Kamloops is located in British Columbia, Canada. It is billed as the Tournament Capital of Canada. It has hosted Strauss Canada Cup of Curling, Skate Canada, World Fly Fishing Championships, Tim Horton's Olympic Qualifying Bike Race, and World Junior Hockey Championships. Kamloops is a city with a population of just over 100,000 (October 2013) including surrounding areas. Just city limits has 74,000 residents.
Via Rail's The Canadian passes through Kamloops en route to Vancouver heading west, and Jasper, Edmonton and eventually Toronto to the east. Service is three times a week May to mid-Oct and twice a week otherwise. The Kamloops North train station (phone: 1-888-842-7245) is located on CN Junction Rd, 11 km north of downtown Kamloops via Hwy 5.
Both major highways in western Canada pass through Kamloops. The mainline Trans-Canada Highway passes through the Fraser valley from Vancouver in the west, and continues east through Hope, Lytton, Cache Creek and the rest of BC via Salmon Arm, Revelstoke, the Rogers Pass and Golden. From there it carries on through The Rockies into Alberta via Banff and Calgary.
The YellowHead #5 highway heads north from Kamloops to Jasper and Edmonton. This road is a branch; the main Yellowhead Highway (#16) runs east-west from Prince Rupert through Edmonton to Portage la Prairie. Highway #5 is not part of the signed Trans-Canada Highway system.
The Coquihalla #5 was originally built for Expo 86 in Vancouver. It was a toll highway up until September 2008, when it was unexpectedly announced that the toll was being lifted immediately, and the toll booths were taken down. This is a boost to Interior British Columbia and welcomed by many. The Coquihalla provides a much quicker route from Vancouver to Kamloops (4 hrs by car). This route takes you through Hope and Merritt, it is considerably less scenic than the TransCanada route. The downside of the high altitude road is that it can become dangerous in the winter as sudden weather changes may make the road icy, snow covered or impassible. Check the road conditions before you set out.
Kamloops is serviced by BC Transit and getting around to almost anywhere in town is possible on the adequate, if not stellar, bus routes. The rates are reasonable though and you can purchase a "DayPass" for: Adult $5.00 Senior* $4.00 Student to Gr. 12** $4.00
- Reduced fare for persons aged 65 or older, with valid I.D.
- Reduced fare for students in full-time attendance to grade 12, with valid student I.D.
As with all of BC Transit throughout the province have exact change or ticket fare ready, the drivers do not carry change.
Downloadable route maps and trip planners are available here: http://www.busonline.ca/regions/kam/
- BC Wildlife Park, 9077 Dallas Dr, ☎ +1 250 573-3242. Mar-Oct: daily 9:30AM-4PM (open until 5PM during summer), Nov-Feb: weekends & holidays 9:30AM-4PM. Local zoo with many animals from around BC — bears (black & grizzly), wolves, cougars, bighorn sheep, rattlesnakes, to name a few. There's also a miniature train ride ($1 per person), birds of prey demonstration and playground with splash park for the kids. $11-15 (child-adult). Rates $3 cheaper in winter.
- Lac Du Bois Grasslands Protected Area, Lac du Bois Rd or Tranquille Rd (For Lac du Bois and the middle of the park, head north on 8th St (from Fortune Dr in town, or from Halston Ave if you're on Hwy 5) and it becomes Bachelor Hills Rd and then Lac du Bois Rd; for the southern areas (which have most of the hiking), head west on Tranquille Dr and then Red Lake Rd (sometimes called the Tranquille-Criss Creek FSR)). A park northwest of town that protects a large area of the region's natural grassland. There are a handful of trails for hiking and mountain biking inside the park and an area for ATVs at the southern boundary (ATVs are not allowed inside the park itself). The scenery and flora are spectacular — many small lakes, wildflowers in early summer, red lava cliffs, bighorn sheep, deer and moose — but be watchful of your step while hiking, this is rattlesnake country. The roads in the park are gravel (some 4x4 only) and can be used by logging trucks so be aware of road conditions and on-coming traffic. No user fees.
- MacArthur Island Park, Island Parkway (accessed from the southern end of 12th St or the western end of MacKenzie Ave). Large park with many sports facilities (sports fields, curling and skating rinks), skatepark and short 9-hole golf course. There's a paved trail around the perimeter of the island that provides views of the river and city.
- Riverside Park, 100 Lorne St (between Lansdowne St and the river, next to the Interior Savings Centre). Where the North and South Thompson rivers meet. Stroll along the beach, swim or bring the kids to the playground and water park.
- Thompson Rivers University, McGill Rd & University Dr (main entrance "Westgate" is at Hillside & McGill (Hillside becomes University Dr W), "Eastgate" is McGill & University Dr E). Summer campus tours daily, and Wednesday night 'Friends of the Gardens' tours of the largest botanical collection in the interior of B.C.
- Two River Junction Musical Revue.
- Kamloops Blazers. Competitive Western Hockey League team. The Blazers play at the Interior Savings Centre.
- Swim -- Adjacent to downtown, Kamloops has a lovely beach park (Riverside Park) along the Thompson River. There is a water park for children and an enclosed swimming area on the river. The Thompson is, however, swift and cold and the swimming area is not always patrolled.
- Climb -- While not as popular among the rock climbing crowd as Squamish or Penticton, there are several areas that offer climbing in and around the Kamloops areas. Climbing information can be found in a free online guide available at CLIMBKamloops.ca
- Ski -- Sun Peaks is a 45-minute drive north of Kamloops along Highway 5.
- Golf (approximately 11 18-hole courses, with "Tobiano" being the latest opened June 2007)
- Mountain Bike -- With the hilly and mountainous terrain that varies from wide open to thickly wooded, Kamloops is one of the more popular locations for mountain bike riding in western Canada.
