Shuswap Lake Travel Guide

  • The view of Shuswap Lake from the town of Sorrento
    The view of Shuswap Lake from the town...
    by Carmanah
  • Lounging around by our cabin in Sorrento
    Lounging around by our cabin in Sorrento
    by Carmanah
  • Adams River
    Adams River
    by Carmanah

Shuswap Lake Things to Do

  • Shuswap lake provincial park no...

    Went here for a family holiday and was harassed for trying to drop of my handicapped relative closer to the beach. We attempted to turn around in the boat launch area that was semi full and were told rudely to back our vehicle up. This caused us to block traffic. The rent a cop that worked there wouldn't allow us to proceed forward and would not...

  • Wells Gray Provincial Park

    The thing that makes Shuswap so great is that it's a very convenient hub to surrounding areas of British Columbia. Wells Gray is one of them, approx 2 hours from the Shuswap area, depending on where you are staying.The park is well-known for it's beauty and has approximately 20 waterfalls that are reachable by boat, car, or on foot. There are also...

  • The Desert

    What is not a well-known fact is that part of the Sonoran Desert (the same desert as in Northern Mexico) is in Canada, down near Osoyoos, bordering on the US. Osoyoos is approximately 4 hours from Salmon Arm.I've never really seen a desert before, and I found the scenery strangely beautiful and unique.There are two desert centres in the area, one...

  • Salmon Run

    During the fall, in September and October, you will see salmon returning from the ocean to the Adams River, where they will spawn and die.Every 4 years, a major salmon run occurs, where 2 million sockeye salmon will return. At this time, the area holds a festival called "Salute to the Sockeye". There are tours available, and naturalists on hand to...

  • Herald Provincial Park

    Located north-east of Salmon Arm on the other side of the lake is Herald Provincial Park. Much like Shuswap Lake Provincial Park, it has a popular beach and campgrounds. However, what's beautiful about this park is that it has beautiful forested trails and Margaret Falls.

  • Adams River (Roderick Haig-Brown...

    Located near the north-western shore of Shuswap Lake is Adams River. Adams River is one of the most famous salmon-bearing rivers in British Columbia. It's especially famous between late August and October when thousands of salmon arrive to spawn. If you've never seen it before, it's actually quite a sight, with the thousands of red fish fighting...

  • Shuswap Lake Provincial Park

    One of the more popular beaches along Shuswap Lake seemed to be located at Shuswap Lake Provincial Park. This is a park located along the north-western shore of the lake, essentially across the lake from the town of Sorrento. While there are forested trails here, I think the major attraction is the beach. There are also camp sites (open from July...

  • Short and easy hike to Margaret Falls

    The Margaret Falls are over 200 feet high and cascade into Reinecker Creek. The walk/hike is an easy 10 minute self-guided nature walk in a beautiful gulley with large trees and cliffs looming above you, and a cave near the base of the falls is large enough to hold 2 or 3 adventurous explorers. We took lots of picturesque photos. We then walked...

  • Local Markets

    There are plenty of roadside markets and stands to explore, selling delicious local fruit, such as bing cherries, apples, peaches, plums, nectarines and pears, home baking, crafts, jams and jellies.Okanagan fruit and vegetables are prized in Western Canada, and I think it is much superior to Californian or Ontario fruit as we can get it relatively...

  • The Pages of a Good Book

    The Shuswap area is so relaxing, and you can do as little or as much as you want. Some people never leave the front porch, and just drink in the beautiful views of the lake or forest (if you're lucky enough to get one), read and nap. Others do plenty of watersports, hang out at the beach, and do other outdoor activities; it's all up to you how...

  • Explore Back Lanes and Country Roads

    While the main centres in the Shuswap area are Salmon Arm, Sicamous, and Kamloops, the whole surrounding area is populated with little villages and hamlets on quiet country roads that are fun to explore. There'll be signs that will say "fresh eggs" , "honey", "alpaca and llama farm" or once in our case "organic ale". People will be very happy for a...

