West Thompson Riverside Loop - Kamloops Trails

West Thompson Riverside Loop – Kamloops Trails

Doug Smith  January 22, 2021 at 9:00 am

On a mild day right before the winter solstice I explored the riverside area south of Cinnamon Ridge.   I walked the Rivers Trail from the west end, then cut through the thick brush on a game trail all the way out to the bank above the river.   I followed the rivershore east, mostly on the crumbling river bank, but also cutting through the brush above all the way to the West Beaches.

The Rivers Trail follows a raised dike between the floodlands and the Cinnamon Ridge fields.   Mount Mara stands above to the north.

Part of the game trail (used by some humans too) was in good shape as it worked its way south, but it soon degenerated into a faint track through thick willow and red ossier dogwood shrub growth.

I emerged at the river shoreline.   The river channel was flowing past a small island on its way to Kamloops Lake.   The low winter sun reflected in the river.

There were some sections where it was possible to hike on the sandy shoreline slope, but there were difficult sections farther along.

One impassable spot was an old vehicle dump on the shoreline.   There were about 25 cars piled up.   To get past these, I had to crawl through the lowest sedan.

There is another larger dump of old vehicles (sometimes called Dale’s Antique Beach) farther to the east.   Both are now covered in shrubs.   This collection is harder to get to.

After traversing sloping riverbanks and thick brush I emerged at a point where the west beaches started.   I crossed to the wide beach and walked on good sandy/silt east.

This area is scenic and quiet.   With no wind, the reflection from Mt. Mara was sharp in the back channel of the Thompson River.

An old sun-bleached rootstalk was stranded on the rivershore.    It will take a high year of flood to move this downstream.

I followed a good trail from the west beaches to the Rivers Trail.   This well-trod unofficial side trail joins the main trail 2.85 km from the west Rivers Trail trailhead .   I finished the loop route with an easy walk back to the start.

This is not a route that I would recommend to anyone but able explorers.   The route west of the West Beaches is overgrown and has some difficult sections.   Since I have done the route all the way to Tranquille too, it would be safe to call the whole route “a fight”, not a good hiking 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: http://www.kamloopstrails.net/

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