There is a large chunk of rugged terrain on Crown Land east of Kamloops. A series of rocky bluffs and forested slopes rise one after the other to the north above the South Thompson River. There is no real access from Shuswap Road because of private homes, but a gravel road climbs up the power line on the east side and with a high clearance vehicle we can drive to an access point to explore the hills of the Lions Head area.
We have found some single tracks in the area, but anyone who chooses to hike these hills will need to use route-finding skills. We hiked for 2.5 hours and stayed on “trails” for most of the exploration, except for the final climbs to the tops of hills. A gps would be helpful to find the way back to the parking spot.
The grasslands of the Pritchard – Pinantan Road are a few kilometers to the east, Across the river we have good views of the Duck Range and Martin Prairie above Pritchard. The forested slopes of Mt. Martin, Laveau Hill, and Chase Mountain rise on the southeastern horizon.
It is also possible to access these hills from above by taking the Pritchard – Pinantan Road, then the McNulty Road. There are sections of Crown Land there too, but no trails. We consult the Provincial land database through IMAP BC to check land status, integrating the information with a GPS to determine access points and probable routes, avoiding private land parcels, and active grazing licenses. Either way, we respect posted signs and avoid cattle grazing in the hills. We travel lightly on foot, leaving no trace, taking nothing but photos.