May, 2014 Archives

Kamloops and area Spring/Summer photography hotspots

We here in Kamloops are truly blessed with amazing weather, unique topography and a host of activities to enjoy.  When winter releases its grip on the land, and the water begins to flow again, photography is another activity that people get excited about.  And why not; in short, it rocks! 

I’ve lived here for over fourteen years now, having grown up in Merritt, and have been a full time pro for virtually all that time.  Part of my work as a commercial and tourism photographer, as well as being a columnist and Assistant Photo Editor of ‘Outdoor Photographer Canada Magazine’ is to know the regional ‘hot spots’ of the area.  These gems lend themselves well to shoots, workshops and just enjoying an outing with family or friends.  So, let me recount some of my favourite places for photography, or simply enjoying the surrounding landscape.
Kamloops Lake rest area. (Just past Tobiano golf course)  About 1 km past Tobiano Golf Course is a large rest area on the right hand side.  There is plenty of parking and a walk through in the fence north of the parking lot takes you to the trails.  You can follow one of two paths that both lead North toward Kamloops lake.  This area is also well known for rock climbing, called ‘The Beach’.  The views are fantastic and reach about 270 degrees.  In the spring and summer the sun will rise and fall on the lake, making for some surreal landscape images.  It’s also fantastic for portraiture overlooking the lake.  It is a vertical drop on the back side so please watch your footing!
Lac du Bois Protected Grasslands.  Follow Batchelor drive until it turns to gravel and just stay on this road to see some classic Kamloops terrain.  In the spring into mid-Summer, this area is stunning.  At the lower elevations Sage can be found in abundance.  As you drive further north it turns to grasslands and several lakes.  There’s many places to stop and hike and the imagery opportunities are huge.  In the spring, Balsamroot flowers are thick at Lac du Bois, offering beautiful scenes.  Add a sunset or sunrise to the mix and it’s a recipe for stellar.
Knutsford Road (South) and Long lake Road.  Another great grassland area is behind Knutsford.  All along this road system are some amazing landscapes that beg to be photographed.  One of my favourites is Edith Lake.  This is a very popular lake for fishing and camping as well.  Wildlife is also plentiful if you’re interested in either seeing or photographing it.
Cinnamon Ridge.  Just West of Kamloops and about a five minute drive past the airport is a micro environment that is simply stunning.  It’s called Cinnamon Ridge because of the cinnamon color of the soil.  The topography is like something from the Wild West and is a joy to explore and photograph.  Later afternoon light is best as it streaks across the hoodoos and creates more depth in the images.  I have worked here quite a bit with both special projects and tourism assignments.
Tranquille (Farm Fresh) Views and imagery from this locale can be captivating.  Proceed past the airport for approximately 5-10 minutes, and bear left at the railroad crossing.  This will take you just past ‘Tranquille Farm Fresh’ onto to a short dirt road that leads to the lake.  From here it’s a short walk to the water.  In the late spring, early summer the lake will get quite high, making the it difficult to walk the shoreline, however as soon as the levels recede (or before they get too high in late May) there are plenty of opportunities.
Cityscapes from Powers road.  If you like a bit more of an urban feel to your images, check out the end of Powers Road.  The views of the city are fantastic from here, and I’ve spent many a sunset here, sometimes just watching how the city comes alive at dusk and dark.  Longer shutter speeds create that dynamic traffic flow that can add a captivating element to your images. 
Trapp Lake.  Located about 20 minutes south, on the old Hwy 5a, this lake (and road for that matter) can be a goldmine for photographers.  The sage and grasses right off the highway make it a safe and easily accessible area and over the years I’ve had huge success here.  It’s also just a sweet drive!

Wherever you go, enjoy the landscape; we really are so fortunate to live here!

~Kelly Funk

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New Group Tour Options, Events, & Attractions in Kamloops, BC!

