Day trips Kamloops

Helmcken Falls at Wells Gray Park

Make Kamloops your home base while you explore all the area has to offer. If you’re interested in exploring the fascinating Thompson-Nicola region by car or motorcycle, there’s no better place to make your base than Kamloops. From this starting point, you can explore the incredible wilderness of Wells Gray Provincial Park, immerse yourself in the Gold Rush history of the area, take in the beauty of the scenery, or be amazed by the wide-open vistas of ranch country. Whatever your destination, you’ll return to Kamloops with vibrant memories of your day on the road.

The North Thompson: Exploring Nature’s Grandeur
370 km/229 mi round trip

To really get away from it all, be sure to take this day trip north from Kamloops to the majestic wilderness of Wells Gray Provincial Park. First take Highway 5 north and stop for refreshments in Barriere. Then continue on to Clearwater, which is about 125 km (77 miles) north of Kamloops, and stop in at the Visitor Info Centre to plan your activities for the day. In the summer, don’t miss the hike to Trophy Mountain Wildflower Meadows for a stunning colourful display. And be sure to drive to the spectacular viewpoint at Helmcken Falls — Canada’s fourth-highest waterfall. With five large wilderness lakes, Wells Gray Provincial Park is also one of BC’s top destinations for canoe trips. You can rent a canoe for a few hours or go an extended trip either by yourself or with a guide. Trail riding and fishing are also popular activities in this majestic area. Return to Clearwater and drive south back to Kamloops.

They say fishing at sunset is a good idea
Sun Peaks and the lakes: mountain scenery at its finest - 150 km/93 mi round trip

This beautiful road trip takes you past top-notch fishing lakes and includes a stop at Sun Peaks Resort. Take Highway 1 east for just over 50 km (35 miles) to Chase, where you might want to stop for a refreshing swim at Memorial Park Public Beach before crossing the South Thompson River to Shuswap Road. About 11 km (7 miles) from Chase, turn right on the McGillivray Lake Road (gravel) for the 30 km (19 mile) ascent to Sun Peaks. McGillivray Lake and Morrissey Lake are great fishing spots if you have the gear! Drive on to Sun Peaks, a picturesque European-style village. Hike in the alpine meadows, play a round of golf, bike in what’s been named one of the five best mountain bike parks in North America, or enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of many fine restaurants before returning to Kamloops via Tod Mountain Road and then south on Highway 5.

Nicola Valley: Big Skies and Open Vistas
174 km/108 mi round trip

Travel through the wide-open spaces of ranch country. Take Highway 5A 25 km (15 mi) to Stump Lake Ranch, an 80,000 acre cattle ranch established in 1883 where you can do a little fly-fishing to catch a Kamloops trout. Continue on Highway 5A and take the turnoff for Douglas Lake Ranch, Canada’s largest cattle operation. Back on Highway 5A, travel south to Quilchena to visit the historic Quilchena Hotel, where you can enjoy a fine meal prepared by European chefs or play a round of golf at the adjacent course. Drive on to Nicola, an old ranching community that is home to many restored buildings, and then on to Merritt — renowned for the Mountain Music Festival each July. Travel north on Highway 5 (Coquihalla Highway) and east on Highway 1 for the 75 km (46 mi) return trip to Kamloops.

The Gold Rush is not over yet
Gold Country: Relive BC’s Gold Rush - 208 km/129 mi round trip

Step back in time and experience BC’s Gold Rush history. Travel west from Kamloops for 65 km (40 miles) on Highway 1 to McAbee Fossil Beds, where you may find a 50-million-year-old fossil of an insect, plant or fish. Continuing to Cache Creek, turn right on Highway 97 and refresh yourself at Bonaparte Bend Winery (famous for its fruit wines) and Horstings Farm Market, where you can pick up some fresh produce or a mouthwatering fruit pie. Continue on Highway 97 for another 9 km (6 miles) to Historic Hat Creek Ranch. This is a great place to spend a few hours — you can go for a stage coach ride, try your hand at panning for gold, and explore a recreated ancient Shuswap village. Drive back south through Cache Creek and travel along Highway 97C for 10 km (6 miles) to Ashcroft. Check out the Ashcroft Museum, which brings the past to life. In the summer, travel east along Highway 97C for 55 km (34 miles) to Logan Lake, where you can tour Highland Valley, one of the world’s largest open pit copper mines. Return to Kamloops by travelling along the Lac Le Jeune Road.

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