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Island Lake, the Grasslands Esker, and Long Lake at the End of Winter

Island Lake, the Grasslands Esker, and Long Lake at the End of Winter

by Doug Smith

Island Lake, the Grasslands Esker, and Long Lake at the End of Winter

Doug Smith  March 20, 2021 at 9:00 am

We hiked across the last snows of winter through the Middle Grasslands of Lac du Bois Grasslands Provincial Park on a sunny day.   We started at a small pulloff/parking area at about the 9.5 km mark on the Lac du Bois Road and followed stomped in tracks past Island Lake and up to the Grasslands Esker.

Island Lake will be full of ducks in spring but its just a frozen flat space in late winter.

Snow covered the hills in sheltered spots but was thin or bare in south-facing exposures.

The Grasslands Esker winds down from Lac du Bois to Long Lake.   It is the longest and largest esker in the area.   Eskers are formed under the ice over hundreds of thousands of years.   We hiked on top of the esker down toward the lake.

Pothole lakes dot the low spaces between moraines, kames, and eskers in the glaciated terrain.

Island Lake lies in the bottom of the benchland trench extending southward from the Grasslands Esker.

We hiked across the hills to the highest point on the west side of Long Lake for lunch and to enjoy the views.   Long Lake lies at the lowest point in the middle grasslands and extends 1.5 km in a north-south direction.

On the other side of Long Lake the ridge extends from Deep Lake down to the Batchelor Hills.    It is named as the (North) Batchelor Range on maps, but BC Parks calls it Hadley Ridge and some locals call it the Westsyde Hills.

Long Lake is one of a chain of small lakes that fill the trench from the Red Hill area to McQueen Creek.   During the Ice Ages, the trench drained toward Kamloops since the ice was much higher and so were the stream channels that drained the glaciers.   Now the chain of lakes drains north into McQueen Creek.

We finished our 5.1 km stomp on the snow by looping back to the start, following stomped in tracks whenever we found them.

We hike in this area several times each year.   We will be back when the wildflowers emerge in the Middle Grasslands of Lac du Bois.

 

 

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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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