Twelve Mile on Kamloops Lake

Twelve Mile on Kamloops Lake

Posted on: October 10, 2018 3:24 pm
by: Doug Smith

Rousseau Creek runs down from Red Plateau on the western side of Rousseau Hill.   A fan-shaped gentle slope fills an area of 500 sq meters by 500 sq m next to the creek, the site of the former Twelve Mile Ranch.   Little is known about the ranch, but I spent a day paddling over to the beach in front and then hiked the lands, looking for artifacts and signs of the former homesteader.

From Tobiano I paddled over to the steep cliffs of Rousseau Hill, then along the shoreline to the west.   A beach fronts the Twelve Mile bench and a concrete block building sits on the edge of the grassy terrace overlooking the lake.

There is a good beach at low water near the creek’s mouth.   Six Mile Point is across the lake 1.8 km to the west.

From the point at Twelve Mile, Painted Bluffs Provincial Park is 2.5 km to the northwest.

Above the terrace the slopes of Rousseau Hill rise on grassy slopes.  In this photo is a small concrete block building just above the creek, possibly a pumphouse.   An old double track can be seen climbing into the hills above.

In late September there was water flowing down Rousseau Creek so a ranchers would have had water for the fields with the use of some hoses/pipes.   On the property. I found some rubber hoses and some small structures to anchor them.

On the creek’s bank was a skeleton of a bighorn sheep, the current residents of the slopes.

There were fences on the former pasture lands, some still standing, but most fallen.

The CN line was built along the north shore of Kamloops Lake in 1915, separating the pasture from the lake.   A 7589 foot siding was built on the property and the station was named Jaleslie.   The siding is no longer there, but there is a dirt track below the rail line.  The lower area is now a mass of prickly pear cactus.

The concrete block building was probably built by CN.   In Mona Saemerow’s book “Then and Now”, she writes that the CN built station houses and storage sheds at Copper Creek and this may have been a storage/maintenance building  for the railway siding operation.


Above the section of land the slopes of Rousseau Hill rise up, ragged with volcanic features overlooking the lake.  Mr. E. Rousseau had a ranch and kept a store at Copper Creek, buying it from Mr. Ballantyne in 1934.   His children got their education by correspondence.

The Hudson Bay Brigade Trail (1843) dropped from the Dewdrop Range down to Red Point then came across this area on its way to Copper Creek before climbing up the Carbine Creek Valley.

The area above the CN right of way is now part of the Dewdrop -Rousseau Creek Wildlife Management Area, managed by the Ministry of Lands., Forest, and Natural Resource Operations.

After hiking the section, I returned to my kayak and paddled back to Tobiano.

I will return to this area by driving the outer Dewdrop Range Road to the Peregrine Bluffs area, then traversing the slopes above Twelve Mile in a loop route around Rousseau Hill.

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About the Author

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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