Posted on May 26th, 2014

New Group Tour Options, Events & Attractions in Kamloops

Take a look at some of the great activities and attractions available here in Kamloops, BC. Each of the activities mentioned below are able to take a variety of different groups. If you would like more information that what is given please don't hesitate to contact Lisa Strachan, Destination Marketing Manager - Meetings, Travel Trade and Sport at lisa@tourismkamloops.com or by calling 1-250-372-8000.

 

Stand up Paddling - Kids Pirate Adventure

Join the team at Paddle Surfit for their new Kids Pirate Adventure!  SUP Pirates will learn to paddleboard while taking part in an on the water treasure hunt!  Meet new pirate friends on this 2 hour adventure.  Kids ages 5-9 can ride with mom or dad, ages 10 and up can paddle on their own.

Tranquille Farm Fresh - Heritage Tours

Tranquille Farm Fresh's new Heritage Tour unpacks 6000 years of fasinating history!  Learn about aboriginal hunters and gatherers of the area, early days of the Hudson Bay Company, river commerce of the 1800's, the tale of two family empires, the betrayal of a widow, the rise and fall of two medical institutions and walk through a section of the underground tunnels.

ACT Adventures

At ACT Adventures you are the boss! Catering to small groups while still remaining affordable, they let you pick where you want to go and what you want to do and they make it happen.  Providing all of the equipment necessary for groups of two to eight people for sightsee, camp, hike and experience BC without the stress of planning, arranging transportation, driving, getting directions, organizing and cooking meals, finding places to stay, purchasing equipment, and knowledgeable hosts to guide you and share BC's hidden treasures.

Tastefull Excursions

Tastefull Excursions will be offering wine tasting tours of the Thompson Shuswap region's cooler climate wineries starting April 2014 from Kamloops!  Full day tours include visits to wineries in the Kamloops and Shuswap area or Lake Country, north of Kelowna.  Experience the wine trails less travelled in the comfort and style of their 2014 Mercedes Benz Sprinter, which is able to handle groups up to 11 people.  Half day and custom tours are also available.

Privato Vineyard & Winery

Privato Vineyard and Winery, a family-run 80-acre farm, is the second winery in Kamloops BC.  Proprietors John and Debbie Woodward together with their three sons, embody what it means to experience a "Private Heaven".  The result of their years of patience, care and quiet passion: Privato.  Crafted only in small quantities, Privato creates a premium-quality, single-vineyard Burgundy wines.

Left Field Cider Co.

From outta nowhere... All it takes is a moment of inspiration and a hayfield becomes an orchard, a barn becomes a cider house and two sisters become cider makers.  Hand-crafted and artisanal, Left Field Cider Co. premium ciders are made in small batches that highlights the natural characteristics of the apple.  Their ciders are made by blending a bittersweet English and French cider varieties with crisp British Columbia dessert apples - the result is a beautifully balanced cider with the right amount of subtle tannins and rich apple aromatics.

Harper's Trail Winery

Harper's Trail Estate Winery is Kamloops' first winery.  Named for the cattle drive trail of pioneer Thaddeus Harper, and tucked into the city's outskirts on the bank of the South Thompson River, Ed and Vicki Collett's vineyard sits among rolling hills of sage and grass, and is home to bighorn sheep, bear, and a myriad of birds.  The backdrop of limestone, hoodoos, and a natural spring in the vineyard contributes to the biodiversity of this rare place.

Clover, Kamloops' Own Spirit Bear

The BC Wildlife Park is pleased to anounce the rescue of Clover, a year and a half old Kermode/ Spirit Bear, who will be making the BC Wildlife Park his home.  Clover will be denning up for the winter, but will be open to the public to view by July 1, 2014.

Rodeos and Fall Fairs 2014

Dust off the cowboy boots and hat and head out to see cowboys and cowgirls compete for glory and cash at rodeos and fall fairs throughout the summer months in Kamloops and area.

