Mara Canyon to Mara Summit
by Doug Smith
Mara Canyon to Mara Summit
We hiked up through the Mara Canyon Trail and continued up the ridge to the junction with the Mara Ridge trail, but on this day we turned and went to the top of the mountain first. Although I have done the Mara Canyon Loop many times (for 45 years and at least once per year), I only do the route to the summit from the south about every 5 years. I prefer the northeast route from Pruden Pass. We hiked to the top this time, had lunch at the viewpoint, then hiked down the ridge to the start, a 7.3 km harder route. We hiked along the main trail from the Ord Road parking area to the mouth of the canyon. The trail through the canyon is also called the Cinnamon Ridge Trail and the Hoodoos Trail, but it has been the Mara Canyon Trail for a long time. BC Parks (which added this area in 1996) is now calling it the Cinnamon Ridge Trail. There are a number of large hoodoos along the route. The trail follows the dry streambed for most of the way through the canyon. Fallen trees are a yearly occurrence, but we just go under, over, or around them. For some of the hoodoos, we may need to scramble up the side slopes for a better view. The canyon opens up into a large basin below the peak and the canyon gives way to grassy steep slopes. The section from the canyon to the top of the ridge is a steep one. Most people follow the main trail to the junction, but there are a number of interesting scramble routes on the front (south) side of Mara Mountain too. The upper end of the trail is on loose material, but we went over the top and out to the viewpoint for lunch. View extend southwest to the Dewdrop Range and Kamloops Lake. To the east is the eastern summit of Mara Mountain, with the Lac du Bois Grasslands beyond. We returned the way we came to the (unsigned) junction, then followed the single track trail down the ridge. The Ridge Trail is much quicker than going up the canyon and there are some fine views along the way. We have been to the top of Mara Mountain about 70 – 80 times, most frequently from the northeast, but we have also go up from the northwest, the east side, and the west side. We will be back up there again next month. More information on the Mara Canyon Trail can be found on this page – Mara Canyon Trail.
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/My Blog Posts