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Hyde Mountain Lookout

Sicamous & Area
Distance: 7.4 km (one way)
Difficulty: More Difficult
Duration: 2.5 Hours (one way)
Trail Access / Features
Walk / Hike Mountain Biking Snow Shoeing Wildlife View / Lookout

Trail Notes / Current Conditions:

 May 24, 2016 - Note: signage is missing from the 112 Forestry Road turn-off to the viewpoint. We're working on reinstalling it, but in the meantime please be patient - and prepared to self-navigate. The old skid trail is becoming quite overgrown, and the final little section to the viewpoint edge is very overgrown, so you'll probably be picking your own route. But the views are most definitely rewarding.

Trail Description:

Forest hike to east Larch Hills from Sicamous with spectacular views of south Mara Lake above Hyde Mountain.

The first 3.6 kilometres are uphill, but don’t despair. A remarkable series of 33 switchbacks designed by Shuswap trail developer and mountain biker, Jim Maybee, makes this a pleasant forest stroll – and a rigorous but doable mountain bike ride – through a beautiful mixed cedar and hemlock forest. The rush of the highway quickly fades away after the first switchback. And the carefully thought out dips and twists slow things down so cyclists and hikers can share the trail.

Watch for orange blaze markers on trees ahead to mark the way. Most signal the start of another switch back. At approx. 3.5 km, post marks a short side spur to a forest rest stop and views through the forest over Sicamous.

At 4 km the trail emerges from  the trees and up through thick thimble berry bushes onto the eastern most end of the 112 Forest Service Road. This is the Sicamous end of the Larch Hills Traverse. Watch for bears feeding here in the summer.
Head south (left from sign post) down the 112 Forest Service Road. The road makes for pleasant walking after the previous forest climb. A chance to breath deep, pick up some speed and get the arms swinging. Watch for vehicles.

Stay straight ahead at the next road junction, and straight again at the junction following that. The road emerges into recent cut blocks with the accompanying sense of new space, and begins to climb. At the top or the rise, watch for the next route post.

A route post sits at the junction with the Larch Hills Traverse through route and the Hyde Mountain Lookout. Turn left/east here onto the side spur forestry track for the Hyde Mountain Lookout. NOTE: the Larch Hills Traverse is an epic 38 km cross country through trail between Sicamous and Salmon Arm.

To Hyde Mountain Lookout: From the junction with 112 Forest Service Rd, the lookout track narrows and becomes more intimate as it curves back into the forest. This track is shared with motorized recreational users, so be sure to watch for other riders.

Stay right ahead on the main track to the end, and find a foot trail down into the bushes ahead. A short, rough trail, brings you to the edge of the high metamorphic rock cliffs typical of the Shuswap, with inspiring views over Mara Lake and the North Okanagan Valley. Follow this trail to the right/west for another 800 metres to two more viewpoints, the second being the turnaround point, and a well-deserved break. Return the way you came.

Access:

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 (left) 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.

Access Map: Google Maps (Park at the visitor centre and bike/walk the rest of the way to the trailhead)

Warnings:

CAUTION: Bear country. Watch for vehicles on Forestry roads and ATV track. Stay back from steep, dangerous cliff edges.

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