Mara Canyon (Hoodoos Trail) is the most popular “unofficial” hiking trail in our area. Although it goes into Lac du Bois Provincial Protected Area, it crosses the CN tracks off Tranquille Road so it is an unmaintained user trail. The trail goes up the south hills of Mount Mara, then drops into the canyon.
The route drops into the dry creek bed and follows a path up through a narrows. In the forested gully, hoodoos and spires rise on either side and if we scramble up the sideslopes, we can see what can be found on the upper slopes too.
As we climb up the gully, we can encounter alcoves, caves, outcrops, and cliffs. There are even hexagonal basalt columns in a least two places.
The route is a bit of an adventure. Good hiking shoes/boots, poles, and steady balance are needed on this trail. There are a number of places to slip on loose material and there is some light scrambling even on the main trail. Its all worth it. Mara Canyon is a hike to do every year, one of our favorites.
- Trailhead – N50 43.109 W120 28.557 (elevation 349m)
- Cross the tracks (carefully) and head towards the gully
- Follow the ridge to the right of the gully past a pour-off
- Drop into Canyon – N50 43.383 W120 28.450 (unsigned and easy to miss)
- Follow the bottom of the canyon all the way until it opens up, then continue on, bearing right on an obvious trail up to the ridge on the east side
- Start of Loop Route on the ridge – N50 43.941 W120 28.173 (elevation 770m)
- The ridge loop return route has many slippery sections; good boots, poles, and strong ankles are needed.