Pruden Pass Ramble - Kamloops Trails

Pruden Pass Ramble – Kamloops Trails

Doug Smith  July 3, 2020 at 8:10 am

I led a small group on a complicated route above Pruden Pass.   We parked at the end of the Pruden Pass Road and went up the northeast flank of Mara Mountain, working our way to the southwest summit where we had our first break.   We followed an old double track down the northwest side of Mara to Massey Lake, then we went up the Wheeler Mountain Road.   Another old double track forks off and goes behind a prominent hill, but we turned left and went out to a viewpoint and back.   On our way back we followed another old double track, but as we dropped into the pass, we veered east to avoid private property.   The whole route was rugged, covering about 13.5 km through the hills.

We have done the Mara NE route at least once a year for over 30 years and we go past the old Damgaard Homestead site each time. Each time we go by there is less to see of the homestead in this 100 year old quarter section.

We went over the top of Mount Mara where we first had great views down the Tranquille River Canyon to Kamloops Lake.

At the front viewpoint of Mount Mara we had fine views up the Thompson River Valley.

Below Mara,  Tranquille Bay was flooded.   The floodlands will full of water until mid-July.

The eastern hill of Mount Mara is actually higher.   It stands above the Lac du Bois Grasslands.

We dropped into Pruden Pass where small Massey Lake lies at the edge of the forest.   It was named after a homesteader who lived there 100+ years ago.

We started a climb up the south flanks of Wheeler Mountain, then we followed an overgrown track out to the viewpoint on lava cliffs overlooking Pruden Pass.

Views also extended back to the east side of Pruden Pass.   We could see our vehicles parked 1.7 km away (as the bird flies).   We wound down to the edge of the grasslands and then traversed cross country to the fenceline.

On the way we angled to the Harris Homestead (its hard to find, but we knew the route).   There are several buildings left from when it was homesteaded (from 1912 – 1926).   Each time we return more of the buildings have fallen to the ground.

Progress up and down the slopes on both sides was slow.   What might normally take 4 hours took us 5 hours, but we had lots to see along the way, including a large black bear.  We will be back to hike other parts of Wheeler Mountain later in the year.




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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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