- Kamloops Heritage Railway
- Sunmore Ginseng SPA
- Kamloops Brewery Tours.
- Siwash Lake Ranch (luxury dude ranch), nr. 70 Mile House (2.5 hours north of Kamloops), ☎ +1 250 395-6541. 8AM to 9PM PST. Canada's top luxury guest ranch and eco-friendly destination, offering the world's best horseback riding and fly-fishing adventures in a wilderness paradise.
- Horseback Riding/Guest Ranch (Tod Mountain Ranch), 3968 Heffley-Louis Creek Rd (45 mins from Kamloops; 15 mins from Sun Peaks)), ☎ +1 250 578-8869. Adult oriented guest ranch offering horseback riding vacations in the summer months (May - October). In the winter months, offers affordable accommodation close to Sun Peaks Ski Resort and only 5 mins from the Cahilty snowmobiling trails. Accommodation is in cute cabins and the main lodge has a magnificent stone fireplace, stunning views down the valley, a fab games rooms with pool table, shuffleboard, card table, board games etc. Rates are all inclusive of meals and accommodation and all on-site activities.
- Aberdeen Mall, 1320 West Trans Canada Highway. A large two-floor upscale mall. It has quite a few attractions, mainly clothes stores. Navigation is also somewhat easier than other malls.
- D'Agastino Italian, 258 Victoria St, ☎ +1 250 372-1111. M-Sa 4PM-Close. Delicious authentic Italian food in the downtown core. Pasta, pizza & mains $16-26.
- Frick and Frack Tap House, 577 Victoria St (across from the casino), ☎ +1 250 851-2030. Tu-Th 11:30AM-11PM, F-Sa 11:30AM-midnight, Su-M 11:30AM-10PM. Lively atmosphere with a large menu, including a kids menu. There are a variety of beers on tap (mostly Canadian beers, with a couple of imports). Starters $10-20, mains $15-30.
- Harold's Family Restaurant, 1771 Trans-Canada Hwy, ☎ +1 250 372-2135. M-Sa 6AM-9PM Su 7AM-9PM. A local favorite for breakfast, lunch or dinner. This place doesn't look like much but has a great feel, awesome service, and tasty home cooked meals. $7-16 (breakfast), $10-20 (lunch & dinner).
- Peter's Pasta, 149 Victoria St, ☎ +1 250 372-8514. Tu-Sa 5PM-9PM. All pastas and sauces are handmade on-site. Peter himself is often present and is always happy to answer any questions or even just make pleasant conversation. Very popular with the locals — arrive early as they do not take reservations.
- Sanbiki Japanese Kitchen, 120 5th Ave, ☎ +1 250 377-8857. M-Sa 11:30AM-2PM and 5PM-9PM. Authentically prepared nigiri, sashimi and maki is elegantly presented. Build your own bento box. Featuring several popular favourites as well as local and seasonal specialties, this restaurant is reasonably priced and popular with the locals. The itamae is very receptive to dietary restrictions. For the more ethically conscious, only free-range eggs and wild-caught fish (when available) are used. $15-30.
- Mountain-High Pizza. Either located near the Sprott-Shaw college in Downtown, or at 1465 Trans Canada highway. Mountain-High Pizza is a very good, locally owned and operated pizza shop with a great feel.
The legal drinking age in British Columbia is 19.
Pubs and Lounges
- The Duchess on Tranquille, 377 Tranquille Rd (North Kamloops). This is a combination pub, lounge and exotic nightclub. A great amateur exotic dance contest is held on Wednesday nights. During the evening the clientele is 50/50 men and women and there is a very active dance floor with a great lighting system and fogger.
- Cactus Jacks, Seymour St (in the downtown core). This is a large facility with a distinct country & western theme. Featuring weekly wet T-shirt contests, bikini bullriding and occasional live music acts.
There are a range of lower end and mid-range chain motels in Kamloops, particularly on Columbia St West (exit 369 if heading east on Hwy 1, Summit Dr exit 370 if heading west).
- Knights Inn, 625 West Columbia St, ☎ +1 250 374-6944, toll-free: +1-888-372-7487. Fairly basic clean rooms although a bit dated. Most rooms have a small fridge and microwave. $70 and up.
- Thompson Rivers University Residence & Conference Centre, University Dr (enter campus at Westgate (McGill & Hillside), at the traffic circle take the third exit (North Gate) and the residences will be on your right), ☎ +1 250-828-8999, toll-free: +1-877-225-8664, e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 4PM-midnight, check-out: 11AM. Offers accommodations for groups and individuals on the TRU campus from May through Aug. Two and four bedroom options. Wifi, complimentary breakfast and fitness center. The rooms have kitchenettes, full kitchens are also available on the 2nd, 5th and 10th floors. Excellent transit connections to all areas of the city direct from campus. $99 for double occupancy, $10 per additional person.
- Vancouver is approximately 355 kilometers (220 miles) to the south west via Hwy5. There are trains, flights from the Kamloops airports, as well as two major highways connecting the two cities.
- Sun Peaks - an alpine ski resort located 50 kilometers north of Kamloops.
- Cariboo-Chilcotin, BC's cowboy country and dude ranch region is a one-hour drive west of Kamloops
|Routes through Kamloops|
|Vancouver ← Hope ←||W E||→ Clearwater → Edmonton|
|Vancouver ← Cache Creek ←||W E||→ Salmon Arm → Banff|
|Jasper ← Clearwater ←||N S||→ Merritt → Hope|
|Prince George ← Cache Creek ←||N S||→ Vernon → Kelowna|