Kamloops, British Columbia Canada Visitor's Guide

Updated: Sep 28, 2020

Kamloops describes itself as Life Unscripted with various summer and winter activities perfect for a road trip layover or weekend getaway.

Kamloops is situated along the Trans Canada Highway and is often the halfway point for travellers experiencing the Rocky Mountains in Alberta and British Columbia.

Kamloops offers a rugged semi-arid landscape with a multitude of activities and destinations. Kamloops is a hiking and mountain biking mecca with an extensive trail network for year-round adventure. Paddle, kayak, or cast a line on one of Kamloops' 100+ fishing lakes.

In winter, carve into the snow of Sun Peaks or snowshoe along hundreds of miles of trail.

And if your adventure is a little more subdued, there is plenty of activities for families or those looking to unwind and relax.

Summer Activities in Kamloops

Kamloops Mountain Biking

Kamloops is renowned as a mountain biking paradise with its rugged landscape, rolling hills, and diverse bike trail systems. Riders of all levels can choose from cross-country trails to technical downhill, with the option to ride year-round. If you like skills testing and shuttling, ride along with The Kamloops Bike Ranch - Canada's largest municipal bike park.

Pineview Valley Trail Network This all-mountain area is home to 50km of trails through pine trees that range from green to black diamond and one double black diamond. Explore the wide array of cross-country climbs and fun, flowy descents. The grazing period has started and the cows are out on the pasture. Please be mindful as they move through this area. This network does cross onto private property, please be respectful of the KPCC's agreement with the private landowners and obey all posted seasonal trail closure signage.

Lac du Bois Protected Grasslands Whether you're new to mountain biking or an intermediate rider, Lac du Bois offers 20km of cross-country trails. Be rewarded with views of Kamloops and the Thompson Valley as you climb and descend through the sage-scented grasslands.​

Kenna Cartwright Park Home to over 40km of mountain bike trails, Kenna Cartwright Park is the largest municipal park in BC and provides fast, flowing trails through sagebrush and pine trees. As you ride the perimeter of the park, take in panoramic city views. Hint: It's a great evening ride as the sun is setting. 

Sun Peaks Resort

The Sun Peaks Bike Park offers up 2,000 feet of lift-access vertical with 40 distinct bike trails that range from flowing machine-made to full downhill. Two new features for 2019 include a 9km top-to-bottom green trail for anyone waiting to start lift-access downhill biking and a Bike Skills Park

Harper Mountain

Located just below Harper Mountain Ski Resort, this trail network is an all-mountain and downhill playground for intermediate and advanced riders. Pedal up the road climb or shuttle with friends and descend down 13 trails - including the iconic race run where the Canadian Enduro Series is held in June.

Kamloops Bike Ranch "The Ranch" is an iconic part of Kamloops' mountain bike scene with its diverse levels of trails, stadium lights, a jump park, and skills park. It has now evolved into a premier sporting venue that can host regional and national level racing events.

Kamloops Beaches & Swimming Activities

Riverside Park Beach

Located on the South Thompson River Downtown. With an easy walking distance from Downtown Kamloops, this park is the top spot in the summer and shoulder season for beach access and kid-friendly play time. The beach has marked swimming areas, lifeguards on duty*, playground, waterpark, outdoor kitchens**, tennis, lawn bowling, concession and in the summer months, it's the home of Music in the Park.

Pioneer Park Beach

On the South Thompson River, Pioneer Park is one of the only public beaches for your four-legged friend. Walking distance from downtown makes this beach super accessible and very popular in the summer months. Pioneer Park is equipped with change rooms, washrooms, picnic tables, and park benches. It's also a great beach for volleyball, football or fetch with Fido. This park also has a boat launch but very limited trailer parking.

Overlander Park Beach

On the North Shore where the North and South Thompson meet is Overlander Beach Park. This beach in the summer months is the largest beach in the Kamloops core. This beach is dog-friendly and perfect for the family. If you're into sports this \beach is also great for skim boarding, football, volleyball, soccer and more.

Bruker Marina Beach

Bruker Marina is complete with 110 boat slips, an observation deck, public boat launch, and beach area, a fuel dock, convenience store, and availability for various motor-sport rentals. 
The beach, boat launch, and play area are open to everyone, with a small fee of $15 per day for use of the boat ramp (includes parking) and $10 to park for single vehicles.

Paul Lake Beach

Paul Lake Provincial Park is nestled down the road from Harper Mountain. The park offers a popular day-use area with a beach, it's sure to be a great day at this popular destination.

