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Surrounded by mountains which pierce the sky, grand alpine meadows, flourishing rivers and thick forests that cover this tremendous wilderness; is Shuswap Lake.

Shuswap Lake, located north of British Columbia's Okanagan Valley has over 1,000 km (621 mi) of coastline and 324 sq. km (125 sq. mi) of water surface for the vacationer to explore. Shuswap has four distinctly named arms that stretch out in an "H" pattern and are known as Shuswap Lake Main Arm, Salmon Arm, Antsey Arm and the Seymour Arm.

Shuswap Lake is one of the most popular recreational areas in British Columbia. The rolling and steep mountains surrounding the lake, affords the recreationally endeavored individual even more adventure with trails for hiking, cross country skiing, mountain biking and snow mobiling.

Shuswap Lake is named after the original inhabitants of the area, the Shuswap Indians. Their terrain ranged from west of the Fraser River, east to the Columbia River, and north of McBride to southern Kamloops. Shuswap is believed to have originated from the word sixwt, meaning 'down river.'


Traveling to the Shuswap is a wondrous and amazing journey through the majestic southern heartland of British Columbia. Shuswap Lake is no more than a five hour drive, depending on your city of origin. As indicated below, the short distances from major US and Canadian cities is well worth making the trip.

Seattle, WA via the Coquihala Hwy. - 520 km or 312 miles
Vancouver, BC via the Coquihala Hwy. - 411 km or 247 miles
Vancouver, BC via the Fraser Canyon - 479 km or 288 miles
Calgary, AB via the Inter-Provincial Hwy. - 481 km or 289 miles

In trying to figure out the distance you will need to travel to the lake, Sorrento is a good mid-point on the southern portion of the lake to use as your destination.
A map of the Shuswap Lake region centering on Sorrento, British Columbia. Click to see the map on MSN Maps and get directions from your location

The following link "Map of the Thompson Okanagan, BC" and "Shuswap's Lake Watch Map" are interactive maps of the Shuswap Lake area in the Thompson Okanagan region of British Columbia. There are a variety of hotspots and drop-down lists to help link you to Shuswap area accommodations, entertainment, shopping, dining, wineries, marinas, boat ramps, and attractions such as local ski hills, provincial and private camp sites, and golf courses.

As you can see, the entire region has something to fulfill every person's ideal getaway. The following towns around the southern portion of the lake offer tourists a scenic paradise with all the amenities afforded by your point of origin: Chase, Salmon Arm, Sicamous, Sorrento, and Scotch Creek. Each of the towns are unique in what they provide. By researching them, you will be able to make sure that everything you want from your vacation comes to fruition.


Families can greatly benefit from spending time on Shuswap Lake. Relatives and we ourselves for many years have enjoyed the many aspects of having a cabin on the lake. It helps in giving an opportunity for family, extended family and friends the ability to get together and enjoy one another's companionship.

Catching up on past meaningful events in each others lives is well served in such a hospitable and enchanted environment. Spending time around the campfire at night and telling stories and jokes as well as talking about hopes, dreams and plans for the future helps in establishing a firm foundation for making a difference in our vocations, personal lives and most importantly, in the lives of others.

If you are looking for an affiliated Christian congregation in which to join while visiting the area, you will find most if not all listed here. Make sure to call the church you want to attend for their hours of operation, as you may find that their hours do not coincide with your church of origin.


Fishing in the Shuswap is one of the greatest fresh-water experiences a fisherman can have when it comes to catching Rainbow Trout and Kokanee. It is not uncommon to reel in a Rainbow Trout measuring twenty-one inches (1 to 3 pounds) or more. To catch the elusive Rainbow Trout, you will need to try a variety of locations and depths throughout the year. In my experience, each arm of the Shuswap requires a different technique, including the need for different tackle. I have found that Kokanee particularly thrive on the Eastern side of Copper Island throughout the year.

Shuswap Lake offers its guests spectacular beauty in the form of water falls, coves, and wild life.  Particularly around Copper Island is where you will find Bald Eagles and Loons in their natural habitat.


The weather conditions for the Shuswap Lake area can differ greatly from the coastal regions of British Columbia. Generally, winter conditions are cooler than experienced on the coast with summers being generally much warmer. The entire region is considered "dry continental," with moderate temperatures. The elevation of the region is approximately 355 metres above sea level. Shuswap Lake generally has short winters that last from December through February with warm comfortable springs. Summers are generally sunny with an average temperature of 27° Celsius (80.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

Weather conditions
for Salmon Arm, British Columbia, a town (pop: 15,000) located on the southeastern arm of Shuswap Lake is fairly representative for the entire lake region. The Weather Network provides historical data and satellite pictures that will help in timing your trip.

For the local cabin owner, it is also important to keep an eye on the current lake levels because an increase or decrease in lake levels can play havoc with boats and cabins. Shuswap Lake can vary by as much as three metres (9'10") throughout the year.

A charred log laying in one of the many coves   frequented by house boaters. It is a unique      picture based in the fact that it is late fall, with
  the golden colored leaves falling off the trees.   Another summer has definitely come and gone...
  A beautiful fall sunset. One of the many
  incredible gifts that you can expect when
  you visit the lake.
A cold winters day out on the lake. The lake
  has a mirror effect with the reflection of the
  distant mountains appearing within its surface.
  Whatever the season, the lake basks in its glory.
 In the late fall you can expect to see snow
  covering the surrounding mountain tops.
  The sun finally broke through the clouds,
  creating the perfect scene for this picture.
  With the sun beginning to set, the color of the
  leaves display exuberant yellows, browns and
A mid-day picture of a cove frequented by
  summer house boaters on the lake. In the fall,
  when this picture was taken, it is rare to see
  house boaters out on the lake. In the summer
  this cove can be filled with boats from one end
  to the other.
  Fresh snow has fallen on the mountain top.
  This picture shows the latter stage of fall
  with winter slipping in through the back door.
  Here is a family cottage sitting on the shore
  of Shuswap Lake. I spent a lot of time at this   cottage until a new one was built further up
  the lake. I have many fond memories of the
  times I spent at this cabin.
  The new family cabin located further up on
  western the shore of the lake. Located near
  great hiking and quad trails, it gives one a
  wider choice on the outdoors activites
  available to pursue.
  A fall day out on the lake. Fishing can be great,   even at this time of the year. Here is a picture
  of the boat we often use for fishing excursions
  and day trips.
  An old coat of snow blankets the area around
  the old family cabin. Many winters were spent
  at this cabin, enjoying what nature has to offer
  even at that time of the year.