We hike a number of different routes to the top of Mount Mara. The most frequently hiked are up the front side through the canyon and then up the gully (article) or around the west side on the old double track to the west end of Pruden Pass, then up the double track to the top. A favorite route, though, is to come up from the northeast side from the Lac du Bois Road, then we park at the end of the Pruden Pass Road. There is a gate there but it is still within the Provincial Park. Close the gate in respect for the grazing leases in the area. From there, we angle up the hill working our way to an obvious open benchland.
This pasture was the Damgaard Homestead Quarter from 1912 – 1919. Some building remains still stand on the west side of the seasonal pond.
From the south end of the pasture land we climbed the forested (Douglas fir) open slopes following a single track used by horses, hikers, mountain bikers, deer, and cattle.
We crested the hill and enjoyed viewpoints over to the Tranquille River Canyon and beyond to Kamloops Lake.
We always try to have lunch and enjoy the view on the front side of the mountain. We had planned a Canada 150 celebration on top, complete with a flag, a cake, and a round of “O’ Canada.”
The riverlands below were still flooded below in Tranquillle Bay.
The Lac du Bois Grasslands and the Batchelor Hills lay below us on the east side.
There are two summits of Mount Mara. The east peak is 1 km away and requires a drop into a gully, then a trail-less route up the steep slopes to the highest point of Mount Mara.
In all, we had 67 people on top of Mount Mara for our Canada 150 event. We had fine weather and an enthusiastic group.
Although we hike the NE route to Mount Mara most years, we often work our way to the top from other routes too. Doing this hike every for almost 40 years, we have been to the top more than 50 times. We will be back.