The sky’s the limit in Revelstoke

by Steve Shannon

Photo looking down on the Antsey Arm of Shuswap Lake.

Looking down on the Antsey Arm of Shuswap Lake. — Steve Shannon photo.

Dualsporting in the Perry River Valley

Revelstoke and the surrounding area is full of back roads just waiting to be explored. A great mid-summer loop is to go west on the Trans Canada Highway to Craigellachie. Top up your fuel at the Skyline Esso, then turn right and get on the Perry River Forest Service Road (FSR). This gravel road travels north along the Perry River, eventually going over a small pass and then dropping down to a powerline at the Ratchford River. There are numerous side roads heading up the mountain slopes to get some views of the peaks and glaciers in the area. Once you’re at the Ratchford River, to the east is Pettipiece Pass and eventually Lake Revelstoke, while heading west ends up in Seymour Arm at the north end of Shuswap Lake.  Enjoy the white sand beaches, grab a burger and fuel, then it’s time to carry on.

From Seymour Arm there are numerous options, but a great loop to get back to Revelstoke is to head back towards the Ratchford River, then turn south on the Antsey River FSR. This logging road meanders along the Antsey River before climbing along Antsey Arm and over to Gorge Creek, ending on the Trans Canada Highway just west of Craigellachie. From Craigellachie it’s a short highway ride back to Revelstoke. Alternatively, you could continue on gravel roads all the way to Sicamous, or from Three Valley Gap there are logging roads extending all the way to Mabel Lake and Lumby.

Enjoying the views on Sproat Mountain

The ATV riding opportunities in the Revelstoke area are endless. With numerous logging and mining roads in the mountains, there’s plenty to explore in the summer months. A great ride for both intermediate and expert riders is a ride to the Sproat Mountain fire lookout. The trail and fire lookout are both maintained by the Revelstoke ATV club. The trail is closed for wildlife until July 1, and sometimes the snow isn’t gone until mid-July or later. The riding season on Sproat runs until the snow falls in October.

Staging is on the Akolkolex FSR, 20 kilometres south of Revelstoke on the east side of Arrow Lake. From the staging area follow Akolkolex-Dumont FSR south and then navigate the maze of old logging roads until it turns into an ATV-width trail. From here on in the trail crosses a few avalanche paths and climbs up Sproat Mountain to the fire lookout. From the top there are views in every direction, including Arrow Lake, Beaton, Trout Lake and the Selkirk and Monashee mountains.

The Sproat Mountain ATV trail passes through delicate wildlife habitat and alpine terrain, so please respect the closure before July 1 and stay on the trail to avoid damaging the area. Also, third party liability insurance is required for traveling on forestry roads.

Race your heart out

The Pacific Northwest Motorcycle Association’s BC Offroad Championship Series has many stops in the Okanagan and Shuswap. On May 18 and 19 the Night Pig and Squealin’ Pig hare scrambles take place at the Bardolph riding area outside of Vernon. With a variety of trails covering over 200 kilometres, the courses are always a lot of fun and can challenge even the best of racers.

In late July the BCORCS heads to Kamloops for the Chuwells Challenge Cross-Country. Billed as one of the tougher races, it links together miles of premium single track that has made Kamloops famous. Combined with the heat of mid-summer, just finishing this race is something to be proud of. 

On the Labour Day long weekend it’s time to head to Penticton for the Night Rooster and Big Rooster. A great hare scramble course filled with plenty of singletrack, these races promise a fun day of racing.

The final stop in the area for the BCORCS is the Rock Hound hare scrambles in Silver Creek, B.C., on October 6. As a part of the discontinued Okanagan Hare Scrambles Series, the Rock Hound was famous for its mix of technical trails in the woods and wide open stretches through the burn on Mount Ida, as well as the ever-present rocks. The local club does a great job of making a fun B loop for recreational racers and a challenging A loop for intermediates, experts and pros.

For more information on the PNWMA and BC Offroad Championship Series, check out their website.  

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