The Mt. Hilliam trail system is a network of old backroads on the south-facing slopes overlooking Skimikin Lake. The trailhead can be accessed by going through Turtle Valley from the west or from the Skimikin Road from the Trans Canada Highway. Park at the campsite on the west end of Skimikin Lake and cross the road to pick up the trail. These are horse-and-hiker trails and the trail signage uses a horseshoe image and a trail number so bring a map if you go (see below).
On a cold and sunny fall day, we started up the trails using trail signs to create a “lollipop” route (trails 4 > 16 > 22 > 36 > 34 > 32 > 30 > 22 > then retraced our steps back down). This was a 4+ hour hike starting at 558m elevation ( feet) and climbing 710m (2330 feet) to 1268m (4160 feet).
A skiff of snow was on the trail’s edge in sheltered spots, but for the most part the forest was quiet and frozen. We enjoyed the Douglas fir forest in the lower areas and aspen groves on the upper slopes. Many open spots revealed views south to the Fly Hills and east to Bastion Mountain and Shuswap Lake with the Hunters Range snow-capped in the distance.
These trails offer forested uphill hikes on good double tracks. Some of the lesser-used tracks are a bit overgrown and not as well-marked. We found the Trail 36 section hard to follow and rough. They would also be fine for mountain biking and snowshoeing.
- Trailhead – N50 48.269 W119 26.349
- Skimikin Trails map