7 Bucket List Hikes | Shuswap Edition

Be awe-inspired by some of the BEST lake views in the Shuswap! 

The hiking trails and adventure opportunities here are like none other. Backroads, mountain lakes, beaches, and waterfalls are plentiful. Grab your map book, grab your trail guide, and head to the sunny Shu!

Here are our must-do bucket list hikes in the area.

Family-friendly hiking routes lead to lake views and mountain vistas in all areas of the Shuswap. Find your trail!
Photo: Shuswap Adventure Girl

1. The White Lake Lookout Trail | White Lake B.C. | 2 km (one way) | Features Switchbacks, Lake Views, Traverse | Family-Friendly 

Beginning at the popular John Evdokimoff Bike Park, the trail to the lookout immediately starts climbing upwards through a picturesque forest, passing by the White Creek, and offers a great series of switchbacks. Climb to the first lookout on the rocky bluffs, overlooking one of the region’s most photographed lakes – White Lake.

If a longer traverse is on your hiking list, The White Lake to Blind Bay Trail is a spectacular traverse along the ridge, connecting our two communities. This is a popular trail-running route, and a two-vehicle system works well.

Plan your trip: The White Lake Lookout Trail

Little White Lake seen from the White Lake Lookout Trail
Photo: Shuswap Adventure Girl

2. Mount Baldy Lookout | Sorrento B.C. | 7.6 Km | Features Bush Craft, Trail Art, Epic Lake & Mountain Views, Switchbacks | Family-Friendly 

Mount Baldy is a local favorite, and for good reason. Close to Sorrento, Mount Baldy provides a gorgeous trek through a diverse forest; it is not too difficult but can challenge even a fit hiker, and it features wooden bridges and boardwalks. A charming and interesting sculptural art piece made of old bike parts welcomes you. The first peek-a-boo viewpoint is about halfway up; it is a perfect family destination and provides a great spot to take in Shuswap Lake and Copper Island’s majestic views before heading back down or continuing up to the top to really reap the rewards of this local favorite.

Plan your trip: Mount Baldy Lookout

The view from Mount Baldy in Sorrento B.C.
Photo: Shuswap Adventure Girl

3. Scotch Creek/ Hlina Lookout | North Shuswap | 3-4 km roundtrip to the lookout | Features Panoramic Views, Wildlife 

Located high above Scotch Creek within the Shuswap Highlands is the Scotch Creek Lookout Trail. A pleasant forested hike leading to an EPIC viewpoint over Shuswap Lake, Copper Island, and extending to Mount Ida in Salmon Arm.

Head up the Scotch Creek FSR road and park at the designated trailhead of the Scotch Creek, Hlina Lookout.

The trail to the lookout is about 3.5 km return, easy-going, and doable for most levels of hikers, including the kids. If you would like to make a longer day-hike out of it, add the Hlina Loop.

Once at the lookout, watch your footing around the cliff edges. This is remote wilderness; bring your safety essentials and bear safety kit. Forest Service Roads require a two-way radio and this FSR requires a high clearance vehicle with 4×4.

Plan your trip: Scotch Creek/ Hlina Lookout

Looking towards Blind Bay from the Scotch Creek Lookout
Photo: Shuswap Adventure Girl

4. McArthur Heights Lookout | Blind Bay | 3km return | Features Steep Switch Backs | Panoramic Views

An exhilarating, fun, and challenging trek in our backyard!  On a clear day, you can look right over Blind Bay, to Tappen Valley, and beyond to Salmon Arm and Mount Ida. To the west, breath-taking vistas of Copper Island, the North Shuswap, and even Mount Baldy can be admired. This is an epic sunset hike as the sun goes down gloriously over Copper Island and Scotch Creek. 

The climb is rated as difficult, and it is. There are a few places where the gravel is loose and careful footing is required. It provides an excellent workout and is well worth every ounce of effort.

You won’t be disappointed, we promise!

Plan your trip: McArthur Heights Lookout

McArthur Heights Lookout is a local favorite in all seasons.
Photo: Kaitlin McPherson

5. Scatchard Mountain Switchbacks | Chase B.C. | 7 km return | Features Historic Route, Canyon Views, Bighorn Sheep | Family-Friendly

This is a family-friendly 7 km historic trail climbing up high above the Chase Creek Canyon and overlooks Chase and Little Shuswap Lake. The trail is an old road; it is wide and free of natural obstacles, making it great for the kids to run and play along the way!
The first viewpoint overlooking Chase and the Canyon is only 1 km up the trail. The rock walls, wide-open pathways, and amazing views make this a local favorite. This trail system’s base has a great map and pamphlets to take to help guide you along. Be sure to look up!  Bighorn sheep are often seen along the canyon walls.

Combine this hike with a short walk into the spectacular Chase Creek Falls for a full day of Shuswap fun!

Plan Your Trip: Scatchard Mountain Switchbacks

Overlooking Chase and Little Shuswap Lake Scatchard Mountain Switchbacks trail is a local favorite in Chase.
Photo: Shuswap Adventure Girl

6. Blind Bay Ridge Trail to Blind Bay Bluffs |  13-14 km return | Features Bluffs, Viewpoints, Extensive Trail System, Interpretive Signage

Spectacular vistas west over Blind Bay, the South Shuswap, Squilax, Chase, and in the distance Todd Mountain at Sun Peaks. 

The Blind Bay Bluffs are often mistaken for the Balmoral Bluffs. Located along the same ridgeline route, these viewpoints can be enjoyed on the same day and feature incredible views. Starting your adventure at the Balmoral Trailhead in Blind Bay, travel approximately 1km to enjoy the Balmoral Bluffs; continue to the Blind Bay Bluffs. This is about a 13km roundtrip hike. The trail is relatively easy/moderate with a steady incline up to the viewpoint.

Plan your trip: Blind Bay Ridge Trail to Blind Bay Bluffs 

Mount Ida can be viewed from the Blind Bay Bluffs
Photo: Shuswap Adventure Girl

7. Copper Island | North Shuswap | 2km loop | Features Island Loop Trail | Family-Friendly

Copper Island is one of the greatest gems of the lake, as the sole island on the entire Shuswap, Copper Island is one of the pride and joys of Shuswap Lake.

The beautiful ecosystem on the island provides nesting grounds for many species of wildlife and a diverse, mixed forest to explore.

The Island has a unique, family-friendly loop trail that provides 360-degree views of Shuswap Lake and surrounding mountains and communities. This trail is boat-in access only, and there are several great spots to launch your kayak or paddleboard from to get here. Most notably from Shuswap Provincial Park in Scotch Creek or from Shuswap Marina in Blind Bay. 

 It is a marked trail and there is a map at the trailhead on the north side of the island.

Copper Island is a protected park and is part of the Shuswap Provincial Park. 

No fires, no camping, no unnecessary treks off the trail. This is a delicate ecosystem. Users to be aware of changing weather conditions.

Plan your trip: Copper Island

Kayaking to Copper Island, along with a hike of the 2km Island loop trail, is a perfect Shuswap day!
Photo: Shuswap Adventure Girl

Please explore responsibly, adventure smart, and always practice ‘Leave No Trace’ Principals.

Plan your outdoor excursions through the Shuswap Trail Alliance.

By Sarah Tokarek


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