A short and steep trail to a subalpine lake in the Valhallas. Shannon Lake is a quick trip for hikers, but off-trail adventurers will have lots of options to explore the ridges beyond and Mount Vingolf above.
Distance, round trip: 3.6km
Season: mid-July to late September
Trailhead & Driving Directions
Access Shannon Creek FSR from the small community of Hills, north on Slocan Lake. Detailed driving directions can be found at Rec Sites & Trails – Shannon Creek Trail.
The drive up Shannon Creek FSR is 14km, but it’s a slow one with switchbacks, swales, and rocky sections. Still, the road was passable with a 2WD LC vehicle in 2019!
The ‘trailhead’ is where the road widens at a switchback and then becomes abruptly overgrown. There is no sign or marker.
Looking south-west, you’ll see a forested headwall where the creek from Shannon Lake descends – that is where you’re going!
Along the Creek
Follow the overgrown road towards the creek (south-west) which will quickly turn into a trail. The trail ascends to the right of the creek and climbs steeply up the small valley.
The trail is rocky, rooty, steep, slick, muddy, and slightly overgrown. It’s never smooth sailing! The nice thing is that it’s cool in the summer months, benefiting from the north-facing slope and the cold water pouring down the creek.
It’s a quick one! In under an hour, you should be cresting over the headwall with Shannon Lake sparkling beyond.
Shannon Lake is cradled beneath the impressive ridges of the Valhallas. Spot Mt. Vingolf across the water and listen for the waterfall pouring down from a small, higher lake beyond.
You can continue following the trail as it edges around the right-side of the lake. After about 0.6km further, reach a point that juts out in the middle of Shannon Lake with a basic camp site. There is a picnic table and a few flat spots to pitch a tent. It was here we stopped for lunch.
If you continue following the trail, you’ll eventually come round to the far side of the lake where you can ascend near the waterfall to reach the ridges, peaks, and alpine beyond.
Had a great Hike up to Shannon this weekend – first time in about 10 years for us. Recent rains mean the trail is a bit wet but nicely packed. Lots of late season huckleberries to be had along the lake. Hiked as far as the south end of the lake. Some squishy sections through the swampy areas and some late season vegetation encroaching on the trail, but overall it’s in great shape. Great to see some recent brushing on the access road! Crazy to see the extent of the burns in the Shannon Creek valley from last year.
The road up is still blocked by avalanche snow & fallen tree/ rock debris about 3km from the trailhead (May 14th).