Salmon Arm - More than just house boats

Jul 23, 2010 at 11:40
by Sharon Bader  
Salmon Arm, most known for house boats, misspent youth and veteran plates has new frontiers lurking in the woods. The gateway to the Monashee Mountains from the burning Okanagan desert, the local hills are a new breeding ground for swoopy singletrack, technical trails and sub alpine epic view scapes. Centrally located 100km from Revelstoke, 100km from Kamloops and 50km from Vernon an area which hosts two of the popular interior Bike Parks - Silver Star and Sun Peaks, Salmon Arm can be the base camp for a diversity of riding.

More details inside,The new batch of local trails are built and maintained mostly by the Shuswap Trail Alliance, who are working to create a system of huts and trails surrounding Shuswap lake. Two areas near Salmon Arm that we rode on this trip include South Canoe and Rubberhead. Another trail we rode, the Larch Hill Traverse, connects these two areas and beyond.

South Canoe Trail System-

The XC oriented area closest to town is the South Canoe trail system. This area has some great single track trails for all levels of riders easily accessed by a dirt road climb. Trail Map Here. This area also hosts hosts the Salty Dog Mountain Bike Race which is a local cross country event.

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Dirty Gerbil

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Lumpy

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Lumpy

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Lee on Lumpy

Silver Star-
Silver Star, located near Vernon, BC, it is easily accessed by any of the Interior towns for a day trip or part of a larger BC Tour.

An easy scenic 45 minute drive and you're enjoying the lift assisted loam fest of Silver Star Resort. Hosting 16 runs averaging 1600m vertical drop the trails are accessible to all levels. Although they are rated such that some trails should only be ridden by riders of certain skill levels to keep the trails flowing, prevent conflict and allow riders to progress to those higher ranked trails as their skills improve. I must say I was impressed by the accessibility of the trails at Silver Star.

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Silver Star - I'm a Superstar! Not quite a Rockstar!

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I know we're lame, but it was fun!


Larch Hills Traverse-

The Shuswap Trail Alliance was established in 2005 to create a hut to hut trail system throughout the region. One part of this system is the Larch Hills Traverse. A 38km traverse between Sicamous and Salmon Arm that can be done in many variations. We rode from Sicamous to the start of the Rubberhead Trail system. This consisted of 20km of the traverse followed by the road down to the Rubberhead system and single track down to Hwy 99. The traverse includes views of Sicamous, Mara Lake, Shuswap Lake and the rolling terrain connecting them.

There are plans in the works to add 20km of trail to the traverse, cutting out two of the larger logging road sections. As well there is hope to add a single track climb linking from the south canoe trails.

NOTE - We rode from Sicamous to Salmon Arm. It would be less climbing to start at the top of Rubberhead and ride to Sicamous.

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Larch Hill Traverse - View of Shuswap Lake

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Larch Hill Traverse - Mara Lake in the background

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Shuswap View Scapes and Shuswap Lake

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More Larch Hill Traverse Singletrack


Rubberhead Trail System-

Just East of Salmon Arm is the is the Rubberhead trail system. This trail network is easily accessed by a logging road. Last fall the Trail Alliance added 7 new sections to the area, and are currently picking away at more. Offering a variety of downhill trails that can be ridden on a cross country bike or your downhill bike. The area is well signed and it should be easy to create a good day of shuttling or optional short climbs to other trails.

From their website:

Access: Travel east of Salmon Arm on Hwy 1 approx 4 km past the Federated Co-op mill. Turn right onto Forest Service Road (FSR) #110 just after a right corner on the highway and an info pullout on the left side of the highway. Follow the 110 Rd. up approx. 2.5 km where there is an old narrow skid road that goes up to the left. Park here. To continue to the trailhead, follow the 110 Rd. up to 8.2 km, and turn right, up the steep hill, and follow this road up to 10.5 km. Look for trail on left through the top of the cut block.

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Adrian in his backyard

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Sharon on Superman

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Obligatory Trail work pic!

Check out a video of some of the trails we rode:
Views: 2,726    Faves: 2    Comments: 3


Over view map of the area we rode:
Salmon Arm Mountain Bike Trails at EveryTrail


Now that you know what the area has to offer where are you going to eat?

Check out The Blue Canoe or the Shuswap Pie Co. The Barley Station can also wet your whistle.


Bike Shops in town include:

Skookum Cycle and Ridetech.

In Sicamous check out Moose Mulligans

In Canoe check out Docs Pub.

Next time you're thinking of a trip to the Interior, check out Salmon Arm!

