An Outer Inks Ramble – Kamloops Trails

by Doug Smith

An Outer Inks Ramble – Kamloops Trails

Doug Smith  December 6, 2021 at 9:00 am

The Outer Inks area has a extensive trail-double track network that is used by ATVs and motorcycles in season, but also provide routes for hikers, mountain bikers, and snowshoers in shoulder season and in winter.    There are some trail markers in the forest, but most junctions are unmarked and it is sometimes hard to find a planned route.    Carrying a map and GPS/mapping app is recommended.    From decades of hiking in the Outer Inks area, some favorite loops are known, of which one goes by both the Spade Lakes and Dam Lake. 

Single tracks were mostly made by motorcycles.    Some of them go up and down hills and some wind through the forest.    Our known routes combine both single and double tracks. 

The Spade Lakes are both dammed and drawn down for range irrigation in summer.   They were low in November and had not yet started to freeze.  

The larger of the two lakes was quite low.    At this point the Outer Inks Trails link onto the Greenstone Mountain Trails.  

We followed single and double tracks uphill through the forest, then along the Thickett Trail past seasonal marshes, working out way over to Dam Lake. 

There are a number of route choices from Dam Lake back to the trailhead area.    We chose one that followed Alkali Creek as it descended down through a gorge.   the single track route has a steep drop and climb back up the other side, but there are other easier routes.    Our hike was 9.6 km, taking just under 3 hours with a break for lunch.  


The best place to start hiking on the Trails is on the Inks Lakes turnoff on the Coquihalla Highway.   With such easy access, it is a good alternative for days when driving conditions are difficult.   

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Doug Smith

Doug writes for Kamloops Trails, a not-for-profit (and ad free) website, offering information on trails, waterways, routes, featured spots, viewpoints, and explorations in the outdoors in the Kamloops area (and beyond).

Doug started exploring this area in 1976 and continues to follow tracks and routes wherever they lead, with the aid of map, compass, GPSr and camera. After many dead-ends, but also many discoveries, he chose to share this information.

The Kamloops Trails website has a massive number of interesting posts and would be of interest to anyone in Kamloops who enjoys the outdoors. Visit the Kamloops Trails website at:

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