use the mountain’s hiking and biking trails. Incase it’s not the Big Eddy Bluff Trail is a hike we’d recommend that shouldn’t have any snow in mid spring.
But back to Mckenzie Outpost, if you meet anyone on the hike they will most likely be locals (or wildlife) The McKenzie Outpost isn’t mentioned on Alltrails or Trailforks, and we couldn’t even find any posts online properly explaining the hike.
So we decided to share everything about it to give you guys the opportunity to hike in the Revelstoke Mountain Resort before the gondola season opens up. Because this hike starts at the bottom of the resort there is no need to ride a gondola. You just have to drive from town and prepare your knees for a 1000+ meter elevation climb to the outpost (worth it!).
The hike itself is quite long so we split it up into a few sections to simplify the whole hike. Which will hopefully make it easier to make sure you don’t get lost like we did our first time. It’s not very hard to stay on track but there are a few sections that can be a little tricky. But that’s why we’re here to make sure that doesn’t happen to you! =)
How to get there – parking, trailhead, and directions
Since you don’t park your car right by the trailhead, we thought we’d break down to you where to park, where the trailhead begins and how to get to the trailhead from the parking spot.
The section below includes a map of each location along with a picture so you can see if you’re at the right spot once you get there.
Driving to the parking spot from Revelstoke
You’ll definitely want to drive to the trailhead even if you’re staying in town. It’s a long hike and by the time you get down, you just want to sit down in your car and sit there for hours.
- It will only take about 10 minutes from downtown to drive to the parking spot. One of the reasons we love Revelstoke. Everything is so close to the city center.
- The directions can be found here.
Here’s a map of where we parked our car
Here’s a picture of where we parked our car
The trailhead is quite easy to get to. Once you park your car on the corner of Mountain Road and Monashee Ct you will just walk on Monashee Ct to the trailhead. There are no designated parking spots but as long as you park off to the side you’ll be completely fine. Then once you’re ready and have everything you need you can start the journey towards the beginning of the hike.
You will walk by some big houses on Monashee Ct and eventually when the road ends you will see the trailhead. You will see a little fence and the beginning of the ski slopes. That’s “Home Run” and essentially the beginning of the hike.
Here’s a map of the beginning of the trail
Here’s a picture of the beginning of the trail
Getting from the trailhead to the Revelation Lodge
This is probably the easiest part of the whole hike. It’s not too steep up to Revelation Lodge. This beginning part of the hike is a good warmup to prepare you for what’s ahead.
If you’ve skied here before then I’m sure finding the path shouldn’t be hard for you. But if you’re like us and haven’t skied in Revelstoke before then it may be a little bit challenging. Especially if there’s no trails or anything to follow.
So after doing the hike for the first time with our friends, we found this to be the easiest route up the Revelation Lodge. All you have to do is follow “Home Run” all the way up to Revelation Lodge.
Once you come off Monashee Ct you will see what looks like a ski run and that is “Home Run” and you will just continue to follow that up. There are signs fairly often so just keep a lookout for those.
You will eventually walk under what looks like a little bridge and there you will see Revelation Lodge. You will notice how much elevation you have already climbed and the views you’re going to get. It’s a pretty magical mountain to have such stunning views across the valley down below.
Enjoy a few minutes at Revelation before you start the next part of your hike. You can daydream about all the other awesome hikes in the area or other fun things to do in Revelstoke.
From Revelation Lodge to The Wall
Once you’ve made it to Revelation Lodge you will need to find the path that follows the gondola to your next checkpoint. It isn’t too hard to find but it’s also easy to miss. You will have to look for the mountain bike path which is where the trail begins. See photo below pointing you in the right direction.
Once you’re on the bike path you will only stay on it for about a minute until you see the trail leading to the gondola. You will get on that path and start hiking basically right under the gondola.
From there it’s quite straight forward. You will walk past some creeks and little waterfalls. This is definitely one of the most stunning parts of the hike. With water running by and flowers all over the place it’s a great area to get some photos.
We only have one minor detail to share that you can’t miss. At one point you will get to a gravel road which is actually the “Last Spike”. At that point make sure to take a slight left and walk across the road to continue on the trail. It’s easy once you find it but we have a picture to point you in the right direction.
After that enjoy the rest of the zigzags until you reach the wall. It seems intimidating but also very easy to conquer.
From The Wall to McKenzie Outpost
The Wall! It seems like you can see it from miles away and it’s just calling your name waiting for you. We actually thought once we got to the wall we were almost finished with the hike. We were sadly mistaken. So just remember once you get to The Wall you’re probably around halfway or a little past halfway.
The Wall seems intimidating but is honestly quite fun. As long as you follow the “blue ribbons”, “pink ribbons”, and “orange circles” you shouldn’t get lost climbing up the wall. The rocks are all quite big and quite stable. But we do recommend taking your time on them. Especially if it’s been raining recently then they can get quite slick.
The Wall was actually quite a nice break from the constant uphill climb under the gondola. You end up working out different muscle groups and it is really refreshing. Plus the views are amazing and you end up even finding a second wind to want to make it to the top.
This section up to McKenzie Outpost may feel long but at that point, you’re nearly there. After you get off the wall, you will continue to follow the markings through the forest before you end up back under the gondola.
It may seem like you are off the main path because you have to go over and under a few trees. It may even seem like you are going too far off the path but do not worry.
