History of Mount Revelstoke National Park of Canada

Mount Revelstoke National Park

Mount Revelstoke National Park of Canada is situated in the Selkirk Mountains of southeastern British Columbia, immediately northeast of the confluence of the Illecillewaet ( ill-ah-SIL-ah-wet) and Columbia Rivers. It occupies 260 km2 of a landscape characterized by rugged snow-capped peaks and lush valley-floor rainforests.

In 1908, the City of Revelstoke broke a trail to the summit of the mountain and later completed trails to some of the alpine lakes. Local citizens lobbied the provincial and federal governments for construction of a road to the summit. Mount Revelstoke was established as a National Park in 1914, after considerable advocacy by local residents, in recognition of its unspoiled mountain scenery, its sub-alpine wildflower meadows, and its potential for recreational use. The Meadows in the Sky Parkway was built between 1912 and 1927.

Little is known about the area's use by First Nations groups prior to European contact. Before the coming of the railway, the confluence of the Columbia and Illecillewaet Rivers just outside the park was used as an encampment by fur traders and explorers on the Columbia, and as a supply point for mining operations. Railway construction in 1885 made the river junction (known as Farwell) a focus of activity. Farwell was renamed Revelstoke and became a CPR divisional point after the completion of the railway.

Human heritage resources of national significance are found in Mount Revelstoke, commemorating the mountain's use as one of Canada's first ski hills. From 1915 to the late 1960s, annual ski jumping competitions were held on Mount Revelstoke, the longest period of any Canadian ski jumping venues.

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