Estekwalan Mountain (2022) – Kamloops Trails
Estekwalan is located above the village of Falkland between Kamloops and Vernon. It is accessed by backroads from Falkland or Westwold. On this September morning we drove in from Westwold (Station Road > Station Bay FSR > Rob Roy FSR) on dry gravel roads. All trails up and down Estekwalan are steep and difficult. Once on top of the mountain, we can hike on open ridges above cliffs in a loop route.
The trail is signed and marked. We hiked 9.8 km on a warm summer day.
The trail quickly climbs with a series of switchbacks through the forest to the area below the upper cliffs. The final half kilometer requires a bit of scrambling.
Once we reached the rim of the mountain, we followed the trail along a series of ridges with wide open views. The middle section is the best part of the hike.
The trail descends a ridge to reach the bottom of a gully, then climbs back up to the southern edge. After traversing along the rim, the trail descends steeply down very steep slopes with loose material, always a challenge. There are several fixed ropes in place for hikers, but it is still a difficult descent.
The steep uphill trail, the need to do a bit of scrambling, sheer drop-off areas on the rim, and the descent make this a challenging hike for any day for all hikers, but it is also a rewarding hike, one we return to do again and again.
A short video provides some additional coverage of this hike:
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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