Through the Balancing Rock Hills in Summer

Through the Balancing Rock Hills in Summer

Doug Smith  August 26, 2020 at 9:00 am

On a hot summer day we got an early start to go for a short hike in the hills above Kamloops Lake. The access point to hike down to Balancing Rock is 1.5 km past the Six Mile Lookout. A sharp right turn to a dirt pullout goes to the gate in the fence. A single track goes down the ridge and meets a double track, then a side trail goes over to a lookout of the Balancing Rock. A steep trail goes down a ridge to the hoodoos.

Below the taller Balancing Rock hoodoo is a cluster of ungainly conglomerated hoodoos.

We followed an off-trail route that winds around the slope-break of a series of gullies and ridges that lead down to the lake. Eighteen Mile Ranch, Hardie Hill, and Rousseau Hill rose above the north side of Kamloops Lake.

We traversed over to the main ridge of Six Mile Point. A large erratic sits on top of the ridge. Kamloops Lake stretches for km east toward the City of Kamloops.

From a viewpoint we watched as 9 loons swam in formation, diving at the same time, probably following a school of fish.

Across the lake to the northwest was Painted Bluffs Provincial Park. We had hiked over there this spring and hope to paddle over there this summer again.

We followed the double track back up the hill and stopped to look at a robber fly on the gravel. They attack other insects by seizing them from behind and then sticking a sharp proboscis into the prey injecting a solution that paralyzes it.

I also spotted a woodland skipper butterfly on the rabbitbrush while climbing back to the trailhead.

We thought about going down to the lake to take a dip before coming back up, but the last part is steep so we hedged our bets in the heat of a summer morning and looped back for a 4 km loop route.

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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.

The Kamloops Trails website has a massive number of interesting posts and would be of interest to anyone in Kamloops who enjoys the outdoors. Visit the Kamloops Trails website at:

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