Wheeler Mountain Ramble – Kamloops Trails
Posted on: November 30, 2019 3:29 am
by: Doug Smith
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.
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.
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.
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.