Local LoopsExplore Shannon Basin
05 August, 2021
Welcome to the Shannon Basin Loop! This 9.7km loop is the longest loop experience that we offer as part of Local Loops. This loop is a great trail option for both trail runners and leisurely hikers seeking a longer adventure. For trail runners, this loop should take an hour and a half. For hikers, give yourself three hours to enjoy the stroll and to take advantage of all the viewpoints. This loop consists of retired service roads, loamy wooded descents and single track sections through salmonberry bushes and fireweed flowers.
Starting at the Backyard Plaza by the map board, head down our Backcountry Access Road. As you follow the Backcountry Access Road, you'll pass the trailheads for Wonderland Lake, Al's Habrich, and Highline. Once you reach the Backcountry Acces Routes map board, take a right and are now on the Shannon Basin Loop. This trail is marked by yellow diamond-shaped trail markers from 1 to 174.
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The first leg of the trail will lead you along a retired service road, all while the peak of Sky Pilot Mountain stands proudly above. At the end of this section of the trail, you'll find an old rail-car bed: a remnant of the logging days in the late 1900s. In this area, the older trees are second-growth replanted in 1968 while the younger trees were replanted after the last logging of this area in 1990.
A little further along the trail, a wooden bridge will carry you over Shannon Creek. This makes for a great spot to take a rest and rehydrate. From here, the trail turns into a single track, meandering through salmon-berry and Alaskan blueberry bushes. It is important to note, that this section of the Shannon Basin Loop trail is shared with the Skyline Ridge Trail, which is marked by purple diamond-shaped markers. Continue to follow the Shannon Basin Loop's yellow markers to stay on the right path.
Shortly after marker 45, the trees will open up to your right, giving you an unobstructed view of the Summit Lodge and the Sea to Sky Gondola on the other side of Shannon Basin.
1O ESSENTIAL ITEMS YOU NEED IN THE BACKCOUNTRY
Every backcountry user MUST be well prepared and travel with other experienced backcountry users. When entering the backcountry every member of your group should have the 10 essential backcountry items as recommended by AdventureSmart.
As you continue along the trail, you'll reach a junction at marker 64. If you continue straight, you'd then be on the Skyline Ridge Trail. Turn right into the forest and you'll be able to see marker 65 on a tree, confirming that you've made the correct turn. Now begins the switchback descent into the loamy forest. The canopy from the densely packed forest blocks most of the sun, making for a substantial change of scenery from the previous section.
Once the forest opens up again, keep an eye out for Humming Bird Look Out. Follow the little path off the right of the trail to a small clearing with a picnic table and a beautiful view of Shannon Basin and the Summit Lodge. This is the perfect spot to enjoy a packed lunch!
Once you're done having lunch and admiring the view, it's time to continue on. The trail will continue to descend and you'll once again be crossing a bridge over Shannon Creek. This bridge is the original from the logging days. You'll notice that the creek this much further down has gained momentum and is flowing much faster.
At the next junction, when the "Sea-To-Summiters" turn left, go right! You're now on your way back and it's time to make up for the elevation lost on the descent for the next 3.7km back to the Backcountry Access Road. Once back on the Backcountry Access Road, head left. You'll now be on your way back to the Backyard Plaza and to a well-deserved cold beverage and a rest.
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The Shannon Basin Loop is one of our six curated hiking or running loop experiences all starting from the Backyard Plaza. At 885 meters above sea level, our loops will quickly transport you away from the hustle and bustle of the city into the natural beauty of our trail network at the summit.
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