Mount Revelstoke National Park
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|Mount Revelstoke National Park|
Meadow near the summit
|Location||Revelstoke, British Columbia, Canada|
|Area||260 km2 (100 sq mi)|
|Visitors||approx. 500,000 (in each year)|
|Governing body||Parks Canada|
Mount Revelstoke National Park is located adjacent to the city of Revelstoke, British Columbia, Canada. The park is relatively small for a national park, covering 260 km2 (100 sq mi). It is located in the Selkirk Mountains and was founded in 1914. Approximately 600,000 visitors enter Mount Revelstoke and nearby Glacier National Park each year.
Mount Revelstoke is part of a string of mountain national parks along the Canadian Pacific Railway corridor including Banff, Yoho, and Glacier. Established in 1914, its creation came later than the other mountain national parks which date to the 1880s. The initiative to establish a park was led by local residents of Revelstoke; the mountaineering and skiing clubs worked with municipal officials and the local Progress Club to build the first trail to the summit of Mount Revelstoke in 1910. Park boundaries were extended southward toward the Revelstoke townsite in 1920. A lodge and tea house, known as Heather Lake Lodge, were constructed in the 1930s, and demolished in 1966.
Meadows in the Sky Parkway
The 26-kilometer summit road, now known as the Meadows in the Sky Parkway, was started in 1911, and was completed in 1927. During the First World War, Parks Commissioner J.B. Harkin authorized the use of interned "enemy aliens", mostly men from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, on construction projects in the national parks. An internment camp was constructed on the slopes of Mount Revelstoke in 1915. Over 200 interned men worked on the road to the summit, but began to refuse work once cold weather hampered them in the fall. The camp was abandoned and the men moved to other camps in the region.
By the early 20th century, Revelstoke had become a popular skiing area, one of the first ski destinations in North America. Mount Revelstoke became the home of a ski-jumping facility in 1915; this was expanded to Olympic specifications in 1933. Other downhill runs were added, and Mount Revelstoke hosted many international competitions in the first half of the century. The jump was the longest natural jump in Canada, and international records were set there. Nels Nelsen was an early supporter of the skiing facilities and set several of the jumping records. The last event was held in 1971, and the ski area was converted to a trail system for hiking and downhill mountain biking.
The park contains a portion of one of the world's few inland temperate rain forests. Steep, rugged mountains can be found in a warm, moist climate. A variety of plant and animal life is typical with stands of old-growth Western Redcedar and Western Hemlock, a forest type which is rapidly declining outside of protected areas. The park's inland rainforest also has an isolated population of banana slugs which marks the eastern boundary of their distribution in North America.
This national park protects a small herd of the threatened caribou as well as providing habitats for cougars, grizzly bears, lynxes, black bears, red foxes, moose, martens, coyotes, a variety of bats, timber wolves, several species of shrews, voles, mice, wolverines, and mountain goats.
The Meadows-in-the-Sky Parkway is a paved mountain road open during the snow free months. The parkway begins in the rainforests of the park's southwest corner, winds upward through the sub-alpine forests and ends in the rolling sub-alpine wildflower meadows. The Monashee Mountains rise to the west, with the Selkirk range to the east.
Giant Cedars Boardwalk is a 500 m. (0.3 mi.) interpretive trail that twists through a stand of old-growth western red cedar and hemlock trees, some more than 800 years old. Exhibits along the way explore the secrets of this inland rainforest.
Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk is a 1.2 km. (0.75 mi.) interpretive trail that leads through valley bottom rainforest and fragile wetlands inhabited by muskrats, beavers, bears and the strange skunk cabbage plant. Exhibits also help to identify the many birds that migrate from South and Central America to the Skunk Cabbage area each year.
- Paquet, Maggie. (1990). Parks of British Columbia and the Yukon (1st ed.). North Vancouver, B.C.: Maia Pub. p. 340. ISBN 0969456808. OCLC 22813558.
- A century of Parks Canada, 1911-2011. Campbell, Claire Elizabeth, 1974-. Calgary: University of Calgary Press. 2011. pp. 60–61. ISBN 9781552385265. OCLC 690088749.CS1 maint: others (link)
- Woods, John G. (2004). Glacier country : a guide to Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks. Friends of Mount Revelstoke and Glacier. p. 63. ISBN 0921806167. OCLC 57431138.
- Waiser, W. A. (1999). Park prisoners : the untold story of Western Canada's national parks, 1915-1946. Fifth House Pub. pp. 17-18. ISBN 1895618657. OCLC 174114077.
- Parks Canada Agency, Government of Canada (2016-02-23). "The History of Skiing on Mount Revelstoke - Mount Revelstoke National Park". www.pc.gc.ca. Retrieved 2019-10-13.
- "Visit Canada's Jaw-Dropping National Parks for Free".
- "Canada's lesser-known national parks good bet during 150th anniversary | the Spokesman-Review".
- "Oh, Canada! 17 national parks that give this nation reason to boast".
- "Canada 150: 10 National Parks to visit in 2017 - Saga".
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