  • Wine Country

    There are a few wineries in the area, with Recline Ridge being the most northern winery in North America, located near Salmon Arm.However, approximately 2 hours south of Salmon Arm, you are in Kelowna, and many well-known Canadian wineries abound such as Fetzer and Tinhorn Creek, in addition to some off-beat ones such as Blasted Church. At the...


Shuswap Lake Restaurants

  • Finger Lickin Home Cookin'

    This place plays up descriptions of the food on it's menu with the use of the word "home" whenever it can, such as their "home"made desserts or the killer "Two Story House " burger. However, this is perfectly justified; the meals here can only be described as "home"made diner food (see, it's rubbing off) and very yummily prepared, plus it's cheap,...

  • Mr Putt's Parlor

    I just really got a kick out of finding the quaint and unusual in the Shuswap area. When you get a hankering for ice cream, and maybe some mini golf, go to Mr. Putt's Parlor, which is an ice cream parlor and mini golf course rolled into one.Putt's Parlor serves Nestle brand ice cream, which I find to be a pretty good commercial ice cream. Turtle...

  • No Fire To Put Out

    Another anomaly in Salmon Arm besides a southern barbeque place -- Mexican food. We found the place packed at lunchtime on a Saturday afternoon; the crowd, lively mexican decor and music not putting our fears to rest: What's Mexican food doing in Salmon Arm, BC and how good is it going to be?? I was partly relieved when a nice Spanish man came to...


Shuswap Lake Warnings and Dangers

  • Dogs

    Most people in the more rural areas appear to have aggressive guard dogs due to the abundance of bears in the area. Some are tied up, and some aren't. Take care walking by people's property or entering yards, as you could be attacked or bitten.

  • Bears

    There are plenty of bears in the area, due to the abundance of fruit and berries in the area and fish in the lake. Please be cautious and make lots of noise when in the woods hiking or enjoying nature. Also, be aware of the possibility of encountering a bear if your accommodations has fruit trees in the yard. Bears are known to walk up nonchalantly...

  • Wasps

    Watch out for wasps!! There seem to be plenty in the area, drawn by the warm weather and perhaps all the grapes and other fruit being grown in the area. They seem more aggresive than the ones where we come from; they'll even follow you for a while.


Shuswap Lake Off The Beaten Path

  • madamx's Profile Photo

    Turtle Valley

    by madamx Written Sep 12, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    My hubby is a real nature nut and HAD to go to Turtle Valley. Turtle Valley is well-known in the area for being a large turtle habitat. Turtle Valley consists of many farms and wetlands, and you can pull off to the side of the road near any pond or marsh to try to find turtles. We found our little fella by a pond near an ancient weeping willow, sunbathing.

    The turtles are much more active in the hot summer months of July and August, so we were lucky to find him. The road gets so busy with turtles in the summer there is a "Caution Turtle Crossing" sign. Our little turtle squinched up into his shell as soon as he saw us coming, but after we held him for awhile, he thought we were ok, and popped out to have a look at us. We reluctantly put him back near the pond, after seriously convincing ourselves we could not take him home.

    Location: You can get to Turtle Valley by taking the Squilax Rd. exit off the Trans Canada Highway about 40 minutes west of Salmon Arm. Instead of heading straight over the bridge towards the north shore of Shuswap Lake, take the left turn into the Turtle Valley area. Follow the signs.

    Turtle Valley

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Shuswap Lake Favorites

  • Late August Evenings

    August is a beautiful month to be at Shuswap Lake. The daytime temperatures are generally in the mid 20s Celsius, the lake is warm enough for swimming, and by late evening you have the most beautiful colours at sunset. In August, it remains light out well until 9pm, so you can really take advantage of being outdoors.While Shuswap is famous for...

  • Shoreline

    I didn't appreciate the sheer beauty of this area until we actually stayed here for more than one day. The shoreline stretches 400km/or 250 miles, and you forget how enormous the lake is until you have to drive around it. I just love sitting somewhere where there's a view and taking in the shoreline, seeing the boats snake their way through the...

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