Larch Hills Traverse


Sicamous & East Shuswap
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:

Dec 10/17: NEW! Top-o-the-Sic section added - another 2 km of single-track trail gets you off the forestry road and completes the Larch Hills Traverse trail section above Sicamous. Combined with the Raspberry section built in 2014 & 2015, and the Hyde-Around section built in 2016, the new Top-O-the-Sic section creates over 10 km of dedicated non-motorized single track trail bliss accessible from Sicamous by mountain bike, hiking, snowshoe, and backcountry skiing. Create 8 - 20 + kilometer loop options just from Sicamous. And of course, add it to your already epic Salmon Arm-to-Sicamous traverse on foot, mountain bike, or backcountry ski/snowshoe for an epic 40 km! Plus it links into the Hyde Mountain Lookout route adding a lovely new non-road trail section to that day-long hike option from Sicamous. Very awesome! (STA, RSTBC, BCRDP Grant) Check out the new Geo-Referenced PDF Map

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.)



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.

Explore three new trail sections added each season between 2014 and 2017, including the 3 km Raspberry Hill section with spectacular new views high over Shuswap lake, the 2+ km Hyde Around section winding through varying forest types, and the most recent 2 km Top-o-the-Sic section that now connects the top of the Switchbacks all the way over to the Raspberry Hill section, eliminating the need to use the 112 Forestry Road. Effectively, the entire east side of the Traverse is now doable all on sweet single track trails. These sections can also be combined with the old 112 Forestry Road to create unique loops of their own for an out-and-back trail experience starting and ending in Sicamous.

A series of 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.

As mentioned, 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

New! Geo-Referenced PDF Map

Annotated Guide: PDF (Goes with theses GPS Map numbers which match waypoints along the track. Note: this is an older version of the map, so does not include the newer sections shown in the Geo-Referenced PDF map)



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.