Snowshoeing the Lac du Bois Nature Conservancy

Snowshoeing the Lac du Bois Nature Conservancy

Doug Smith  February 26, 2020 at 4:35 pm

The area between Lac du Bois and McQueen Lake is part of the Lac du Bois Conservancy Area.   These lands are conserved as natural areas but “low impact nature recreation is allowed”(Nature Conservancy of Canada).   We hike, do nature walks, and snowshoe through the upper grasslands and forests in several seasons.   On a mid-February day we started our route on a grown-over double track and followed a snowed-in single track to Clay Lake.   We continued along the lakeshore, past the old homestead, then followed an old double track over the ridge and into the grasslands.

There were no snowshoe tracks at the start, but there was one snowmobile track going the same way that we were going, through snow-covered meadows, aspen groves, and open forest.   This is a beautiful part of the world.

Blue skies invited us to explore as we stomped our way around the upper marsh.

Our planned route was to climb over the southwest shoulder of Clapperton Hill.   On the way up, we observed wind-shaped snow drifts.

From the viewpoint there were wide views of the grasslands.   At the bottom of the valley between Clapperton Hill and Hadley Ridge is a chain of alkali lakes.

Below and 2.2 km away, Long Lake filled the bottom of the trench.  Very few trees grow in the middle grasslands of Lac du Bois Protected Area.

Around the south shoulder of Clapperton Hill, we could see Tod Mountain and the chain of peaks that run north-south, 36 km away.

From the viewpoint we dropped down to Stony Lake and then down to the ponds along the Lac du Bois Road.   We crossed 3 ponds and climbed 3 hills on our way back under the mild cloud-filtered winter sun.

Bulrushes rose above the snow clumps on the edge of the final pond, before we closed the 7.4 km loop.

This is a favorite area to snowshoe, especially in February when the snows have accumulated, but the weather starts to moderate.   Our next return to the area will be in wildflower season in May.

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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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