After a few minutes, you should see some more signs and marks that will reassure you that you are on the right track. If you don’t see these signs and marks, keep looking. They are there and you want to follow them!
Then out of nowhere you will clear out of the forest and see the gondola again. At that point, you’ll only be a few minutes from the top and your body can rejoice.
One final push with McKenzie Outpost in sight and you’ll be there. You’ll be exhausted at this point. But honestly, it’s one of our favorite hikes we’ve done in B.C. Because every time you look back you will get awesome views – especially on a clear day.
Once you get to McKenzie Outpost we recommend you spend a bit of time there and take in the views. There are some bathrooms and sinks where you can fill up your water and some picnic tables where you can sit down and relax your sore legs while refueling your water and energy level. That’s what we did. It’s definitely nice taking a break before the walk down to the bottom.
From McKenzie Outpost back to the trailhead
This part was a blast for us. The decline isn’t too steep and we actually ran most of the way down. We either ran or the momentum of our bodies basically just did it for us. It felt like we got back to the trailhead in like 10 minutes but it was definitely more like 45.
It’s quite simple getting down because you take the “Last Spike” all the way down. It’s a green ski run all the way back to Revelation Lodge. From there you will take “Home Run” the blue run back to the trailhead. That part you’ve already hiked up. So you could actually say the hike is a little bit like a lollipop route.
All you have to remember is: “Last Spike” green ski run from McKenzie Outpost to Revelation Lodge. “Home Run” blue ski run from Revelation Lodge back to the trailhead where you started.
If you enjoy descending quickly after you summit a hike then you will enjoy this one. The gravel road is very wide and nice to run on so you can basically just fly to the bottom. We ran and sang the whole way down to let bears know we were there.
It’s quite common for bears to be up on the mountain. So definitely keep an eye out for them. A few days after we did this hike, we actually saw that a black bear momma and her two cubs were spotted in the area the same weekend we did the hike! So be loud, watch out, and bring a bear spray just in case.
Camping in Revelstoke
If you’re looking to camp in Revelstoke then we have a few recommendations. Echo Lake is an absolute beautiful place to camp but it’s a little out of town. Where as Williamson Lake Campground is right in Revelstoke.
Here is a post of a few camping places in Revy: 5 Gorgeous Spots for Camping in Revelstoke. Some are in town and some are a little drive but each and every campsite mentioned is fantastic to stay at.
Before you go
It doesn’t hurt to check the local bear warnings in the area. Especially since Revelstoke is known for having bears wandering around the city and the local parks. You can check out this site for any warnings and closures. But if you come prepared and you bring bear spray you should (hopefully 😉 ) be ok.
We definitely recommend checking bear warnings wherever you go hiking in Alberta and B.C. because when you least expect it you will probably end up seeing one. Like last weekend we were talking about how we’ve never seen a Grizzly before and bam we saw not one but two grizzlies at Lake Louise an hour later! Crazy how that works out, hey?
Another thing that’s good to check before you go is the weather. You can check the Revelstoke weather forecast to make sure the conditions are ok too. You definitely don’t want to get stuck on the mountain while it’s raining. Especially while hiking up The Wall. We went in June and the conditions were great even though we got sprinkled on by a bit of rain.
Since the elevation gain is insanely high the weather can change quickly. Luckily, you should be able to see it coming so you can prepare yourself. Depending on what time of year you go you can also take the gondola back down if the weather turns bad and you don’t want to hike back to the trailhead.
What to bring
It is a long hike and the weather can change quickly so maybe bring some extra clothes just in case. Also, we recommend you bring lots of food and anything else you bring on a hike that can take 5+ hours.
Ideas of what to bring:
- A water bottle that you can refill at the top. Or a Lifestraw which you can refill from the running water that you’ll find multiple times on the hike.
- Some snacks and fruit (nothing better than enjoying snacks at the top of a hike).
- Bear spray (especially here in Grizzly country)
- A music player (to keep bears and other wildlife away, and for jammin’). This is especially good to bring during the off-season since you will have a lot of the hike to yourself.
- Hiking shoes are definitely recommended for this one. It is a hard hike and The Wall is quite challenging and it gets quite slippery and muddy so hiking shoes are heavily recommended.
We hope you enjoy this hike as much as we did. It will definitely be a good workout and you’ll most likely feel exhausted by the end of it but it will feel very rewarding. Revelstoke is seriously an outdoor paradise. There are so many things to do in Revelstoke.
If you love hiking, climbing, kayaking, mountain biking you can do it all there! We will continue to share amazing spots to camp and hike near Revelstoke. This little mountain town has so much to offer and there are tons of fun things to do. So we want to do our best and share all of its beauty.
Other related posts
- 6 Must Do Hikes in Revelstoke
- 5 Gorgeous Spots for Camping in Revelstoke
- Echo Lake – Camping and Hiking near Revelstoke
- Greenbelt Path – Walking Trail in Revelstoke
- Checklist for Hikers
Other hikes at Revelstoke Mountain Resort
Once the season for hiking and mountain biking is open you will have the opportunity to ride up the Revelation Gondola to McKenzie Outpost. From there you will have a chance to do a bunch of other hikes on the mountain. Looking at the pdf you can see we did the portion called “Kill the Banker”.
You will have tons of different hikes you can do and if you’re looking for something a little bit easier then we would highly recommend riding the gondola to the top. From there you can do a few of the shorter hikes.