The Foggy Mara Hills - Kamloops Trails

The Foggy Mara Hills – Kamloops Trails

Doug Smith  March 2, 2024 at 9:00 am

On a mild February day the valley bottom was closed in by dense fog.     The hike chosen was the Mara Outer Loop Trail, a km route above Tranquille.   Most hikers go on the shorter Mara Trail, but the outer loop is now signed and it provides more viewpoints to enjoy.    On this day, the hike was a counter-clockwise loop, all in the fog.


With visibility reduced to about 15m, all photos were of sagebrush grasslands and few dark snags.

Most of the snags were ponderosa pines, killed by beetle infestations and drought.

Some of the snags had an eerie look, reminiscent of Tolkien’s works, this time “Fog on the Mara Downs.”1

The best viewpoint on this route had even less visibility, but we can choose to appreciate what we can see and come back another time for the wider views.  

Near the highest point, a glimpse of the winter sun was a welcome sight, “an eye over the waning hills.”2

In spite of the fog, this was a fine winter hike.   A short YouTube video shares some of the moments of the hike:


1 Tolkien – “Fog on the Barrow Downs”

2 “And suddenly he (Frodo) felt the Eye. There was an eye in the Dark Tower that did not sleep. He knew that it had become aware of his gaze. A fierce eager will was there. It leaped towards him; almost like a finger he felt it, searching for him. Very soon it would nail him down, know just exactly where he was. Amon Lhaw it touched. It glanced upon Tol Brandir — he threw himself from the seat, crouching, covering his head with his grey hood..”

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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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