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Larch Hills Traverse

Sicamous & Area
Distance: Approx. 2 km from visitor centre to trailhead, 4 km (one way from trail to Sicamous Forest viewpoint), 7.4 km (one way from trailhead to Hyde Mtn. viewpoint), 38 km (one way from trailhead to Salmon Arm)
Difficulty: More Difficult
Duration: Various. 1 hour (one way to Sicamous Forest Viewpoint), 2.5 hours (one way to Hyde Mtn. viewpoint), 8-12 hours (one way by cycle or ski to Salmon Arm)
Trail Access / Features
Walk / Hike Mountain Biking Horse Trail Snow Shoeing Cross Country Ski Wildlife

Trail Notes / Current Conditions:

June 20/2017: Timber Harvest Work along Larch Hills Traverse on Metford Road above South Canoe - Canoe Forest Products (CFP) has begun road upgrades/reactivation activities along the upper section of Metford Rd. (106.000 Rd) beginning around 4.5km from the South Canoe trailhead, and heading north out of the woodlot. Recreational users can expect to find to tracked equipment (excavators), dump trucks, crew trucks and fallers working along this section of road Mon – Fri 3am – 6pm for the next few weeks. Where work is occurring road crews will have signs up indicating controlled access through the work site area. Users wishing to access the Larch Hills Traverse through this area may consider using Ravens Run as an alternate route around the road work. (See the map link for details.)

June 12 2017 -   Condiditons shared by hikers -  starting at the Larch Hills XC area and ending at the Sicamous Trailhead just above the TC highway. Track was 33.3 km's, started at 7:30am and finished at 3:15pm.   - trail is in great shape. No snow, and trail tread dry. Fresh bear scat evident mostly along the old forest service road/xc tails at the beginning and end of the trail. Did not see any bears. Lots of moose scat evident as well especially in the many young forest sections and it would appear that moose enjoy the LH Traverse too! Lots of tree clearing work recently done at the Larch xc end



Trail Description:

This is the Sicamous Trailhead of the epic cross-country highland trail linking Salmon Arm and Sicamous over the Larch Hills. It’s also a lovely trail for a shorter stroll up through the forests on the western slope above Sicamous Narrows, or a day hike to the spectacular viewpoint above Hyde Mountain, with views east over Mara Lake. (See the Salmon Arm section for a description of the full Larch Hills Traverse or see the Hyde Mtn. Lookout Trail description in the Sicamous section). 

The Larch Hills Traverse is the first section of the Shuswap Trail to be completed. It’s an epic 38 kilometre highland cross-country romp through the forests, fens, and dramatic lake vistas of the Larch Hills, linking the communities of Salmon Arm and Sicamous.

Watch for new trail sections being added each season, including the most recent 3 km Raspberry Hill section with spectacular new views high over Shuswap lake.

Seven distinct sections make up the full traverse. Each offers its own unique character to the journey. The trail connects forestry road and singletrack trails through a variety of ecosystems and terrain. Many amazing viewpoints overlooking Shuswap and Mara Lakes are your rewards. Best traveled from Salmon Arm to Sicamous for cyclists.

The route is a four season challenge, with variations in the winter where more obvious lines open up under snow cover. It’s doable in a very long day by mountain bikers or nordic ski tourers, but also lends itself well to an overnight, especially for through hikers.

A series of shorter circuit trips can be linked along the extended route. Together they can be collected over time to build a complete traverse. Parties can also add overnight visits to the Larch Hills Nordic Society’s Main Chalet or Cec’s Cabin. New single track trail sections and overnight shelters are planned for the future, to extend winter and summer touring options for the area. Watch for updates


Trail Info: Map

Annotated Guide: PDF (Goes with the GPS map numbers match waypoints along the track)


East Trailhead (Sicamous): Park at the Visitors Information Centre, or Wharf in Sicamous. Walk or cycle west along north side of Sicamous Narrows Bridge to the “Welcome to Sicamous” sign, 1 km from the Sicamous Narrows bridge. Turn south (right) off the highway at the sign. Follow the 2 wheel drive accessible Forest Service Road 400 meters to the obvious trailhead sign on the right. NOTE: For those driving to the trailhead, please drive out to the Shuswap Lake rest stop 3km West of the turn. Turn around here and drive back to the Forest Service Road. There is no turn lane and it is a dangerous spot to turn left/south off Hwy 1 (double yellow line). Please park in the designated area only.

West (Salmon Arm) and South Trailhead (Larch Hills): See the Salmon Arm section for a description of alternate trailheads.

Access Map: From Sicamous, From Salmon Arm, From Larch Hills

Access PDFs: 109 FSR, 110 FSR, 112 FSR, Metford Rd.


CAUTION: Wilderness Trail. This is not for the faint of heart. Careful preparation, adequate food, water, gear, and knowledge of backcountry travel and navigation are essential. Plan accordingly.



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