Red Hill Ramble in Winter

Red Hill Ramble in Winter

Doug Smith  February 17, 2020 at 3:56 pm

The middle elevation hills of Lac du Bois Grasslands Provincial Park are open areas with grass and sagebrush on rounded hills and ridges.   The soils are mainly a thin layer of organic materials on top of glacial tills.   Where the glaciers moved across bedrock outcrops, moraines collected into kames and shaped hills.   Between these hills potholes formed, once full of ice, but now are meltwater ponds.   Red Hill stands next to the Lac du Bois Road next to a parking area and gate.    When ATVS/motorcycles frequented the area, the hill was scarred with read streaks from the reddish rock and soil of the hill.   Now grasses cover 3 sides of the hill.   The east side (out of sight from the road) has reddish cliffs overlooking the hidden pond.   Each winter I put on my snowshoes or microspikes and do a circuit exploring the ridges, ponds, basins, and hills of the area.

My route on this sunny day was straight up the west side of the hill, climbing the snowy slopes with microspikes on my boots.   Views extended west across the grasslands to Mount Mara.

From atop Red Hill the views extend in a 360 degree radius.   Below to the east is the Red Hill pond and a series of hills across the Batchelor Range.   The dome Hills and Strawberry Hills stand higher across the North Thompson river.

In the distance, 37 km east-northeast are the Sun Peaks/Tod Mountain Range.

I went down the steep north slope then around the pond.   the reddish color of the hill is more obvious from this spot.

The sun shone brightly over the hills as I stomped on the snow over the next ridge.

The next pond is a bit higher and a bit larger, in a basin fed by meltwater from the surrounding hills.   This is a quiet and picturesque spot.

I did a loop around this pond too, climbing the ridges for better views.

I spent some time exploring the hills on the way back, completing a 4+ km loop route.   There are many possible routes in the middle grasslands, but this one is one of my favorites.

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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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