The Frederick Bluffs are a rugged area of rocky hills, bluffs, gullies, and scrubby grassland on the eastern end Dewdrop-Rousseau Creek Wildlife Management Area. To get there, follow the Frederick Road and when the road splits into two, take the left fork. Follow this good dirt road for about 2 km and park at one of several pull-offs.
An old track bears south into the hills and from there, hikers can just pick their own routes. Since I knew the area from previous outings, I chose a wide sweeping loop over the hills that overlook Kamloops Lake.
A fire swept through the western end of these hills a few years ago leaving blackened stumps among the rocks.
The fire helps the grasses to regenerate without competition from trees and shrubs, but invasive weeds like German mullein also take hold.
From the high bluff above Frederick, we can see down Kamloops Lake toward Six Mile Point.
There are no trails through the bluffs so we just pick a route that gets up to the many viewpoints along the way.
There are a few seasonal ponds in hollows, but for the most part, this is a dry area.
From the top of Bighorn Bluff, views extend eastern up the lake.
On the north side, the Red Plateau Escarpment rises for 2000 feet above the Dewdrop Range.
While out hiking through these hills, I came across several sage grouse, some whitetail deer, a hawk, some meadowlarks, and these three rams on the next hilltop.
Progress is slow through these rugged hills but after three hours of exploration, I looped back to my truck.
This kind of hiking is for those who like to explore. Strong ankles and knees are needed. Ticks and rattlesnakes are common in the dry hills. There are drop-offs from the tops of bluffs. Cactus will be an issue for dogs. The reward, though, is quiet hiking through a rugged, dry grasslands environment, with wonderful views along the way.