From the west side of Tranquille Creek an old double track winds up through the hills. After 0.8 km, the track veers left, but a series of ridges climbs north following the line of the canyon to the final viewpoint on a steep hill sometimes called “the Pimple,” but we prefer to call Tranquille Viewpoint. On the lower double track, an old split rail fence parallels the route.
The final destination is still 3km up and over a series of ridges.
Below lies Tranquille Canyon and Mount Mara to the east.
Many erosion features on both sides of the canyon makes the hike a scenic route.
Several sets of bones were spotted along the route, some agates were found, and some of the volcanic outcrops had air pockets and interesting shapes and cavities. This one looks like a rocky mask.
A few wind-shaped trees hang on to the slopes of the canyon.
The final approach to the top of the Tranquille Viewpoint is a steep route. The best choice is on the back side.
Tranquille Canyon becomes narrow and very rugged beyond this point below the slopes of Wheeler Mountain.
On the way back down, the western sagebrush slopes of Mara Mountain extend down to the creek.
We followed the steep double track down past the split rail fence.
The up-and-back-down route is a 6.5 km return hike with 1470m elevation gain. A very scenic route, but a demanding one too.