Napier Ranch Conservancy in the Fall

Napier Ranch Conservancy in the Fall

Doug Smith  November 23, 2019 at 8:42 am

Napier Lake Ranch was a working ranch for 150 years then in an agreement between the land owners (the Jackson Family) and the Nature Conservancy of Canada, some lands were set aside as a grasslands conservancy area.   The gently sloping hillsides are covered with native grasses and is a valuable habitat for birds.    While I hiked there in early November, there were raptors patrolling the area, whitetail deer in the gullies, and tall grasses covering the whole 526 hectares.   The area was quiet and as I climbed there were wide views of the northern end of the Nicola Valley.

Visitors can gently walk the paths.   The entrance is at the end of a short gravel road near Napier Lake.   A person-gate allows access for hikers.   The old double track bears north toward an old homestead.  Some of the lands above the conservancy are Crown lands.   Respect fences and posted signage.   On my loop hike I did not have to cross any fencelines.


The double track climbs gently north surrounded by golden tall grasses.

The old homestead sits on a level part on the the sidehill.


The view from the home looked out east to the Trapp Lake Hills.


The gullies were full of aspens, hawthorns, and snowberries.   A few whitetail deer bounded off when I got too close.


A ridge stands above the gentle slopes, for another day of exploration, mindful of fencelines and grazing times on Crown leases.


From the high point on this loop the views extended across the hills to the Douglas fir forests above Roche Lake.


Burrowing owls have been reintroduced to the area so hikers need to be cautious and dogs should be on leash.


We will be back in the spring to enjoy the grasslands.

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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.

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