If you’re going through Canada and stumble upon the amazing town of Revelstoke then we have this awesome tucked away camping and hiking spot for you. Echo Lake is an amazing spot to go camping near Revelstoke. It’s a beautiful picturesque lake with an easy trail around the perimeter of the lake, and awesome campsite spots which make Echo Lake worth a weekend trip.
Echo Lake is a small lake set back in the mountains and hidden by trees just south of town. In about 30 minutes from Revelstoke, you will find yourself immersed in nature and the calmness of birds chirping. One of the many beauties of Revelstoke is that you’re able to drive in any direction and stumble upon hidden gems like this one.
There are a few amazing places to camp in and near Revelstoke but Echo Lake definitely takes the cake. You can set up camp just a few feet away from the lake and then enjoy relaxing and kayaking for the rest of the day.
Hiking around the lake
There is a beautiful short and sweet trail that goes around the whole lake. If you’re looking for somewhere to go and relax for the weekend and explore some nature then Echo Lake has that. The trail is only about 1.6 km long but there are options to go and explore a little bit off the main path.
Nature there is so beautiful and even though it’s more of a short walking trail than a typical hike it still feels amazing to be out in the mountains next to this small lake tucked away from civilization. You’ll have so much to do that you won’t even need a big hike and you’ll be able to enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of Echo Lake.
Camping at the lake
There are many incredible spots to go camping near Revelstoke but “camping spots near Revelstoke” deserves to be a post on its own. Today is all about camping at Echo Lake and everything you need to know about this hidden gem.
If you have a kayak or a canoe, you should bring it (!) so you can enjoy some time on the lake. If not, you can just go swimming and take in the beautiful views! We even saw a few people fishing but who knows if they actually caught anything.
Before you do any of that you can “hike” around the trail we mentioned and find which spot suits you best and set up camp somewhere near the lake. There are picnic tables and fire pits right next to the car park so you can stay near there but we recommend going to the other side. It’s much quieter and there are awesome viewpoints with Echo Lake and Mt Cartier in the background.
There is also already plenty of pre-cut firewood all around the lake which is awesome. All you have to do is bring your camping gear and any toys you need for the weekend!
PS if you are lucky enough we would recommend getting site #42. Otherwise, you can go find some unmarked spot that fits your tent!
How to get there
The beauty of Echo Lake is how close it is to Revelstoke. You drive 25-30 minutes from town and then you’re camping up by an alpine lake deep in the mountains. The drive itself is beautiful as well with the Columbia River to the west for basically the whole drive. (Yes, THE Columbia River – that goes all the way to Portland and even further.)
From Revelstoke, you will drive south past the airport for 20 minutes or so. You will continue until the end of the pavement and from there you will turn left up Akolkolex FSR. The road splits in two – one road up left and one road right that goes down just a little bit. It’s really not hard to miss. (Unless Jo forgets to tell you to turn.)
Alright, so up and left… This will be a gravel road which will take you to Echo Lake. We drove it in our Honda Odyssey in late spring so you should be completely fine to get up there with almost any vehicle. There are also signage marks every 1km or so.
You will pass Drimmie Creek after about 2km (awesome place to take photos) and from there you will continue up the mountain until you see the Echo Lake turnoff on your right-hand side.
If you follow these directions from Revelstoke to Echo Lake you should get there no problem.
When to go to Echo Lake
We’d definitely recommend waiting until at least early June to plan a camping trip to Echo Lake. Obviously every year is different but for the majority of the snow to be gone from that altitude, early June would be a safe bet. Especially since the last 5km of uphill gravel road might be a little sketchy in the snow.
Luckily if you don’t mind a little bit of cold weather you could probably enjoy Echo Lake until mid to late October. Try to avoid long weekends and maybe the last weekend of June in case some local school trips go there. But other than that, Echo Lake makes for the perfect little camping trip from Revelstoke. We went in mid-June and basically had the whole place to ourselves – on a Saturday!
Locals do know about it but there are tons of amazing camping and hiking spots near Revelstoke so you don’t have to worry about it getting too busy.
What to bring
Of course, it depends what you plan to do for the weekend but we’ll share everything you may need and you can create your own packing list from there!
- Food and anything you need to prep food
- Hiking shoes
- Bear spray
- Matches or lighter
- Rain jacket
- Insect repellent (there are a TON of mosquitoes and they ate Jo alive, haha)
- A canoe or kayak
- Some ice-cold beers if you’re into that!
- Crackers, marshmallows, and Hershey’s chocolate (you know it)
- Jumper cables (hopefully don’t need to use them)
- We also have a post of items you may need for hiking (Hiking Checklist in 2020)
Now you’re all ready to enjoy a weekend hidden away in the mountains next to a beautiful little lake.
Hopefully, you enjoy this peaceful little spot as much as we did and make some great memories exploring Revelstoke’s backyard and remember to take some cool photos while you’re up there too. Again, Drimmie Creek halfway up the 5km road is a great place for pictures.