Coal Hill Hike - Kamloops Trails

Coal Hill Hike – Kamloops Trails

Doug Smith  February 13, 2024 at 9:00 am

On a sunny-foggy early January day, I hiked up old tracks from Pineview, zigzagging up the hill to the top of Coal Hill.    The bike trails were closed, there was construction at the east end of Python Lake, and there was new fencing up the hill between Pineview and Aberdeen.     My route followed an old double track, but I also went off trail at times, exploring the hillside.  

When I first started hiking the hill in 1978, there was a small mining operation halfway up the hill.    There was a cabin, a couple of trucks and an active mine shaft.    The main entrance went straight into the hill across from the cabin.    Its filled in now, but I remember seeing the tunnel.   I also encountered vertical shafts higher up the hill.    Between 1896 and the 1996, small operations mined copper and small quantities of gold and silver.     Today, I was able to find lots of trenches and mounds, evidence of filled-in mines, and some old remnants of cabins and vehicles.   Click an image for a lightbox view and a caption.



As I climbed the hill views extended north, east, and west over the hills.     Cloud wreathed the higher elevations.

Near the upper end of Coal Hill, the double tracks are intersected with single tracks.     Since the route is up a north-facing slope, most of the route is in the forest.    A few snags and old douglas firs stand on the edges of hillsides or in glades.     A few images are shared here.  



The upper part of the hill is on grazing lands, but there is a communications tower on top and a double track that leads to it.    Wide views of the grasslands can be seen from the hilltop, but fog and mist shrouded the hill on this day.  

On the way down, I tried to take a different route, following a combination of double tracks, single tracks, and open forest off-trail options.    I left nothing but footprints, going quietly, enjoying the forest.

I found new fencelines and detoured around them, some new single tracks too, but also some trusted old double tracks to return back down to Python Lake (now a pond).     In the cycling season this is a busy and active area.     Near the top, cattle may be grazing.     In winter, the bike trails are closed, there is no ranching activity, some snow covers the hillside, making it a good time to do a quiet exploratory hike of Coal Hill. 




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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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