Author Info:
Sharonb avatar

Member since May 17, 2010
27 articles

28 Comments
  • 2 0
 Awesome write up. I live in salmon arm and ride all of these trails a few times a week. If you go to the Shuswap pie company ask for Jordan (makes all the soup there), he knows most the trails in this area, and hes a good riding partner if you got noone to ride with. The former brewmaster at the Barley Station has been riding for 20 years as well, but i think they just replaced him. Chris at ridetech is an awesome mechanic as well, and super honest. Usually he can get to your bike same day if your in a hurry! Anyone thats coming to the area can send me a message on Pinkbike, i got a futon and the girlfriend makes some damn fine breakfasts. Also trying to get a Sunday shuttle going at Rubberhead, my car cant make it up the hill anymore, but if someone has a truck, i got plenty of people to drive us and plenty of gas money.
  • 1 0
 There is also usually a shuttle every thursday by skookum. Bring $5 for gas and be at skookum at 6:00 I think but phone beforehand.
  • 2 0
 Great article ! Another great (but very easy 4-5k) xc ride in the area is Canoe Beach trail accessible through the overflow parking lot of Canoe Beach, great view of Shuswap Lake and the best thing after the ride you throw yourself in the lake !
Gotta do the traverse before winter comes... Looks like an epic journey !
  • 2 1
 Forgot to mention, the Skookum guys are good guys too, they just seem to have a bit longer wait at thier shop. They offer a great shuttle on Thursday nights at 6, just show up at the shop with your bike. Really friendly people and alotta great riders.
  • 2 0
 Skookum is excellent tup
  • 1 0
 thanks for the write up Sharon and Lee. fun couple days. it's mind blowing to think about how much work the trail alliance has done in the last couple years. Jord and I rode the balmoral - white lake - e rock connect - reinecker creek - heralds bay line the other day. best point to point in the shuswap, and it needs tires on it. go ride it.
  • 1 0
 i live in salmon arm and have this rubberhead helmet cam video. the angle is a bit off but its ok.
www.pinkbike.com/video/150929
And if you come to the area( which you soon will because were getting a walmart) come to skookums thursday night rides at 6. just bring 5$. we like riding with new faces.
  • 1 0
 nice vid!
  • 2 0
 Nice rite up rubber head is the best thing that has come to salmon arm for mountain biking!
  • 1 0
 great article and photos. and exactly at the right time as i will be on vacation in b.c. and didn't know where or what to ride around salmon arm -til now. Big Grin Thx!
  • 2 0
 nice write up. I am suprized by whats in my own back yard.
  • 1 0
 great photo's and awesome views nice write up. it's all about having fun... well done.
  • 2 0
 nice article!! bring on the fall and epic XC!!
  • 3 3
 There is no way Silverstar is 1600m of vert, most of trails are only 5 min run. More like 1600ft of vert
  • 1 0
 1600 feet, simple typo I guess.
  • 1 0
 they should have come to sicamous to come ride my trail! but they would have needed bigger bikes. check it out

www.pinkbike.com/photo/4949587
www.pinkbike.com/photo/4949554
www.pinkbike.com/photo/4949544

anyone in the shuswap, should come ride with me
  • 1 0
 you are correct, 1600 vertical feet
  • 6 0
 Hey, I know, lets ignore the hours of hard work that have gone into writing this informative and interesting article with lots of great photos and helpful pointers. Instead lets just complain about a small typo wrongly stating the height of a mountain. tup

On a brighter note, my grandpa's sister and her family live in Salmon Arm - it was very interesting to learn a little more about the place, I would definitely like to visit one day.
  • 3 0
 Welcome to complainaboutbikes.com !
  • 1 0
 It's all good. Both Shar and I missed that in the proof-read. Its not a bad thing to be reminded to be more careful when editing. I'm glad you're all enjoying the detail; sometimes its hard to not overkill the detail but we're shooting for a one-stop-shop type of article which helps anyone who wants to bike in the Salmon Arm area get a start on what trails to ride, what to expect, and what type of bike to bring. As you can tell we had a hoot riding in Salmon Arm. The locals are friendly, the vibe is great and the town and its trails are well worth a visit
  • 1 0
 glory = that's impressive. Shar had her Session 88, I had my Demo 7. But to be honest I didn't know about that trail. Also it was stinking hot (avg 30+ degrees every day) so we were pretty bagged by the end of the trip and I'm honestly not sure I had it in me.
  • 1 0
 Rubberhead is sick. I tried to make a headcam but windows movie maker didn't want me to. Some bits are whited out but you can see a lot of the new sections of trail. www.pinkbike.com/video/150545
Check it out.
  • 1 0
 Hey there advorak. I wanted to POV Cam rubberhead but the GoPro batteries weren't doing so well for some reason on that trip.
  • 1 0
 glory. nice to see solid construction cropping up in the shuswap. keep up the good work.
  • 1 0
 used to camp at crystal sands on mara lake when i was a little plugga!!!
  • 1 0
 Highway 99? TCH1 is the only Highway there.
  • 1 1
 Nice blue pig!! Can't wait until I get my mmm bop.
  • 1 0
 Nice socks...







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