In 1989, the year after BCHBC founder Jim McCrae completed his solo pack trip along the Pacific Coast Trail from Mexico to BC, the idea of Back Country Horsemen of BC was beginning to take shape. The core group of founders travelled extensively around the province promoting Back Country Horsemen and encouraged recreational riders to form chapters and become part of the growing movement to give themselves a larger voice in accessing BC’s recreational lands. In 1991, after several packing clinics held at The Ranch in Pritchard, BC, local attendees got together and applied for BCHBC membership as the Kamloops Chapter.
Enthusiasm was high and almost immediately plans to develop an equestrian campsite were discussed and a pack trip to the site organized and carried out. Over the years many pack trips, events and projects have been offered. Rendezvous, our annual gathering, was always a big draw wherever it was held – primitive accommodations or not!
But at the forefront has always been the desire to improve or develop opportunities for all equestrians to enjoy trail riding in the Kamloops area. That was how we became linked with Tunkwa-Leighton Lakes Provincial Park, Scuitto Lake Recreation Site and the development of their equestrian campsites.
From roughly Chase in the east to Savona in the west, from the Jamieson Creek/McLure area in the north to Falkland in the south, our chapter area covers some of the most beautiful grasslands, hills and historical trails to ride on. In the mid 19th century, the HBC Brigade Trails converged at Fort Kamloops as goods were moved from Hope to Princeton then north to Fort Kamloops or from Hope northwards, paralleling the Fraser Canyon to roughly Cache creek, where they turned eastward along the north side of Kamloops lake to Fort Kamloops. This tradition of the trails, still seen today in the spirit of ranches and the western way of life, remains strong in the Kamloops area.
We, the Kamloops chapter, consisting of around 25-30 members including a few juniors, are proud to carry on this heritage of following the trail.
We enjoy camping with our horses either in the rough, or from the comfort of our rigs, enjoying each other’s company while exploring the many trail systems existing in an area that can provide a lifetime of adventure. But that pleasure does come at the cost of maintaining them! So work bees involving trail maintenance, building or development are all activities that we become involved with.
The Education Program through BCHBC provides trail skills and safety awareness for all members.
We invite you to join up with us and get involved in the fun, the learning, the sharing and pleasure of riding forests and grasslands that are the highlights of riding in our area. Feel free to look us up on our Facebook page as well