By the end of February, the south-facing slopes north of Kamloops lose their snow and a week of muddy conditions follows. Sloped benchlands dry out quickly with no tree cover, so we can hike on the lower slopes of the Batchelor Hills early. The area to the west of the Lac du Bois Road has longer routes that wind around steep hills. The lower slopes and hills above sometimes are called the Barren Hills, but they are just covered with sagebrush and bunchgrass and have very few trees.
The east side of the Lac du Bois Road has a series of steep hills and is the domain of dirtbikes, ATV’s, and 4WD’s. During breakup season they cause a lot of damage, chewing up muddy tracks and slopes. We sometimes hike through these hills in the early season before the motorized invasion.
Standing in the middle of the Barren Hills is Batchelor Hill, rising feet above the surrounding trails.
There are a number of designated bike trails through the west side of the L:ac du Bois Road (the Barren Hills), established by the Kamloops Bike Riders Association in cooperation with B.C. Parks (kudos to both). A bonus is a new gate blocking vehicle access to the area (much appreciated by the self-propelled outdoors community). These are very nice tracks for hiking and biking from late February through December.