Day 8: A guide to cycling across Canada.
Bike tour Revelstoke to Golden

Today’s ride will take you through both Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks.

Mount Revelstoke National Park, founded in 1914, is small compared to most national parks, with an area of only 2602 kilometres. The park preserves many epic attractions such as the world’s only inland rainforest and ancient stands of old growth western red cedar. Don’t miss the Giant Cedars hiking trail to view some of these monster trees.

Extensive clear-cut logging in the area surrounding the park combined with the park’s small size has caused stress on the park’s eco-systems. Its ecological integrity is being threatened by local development and ecological isolation.

Glacier National Park was established in 1886. It covers 1 349 kilometres2 of mostly glaciated area. The Columbia Mountain range dominates the park, which is known for steep rugged slopes, a warm, moist climate and old growth cedar. Wildlife such as mountain caribou, mountain goat, black and grizzly bear call this area home. More information is available at the Parks Canada Rogers Pass Discovery Centre located near the summit of Rogers Pass.

Each August, wildflowers burst dramatically into bloom in the alpine meadows of both Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Park.

Rogers Pass, elevation 1 330 metres, in the Selkirk Mountains, is the highest point on the impressive highway route between Golden and Revelstoke.

American Major A.B. Rogers discovered Rogers Pass in 1881. Construction of the railroad in this area was complete by 1885.

To me, Rogers Pass was not as fierce as I had imagined. When we reached the sign indicating we were there, my group and I were surprised. We had expected a long hard climb rather than what proved to be a gentle ascent.

The Rogers Pass area is home to the first and only tunnels on the Canada by Bicycle route. Some of these tunnels are short and safe, others are long and scary. Before entering a tunnel, make sure there is no traffic approaching from behind and then pedal hard! Ensure that you have a flashing light on your bike to alert motorists of your presence.

Make sure to remove your sunglasses before entering, as some of the tunnels are very dark. Do not panic because of the lack of light, your eyes will quickly adjust and your surroundings will become visible. Look down for painted lines on the road to orient you. The noise of passing traffic can be very loud and unnerving, so be ready for it. As scary as the tunnels are, it beats being swept off of your bike by an avalanche!

Weather in this area can be very volatile. Don’t rule out snow at any time of the year. The small gas station at Rogers Pass is your last chance for food or beverage before Golden.

The towering Selkirk Mountains catch warm, moist Pacific air from the coast and send it up from the earth causing it to cool and fall as precipitation. The massive amount of snow that falls in this area means that avalanches are a constant concern.

East of Rogers Pass the highway drops into the Rocky Mountain Trench, which separates the Selkirk and Rocky Mountain ranges.

Golden, population 4 373, is situated at the junction of the Columbia and Kicking Horse Rivers in the Columbia River Valley. The economy of this bustling mountain town is dominated by logging, tourism and the Canadian Pacific Railway. Check out the covered Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge at 8th Avenue North, spanning 46 metres across the river of the same name. This bridge is the longest free-standing timber frame bridge in Canada.

Kicking Horse River and Valley get their name from Dr. James Hector. In 1858, he was part of the Palliser expedition exploring for both agricultural potential and a route for the Canadian Pacific Railway. Near Golden one of the packhorses fell into the river. While trying to pull the horse from the river it kicked Hector in the chest, causing him to lose consciousness. Mistaken for dead, Hector’s crew began to dig his grave and stopped only after he regained consciousness a few hours later.

Your destination for the evening is the Golden Municipal Campground, set tranquilly beneath the bows of towering trees but only seconds from downtown. This campground is as nice as any you will find on your travels in Canada. If you want a roof over your head try the popular Kicking Horse Hostel. Check out Summit Cycle for any bicycle needs that you may have.

Kilometre Log
0.0Leave Lamplighter Campground heading east on Nixon Road.
0.1Turn left on Big Eddy Road.
0.7Cross over the Columbia River.
0.8After crossing the bridge Big Eddy Road becomes Wilson Street.
1.3Wilson Street becomes Victoria Road West. Stay right.
2.8Turn left onto MacKenzie Avenue.
2.9Turn right onto Track Street East.
4.3Track Street East dead-ends into Townley Street. Turn left.
5.2Intersection of Townley Street and HWY 1. Turn right and head west on HWY 1.
8.5Mt. Revelstoke National Park is on your left.
27.3Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk. Washrooms
29.9Giant Cedars Boardwalk.
31.5Exit Mt. Revelstoke National Park.
35.4Cross over Illicillaweet River.
48.7MacDonald Shed avalanche tunnel.
48.6Twin Shed avalanche tunnel.
49.1Enter Glacier National Park.
49.3Lanark Shed avalanche tunnel.
70.7Rogers Pass and Rogers Pass Visitors Centre. Small service station.
74.8Tupper Tunnel 1. This is a scary tunnel!
75.8Tupper Tunnel 2. A much more enjoyable tunnel.
78.9Mt. Shaugnessy Tunnel.
93.7East boundary of Glacier National Park.
122.1Descend rapidly into the Kicking Horse River Valley.
148.8Exit right into Golden on HWY 95.
149.1Road circles 270º clockwise where it merges with 10th Avenue North.
150.8Cross over Kicking Horse River.
151.2At intersection of 10th Ave South & 9th Street South
turn left.
152.3Bike for five blocks to Golden Municipal Campground at the intersection of 14th Avenue South and 9th Street South.

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