Hiking to Painted Bluffs - Kamloops Trails

Hiking to Painted Bluffs – Kamloops Trails

Doug Smith  September 28, 2022 at 8:58 am

Painted Bluffs Provincial Park is located on the north side of Kamloops Lake, east of Copper Creek.    It is accessible by hiking over the hills or by boat.   There are no trails into the park so anyone wanting to hike there has to take a bearing and go over the hills, ridges, and gullies to the rim of the bluffs.   On a mid-September day we parked at a known spot (we have done this hike dozens of times) above the lakeside ranch, then hiked to the top ridge of the park.    The route is rugged with a number of ups-and-downs for about 2.6 km.    On most of our hikes to the area, we go to the bottom, explore, and then back up, but on this day we had decided to explore the upper rim only. 

We first had to cross the hills above the ranch.  

After crossing Copper Creek, there are some colorful rock ridges on the west-facing slopes.  

Between Copper Creek and Painted Bluffs are a series of open sagebrush slopes incised by gullies.  

There are 3 ridges that jut out over the Painted Bluffs.   We hiked to each, enjoying varied views of the eroded, colorful bluffs below. 

The terrain below was other-worldy and always interesting.   

Beyond Painted Bluffs the rugged shoreline of Kamloops Lake winds under steep hillsides.  

We returned back on a similar route across the hills.   It was a 5.2 km hike that took us 2.5 hours (inc. lunch)

Some video footage and drone footage was combined into a YouTube video:

We will be back to hike to Painted Bluffs again next year and we will take a different route next time.   We have also paddled to the site and may do so again.

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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: http://www.kamloopstrails.net/

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