Ashcroft Mesa – 010301
A “mesa” is a flat, elevated area of land, surrounded by cliff-like edges. The gullies that create large splits in the Ashcroft mesa are a result of water erosion over hundreds of thousands of years. Common ground-cover is prickly-pear cactus, large sage and juniper. These hills are home to Western Rattlesnakes, bull snakes, coyote and deer. The chucker, a type of quail, is a common sight in both the gullies and on the flats.
Many of the homes in “the Mesa” neighborhood of Ashcroft were built in the early 1970s, in order to house the workers who arrived in the area to build the new Lornex Mine in nearby Highland Valley. The mine became the largest copper mine in Canada, employing over six hundred men. This led to creation of the instant town of Logan Lake, 58 km from Ashcroft. Now Highland Valley Copper, the mine, remains a major employer in both Ashcroft and Logan Lake.
The view below the Mesa neighborhood is often likened to a “model railway town” and features the Thompson River and the Village of Ashcroft. From this vantage point, you can see the Canadian Pacific Rail lines on the near side of the river and the Canadian National Rail lines on the far side of the river. Looking to the south you can steal glimpses of black canyon, a sharp bend in the Thompson River that has eroded dark, coal rich cliffs. Enjoy the tranquil view over the ranchlands below and imagine the fields of produce and hay a hundred and fifty years ago. To the north, up river, you can view spectacular sand dunes, hoodoos and the majestic ‘slough.’ A variety of hikes are available in this area, pick up a hiking trails guide or just take a casual stroll to enjoy the views.
Once a major transportation hub serving the miners of the Gold Rush, Ashcroft is now a peaceful community of approximately sixteen hundred people. With enough amenities to be convenient and a relaxed atmosphere to retain its small town status, this community is a joy to visit. The economy is based on mining, forestry, ranching, transportation and tourism.