Hiking to the West Guardsman

Hiking to the West Guardsman

Doug Smith  October 21, 2022 at 8:52 am

A trail winds down the western slopes above Tranquille River and along the rim to the West Guardsman, a tall hoodoo overlooking the river.   Directly across the canyon is the East Guardsmen.   We have hiked to the Guardsmen from the Pruden Pass Road, starting at the gate on Tranquille Road, but this was our first time down to the western side of the canyon to this spot.  

We parked along the Tranquille – Criss Creek Road and hiked down an old double track to the rim of the canyon.   Al Budreau (Kamloops Backcountry Hikes) developed a trail which continues along the rim, bearing south.    This was a moderate, pleasant, and scenic trail.   We got an early start so that the sun was breaking over the flanks of Wheeler Mountain as we hiked south. 

We arrived on the slopes above the Guardsmen, the end of the trail.    We worked our way down, making our own route on the steep, loose slope.    Tranquille River was directly below in the bottom of the canyon. 

The route over to the West Guardsmen involves some light scrambling. 

It seemed appropriate to go right to the pillar as it hid the sun in the east.  

We explored the steep slopes and had different views from each spot.  

Our route was out-and-back on the same trail, climbing back up to the road, winding through douglas fir forest. 

This route was a pleasant surprise – a trail worth doing every year and we are grateful to add it to our expanding list of great hikes in the Kamloops area. 

More Information:

  • Kamloops Backcountry Hikes by Al and Mairi Budreau
  • Trailhead – N50 46.059 W120 31.575
  • West Guardsman – N50 45.378 W120 30.448
  • Distance – about 4.8 km return


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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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