The old double track that starts just across the tracks near Tranquille is the old wagon road to the homesteads near Pruden Pass. The road is rough now, climbing from the Tranquille – Criss Creek Road to Pruden Pass between Mara Mountain and Wheeler Mountain. There is a gate blocking private property in the pass, but rougher-yet side roads go up Wheeler or Mara. The road is used more by hikers and mountain bikers today since it is within Lac du Bois Grasslands Provincial Park. We used it as a corridor to get to the edge of Tranquille Canyon. Side tracks angle out to the rim of the benchland overlooking the river. It is a 150m steep drop down to the river in a very rugged area locally known as the Guardsmen There are 3 tall rock pillars at this spot, reminding us a little bit of the Gates of Argonath on the Anduin River (link). There are a couple of faint paths down to the river and some of the route is a scramble.
The hike on the gravel double track is 3 km. A side track gently then descends for 1 km to the brink and from there it is straight down. We can look back at the Tranquille River deep in the gorge below.
From the brink we can also look at the canyon upstream from the Guardsmen. I have scrambled 1.5 km up the canyon to the slot canyons. This is a challenging route best done in the fall when the river is not full. Expect to get wet feet on this slow traverse if you try it.
The river runs through the Guardsmen area and in fall there were some dry large boulders to sit on while we had lunch. From the river we followed a gully to the east with a faint track winding up to the benchland. Back on the double track, we turned cross counttry to traverse to a promontory overlooking the canyon which we call Panorama Point. Looking south we could see the panorama of hills and ridges on both sides of the river as it drains down to Kamloops Lake.
We angled under a large set of volcanic cliffs we cal Moby Dick and enjoyed the views from the top of those bluffs before turning south. On the west was the ridge leading up to the Pimple with Jag Hill behind.