Castle Butte Loop - Kamloops Trails

Castle Butte Loop – Kamloops Trails

Doug Smith  September 21, 2023 at 8:31 am

We have hiked various routes on top of Red Plateau, starting from the Red Plateau Forest Service Road.    The road is a bit rough, best suited to high clearance vehicles and best attempted in dry conditions.   We use it to avoid the long climb from the Dewdrop Range below.     Those trails are steep, making a good fitness challenge, but they can be more difficult back down in dry conditions.    By starting on top of Red Plateau, we can hike double tracks and single tracks with lots of up and down, but nothing long or too steep.    On a September morning we drove to the (known) trailhead just past the signed 4.5 km mark and hiked double tracks toward Castle Butte.   Some navigation is required for any of the routes on Red Plateau.  

The first part of the route leads to the Dewdrop Trail.    We then turned west and followed it to the ridge which leads out to Castle Butte.  

Castle Butte is a bluff at the end of the ridge.     There is no real trail down the ridge so we just stay on top, winding past trees and rocky outcrops.    At the butte, we need to follow a narrow track around the east side, then scramble up a steep rocky slope to the top.  

At the southern end of Castle Butte, we have fine views overlooking the Dewdrop Range and Kamloops Lake.    We can also see the Red Plateau Escarpment east and west, a 2000 foot high series of cliffs that stretch for about 10km from Jag Hill to Rousseau Hill.

We hiked along the Dewdrop Trail bearing east, enjoying the good trail and the many views.     Right before the trail descends steeply, we veered off onto a trail which forks over to Jag Hill, then turned again and went on a half-kilometer cross-country route (no trails, no markers) to join the Red Plateau double tracks which can be hiked as a loop route back to the start.   The whole route was 10.5 km, with lots of up and down.

Some images are shared here.    Click an image for a lightbox view and a caption.   

This is a favorite hike, one we do every year, but we vary the route a bit every time.    Some moments of this day’s hike are shared here in a YouTube video:

There are now over 500 videos on YouTube.     The channel is called Ramble On.    Check it out for more KamloopsTrails hikes.



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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.

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