Shuswap (British Columbia)
Time: 2 hours
Distance: 3 km (return)
Elevation Gain: 200 m
How To Get There: You have to take a boat or a kayak to get to the island. The fastest way is from Shuswap Provincial Park. There are trailhead points on the north west and north east sides of the island.
The weather was cloudy but still quite warm, which meant it was the perfect time to rent a kayak from Shuswap Provincial Park and paddle out to Copper Island! (The price of renting a double kayak from the Park is around $95 for the entire day. You can find the rental place in the Shuswap Lake Provincial Park overflow parking lot.).
We were smart enough to make sure we were wearing our hiking shoes and hiking clothes but not smart enough to pack much else! We didn't even remember to bring water with us! It was definitely a blonde moment between Kim and I, one we instantly regretted.
Because of this, the hike was a little harder than it probably should have been. I really loved this hike though because the island itself has so much different vegetation. When we got to the trailhead, the brush was smaller and the trees were thinner. But once you started moving around clockwise, the vegetation transformed into bigger pine trees and thicker brush.
The trail slowly starts ascending up once you reach the east side of the island so we moved at a moderate pace.
As we started to ascend, we ended up hearing a rustling in an old tree stump and spotted an adorable brown weasel (we think it was a weasel?).
It watched us for a few minutes and then scampered away. It was then we noticed that right beside the weasel was a lizard! We don't know what kind of lizard but we got some great shots of it because it didn't really seem to want to move.
Then we continued up on some switchbacks until we were on the south side of the island. There is a small rock structure set-up that indicates you are at the highest point of the island. This is where we took lots of pictures and then sat down and rested.
This was the point where we both really wished we had some food or water.
A little further past the lookout point there is a cliff that stretches out and provided us some pretty cool shots.
We probably would have stayed on the island a lot longer, especially because it made for a great view of the lake, but we were thirsty, so we headed back to the kayaks. The west side of the island was much more rocky and dusty. There was a small bench that we only took a quick rest at and then continued on. We even were able to see a small floating concession in the water near the island but unfortunately, we had no money!
If you have the money to rent or own a kayak/boat, I would definitely recommend spending a day on the island. There are lots of places to explore (just ensure you stay on the designated trails) and I know a lot of people like to swim in this area. It's beautiful!