Mara Mountain Cliffs South

Mara Mountain Cliffs South near Kamloops, BC

This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars
15 kms
Hiking, Mountain Biking
Spring, Fall, Summer
Kamloops, BC
User trailpeak

Note: from Trailpeak Regional Trail Editor (BC): Due to the comments and confusion concerning this listing, on Aug 31/2013, I hiked the Cliff South route creating a new GPS track, pictures and have edited the listing to conform to the possibilities of this route. There will be two (2) listing for the Mara Mountain(s). What I would determine as South, uses the Mara Trail or road to the summit and is accessed from Tranquille Rd. This route will be listed as Mara Mountain Cliffs South. The other will be labeled as Mara Mountain Summit East and will be the route from the Bachelor Heights side of Lac du Bois. I have hiked and marked the East trail with Orange ribbon, as the trail is very sketchy. I was unable to find a route across the deep ravine between the Cliffs and the East side suitable for bikes.

The road to the left side of the dried up pond from the South side and the East side road are signed with “No Trespassing” signs. Parks have confirmed that the sign on the “South was erected by a private person and the East was Grandfathered from 1996 before the Park existed. The actual private property on the East side, doesn’t start for 600m up the road. The East trail will start just to the left of the gate. Having said that, I encourage all persons to use caution when using the routes crossing these roads. Trailpeak assumes no liability for anyone accessing this area and each person should confirm their rights with BC Parks and the BC Forest Service.

Mara Mountain Cliffs South is both a hike and a extreme mountain bike ride. The route to the summit is a constant climb and in a lot of places, very steep and only an experienced biker should attempt it. Hikers will get a workout, but there is a view from the cliffs that go 100km in any direction, on a clear day. Mara Mountain Cliffs South is all desert at low-levels, treating visitors to cactus, sage, sunbaked rock and on occasion, snake(s). As you climb, you enter into a Ponderosa forest, and while still dry, the vegetation shifts from cactus and sage to forest and 'grassland'. Mara Mountain is part of the Lac Du Bois protected grassland area, but down at river level it is baking desert.


From Kamloops, travel out Tranquille Rd towards the Airport. Just past the Airport entrance, measure 5.8km from the intersection of Tranquille and Ord Rd. Just across the tracks, the hike itself begins on the right. You may either take the trail to the right or the road to the left. For the purpose of the GPS track, I have taken the trail going up and the road back down.

If you are taking the trail, continue up until it meets the road then go right up the road. If you are taking the road, just continue on. After a fair hike/ride, you will come to a large dried up pond. The road to the left is posted and closed. To the right, the road continues up a steep hill. Follow this road to the summit. The road does stay very steep to the summit. When I crested the summit, I was greeted by a loud “CRASH” in the trees to the side of the trail. Well, the bear spray was out right away! But, I wanted to log the whole route so I continued and once I got around the trees a bit, I discovered about 8 Mountain Sheep (sheep not goats) and they were crashing into each other like they do. Just before the cliffs, the same thing happened and I saw a good dozen more sheep. They generally ignored me except for moving off the trail a bit. Very beautiful animals and more impressive than the goats we see everywhere. On the road going back, I happened on a rattlesnake about 16” and maybe 4 years old. All good things to watch for, but add to the experience.

My stats:
Total time: 3:42
Moving time: 3:13
Average pace: 4.1km/h
Total ascent: 679m (2228ft)

Please check the bottom of the Description (above left; click) for the author's written directions.

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By cgateyPosted By: cgatey  - Sun Oct 02 02:51:36 UTC 2016 This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars Upside Great views on the way up and at the top. Downside Steep sections over the upper third. Not for the faint of heart. Comment Great workout, and great views. Would be even more spectacular on a completely clear day.
By josepiiamPosted By: josepiiam  - Tue Aug 27 02:00:03 UTC 2013 Not Rated Upside Beautiful ride up to the base of Mara. Nice little climb. Downside The directions on this site description, as well as in an old Mountain Bike Guide I have are both completely inaccurate. I see a few commenters did what I did and rode about 7Km to a dried up lake, then had to hoof their bike up the side of the mountain! The cement barrier is actually at the 3km mark. I followed this today and made it about 1km before losing the trail. I am determined to eventually flag this trail all the way to the summit! Also, if you do venture past the dired up lake BEWARE! There is a guy there who is VERY serious about his no tresspassing signs. He will let his dogs go on you. So if you make it to that point, you have no choice but to turn around and go back. Comment I suspect the trail from the cement barrier to the summit of Mt. Mara is rarely if ever used, as it is very overgrown and quite a bit of blowdown lying all across the trial. It would be nice if it could get cleared and ribboned off. I am going to give it a try over the next few months.
By JdogjoelPosted By: Jdogjoel  - Tue Apr 13 22:27:02 UTC 2010 This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars Upside Amazing view, amazing workout Downside Took the wrong way on bikes and did a lot of pushin up, and down. Comment I really enjoyed taking the bikes up mara, but we must have done something wrong as we continued up the dirt road and finally turned right beside a dried up lake. We had to push our bikes from the lake up. On the way down we stay right and ended up on a vicious steep, unstable decline that was really ugly. I hope someone can point me to the single track because the view at the top is so worth it! let me know where to go and I will give it another shot for sure, but I will refuse to take my hard tail bike down that chute!
By JdogjoelPosted By: Jdogjoel  - Tue Apr 13 22:11:07 UTC 2010 Not Rated Question Hi, I took this mountain bike climb for a go, and it was a tough climb, and I think we missed the single track turn off on the climb because we ended up near a dried up lake and pushed our way up the 4X4 road to the summit.

on the way down we followed what seemed to be the single track down, went down a steep section and then hit an immediate fork...we "stayed right" but didnt find any "super rolling hills" but just a vicious steep gulley decent that we really struggled to make it down safely walking our bikes...

Where do you go for the single track up and down??

Great views, but not very fun carrying the bikes down the steep loose rock!

By geogal76Posted By: geogal76  - Wed May 13 20:48:01 UTC 2009 Not Rated Question Hi, I am hoping someone can help me... I just attempted to head up to Mt Mara. I parked at the parking spot and headed on the trail to the right. I followed this trail until the single track ended and it turned into more of a road. I saw 2 signs along the way with arrows pointing to "Mt Mara" .... at the first sign I stayed to the right, at the second sign (which was at the crossing of the road) I followed the trail to where I believed it to be pointing to the trail that crosses the road. I think I lost the trail after that because that trail ended at the top of a small plateau about 600 M later which was right above the sanitarium. Can someone please tell me if I should have gotten off the 'trail' and followed the 'road' up and to the right. Thanks a lot! Oh... I reset my GPS from the top of where I was it was only 2.7 kms down the same trail I came up backtracking... and only took about an hour or so to get there, 45 mins to get down.

ANSWERS are in this forum:  lost the trail....
By LostCargoPosted By: LostCargo  - Mon May 11 17:39:50 UTC 2009 This trail was given a rating of 3 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 3 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 3 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 3 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 3 out of 5 stars Upside Awesome Views, this is possibly the best viewing platform in all of kamloops area. Relatively easy hike, except for the last part which can be a bit of a slog. Lots of agate(clear stone) at the top due to lots of old lava. Downside Hot, bring lots of water. This is not a hike for someone venturing out with less than a liter. And bring a hat and sunscreen, as with most hikes in kamloops this can be somehwat exposed for a fair amount of it, and very little shade. Comment 7.38km one way walking, takes about 2-2.5hours to the top of mara, and about 1.5 hours down.
By jennaPosted By: jenna  - Sun Oct 28 01:25:40 UTC 2007 Not Rated Upside pretty, secluded area Downside hot, cacti Comment i love this hike. it is peaceful and enjoyable. a bit tough at times because of the uphill.. but that's with any hike really.. and so worth it. bring lots of water and good footwear. after about an hour there's a nice little meadow area that always has tons of butterflies in the summer.. it's pretty!

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