My hiking buddy and longtime friend, and now famous hiking author – Gerry Shea – and I had a great day hiking up in the fringe land between the grasslands and Pine bunchgrass/Douglas Fir forests of the upper reaches of Wheeler Mountain.
The day started out very windy and overcast and ended up very windy and clear. The wind and cooler temperatures proved to be a godsend as it was a considerable hike up the mountain.
All in all it was a great day, we got out in the fresh air, got plenty of exercise and got to go play like kids up on a rock face that I had often looked at and just never had the opportunity or ambition to hike to.
Others contemplating the hike should of course all of the normal warnings about hiking/climbing on unstable rock formations but then you know all of that already. Getting there is simple, take the first dirt road to your right after crossing the train tracks on the Red Lake Road on your way out of Kamloops. Drive up hill as far as you can go – make sure you are in a four wheel drive vehicle (oops that should probably be the first thing) – get out and hike towards the large rockface to the north west. There is no trail or preferred route, just get out and explore.
Animals of note were: a pair of chukar on the top of the rock face, a dusky grouse on the lower slopes, and more deer sign, the polite way of saying deer poop, than I have ever seen in one area. The deer love to bed down on the tops of these rocks as it affords them a great view for approaching predators and numerous escape routes.