Kamloops Hiking Trails

Kenna Cartwright Nature Park Kenna Cartwright Nature Park is the largest municipal park in British Columbia, covering almost 800 hectares of terrain. The park features over 40kms (25 miles) of trails of varying difficulties that are enjoyed by hikers, mountain bikers, walkers, families, and dogs. The park offers many breathtaking views of the Thompson Valley and Kamloops as well as several benches and picnic tables where you can catch your breath. Kenna Cartwright Park is delightful any time of the year, for any skill of hiker, and is off-leash dog-friendly.

Peterson Creek Nature Park Peterson Creek Nature Park is situated in the heart of the city along a natural creek corridor.  The park encompasses almost 100 hectares and features over 10km of trails. Trails vary in difficulty, largely influenced by elevation change, and offers trails for every skill level. Peterson Creek is widely used during the summer months, is off-leash dog-friendly, and features a remarkable view of the downtown core.

Valleyview Nature Park High above the silt bluffs of Valleyview, explore the trails of the Valleyview Nature Park as they wind through the fragrant desert sagebrush. A variety of trails allow you to discover the hidden beauty that awaits you in this small park. You might even catch a glimpse of mountain bikers tackling the Kamloops terrain in the Kamloops Bike Ranch next door.

Dallas-Barnhartvale Nature Park The Dallas-Barnhartvale Nature Park connects the Barnhartvale and Dallas communities through a series of trails through the grassland landscape. Take in views along the South Thompson River as you admire the silt cliffs below.

Embleton Mountain

En route to Sun Peaks Resort, Embleton Mountain trails climb to an incredible view of Heffley Lake. At nearly 9km, it’s a great trail to get your heart pumping and includes a gazebo and picnic table awaiting you at the summit. Be sure to stop and smell the flowers during the warmer months as this trail winds through fields of blooming alpine wildflowers.

Sun Peaks Resort

From July – September, explore the 18 designated hiking trails at Sun Peaks Resort. Choose from easy, sightseeing strolls to an awe-inspiring summit and a break at Tod Lake. An exciting time to visit is during the alpine blossom season, which occurs between mid-July to mid-August. Witness rolling alpine meadows in their kaleidoscope of wildflower brilliance while taking in the delightful aromas of the blooms.

Battle Bluff The Battle Bluff Trail begins in the Dewdrop Range, a protected grasslands area west of Kamloops that overlooks Kamloops Lake. The trail winds over a low hill then descend to some open grasslands before climbing the rocky bluff to the viewpoint overlooking the lake. The medium difficulty trail is a 4.8 km return hike. Take in the extensive panoramic views of Kamloops Lake from the summit of Battle Bluff.

Dew Drop Trail

The Dew Drop Trail also starts in the Dewdrop Range. The trail approaches the bottom of the cliffs, climbing the ridge and brings hikers to the edge of the cliffs. This trail offers a commanding view of the Thompson Valley below. There are many picturesque spots to stop and take in the view or have some lunch.

Kamloops Boating on Lakes & Rivers Kamloops Lake In mid-summer, Kamloops gets hit with 30+ degree weather and the locals know exactly where to go to beat the heat!  Kamloops Lake is the biggest body of water in the Kamloops area. With Bruker Marina at Tobiano, right on Kamloops Lake, it makes it really easy to enjoy a day on the water. Kamloops lake has two access points, one is a concrete slab launch at Bruker Marina at Tobiano, the second one is a gravel launch at the far west end of the lake in Savona. Both launches are trailer accessible.

South Thompson River Kamloops Lake isn't the only place to put your boat in the water, The South Thomson River is also a busy spot in the summer months with a boat launch at Pioneer Park Downtown (Limited Trailer Parking) McArthur Park and a cement launch just off River Road in Valleyview. The South Thompson River has three access points. The first is at Pioneer Park with a concrete launch and limited parking. The second, at River Road in Valleyview, a concrete slab launch with limited parking and the third is located at McArthur Island Park. Note: this launch is only accessible when the water is at a higher level.

Shuswap Lakes

Shuswap Lake, one of the most popular recreational destinations in BC, offers 400km (250mi) of flawless shoreline, provincial parks, and unlimited water-related recreation opportunities. The Lake branches off in 4 directions from Cinnemousun Narrows Provincial Park, North is Seymour Arm, A recreation and vacation paradise, North East is Anstey Arm the most remote and quiet arm of the lake, Salmon Arm is located at the South West and is the largest urban centre in the Shuswap and in the very center of BC's famous Shuswap Lake Recreational area. In the West is Shuswap Arm, the most popular arm renowned for its recreation and retirement lifestyle.

