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Parent Area: BC Interior Plateau
Area: 2123 sq km.
Location: This range is found east of Lillooet and south of Marble Canyon. Its southern boundary is the Thompson River and its northeastern boundary is Oregon Jack Creek; north of that is called the Cornwall Hills, but it is part of the same general landform. A small southern section of the Clear Range is separately named the Scarped Range, owing to its slide-eroded face above the Thompson just east of Lytton.
Terrain: The Clear Range (here defined as including Fountain Ridge and Peak, which is technically not entirely accurate) is a range of limestone peaks found east of and bounding the Fraser River in the vicinity of Lillooet, Lytton and Spences Bridge. Technically, it is part of the Interior Plateau, not the Cascades or Coast Mountains. The range tends to be gentle, with rubbly uplands and rocky peaks, flower meadows, and dry, interior range forests with grassland and wetlands in the valley bottoms. There is a strong north-south orientation to western half of the range, and the western scarp falls steeply over 1500m to the Fraser River canyon. The southwestern part of the range (west of Spences Bridge) is a maze of interconnecting valleys and high plateaus. Biogeographically, the area is transitional between the Thompson Plateau, Chilcotin-Cariboo, and Coast Mountains, and has features of each of these areas.
History: The area has always been used by native peoples and there are still reserves today in Fountain Valley, Hat Creek, and at Pavilion and Lillooet. The non-native inhabitants are mainly small ranch holders.
The mountaineering history of the area is largely unrecorded, although in big-game hunting history the Spences Bridge area was heavily explored in the late 1800s. The area is briefly described in the 1974 Culbert guide, and ignored in the Fairley guide. Like the adjacent Cornwall Hills, this is a nice place for off-trail hiking and scrambling in beautiful dry forest. There are a couple of winter waterfalls in the area, and undoubtedly more hidden away. Cave networks are possibly developed, but few have been explored to any great degree, and none are expected to be spectacular as the area is too dry for karst landform development.
Recently, proposals to develop coal and natural gas reserves in the northwestern part of the Hat Creek valley, have united local natives and ranchers in opposition. It would be unpleasant to see this beautiful, timeless place defaced by gas pipelines and open pit mines. Most of the southern range has been extensively clearcut; the side benefit to that (such as it is) is that many high plateau in the area are now road-accessible, notably such locations as Lookout Point and White Mountain.