Tackling the Basalt Bluffs Trail

Sometimes, the craziest ideas turn into the best ones ever. Take for example, today’s adventure with the family. We had celebrated New Year’s Eve at the house of a good friend…and lo and behold, we finally made it to midnight! That meant arriving home late and getting the kids to bed at almost 1am. **Turns out that it IS true…no matter how late the kids go to bed…they are bound to wake up at the same time no matter what!**

So on New Year’s Day, even though the kids were operating on a sleep deficit, my husband actually suggested that we head up to Stake Lake for a snowshoe. Not only did he suggest a snowshoe, but that we would actually try the Basalt Bluffs trail, which we had never attempted before and weren’t even sure if the kids could handle it.

However, it turned out to be an awesome experience! Basically, no whining and only smiles at the end of our adventure.

The trail:

We started off at the Lodge and headed straight onto the Lake Trail (A on the map, be sure to get one at the booth!) The Lake trail is a loop and therefore you could start it in either direction. We chose the shorter distance. Our goal was to get do that little bit of the Marsh Trail (C) that connects to the Basalt Bluffs trail (D).

Once on the Marsh trail,  we turned right onto the Basalt Bluffs trail (D) and then snowshoed that trail in the counter-clockwise direction until we arrived back at the Marsh trail and then back to the Lake trail to return to the parking lot.

Things to see:

We made several stops with the kids to check out the animal tracks. Numerous discussions ensued with plenty of opinions as to which animals the tracks actually belonged to!

About three quarters of the way along the Basalt  Bluffs trail, we came to a neat geological feature – the basalt bluffs! We could view the partially snow covered bluffs to the right of us but I believe that we were actually snowshoeing right on top of the bottom part of it, too.

The Basalt Bluffs to the right of the snowshoe trail.


The trail gently meanders in and out of forest and is relatively flat for the most part, except for two steeper sections.  The one difficult spot is right after the Basalt Bluffs, with a fairly steep descent which may be difficult for beginner snowshoers or really young children. Just remember to get your weight on your heels and make sure your knees are slightly bent. Also, use poles if you have them.

Slightly steep section just after the Basalt Bluffs.

Be Prepared!

Make sure that your family is properly dressed for the conditions! We recommend layers as the temperature could change while you are out exploring. It was cold when we first started out…but had warmed up by about 8 degrees and we were all sweating by the time we got back to the parking lot. Make sure to carry a backpack loaded with snacks, water, a first aid kit and a fully charged cell phone as there is cell phone coverage at Stake Lake.

How to get there:

To get to Stake Lake from Kamloops, take exit 366 and follow Lac Le Jeune Road south for about 22 km. Snowshoes can be rented from either the Overlander Ski Club or Runner’s Sole in Kamloops, BC.

Leave a comment below – have you snowshoed with your family at Stake Lake?

Jodi is originally from Montréal, Quebec but spent a few years in Northern New Brunswick after graduating from University. She moved to Kamloops in the Spring of 2010 with her family and works as an educational assistant. Her 7 and 8 year old keep her really busy as they love exploring the area and enjoying what Kamloops has to offer!

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