This time I was looking to visit the "Keremeos Columns Provincial Park". To reach this place you have to drive north on highway 3A from Keremeos and, at the Keremeos Cemetery (Approx. 4 km along) turn right onto Liddicote Road. The gate at the end of the road is access to private property, Permission MUST be obtained in order to go beyond this point. Ask permission from the owners (at the last house at the end of the pavement) or call Wilson Clifton 250-499-5638 or Brad Clifton 250-499-5180
Juan, welcome to the ranch
For some reason I passed Liddicote Road and I ended on a private ranch. For the look of the cows I realized this wasn't the place to start my hike. The bull was not very friendly
Horses are prominent in Keremeos, with Quarter Horses, Arabians, Appaloosas and Paints just to name a few.
Dude, you are in private property
Finally I was "rescued" by one of the owners who show me the right place to start my hike. Actually I wasn't that far. After turning on the Keremeos Cemetery I drove about half a mile to a gate, from where a very step road was winding up the slopes.
At around 2 kms there is a nice viewpoint where you can see the town of Keremeos nestled peacefully in the shadow of K Mountain on the banks of the Similkameen River.
Keremeos derives its name from the Indian word keremeyeus, meaning "creek which cuts its way through the flats" or "where the valleys meet"
I keep hiking through sagebrush country, I love the contrast between the desert climate and the hills sorrounded by trees.
After maybe 4 kilometres I arrived to a junction. On the left there is another hour before reaching the Columns but I decided to make two-hikes-in-one and I went right. Be warned, you are going to find cattle on the road
I am not used to see cows starring at me and I was a little bit nervous specially when some of them were doing funny noises with their noses and were coming at me -- maybe my red backpack has something to do? --.
During my hike I saw deers, I was crossing my fingers to see Big Horn Sheep and Mountain Goats. Rare in other parts of North America, they still thrive in the diverse landscape habitats that range from sagebrush meadowns and wetlands to alpine wilderness that this place is able to offer.
At around 9 kms I decided to end the first part of my hike. I sat down on a nice viewpoint to have my lunch (usually water, one chocolate bar and one orange). From there I was looking to the "creek which cuts its way through the flats"
Keremeos is known as one of the best places in British Columbia to buy fruit and vegetables from the many fruit stands lining the routes in and out of town or directly from the farm. All sorts of soft fruits and vegetables are grown in the South Similkameen's warm climate and vineyards and wineries are quickly being added as the Valley's superior wine-growing potential is being recognized.
My hike was finished with a visit to the Keremeos Columns. The Keremeos Columns are tall columns of basalt resulting from Volcanic activity, some 30 million years ago.
This spectacular sight is 30-meters high and forms a 100-meter-wide cliff, with more or less regular fractures of basalt (a dark, tough, heavy volcanic rock) which followed further cooling of the already-crystallized liquid lava, just like mud cracks after a puddle has dried.
These volcanic monuments of slowly cooled lava, with the characteristic vertically-hexagonal columnar jointing of basalt, loom out of the surrounding forest. This is the same geological phenomenon that has formed the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland and the Devil's Tower in Wyoming.
Rocks are continually breaking off and falling from the steep walls. Rarely do entire columns fall, but on remote occasions, they do. Piles of rubble - broken columns, boulders, small rocks, and stones - lie at the base of the Columns, indicating that it was, at some time in the past, larger than it is today.
1. Elev: 498m N49'13.957" W119'48.982" Gate - Start of the hike
2. Elev: 713m N49'13.502" W119'48.545" Gates & Microwave Tower 2 km
4. Elev: 1072m N49'13.487" W119'46.911" Gate Around 6 km
5. Elev: 1219m N49'13.389" W119'45.779" Viewpoint Around 9.2km
To Keremeos Columns
3. Elev: 938m N49'13.979" W119'47.740" Junction towards Columns Around 4 km
6. Elev: 1069m N49'14.393" W119'47.582" Gate Around 5 km
7. Elev: 1190m N49'14.728" W119'47.360" End of Road 5.2km or 6.5km
Total Round Trip: 23 km (14.38 miles)
Total ascent: 972 m (3188 ft)
Round trip: 704 kms (440 miles)