We hiked up McConnell Hill in the Stake Lake Trail system, then we braved the Bushwhacker Trail loop, stopping for lunch at a viewpoint, then returned to the Sidewinder Trail to complete an 11.5 km loop.
The Stake Lake trails are double tracks designed for cross country skiing. Most are groomed trails with no obstacles (other than wet areas and mud in summer), but the the Bushwhacker Trail is a “backcountry route.” It starts as a rough double track on top of the rocky plateau, but it switches to a single track through the forest, winding past ponds and dense forest stands.
Basalt lava bluffs circle McConnell Hill on the west and north sides and from the rim of the bluffs are great views of the forested hills and lakes of the area. Stake Lake lies less than a kilometer to the west.
Most wildflower photos from these hikes are now displayed on A Wildflower Journal on an eclectic schedule, but a selection is added to KamloopsTrails posts too. This is spotted saxifrage, from the open rocky ledges of McConnell Hill.