The Red Plateau Forest Service Road bears west from the Red Lake Road and climbs onto the top of the forested Red Plateau. Much of the east end is within Lac du Bois Grasslands Provincial Protected Area, but the western end is Crown land, heavily logged and criss-crossed with side roads, skid roads, and decommissioned roads. Red Plateau has a number of recreational opportunities, but it is a complex area, easy to get lost in the forest. We have hiked there many times so we know the connecting double tracks and single tracks. On a day in late summer, we hiked across double tracks to the Dewdrop trail, then scrambled to the top of Castle Butte.
The first part of the hike is all in the forest on old roads. Once we reach the Dewdrop Trail we are on the edge of the Dewdrop Escarpment and we have views of the Dewdrop Range, 2000 feet below. The final section of the the hike to Castle Butte is off-trail to the cliffs just below our destination. From there it is a Class 2 Scramble to the end of the route, on top of a rocky butte with a large drop-off all the way down the escarpment.
From the top of Castle Butte, there are fine views both ways to the upper end of the escarpment. This is the edge of the lava flow and reddish rock colors all the cliffs.
- park and start hiking at N50 46.857 W120 34.363
- arrive at the volcanic vent/depression in a clearing
- turn right onto the double track – N50 46.439 W120 34.054
- stay on the double track until you see a BC Parks sign where you turn left at N50 46.555 W120 34.702
- merge with the Dewdrop Trail at N50 46.326 W120 34.877
- stay on the trail bearing west and continuing along the Escarpment Rim to N50 46.333 W120 35.153
- bear left, following the ridge downhill to the base of Castle Butte
- angle around a ledge on the left side, staying close to the cliffs
- ascend the ledges on a Class 2 Scramble to the top for a short distance
- continue south to the end of the summit ridge of Castle Butte
- return by the same route, noting each turn