Wheeler Bluffs via Bear Pass

Wheeler Bluffs via Bear Pass

Doug Smith  July 6, 2022 at 8:32 am

Wheeler Bluffs is prime destination for a hike, but all routes to the top of the cliffs are long.   We sometimes come up from the Tranquille area by following the road from the Mara Trailhead to Pruden Pass and then up the Wheeler Mountain Road.   We have also come from Lac du Bois and from Mara Mountain, but all of these routes are long and exposed in hot weather.   We decided to try another route, starting in Pruden Pass.   We drove up the Lac du Bois Road then turned onto the bumpy Pruden Pass Road, parking at the gate.   there are no trails to Pruden Hill from the east so we went across the grassland and open forest to pick up a known double track which goes up a gully to a pass on the north side of Pruden Hill. 

On the double track we saw many bear scats (30+), most of which were recent.   Since the pass had no name we designated it Bear Pass.   It was quiet, shaded, and had lots of mosquitoes, but it is a good route to get to the Wheeler Mountain Road.   We went down the road to a known side track to the top of Wheeler Bluffs (at N50 45.575 W120 29.051).  

The volcanic bluffs look out over the Tranquille River Canyon down to Kamloops Lake.  

The bluffs form a shield around the southwest corner of Wheeler Mountain and we can hike over the rim to look west and northwest.   There are also some interesting chimneys which could be climbed.   This is a rugged and spectacular spot.  

Directly west on the other side of the canyon was the Pimple and Jag Hill, also good hiking routes.  

Some short video footage was taken from the rim of the bluffs:


We hiked it in an out-and-back route.   Although it was shorter than the other routes, the better route choice is to go up the Mara Road and then across, 14 km, best done on a cool day, perhaps in the fall.    We hiked that route in November, 2019 – Wheeler Bluffs Ramble.   A good choice for a mountain bike and hike combo….

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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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