 

Falkland Pro Rodeo - May 17 - 19

Clinton May Ball Rodeo - May 24 - 25

Ashcroft & District Stampede - June 14 - 15

Pritchard Rodeo - July 12 - 13

Armstrong Fall Fair and Rodeo - August 27 - 31

North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo - Aug 29-31 & Sep 1 Website

Merritt Pro Rodeo - August 30 - 31

Provincial Winter Fair – September 26 - 29 Website

 To see all the dates for the BC Rodeo Association click here.

To see all the dates for the Canadian Pro Rodeo Association click here.

 

 

Tourism Products New in 2013

Azami Sports Sailing School

Azami Sport Sailing School mainly sails on nearby, beautiful Monte Lake, where the water is warm, the winds are most consistant and there is a low amount of boat traffic.  Azami is able to sail on Kamloops Lake, Adams Lake, Stump Lake and Shuswap Lake for convenience as well!

Stand Up Paddling - Pedal to Paddle

Stand Up Paddle Surfing (SUP) has been a huge hit in Kamloops, but Surfit is taking things to the next level and is offering a combination 1.5 hour paddle tour AND a 1.5 hour guided mountain biking tour with professionally certified instructors.  All equipment is provided.

Rent-A-Rod at Kamloops' Visitor Centre

Six Visitor Centres in BC are now participating in the Go Fish BC - Rod Loan Program, and the Kamloops Visitor Centre is one of them!  Each Visitor Centre has been provided a number of rods and tackle boxes so several visitors at a time can take advantage of this great opportunity.  The program is accessible for all individuals, families, locals and visitors!

Heli - Segway Wilderness Adventure

A Unique Adventure Tours Exclusive!

Climb aboard a Lakehead Helicopter for an exhilerating ten to fifteen minute ride over the Shuswap to a wilderness location in the mountains.  Meanwhile the Segway PTs are trucked up a steep, rough 4X4 road to meet you.  Upon arrival climb aboard your Segway PT for a truely unique wilderness adventure!  Lunch and snacks are provided.  You will be returned via a second splendid helicopter ride.

Tree Top Flyers at Chase Canyon

Its what we all have been waiting for!  Begin your experience with Tree Top Flyers on the 100 metre Flying Fox Zipline in the village to learn the basics and then continue your adventure with two ziplines above the amazing Chase Falls.  Two adventure guides will accompany each group to interpret the area's culture, history and geography.

Tranquille Farm Fresh - Tunnel Tours

Discover the secrets of Tranquille's historic underground tunnels and have a great time with family and friends discovering the magic of Tranquille by night!  The mystery and magic of the historic Tranquille underground tunnel system is brought to life in a one hour, fun filled experience; tunnel goers will venture into the tunnel system and learn about its secrets as well as embark on a wagon tour of the old Tranquille village by night.

 

 

McArthur Island Park in the Spring

Posted on May 1st, 2014

McArthur Island Park

AN EXCELLENT WAY TO GEAR DOWN AFTER A BUSY SPRING DAY AND A PERFECT PLACE TO VISIT  A KAMLOOPS PARK GEM………

A ritual for many parents of Kamloops youth soccer players is driving them to spring practises on McArthur Island Park. As much as it’s challenging for those working to get out of the workplace early to be at your child’s practise on time, there can be a reward if the sun is shining and the temperature is lovely and warm. It’s far away from the maddening work world so rather than drop and run, consider drop and staying.  Try getting out of the car rather than rushing to make dinner and just plunk yourself down to enjoy the moment…..Use it as a time to collect your thoughts, enjoy the season and maybe even watch your kid learn the game of soccer with their team mates. For those who may be new to the city or visiting for just a short time, McArthur Island Park is also a perfect get away for breathing and walking space in Kamloops. The walking trail surrounding the park provides an ideal way to see the diversity of ages on the many soccer pitches and baseball diamonds as well as wildlife viewing opportunities on the adjacent Thompson River.  I took my son to his practise recently and just stayed and hung out, just me and my thoughts along with the warmth of the sun, a gentle breeze and a nice patch of grass to  to ponder the day’s activities……