On the Ragged Red Ridge

On the Ragged Red Ridge

Doug Smith  June 26, 2020 at 11:59 am

When Red Plateau dries out (in May) and before the heat of late spring we climb from the Dewdrop Range up the Red Plateau Escarpment to the rim.   The best trail is the Dewdrop Trail which winds up a gully, then a ridge, climbing 611 m of elevation (2000+ feet) in 3 km.   An alternate route with no established trail is up a continuous steep parallel ridge on the other side of Red Canyon.   Although there is no trail, with repeated use by a few adventurous hikers, there is now a faint trail, winding up the best route on the spine of the ridge.

The approach to the Ragged Red Ridge is the Dewdrop Trail.   We hike up the trail for 0.7 km to where the trail crosses a fenceline on a style.   Instead, we turn left following an old double track up Red Canyon.   Before the trail enters the canyon we turn west and start to climb the ridge.   The ridge climb is 1.5 km of continuously-steep hiking.

The route is on an open ridge with great views all the way.

The view below is of the Dewdrop Range, a grassland-benchland above Kamloops Lake.

On the way up are a series of rugged rock bluffs, all of which have good routes through or around the steep sections.   A bit of light scrambling is required and there are also some sections of loose footing.

At the top of the ridge, the route levels out just south of the Dewdrop Trail.   There is a great place for lunch at a viewpoint.

The Dewdrop Range lies at the foot of the escarpment and Kamloops Lake is at the bottom of the valley, 3.5 km away.

We linked onto the Dewdrop Trail which winds through open Douglas fir forest before starting the winding descent on the parallel ridge.

Along the trail were lots of wildflowers, including phacelia, paintbrush, sandwort, fameflower, balsam root, jacob’s ladder, fairyslipper, western spring beauty, sagewort, brown-eyed Susan, and the star of the show, shrubby penstemon.

The loop route is not all that long, only 6.9 km, but is is a demanding route for those with good equipment (esp. boots), good fitness, strong ankles, and a strong sense of adventure.

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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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