In our previous post, I mentioned that Liddy and I were traveling north into British Columbia in search of fall foliage, specifically Aspens. Well, we did find them. Lots of them. And they were fabulous!

Monck Provincial Park

After leaving the Othello Tunnels, we continued north on Highway 5 to Merritt where we grabbed a bite to eat before going up to Monck Provincial Park on Nicola Lake.

Turns out the park was closed for the season. The entrance was all locked up. Darn! As I was pondering what to do next, a couple of cars drove up out of the park. It was the park host and crew who were just finishing up some work as they were putting the park away for the winter.

We chatted a bit and I explained what I was up to. That I had lived in Kamloops years ago. That I used to visit Merritt frequently in my past life. We had things in common as one of the crew used to work at the sawmill where I worked. It was suggested that, as we were sleeping in the Prius, that we just stay where we were already parked. So we did.

Nicola Ranch

In the morning, we headed south, back towards Merritt. At the south end of Nicola Lake, there is Nicola Ranch. The ranch has been here for over a century. Some of the outbuildings look it.

Aspen Grove

From Merritt, we drove east on highway 97c, then south to Aspen Grove on 5a. The village lives up to its name. The area is well stocked with Aspens, and they were if full fall foliage. These shots were captured just off the road.

I particularly enjoyed the red-tailed hawk as it was cruising around the lake and overhead.

Otter Creek Road

Just south of Aspen Grove, we left the paved surface of Highway 5a for the unsurfaced backroad that follows Otter Creek south to Otter Lake.

There are a number of abandoned barns and outbuildings along the road that provided photo opportunities.


Years ago – I mean many years ago – my dad was working on a project at a sawmill in Merritt. As a family, we came up from Vancouver to Otter Lake Provincial Park and camped. I still remember swimming in the crystal clear waters of the lake. Like Monck, Otter Lake Park was closed for the season.

From Otter Lake, Liddy and I continued south through the town of Tulameen and Coalmont. The Tulameen River cuts through this canyon just before joining the Similkameen River in Princeton. A spectacular view here, I think.

Mule Deer

Princeton is a small town that supports a copper mine and a sawmill. Highway 5a joins Highway 3, the southern Trans Canada Highway, here. It being hunting season, and animals being way smarter than we give them credit, this buck, and his harem were feeding by the road on the way into town.

No hunting in town.

We arrived in Princeton late in the afternoon, so we had a quick coffee and drove up to Otter Lake for the night. A full day with a lot of quality images I think.

In my next post, I will have a Google map showing our route and some thoughts for next year. I will also tell you about the best place to stay on a photo safari here.

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