Snowshoeing in the Upper Lac du Bois Grasslands Conservancy

Snowshoeing in the Upper Lac du Bois Grasslands Conservancy

Doug Smith  March 11, 2021 at 9:00 am

We snowshoed a loop route in the Lac du Bois Grasslands Conservancy on a mild sunny winter day.    We parked at the gravel pull-out just before the McQueen Lake SW gate and walked down the road to the edge of the forest where we followed an old double track into the forest above Clay Lake.

The first part of the route was well-stomped-in by other snowshoers, one of the reasons we do this route in February.

On the shores of Clay Lake is an old homestead, built by Joe Reid in 1912.   He was a trapper and he and his wife stayed in the site until 1918.

Across Clay Lake is the McQueen Lake property.   On the hillside are remains of the old Gillow – Wawn homestead (1913 – 1923).   This is a peaceful spot, not invaded by motorized vehicles in winter.

A side track goes up the drainage to an uplands marsh, a hidden favorite spot.   In spring this is occupied by ducks and muskrats.     I have spotted nesting sandhill cranes here too.

Our planned route took us up over the southwest shoulder of Clapperton Ridge, above Stony Lake and the upper grasslands near Lac du Bois.

From our viewpoint on the south side of Clapperton Ridge we had long views across the grasslands, the Thompson River Valleys, and the Rose Hill area.    Long Lake was in the bottom of the grassland trench 2.3 km away and 260 m lower in elevation.

To the east are a chain of ponds with the North Batchelor Range rising above.   Strawberry Hill and the Dome Hills stand across the North Thompson River Valley.

Our route brought us down the hill past aspen groves to Stony Lake.

An old track connects Stony Lake (and the Scott Homestead) to the Lac du Bois Road so we followed it down to the line of ponds next to the lake.    Our return route was across 3 ponds and over 3 hills. back to the trailehead area.

The Upper Grasslands Snowshoe Stomp route is 7.6 km and takes 2.5 to 3 hours.    This is one we do every year, waiting for a sunny day to enjoy all the fine views.    We will return to the Lac du Bois Grasslands Nature Conservancy in wildflower season in spring.



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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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