Chuwhels Mountain

June 28, 2021


Kamloops, BC

Chuwhels Mtn. is the highest summit on the large plateau between Kamloops and Logan Lake and boasts over 700 m prominence. There are service roads criss-crossing all flanks and with a 4×4, high clearance vehicle one can literally drive to the very top, although the last few kilometers are steep and rough. The most obvious road starts from Lac Le Jeune area. I spontaneously decided on this objective after finishing Promontory Hills in the AM. The weather’s going to be ridiculously hot but this is a taller summit that also doesn’t require a lot of walking (if any), so I figured that it couldn’t be too bad. This peak’s on the way to my destination (Kamloops) anyway.

I followed the Google Map direction turning off Coquihalla Highway Lac Le Jeune but then turned west and crossed the highway underneath. The next few kilometers towards Lodgepole Lake Rec. Site was in an excellent shape but after turning right at a critical junction (easy to miss) the road had certainly become deactivated. There were lots of steep and rocky stretches that a 4WD vehicle with good tires is a must. I managed to crawl an additional kilometer or two after the road’s turning bad and parked at a convenient turn-around spot.

Chuwhels Mountain drive-up route. GPX DL

At this point I had done most of the elevation gain in the truck and what’s left was just an easy stroll for roughly 2.5 km to the summit. I could have totally driven further but I wanted to walk at least a little bit to “earn” this summit by non-mechanised means. I walked passed some large and flat meadows area that I fully expected to encounter a bear but ended up not able to see any. The rest of the walk to the summit was rather boring but the summit itself offered decent views. The day’s hot but I felt the heat was manageable at this altitude with some light breeze. I lingered on the summit for over half an hour recollecting my thoughts about what’s next.

Driving passed Lodgepole Lake
My truck parked about 2.5 km from the summit
Not much views but flowers to see
This large meadows is probably the most interesting to see on this hike
Plodding up open FSR in 35+ degrees heat wasn’t fun…
Bluffs near the summit.
Summit Panorama from Chuwhels Mountain. Click to view large size.
This is zooming-in towards Kamloops area
Greenstone Mountain to the NW is another drive-up
Me on the summit of Chuwhels Mountain
Another photo of me on Chuwhels Mtn. doing Instagram thing..

I had trouble making decisions about the next objective(s) but the top priority right now was to drive into Kamloops for a proper lunch in a restaurant, given the time of the day. I also researched the possibility of an early check-in for some cheap motels but to no avail. I decided to have lunch first and decide from there, so plodded back to the truck and carefully drove down the rough roads back onto Coquihalla Highway.

Back to my truck now near noon
I stopped at Lodgepole Lake for another photo on the descent

I turned onto the highway and 15 minutes later I was in Kamloops. My go-to restaurant is Moon Wok for both the price and the amount of the food they provide. An hour later I decided to just show up in a motel and test my luck about an early check-in. The temperature in the city was approaching 45 degrees at this point and I was not looking forward to kill time by doing another hike. It turned out that the luck’s on my side and by 1:30 pm I managed to get a room with air conditioning. I actually managed to take a solid nap but at 6 PM I got bored again and decided to go out and grab another peak or two.