Some 60km north of Vernon along Hwy-97A, you arrive in the Shuswap, a photogenic region of gently sloping mountains, tranquil lakes and sandy beaches. The scenic lakeside city of SALMON ARM, the largest of the area’s pretty resorts, is at the heart of the Shuswap region, whose centrepiece is Shuswap Lake. Taking its name from a mispronunciation of the Secwepemc Nation, who encompass 17 bands in BC’s interior, the region and lake offer 1000km of shoreline and 32 provincial parks, making them ideal for fishing, swimming, waterskiing, paddling or houseboating. The area has a small but impressive wine-growing region specializing in cool-climate whites, especially Ortega. Birdwatching is another local draw, as the bay in Shuswap Lake is one of the world’s last nesting areas of the western grebe. But the main attraction is the spectacle of the annual migrations of spawning salmon every October; Salmon Arm was named for an era when it was possible to spear salmon straight from the lake, and fish were so plentiful that they were shovelled onto the land as fertilizer. Salmon spawn and die in four-year cycles; in dominant years (the next is 2018) up to two million fish brave the run from the Pacific up to their birthplace in the Adams River, a tributary of the mighty Fraser River, though there’s a huge variability in numbers in other years. During spawning time, people also migrate here – around 250,000 visitors come during the peak week.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Canada features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
19 phenomenal pictures of Canada

19 phenomenal pictures of Canada

Canada is famous for its stunning vistas, from the Arctic shores to the Rocky Mountains. But that's not all the country has to boast about. It also has engro…

30 Jun 2017 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
Video: the most beautiful places in Canada

Video: the most beautiful places in Canada

Simply put, Canada is stunning. The second largest country in the world, Canada is a land of crashing waterfalls, turquoise lakes and magnificent soaring mounta…

29 Jun 2017 • Olivia Rawes videocam Video
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook