As spring pushes into summer we always try our best to get out for the low lying hikes before the weather gets too hot. We decided again to hit the trails with our neighbour Bruce. He is always a good sport and puts up with our crazy antics and our two littles bounding around. This time around we chose to venture out to the Rimrocks just east of Vernon and up the King Edward Forest Service Road (FSR). To most Vernon residents this is where you go when you want to burn pallets and old couches at bush parties, or blaze around on your dirt bikes and side-by-sides through the bush. But to us, this is a great family outing with a short hike to some remarkable geological features of ancient lava formations.
As you head up King Edward FSR you continue straight around the 4km mark rather than making the tight switchback to the right. There is a yellow sign reading Brenner Road that you continue onto. Another couple kms and you will see a wide part on the down hill side of the road just after a clear cut forest area with a sign on the ground for The Rimrocks trail head. You walk through a couple road deactivation ditches for 1200m or so before you come across an old Suburban wagon in the right hand ditch and a cattle guard. This is a fairly mosquito filled area so use this information as you please. From here you climb a bit more and sweep to the left before the trail turns into a couple single tracks heading in opposite directions. Take the left path and you will be led across the top cliff section of the rimrocks. There are numerous view points of the Coldstream and Lavington valley below with amazing views of Bluenose Mountain, The Camels hump and the Monashee Mountains far in the distance.
We walked out onto a small spire for a relaxing lunch spot and to enjoy the surroundings. As good as it is from up here, heading to the base of the Rimrocks is a must do. There is one location that has a steep descent down a dusty gravel shoot with a funny little rope attached that can take you there. It is not a long pitch up two thirds of the way down on your left you see a rock chasm. You can take a short meander inside its narrow walls and even spider crawl your way further if you are being adventurous. At this point we had the girls on our backs so we chose to keep our feet on the ground.
The final third of the descent has you crossing through a rock pass through and out the other side to the bottom on the valley.
Once at the base of the cliff this is where the area really starts to shine. The cliff face itself is made of large black boulders globed together to form the edge. As you walk around you can’t help but loose your rooting on all the pieces that have broken off and collected over the mellennia. As you look around you feel like you are in another world as spires climb into the sky with reds, oranges and greens display the iron composition of the walls.
As we turned our back to the cliff and made our way back to the truck we decided to make our own way out rather than climbing back up to the top. This was not the most time effective decision as there was no clear indication of a trail. We managed to get off the rock borders and make it to the trees. From here we came across a private property fence line that respectfully advises you to stay off their land. We chose to do so and follow the fence line to the left. This led up through some bushes, trees and scrubs before making a hard 90 and into some swamp land filled with skunk cabbage and a remarkably high amount of frogs. Somehow making it out with dry feet and no frog casualties we were back onto the FSR for a short 2 minute jaunt down hill and back to the truck.
The full loop was 4.6km with a couple hundred meter elevation change and we enjoy around 3 hours of the area including all breaks, explorations and the girls leading the way at times. We have been here a few times in the past including a winter snowshoe trek and this area has never let us down yet.