Download GPX file for this article
50.837778-118.970278Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Sicamous is a town of 2,400 people (2011) in Shuswap region of British Columbia. It is at the eastern end of Shuswap Lake and is known as the Houseboat Capital of Canada.


View of Sicamous from Sicamous Lookout.

"Sicamous" is an adaptation of a Shuswap language word meaning "river circling mountains".


In the 1800s, Sicamous and area was inhabited by a semi-nomadic Indigenous nation called the Secwepemc or Shuswap. They crossed the Rocky Mountains to hunt buffalo on the plains. In this area they were called the "Schickamoos".

In 1864, gold was discovered on the Columbia. Seymour Arm became a supply centre in the Big Bend Gold Rush. In 1885, permanent settlers arrived after the driving of the Last Spike at Craigellachie, which linked Canada sea to sea. Among the first settlers in Sicamous were families from Finland. Old Town, or Eagle Pass Landing as it now known, became an almost instant town in 1871. It was the central supply centre for railway construction. Today it is used primarily for recreational purposes such as sledding, houseboating, hiking, swimming, and biking.

Later, in the early 1900s, CPR hill became a residential development. Finlayson's store and a jail were built in 1892, adding a post office in 1904. The first school opened around 1908.

Get in[edit]

The town is at the junction of Highway 1 (Trans-Canada Highway) and BC Highway 97A. Driving from Vancouver, it is a little past the half-way point to Calgary.

By bus[edit]

Get around[edit]

Sicamous is directly around the Trans-Canada Highway, and so travelling by car is the best way to get anywhere. If you want to see the lake, the best way is by boat. It is an excellent idea to hire a houseboat and travel around the lake, or if you are short on time, hiring a speedboat is always a fun and quick way to admire the scenery of the hills and lake. There are even 2 stores in the middle of the lake in the summer for supplies.


Old town beach
  • 1 D Dutchmen Dairy, 1321 Maeir Road, +1 250-836-4304, . Farm fresh dairy store and zoo of exotic animals including llamas, donkeys, goats and exotic birds, as well as the calf barn, milking parlour and cheese making plant which tourists can enjoy. The dairy store has served millions of old-fashioned ice cream cones in an array of flavours.
  • 2 The Last Spike, Trans-Canada Highway, Craigellachie (25 km east of Sicamous on Hwy 1). Gift shop and info center open May-Oct. A plaque and display commemorate the site where the last spike in the Canadian Pacific (trans-continental) railway was hammered in. Last Spike (Q6494663) on Wikidata Last spike (Canadian Pacific Railway) on Wikipedia


  • Explore and hang out on a houseboat (see "Sleep" section), as Sicamous is a major destination for houseboating.


Mara Lake[edit]

Mara lake from the beach at mara provincial park
  • 1 Cartier Beach, Cartier Road (at the end of Cartier Road in the Two Mile subdivision). A sandy oasis tucked in a residential area. Small and intimate.
  • 2 Mara Provincial Park (15 km south of Sicamous on Hwy 97A). A day-use provincial park, the park is open with services from May 1 to September 27. Mara Provincial Park is dedicated to intensive recreation, providing opportunities for public recreation access and use of Mara Lake, with emphasis on swimming, picnicking and boat launching. Mara Provincial Park provides good sandy beaches and the only major public access and boat launch on Mara Lake. Mara Provincial Park (Q14874678) on Wikidata Mara Provincial Park on Wikipedia
  • 3 Two Mile Beach, Tecumseh Avenue (at the end of Tecumseh Avenue in the Two Mile subdivision). A quiet beach that highlights amazing sunsets, a lighthouse and Hyde Mountain Golf Course.

Shuswap Lake[edit]

  • 4 Silver Sands Beach (Sicamous Beach Park), Finlayson Street (in Beach Park at the west end of Finlayson Street). A beautiful sandy beach with a designated swim area. Enjoy the playground, splash water park, picnic tables, volleyball court and washrooms. The perfect place to play or relax while watching the boats head up the lake or wave to the train conductors as they pass by. Parking s available on Finlayson St; there is also parking along Silver Sands Rd.




Shops include Askew's (a general grocery store), Beach Chic (a clothing store), BC Liquor Store, Brothers liquor store, Moose Mulligans liquor store, IDA pharmacy, and a furnishings and souvenir shop.


  • 1 Joe Schmucks RoadHouse, 734 Trans-Canada Highway, +1 250-836-4906. 8AM-9PM daily. Family friendly, fully licensed restaurant has fresh homemade meals, daily specials, great service and a cozy atmosphere.
  • 2 G&G's Kitchen and Taps, 1133 Eagle Pass Way (near Hwy 1 & Hwy 97A), +1 250-836-2713. Su-Th 6AM-9PM; F Sa 6AM-10PM. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner; breakfast served until 2PM; pizza and pasta served after 2PM.
  • 3 Moose Mulligans Public Eatery, 1122 Riverside Ave, +1 250-836-3603. 11AM-11PM daily. Good bar and restaurant, and not too expensive. Moose Mulligan's serves a variety of sandwiches, fish and chips, seafood, Mexican cuisine and more. The restaurant is child-friendly, offering a kids menu. Of course, as in the rest of British Columbia, under 19s cannot go to the bar or the liquor store (of the same name) which is attached to the restaurant. The restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating, a car park and space to moor boats as it overlooks the river.
  • 4 Licks n Splits Ice Cream, 325 Main St, +1 250-836-0129. M-Th 2-8PM; F-Su 12-9PM. Excellent, reasonably priced, soft-cream ice cream. Open in the summer. The store offers 30-50 flavours of ice cream and also sells slushies, ice cream cakes and drinks. There are picnic seats outside.


  • 1 Brothers Pub, 420 Main Street, +1 250-836-2337. Tu-Th 11AM-10PM; F 11AM-11PM; Sa 11AM-1PM; Su 11AM-5PM. Another bar attached to a liquor store. As with the other places in the town, the pub has a small, community feeling, but is still a good night out.
  • 2 Blondies, 302 Finlayson St, +1 250-515-2000. Open May to October. Gourmet espressos, lattes, and frappes; hand-made gourmet sandwiches and wraps crafted with locally-sourced Okanagan ingredients.


Hotels & motels[edit]



Sicamous is the houseboating capital of Canada, and is the base for numerous operators. A Pleasure Craft Operator Certification (pleasure boat licence) is not mandatory, but a valid driver's lcence is required, and it's best to inquire with rental company. Renting the houseboats requires advance bookings, but houseboats a good (if expensive) way of exploring the expanse of Shuswap Lake.


Go next[edit]

  • Kelowna and the Okanagan, with its skifields, beaches and wineries, is an 1-2 hour drive south of town on Highway 97A.

Routes through Sicamous
KamloopsSalmon Arm  W  E  RevelstokeBanff
ENDS at  N  S  EnderbyVernon

This city travel guide to Sicamous is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.