Racing down the slopes of Revelstoke Mountain Resort at 42km/h, the Pipe Mountain Coaster is a one of a kind, exhilarating experience found nowhere else in British Columbia, Canada.
The 1.4km Revelstoke Mountain Coaster track descends 279 vertical metres (915 feet) in around three minutes, depending on how fast or leisurely the rider desires.
Yep, this is one coaster you can actually control! Riders use a manual brake to decide the speed of their own journey down the mountain. As the track curves through the forest and across ski runs, the speed builds and the corners get sharper. Trees whip past and the wind whistles.
If high speed thrills aren’t your thing, however, you can simply cruise down and enjoy the vistas all the way down. There’s no wrong or right way to ride the Revelstoke Mountain Coaster.
Riding the Revelstoke Mountain Coaster
The Revelstoke Mountain Coaster offers an exciting and fun ride no matter which speed you choose to go. It’s a ride that I’m sure you too will want to repeat when you reach the end!
This guide features everything you need to know about riding the Revelstoke Mountain Coaster, including insider tips and advice to make the most of your day at Revelstoke Mountain Resort.
What is a mountain coaster?
If you’re not totally sure what a mountain coaster is, don’t worry! They are not very common in Canada. As mentioned, the Revelstoke Mountain Coaster is the only one of its kind in British Columbia.
First, picture a roller coaster. Then, imagine it lower to the ground and built on the slopes of a mountain. There are individual cars securely attached to the track, each seating one person (or an adult and child).
As gravity pulls the car down to the end of the track, the mountain coaster rider can control the speed of the ride with a hand operated brake.
Back in my childhood, I rode many mountain or alpine coasters in Europe. They seemed to be particularly common in Germany and had varying levels of safety.
Revelstoke’s Pipe Mountain Coaster looks a little different than the ones I grew up on but it is definitely just as fast! There are three mountain coasters currently operating in Canada.
The Pipe Mountain Coaster experience at Revelstoke Mountain Resort, BC
The journey starts with a trip up the Revelation Gondola. Before scanning your ticket to access the gondola, take one of the numbered tickets from the red machine next to the big blue sign.
The screen to the right shows which ticket numbers are being accepted at the current time (also shown online here)
The Revelation Gondola whisks guests through the trees and up to the mid mountain station in just over five minutes. All visitors have to get out at the mid-mountain station so you can’t miss it.
The Pipe Coaster loading platform is just to the right of the gondola exit. Check the ticket number screen to the left of the queue area before approaching the ticket checker.
If it’s too early, have a walk around the mid mountain area or take the gondola to the top in the meantime.
After some safety instructions and a seatbelt fastening and it’s almost time to ride. The attendant will give the go ahead when the rider in front is more than 40 metres away. Push down on the lever and it’s time to fly!
The track descends immediately (smile for the camera!) and races through a tunnel before twisting and turning through the forest. There are a number of steep drops and tight turns ahead. Pull the brake towards you to slow down or go as fast as you dare! I adore rollercoasters and even I had to use the brake a couple of times.
1.4km of single track rail (and around 3 minutes) later, you’ll be approaching the base of the mountain. Look for the Aerial Adventure Park on the left and the SLOW signs on the right.
Lower your speed and cruise to the end. The attendant will unbuckle your seatbelt and then you’re done! I bet you’ll want another ride though…!
Other things to do at Revelstoke Mountain Resort
Don’t let the fun end when your coaster ride does! Here’s how you can extend your summer visit to Revelstoke Mountain Resort.
- See the epic views at the top of the Revelation gondola. Ride all the way to the top and take in the views of beautiful Mount Begbie and the other Monashee mountains. The Glacier View sightseeing platform is just beyond the gondola station (200m return), while the Revelstoke View platform is an easy 800m return walk.
- Go for a hike. From the top of the gondola, there are a couple of different options for alpine hiking. An 11km out-and-back intermediate trail goes to pretty Greely Lake. If you’re up for a challenge (and you have the time), consider hiking the Stoke Climb (14km return) to access the Subpeak Loop (1.8km). The views are pretty spectacular even half way up.
- Have lunch at the Mackenzie Outpost at 1694m. A burger stop with a difference, the Mackenzie Outpost offers incredible panoramas from its sunny patio. Perched just on the Want to stay closer to ground level? Head to the Rockford, across from the lower gondola station. Happy hour runs from 3-6pm every day.
- Fly high at the Aerial Adventure Park. New for 2019, this aerial park has over 50 obstacles including two ziplines and a freefall. The best part about it is you can do it all at your own pace and selection. Once the safety training is completed with a guide, it is possible to explore the aerial park independently.
- Bike an epic 15km trail downhill. The premier mountain biking attraction at Revelstoke is the 15km Fifty Six Twenty trail that features an incredible 1713m of vertical. To access the route, you must first ride the Relevation Gondola and then bike the 7km Stoke Climb. The latter takes around 60-90 minutes.
Other summer activities at Revelstoke Mountain Resort include axe throwing, paragliding, bungee trampolines and disc golf. Equipment for the disc golf can be rented at the R Gear store.
Revelstoke Mountain Coaster: All the essential details
The need to know about the Revelstoke Pipe Mountain Coaster, from ticket prices to crowd beating tips!
- The Pipe Mountain Coaster is located at Revelstoke Mountain Resort, which is a ten minute drive from the small town of the same name. Revelstoke sits almost halfway between Vancouver and Calgary, about a two hour drive west from the Yoho border of the Canadian Rocky Mountain National Parks.
- The operating season for the Pipe Coaster starts at the end of May and finishes in mid October. The ride runs daily in the summer (late June to early September, opening at 8am and closing at 7pm.
- Tickets for the Pipe Mountain Coaster can be purchased in person at Guest Services or online. Purchasing online offers a 10% discount, though you must remember to bring proof of order confirmation and ID for collection at Guest Services or the R Gear store.
- Solo riders of the Revelstoke Mountain Coaster (alone) must be a minimum of 8 years old AND a minimum of 4″1 (1.24m) in height.
- Children aged between 3 and 12 can ride with an adult (16+) for an additional fee as long as they are no taller than the driver’s shoulders and the total weight does not exceed 260lbs.
- At the time of writing (September 2019), a single ride on the Revelstoke Mountain Coaster costs $25. Two rides are $33 and three rides $39.
Mountain coaster riding advice and tips
- Before purchasing tickets for the Revelstoke Mountain Coaster, first consider whether you’d like to do any of the other summer activities at the resort. There are some pretty awesome ticket packages that offer savings on individual activities. Details can be found on the Revelstoke Mountain Resort website here.
- The Revelstoke Mountain Coaster does not operate in rain (or high winds). If it does start to rain on your visit, don’t panic. If and when it stops, the coaster is likely to begin running again quickly.
- Small backpacks are OK to be brought onto the coaster. Handheld devices, however, are not. If you want to take a video of the ride, you need a mount or some kind of attachment. Both hands are needed to operate the coaster brake, so cameras must be hands free.
- Be sure to check your on-ride photos at the R Gear store (just behind the lower gondola station) as soon as possible after your coaster ride ends. It’s not a big issue if you go later but you’ll have to scroll through more photos before finding yours. There are both print and digital photo options.
Thank you to Revelstoke Mountain Resort for arranging Pipe Mountain Coaster tickets and lunch for us, as part of a hosted media trip to Revelstoke