UPDATE: Closed until further notice as government of B.C. considers conservation management plan update. (as of Nov 2012).
The trail is not the reward here; it's the view from beneath of the most amazing pinnacles and rock formations and fossil beds just off Hwy 1 between Cache Creek and Kamloops.
The first time I drove this way some years ago, I noticed the pinnacles and the "Utah" like desert geography. I didn't visit, but I stopped to take a picture of the cliffs, not knowing about the fossil beds. I was loving the change of scenery, and this gave me that "Arizona" feeling. The area around Cache Creek has much more in common with Arizona or Utah than coastal B.C. One is desert, one is rainforest, but only five hours drive apart
This time around, I followed a sign alerting the public to safety, access, and that fossil hunting is allowed. The sign is not visible from the highway; you have to ascend to the open gate area. Here at the fossil beds, you will be treated to hoodoos and pinnacles or red rock and shale. You'll see cactus along the way (not Arizonian cactus, but 3 to 4 inch high prickly pear cactus).
The walk up is steep and the sun is hot, so be prepared--but it's only a kilometer or so, and the view back down to your parking area is very rewarding.
Access is a bit tricky, you have to know where to stop along the highway, then carefully pull into the gated area, unhook the gate, and park just on the inside, remembering to close the gate. As to where to stop, see the directions below.
There is GPS data attached to this trail (see "download GPS"), which if loaded into your GPS can help you find route points.
Driving East from Cache Creek to Kamloops roughly 15 km, and perhaps 5 km or so from "Deadman's River" (or bend--you'll see a sign on the highway), you will see some noticeable pinnacles jutting out from the cliffs on the left hand side of the road, up 500m or so from the highway. Follow the double-track road up to the cliffs; it gets steep, and here you will see a sign with more information. It’s best to hike from the valley below.
The exact position is marked by the GPS waypoint attached. You'll know you are in the right area because it is the most prominent set of pinnacles along the way, WAYPOINT is: WGS84 10U 631062.4 5628487.8. It's also just before Juniper Beach Provincial Park.
There are jeep roads leading up either side of the pinnacles (e.g. Battle Creek), with no doubt lots of interesting terrain to explore above.
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Posted By: jbswake
- Mon Aug 02 15:17:15 EDT 2010
UpsideThere is a gravel road to get to the top. No scrambling up the scree slope.
DownsideSign at bottom reads: This is an active mining claim and BC government Fossil Reserve. Guided tours only. Trespassers will be prosecuted. You need permission to be there.
CommentDue to government activity and the scientific community's concerns, you can only go there when it is open. People who want to walk the road to take a picture from the top are welcome. However, there is a fee to dig fossils there and there is no trail among the hoodoos. You can not go into them out of respect for the Bonaparte Nation in Cache Creek. You have to stay on the road.
Posted By: ceed51
- Mon Mar 30 22:43:51 EDT 2009
Upsideclose to the road, and you cant miss it when u drive by on the highway, just look for the sign.
Downsidesteep, and the shale brakes really easy
Commentits a fun activity for the family to do easy to find fossil, mostly of leaves etc
Posted By: bigbadbarry
- Mon Jun 27 01:39:24 EDT 2005
UpsideFantastic fossil Bed, they are lying everywhere. The Hodoos are really somthing else, worth seeing!
DownsideThis is now a private mineral clain by appointment only exept in July and August when you can "Drop In" No hiking!
CommentIf you like fossils and hunting them, this is your spot. My wife and I dug for hours on June 17/05 and we found Hundreds of plant fossils and one Bee!Lots of chances to find fish or insects!Easy to find,call Dave Langevin at 250-374-7164 or E-Mail DaveL@sageserve.com the fossil beds are now known as the Mcabee Fossil Beds, search for it on the internet, you will not be sorry! P.S. the river is the Thompson, not the Fraser!
Posted By: spry-guy
- Tue Aug 03 19:56:05 EDT 2004
UpsideGorgeous rock formations to see.Lots of scrambling opportunities.
DownsidePath is tough to find;once found, not so great.Slopes are very steep and brutal shale.
CommentPath is not great; recommend walking up road to the left then ascending slopes for the view of the Fraser Canyon and River.Breathtaking.