Revelstoke Dam Visitor Centre

Revelstoke Dam Powerhouse

Visitor information

The Revelstoke Dam Visitor Centre offers a wide range of exhibits and activities for all ages. New to the centre are 14 interactive displays, a First Nations gallery and theatre.

Learn how the Revelstoke project was built, how water is turned into energy, and don’t miss out on a self-guided tour that'll take you on an elevator ride to the lookout located atop the massive, 175-metre high concrete dam.

Travellers from near and far enjoy visit to Revelstoke Dam

The facility is fully wheelchair accessible, incorporating wheelchair ramps, elevators and wheelchair-accessible toilets.

Guided and self-guided tours available.

Get information about wildfires, earthquakes and floods

For details about the area, follow the links below:

Access and directions

Need directions? View a map of BC Hydro recreation areas and get specific directions to the Revelstoke Dam Visitor Centre, five kilometres north of the city of Revelstoke.

Find out about recreation area closures and restrictions.

Revelstoke Dam Map

Hours, admission fees and contact info

The Revelstoke Dam Visitor Centre is now closed for the 2015 season and will re-open on May 21, 2016. During the season, guests can visit from 10am to 4pm everyday.

Admission fees

Regular admission fees:

  • Adults: $6
  • Youth (6 to 18) and Seniors (55+): $5
  • Children 5 and under: free
  • Families (2 adults + 2 children): $15
  • Season pass: Adults $7, Youth and Seniors $6

About the dam

The hydroelectric complex is comprised of a 175-metre high concrete gravity dam in Little Dalles Canyon, a 122-metre high earthfill dam on the west bank of the river, and a powerhouse in the riverbed, immediately downstream of the concrete dam.

The powerhouse has five large generating units, four in service since 1984 and a fifth unit in service since 2010. Each unit has a capacity of 460,750 kW. Individually the units have the largest capacity of any in Hydro's system. The concrete powerhouse is 213 metres long, 50 metres wide and 60 metres high.

The reservoir created by the dam extends 130 kilometres; back to the tailwaters of the Mica Dam. It has a surface area of 11,534 hectares. Since regulated release water from Mica provides almost three-quarters of the inflow into the reservoir, the Revelstoke power plant operates as a run-of-the-river plant, with normal maximum fluctuations in the reservoir level of 4.5 metres.

Boating safety

Great caution is necessary while boating in the area south of Revelstoke.

The original channel cuts through wide, flat river bottom for 48 kilometres south of Revelstoke. The area on both sides of the channel is covered by only 0.6 to 1.8 m of water, even when the reservoir is at its highest. Boaters are cautioned to keep to deep water in this area. Slow down, and watch for shoals and log bundles. Do not leave your boat unattended in this area.

Dam intakes at the Keenleyside Dam, and outlets from the Revelstoke Dam, can cause strong surface and underwater currents. For your own safety and the safety of others, obey all posted signs and remain well away from BC Hydro dams and operating structures.

Sudden releases of water may occur downstream from Revelstoke Dam. Discharged water levels may be high and extremely dangerous for boaters in the immediate area.

History and hydroelectric operation

Revelstoke Dam is Canada's second generating project on the Columbia River and one of four dams in B.C. that regulate the flow of the Columbia.

Three of the dams, Mica, Hugh Keenleyside and Duncan, were built as a result of the Columbia River Treaty, signed by Canada and the United States in 1964. The Treaty dams provided badly needed flood control, made possible development of power plants on the Columbia and its tributaries in B.C., and increased the potential for power generation at plants in the United States.

Mica, completed in 1973, is the largest of the Treaty projects and the only one in Canada to generate power. Located about 135 kilometres north of Revelstoke by road, Mica has an installed capacity of 1,736,000 kW. Gordon M. Shrum Generating Station on the Peace River is the largest hydroelectric plant in British Columbia, with a capacity of 2,416,000 kW.

The regulation of the Columbia River by the three Treaty dams in Canada has provided the essential storage needed to create additional hydroelectric generating potential on the river and made the Revelstoke development possible.

The Revelstoke Generating Station, located about 130 km downstream from Mica, has an installed capacity of 1,843,000 kW, with provision for an ultimate capacity of 2,764,500 kW, which would make it the most powerful hydroelectric development in British Columbia.