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Scotch Creek/Hlina Lookout

North Shuswap
Distance: 1.6-5.5 km (one way)
Difficulty: More Difficult
Duration: 1-1.5 Hours (round trip) to Scotch Creek Lookout; 3 Hours (round trip) for Hilina Loop
Trail Access / Features
Walk / Hike Mountain Biking Snow Shoeing View / Lookout

Trail Notes / Current Conditions:

May 24, 2016 - Watch for logging activity on the access road to Scotch Creek/Hlina. Big logging trucks and several white pick-up trucks going up and down the road Mon to Fri, but not weekends. There is a phone number posted at the start of the Forestry Road to call if you want to drive up during the week. They will tell you if it's safe or to wait a few minutes. The logging company graded the road all the way up, close to the trail. It is smooth like a gravel highway, and widened in many parts, so access to the trailhead is better than its ever been. Yay - and thank you!

Trail Description:

Forest walk to impressive views over Shuswap Lake high above Scotch Creek.

The Scotch Creek/Hlina trail was built as a project of the Columbia Shuswap Regional District Area F Parks Commission, in partnership with the Shuswap Trail Alliance, and local trail enthusiasts. The first section of the trail has been completed to the Scotch Creek Lookout. A secondary wilderness route (the Hlina Loop) is brushed and blazed, but requires off trail wilderness, travel experience and route finding.

The Scotch Creek Lookout:

This lovely 3.5 km round trip takes hikers, mountain bikers, and even snowshoers to an impressive viewpoint high above Scotch Creek. On a clear day Shuswap Lake and the highlands to the south, east and west are spread out in dramatic panoramas. It is not uncommon to watch eagles playing in the updrafts above the bluffs on a warm day. Appropriate precautions for bears should be made, as wildlife is prevalent. Starting from the trailhead parking area, walk south about ¾ of a kilometre along the old discontinued logging road. A ring of boulders marks the end of the logging road, and a transition to grassy lane. This old skid track is now a summer grazing area for long time local rancher, Roger Zinck. Please take special care to protect the fertile grass forage by staying to trails, and avoid disturbing cattle. About 1.5 km from the parking area, watch for the trail to fork right off the grassy lane up into the young replanted forest. A trail post marks your way. The trail climbs through the new growth for another 200 metres before emerging into a little clearing, and then a junction. This marks the meeting point of the Scotch Creek Lookout loop. Either way works for a 1 km loop, bringing you to the edge of the old growth forest of mixed Douglas Fir, Cedar and Hemlock. At this point, drift fences and stiles stop cattle from entering the delicate old growth forest. Please use the stiles and be sure that the horse gate is closed. Depending on which way you take the loop, a 400 – 500 metre walk brings you to the main lookout. (1045 m above sea level). You will want to allow time for photographs, the spectacular view and to experience the quiet tranquility of this place.

Hlina Loop Route:

For experience wilderness trekkers with route finding knowledge! A 5.5 km loop option is possible. Look for the route post sign at the northwest corner of the Scotch Creek Lookout trail. From here there is no built trail. Look for orange blaze markers along the route. (550 m from the NW corner post watch for another impressive viewpoint side spur.

Access:

Travel east, through the North Shuswap community of Scotch Creek, on the Squilax-Anglemont Road. On the east side of Scotch Creek, pass the Rose Clifford Park and pub and climb up the hill out of town. Watch for Leopold Road at the top of the hill and turn left here. Set your odometer to zero, and continue up Leopold Road watching for trailhead arrows at each junction. Stay straight at the first junction past Allen Road (620 m). Right at the next junction (1.3km) passing the Forestry radio frequency sign (157.320). At 2.1 km stay right past the cut block road. At 2.5 km stay left. This is where Leopold Road turns into the Scotch Creek Hlina Forest Service Road. Continue on watching for the old log homestead ruins on your left. At 3.1 km stay right past the gated private property. As you continue up the road, watch for cattle gates. If there is no sign, and you find the gate closed, close it behind you. If you find it open, leave it open. Otherwise, follow the directions on the posted sign, and watch for cattle. At 5.7 km stay straight ahead past the cut block on your left. At 6.7 km take the left fork. Another 200 metres up and around the bend you will find the trailhead parking area on your left. Park here, and begin your walk (or ride) continuing up the logging road for another 3/4 of a kilometre.

Access Map: Google Maps (From end go left and travel 200m to parking area and trailhead)

Warnings:

CAUTION: Steep edges at viewpoints. Stay clear, and keep children well back. This is a wilderness trail. Be prepared. Make noise for bears. Access is on active logging road. Watch for vehicles. Use with care.

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