Wheeler Mountain Ramble - Kamloops Trails

Wheeler Mountain Ramble – Kamloops Trails

Doug Smith  November 29, 2019 at 4:42 pm

Three mountains run south to north from the Thompson River Valley: Mount Mara, Mount Wheeler, and Opax Mountain.   There are trails/routes to the top of all three, detailed on this website.   In November we returned to hike the route up the north side of Mount Wheeler, an 11.7 km return route   We started at Lac du Bois, then followed a double track south for 1.9 km, and then we turned west to follow the road that winds over the shoulder of Mount Wheeler.

As we turned from the Lac du Bois grasslands we had views east to Clapperton Hill and the rolling hills shaped by glaciers over millenia.

The bowl to the south of Lac du Bois has a scenic lake next to the trail, on the way up the mountain.

A rusted wreck sits in the meadow at the south end of the greenish pond.   Nearby are remnants of a homestead occupied by the Eighmes from 1913 to 1917.

The old road winds up 1.6 km to Wheeler Pond, with the last open areas beside the pond until the top of the mountain.   One homesteader (T.E. Horn) built a cabin at the east end of the pond in 1912.   There are some scattered remains of the short-lived farm in the meadow.

A hairy woodpecker was active at the edge of the pond.

The next 3 km is all in the forest on the north side of Wheeler, climbing 500 m (1640 ft) to the upper part of the mountain.   The actual summit (only 30m higher) is in the forest to the east with no views so we usually veer west where there are open views to the west and south.   We could see Mt. Siwhe (a Stein Valley peak) 107 km away to the southwest.

The south and west sides of Mount Wheeler have many lava flow cliffs.   The tallest ones overlook Tranquille River, but there are a series of bluffs on the south side facing Pruden Pass.

On our way back down we could see across the grasslands hills to Tod Mountain 40 km to the east.

We hiked for about 4 hours with lunch on top of the mountain in the fall sunshine.   Our return hike passed many large frozen puddles, mostly in the shade.   The sun broke through the trees now and then to warm us and the final half hour was out in the sun on the way back to our vehicles.   Another great day in Lac du Bois Grasslands Provincial Park.


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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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