Blue Lake, Sicamous BC
Advanced riders will find steeps and a few hardcore chutes that will test their ability.
But Blue Lake might be at its best when it’s puking snow—as it often is—where fun, open powder stashes await those who can manage to navigate their way around.
DISCLAIMER: Snowmobiling in the mountains carries inherent risk. The information presented here is not intended to be used for navigation or for decision-making with regards to avalanche terrain choices or other hazards. All riders who choose to do so must enjoy this area entirely at their own risk.
Snowmobiling at Blue Lake
RIDING: A wide variety of terrain, suitable for all levels of experience
DRIVE: 20 km paved from Sicamous
TRAIL: 24 km groomed trail
- Clean and tidy warm-up cabin
- Abundance of low-angle meadows and trees for low stability days
- Open alpine peak with 360˚ view
- Connector trail to Owlhead riding area
To the Blue Lake Trailhead from Sicamous, BC
Blue Lake is located off Highway 1, a short 17 km drive east of Sicamous, British Columbia.
A couple more kilometers on side roads, and you will find a small gravel parking lot that can accommodate a handful of large trailers. There, an Eagle Valley Snowmobile Club attendant will collect a trail fee from non-members.
To the Blue Lake Riding Area
From the parking lot at 430 m elevation, the regularly groomed trail heads up through the forest onto the Hunters Range bench. For almost 21 km it winds its way through old cutblocks and past Cummins Lake before passing the Blue Lake-Owlhead Connector Trail. Stay left here to continue to the Blue Lake area, or turn right to head over to Owlhead.
Prior to reaching the cabin, the trees begin to open up along a rounded, sub-alpine ridgeline, some 3 km past the connector trail.
The Blue Lake-Owlhead Connector Trail is a 14.5 km groomed trail that links up the access trails of the two riding areas. This option offers family-friendly trail riding with beautiful views of Hunters Range and Cariboo Plateau along the way.
On a deep powder day, there is plenty of safe, low-angle boondocking just off the trail. For the mountain sledder, it also offers the chance to check out another area if the conditions at one aren’t to your liking or there’s too much traffic there.
Blue Lake Chalet
The Blue Lake Chalet, built by the Micku family and club volunteers, is a beautiful little log frame cabin with a covered deck which is positioned perfectly to soak up the afternoon sunshine on a beauty day.
The cabin is clean and tidy, and a recycling bin is even provided for those who can’t manage to carry out their own beverage containers. It is also outfitted in the case of an emergency with LED lighting and a first-aid toboggan.
Snowmobiling at Blue Lake, Sicamous
Blue Lake has an enjoyable combination of open alpine bowls and treeline meadows to explore, and you can get a good feel for the area as you head towards the main Hunters Range ridgeline, south of the cabin. As you go that way, you’ll find that the bench that runs past the cabin gradually morphs into a north-south cleft that cuts across the main ridgeline, essentially dividing the riding area in half.
West of the Cabin
To the west, head up the short slope that climbs out of the gully to gain the ridgeline, which extends to the southwest. On the south side of the Hunters Range you can drop down into a small bowl, or even farther down into the valley below and up the other side if you’re feeling confident. The small upper bowl extends for several hundred meters, with classic alpine-style hill riding.
Farther along the ridgeline to the southwest is a series of mellow, patchy meadows that extend down over a low-angled bench-y area. Three fingers extend farther down towards the valley, with excellent tree riding along each and in the gullies between. Eventually, as they tend to do, the gullies get steeper, tighter and less fun as they descend into the Mabel Lake valley below.
This area is bordered almost 2 km to the west by a deep valley that marks the boundary in that direction. Toward the southern extent, there are some openings for a ways before the trees get rather tight above the Cummins Lake plateau.
East of the Cabin
Heading to the east from the cleft valley, it is possible to either ride the ridgeline up to the peak above, or circumnavigate the mountain via the lake.
To get down to the lake, first head southeast, slightly up from the cleft along the ridgeline before dropping down to the left. Take care not to drop too early, as there are some cliff sections below the cabin bench that might catch you unawares.
Right at the lake there are a couple of very burly chutes to attempt if you’re up for it. Most riders will stick to pulling donuts on the lake or in the trees adjacent to it.
East of the lake is 200 Horsepower Hill, another sporty place to test out your equipment. The hill was named back when it took a modified, 200 horsepower sled to get up it, but it’s long since been conquered on newer stock machines with less power but better climbing ability. Locals will tell you that 200 Horsepower Hill slides quite often, so use extra caution and good decision-making here.
Farther east is an area called 911, on account of there having been a few calls emanating from there by sledders who couldn’t get back out. It’s best to avoid this area unless your group is very experienced and prepared to be self-sufficient if things go sideways.
Continuing around the peak in a clockwise direction will bring riders to Super Bowl, which is essentially the large backside of the mountain. It is made up of a wide-open alpine area with lots of small, rolling mounds and little patches of trees here and there. The big hillside gradually drains down into some more technical and steeper tree riding below.
On account of its mostly featureless landscape, Super Bowl is not a particularly good place to be caught out when the clouds roll in. However, on a sunny day it is a pleasure to cruise across and around it, exploring this rather sizeable slope.
The peak above Super Bowl is the best vantage point of all, with a 360° view of the incredible mountain sledding opportunities at Blue Lake.