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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:

Aug. 14/2015 - BEAR ATTACK WARNING: on Larch Hills Trails - check out the story here. Users of the Larch Hills Traverse should be especially vigilant in the area around the Larch Hills Nordic trails and South Canoe. Remember - let someone know where you're going, travel in groups, make noise, and carry bear spray.

WATCH for LOGGING TRUCKS - AUGUST/SEPTEMBER: Canoe Forest Products will be harvesting a cutblock located on the 110.300 road to the west (approx. 300m) of the start of the “Game trail” section of the Larch Hills traverse.   Harvesting is scheduled to start the week of Aug 10th  and users of the Rubber Head / Ravine trails - and anyone accessing the Larch Hills Traverse via the 110 FSRoad - should expect industrial logging traffic on the main 110.000 road and .300 spur Monday – Friday through the month of August and possibly into early September  (dependent upon fire weather conditions).

Trail Description:

Current Conditions 

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)

Access:

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.

Warnings:

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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