On the Snow on the Butterfly Marshes

On the Snow on the Butterfly Marshes

Doug Smith  January 30, 2020 at 4:44 pm

There is a chain of marshes in the space between Stake Lake and the Coquihalla Highway that are fun to explore in winter.   Access is via a cattleguard entrance off Lac le Jeune Road.   A double track goes west and branches connect to the South Bush Lake area too.   On this sunny winter day, I headed out onto the ponds and marshes, breaking trail all the way.   The snow was up to my lower thigh so I kept the outing to 2 km of exploration.  My tracks were the only ones on the marshes for most of the route.

Aspen trees grow along the shoreline in a few places, making a scenic winter scene.

A ridge sticks out into the middle of the marshes, probably a glacial moraine (ridge) from the last Ice Age.   It had been harvested and replanted so progress was open, but the snow is deeper in the open areas.

Aspens grew rapidly after the area was cleared of timber so the clones stand above the juvenile trees on the ridge.

From past explorations I knew where an old homestead was on the shores of the largest pond so I visited the two buildings on this cold clear winter day.

I prefer to not reveal their locations so that they can stand for a few more years yet.   Most of the roof was now caved in and drifts were accumulating on the old roof.   The door was askew and ajar, but still there.   I am assuming this was a trapper’s homestead.

On the way back I encountered two sets of tracks.   This one was from a moose with a wide stride across the pond, connecting two browsing shorelines.

Near the end I spotted a snowshoe hare track too, but there will be more tracks around the ponds as the weather improves.

I only visit the Butterfly Marshes on a fine day where I can snowshoe out in the open with the sun on my face as I stomp in an exploration track, far from the crowds in the nearby Stake Lake Trail system.   .

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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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