A Guide to BC’s North Cascade Mountains & Nicola Valley
By : Murphy Shewchuk.
Coquihalla Country covers a broad diamond-shaped part of British Columbia’s South Interior. In the southern portion, this region is dominated by the North Cascade Mountains, a land of jagged peaks and narrow canyons. To the north lies a lake-studded upland plateau, natural grasslands and wider valleys. In total, the region extends approximately 200 kilometres from Hope to Kamloops and 180 kilometres from Spences Bridge to Peachland, in the Okanagan Valley.
Coquihalla Country details the outdoor recreational opportunities opened up in the past decade by B.C.’s Coquihalla Highway 5, Phases I and II, and Okanagan Connector Highway 97C.
In the south, the Cascade Mountains attract mountain climbers, hikers, cyclists, snowmobilers and back country explorers. The former Kettle Valley Railway (KVR) cut through the Cascade Mountains via the Coquihalla Canyon and the Coldwater Valley. This route has become the focus of rails-to-trails enthusiasts as well as cyclists and back-country explorers. It is also being considered as part of the British Columbia section of the Trans Canada Trail. In the Nicola Valley and surrounding plateau country, many of the previously mentioned opportunities are there, but the emphasis shifts more to fishing, birdwatching and cross-country skiing. There are seasonal variations as well as the climate and geographical influences that shape the region. While the mountains to the south attract considerable rainfall, the lower reaches of the Nicola River border on being desert.
“It’s only through Murphy O. Shewchuk’s extensive personal knowledge of the region that he can write a guide filled with all sorts of truly useful information in a style that’s enjoyable to read.”
S. Paul Varga The Merritt Herald
In addition to kilometre by kilometre descriptions of the main routes, back roads and trails, the SECOND EDITION contains Global Positioning System (GPS) references to many of the points of interest. Of particular interest to birdwatchers is a special descriptive section by Rick Howie on Highway 5A between Merritt and Kamloops. Rick is a recognized expert in the field and the string of lakes and grassland hillsides along the highway are productive year around.
Four-colour cover, 51 b&w photos, 37 maps, index & bibliography. 224 pages, 6″ x 9″ format with a special lay-flat perfect-bound paperback binding. Originally published in November, 1990. Completely updated and expanded second edition published December, 1997
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