The area in the hills to the north of Chase is generally referred to as Neskonlith Meadows. Much of the area is part of the Adams Lake Band Sahhaltkum Indian Reserve so permission to park and hike on the trails is required. Permits and parking passes can be obatined from the Band Office during business hours. There is a small fee and some very reasonable conditions are required.
There are a number of choices in exploring the area. We chose to drive up the Loakin-Bear Creek Road and park at the bottom of a gated double track (at N50 48.300 W119 44.746) heading east up into the hills toward Aylmer Lake (N50 50.410 W119 42.842). Most hikers want to do this hike in the prime wildflower bloom in May. We hiked in April to scout out the route for future reference and to enjoy hiking through the meadows, open forest and the many iewpoints. In mid-April much of the route was surrounded by avalanche lilies, spring beauties, desert parsley, yellow bells, and bluebells. This is the best flower display in the whole region.
The route in is an old double track that runs 5 km to Aylmer (Star) Lake with a vertical gain of 256m (840 feet). The hike is moderate and out in the open for most of the route. The open ridge has views over Little Shuswap Lake.
The double track works its way up the ridge. Meadows of wildflowers on either side continue for 3.5 km. The hike feels like a rite of spring.
The final part of the track goes to Aylmer (Star) Lake that was frozen over in mid-April. On the way back, we enjoyed views down to Chase, the river, and then over to Neskonlith Lake.
Near the bottom a herd of horses came to greet us, then entertain us.
The next wave of wildflowers will be in May with a hillside of balsam root throughout the meadows. A few of the perennials were pushing their way up already. We will return each year to greet the spring displays.