North Batchelor Range Hike
Posted on: June 10, 2018 8:48 am
by: Doug Smith
The Batchelor Range spans the distance from McQueen Creek on the north and the lower Batchelor Hills on the south. There are a series in the range with the highest ones at the north end. The North Batchelor Range is not accessed by hikers very much since the routes are all longer and involve longer climbs with only a few sections of overgrown trails along the way. One of the best routes, though, is from the Grasslands Community Trail which starts from the Deep Lake area. We start at the parking area on Ida Lane and hike up to Deep Lake then turn onto the signed Grasslands Community Trail which climbs through the hills on its way to McQueen Lake.
After hiking on these established trails for 4.3 km, we veer south to start to climb the ridge to the south. The first hilltop is 1.5 km away.
The lower slopes are grasslands and a few scattered trees dot the hillside above.
We chose to cross several hilltops to the highest point on the Batchelor Range, one hilltop among many in the area. We could see across the Lac du Bois Grasslands to Wheeler Mountain to the southwest.
Westyde to the east was 620m (2034 feet) lower than the top of the Batchelor Range. Strawberry Hill rises above the North Thompson River on the other side.
We descended down open grass-covered slopes back toward Deep Lake. Along the way we discovered a bird’s nest in a hole on the ground under the cover of tall grasses.
The long decent to the grasslands near Deep Lake is a steep one, dropping 630m in 3.5 km.
A few grassland ponds lie in low spots between hills, more visible from above.
The loop route is 11.6 km taking about 3 hours. The climb is a long one and the descent is easy on the heart and lungs, but hard on the knees. About half of the route has no trail so some navigation is needed. Along the way we spotted many butterflies, birds, and wildflowers, always a highlight of May hiking. Two links are provided below featuring them.
- North Batchelor Range
- North Batchelor Range Butterflies
- North Batchelor Range Wildflowers
- Next post – Barnhartvale Area Hikes – June 13