Other Summer Activities

Fishing, Mountain Climbing, Paddling, Golf and Horseback Riding are also very popular activities in the summer months in and around Kamloops.

Winter Activities in Kamloops

Sun Peaks Ski Resort

Sun Peaks Resort is located just 45 minutes north of Kamloops. Stay in Kamloops, ski at Sun Peaks. With 4,270 acres of skiable terrain across three mountain peaks, Sun Peaks Resort is Canada’s second-largest ski area. Dig into BC’s Interior, light, dry snow 13 lifts and 137 trails including 19 gladed areas. At the base of these mountains is the European-style, ski-through village of Sun Peaks, which is filled with quaint shops, cafes, and restaurants perfect for après. For those new to the winter sport, the resort offers a comprehensive Sports School, equipment rentals, and lessons for all ages.

Harper Mountain

A locals' secret, this small-scale ski resort has nostalgic charm. Just a short 20-minute drive from Kamloops, Harper Mountain features 16 runs, 400 acres of terrain, and 1,400 vertical feet. This family-friendly hill also includes a lift operated tube park, ski & snowboard terrain park, and snowshoe trails. Shred some laps after work and go night skiing from Thursday to Saturday 5pm to 9pm

Locals and visitors also enjoy ice skating, snow shoeing, winter hiking, mountain biking and ice fishing during the colder winter months.

Kamloops Family Activities

BIG Little Science Centre

Get hands-on and learn about science in a fun and interactive way with over 140 exhibits. Enjoy special labs, demonstrations, and shows throughout the year.

Canada Games Aquatic Centre 

Located in the Tournament Capital Centre, kids can enjoy the 210ft water slide, pelican slide, and whirlpool. There are also 1m, 3m, and 5m diving boards, hot tubs, a sauna, and lap pool.

Cliffside Indoor Rock Climbing

Scale the walls at Cliffside Climbing Gym, one of BC’s first climbing gyms. Challenge yourself for hours with the various climbing levels or test your skills on the bouldering wall.

BC Wildlife Park The BC Wildlife Park is home to nearly 200 animals and 65 different species, all native to British Columbia including cougars, grizzly bears, arctic wolves, reptiles, birds of prey and the only Spirit Bear in human care in the world. The majority of animals at the Park have been rescued or were orphaned and are unable to survive on their own in the wild. Take in one of the many signature annual events including Easter Eggcitment, Boo at the Zoo, and Wildlights!

Erin Valley Riding Stables Experience Kamloops in a unique way, on horseback. No experience is necessary for the trail rides as you will be accompanied by a trained wrangler.

Kamloops Heritage Railway

With a number of themed train rides throughout the year, there’s always a reason to ride the 2141 Steam Train in Kamloops. From July to August, hop aboard the Spirit of Kamloops, the Trick or Treat Train in October, and the Spirit of Christmas Train in December. Tickets range from $5 per toddler to $83 for a family of four. Kamloops Longboard Park Skate down the world’s first longboard park. Pack your helmet and longboard and try out one of two tracks; an easier route or a more advanced one.

Little Farmers Petting Zoo Located adjacent to the Westsyde Centennial Park, the Little Farmers Petting Zoo is fun for all ages. See ponies, goats, sheep, ducks, turkeys, exotic birds and more. All animals and birds can be fed.

Where to Eat in Kamloops

With a long growing season, Kamloops has several restaurants and cafes that serve locally grown food. From casual family restaurants to lively pubs and fine dining, there's a place for every occasion. In this multi-cultural city, you'll find restaurants serving up Indian, Chinese, Greek, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean, and Jamaican food.

Here are our favourites:

Iron Road Brewing

980 Camosun Crescent

The newly opened, railroad inspired, a brewery located near Thompson Rivers University in the heart of uptown. Treat yourself to some tacos while sipping on a tasting flight. Watch the game or see the brewing process up close and personal. 

Alchemy Brewing 650 Victoria St Alchemy Brewing Co. is Kamloops' 4th microbrewery located in downtown Kamloops. Relax on their patio, sip 12 rotating beer taps, and enjoy a scratch kitchen menu featuring house BBQ meats, brick-fired pizza, and street tacos.

Where to Stay in Kamloops

Kamloops has an assortment of motels, hotels and resorts to accomodate any need and budget. On our journey we stayed at the Thomspon Hotel and Conference Centre in downtown Kamloops. We opted to upgrade our room to a suite and found the room to be clean and pleasant. The beds were comfortable and breakfast was included. We would highly recommend this hotel or your stay in Kamloops. You could also search our site for the best possible rates fro your stay in Kamloops.


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