Spring in Kamloops brings sage green-hued hillsides, the rush of the Thompson Rivers as the alpine ice packs thaw and the return of many pollinators such as honey bees, bumblebees and butterflies that kickstart Kamloops’ lengthy growing season. Kamloops is extremely fortunate to have such a long growing season – and our farmers can certainly attest - this video explains.
Farming begins well before the greenery pokes from the soil. Much of the planning starts in the winter months with seeds being ordered in January, greenhouse planting in February/March, and outdoor planting in April. By the time the Kamloops Regional Farmers' Market opens on April 22nd, farmers have been tending to their bounty for three full months. Walking through the Saturday market, you can expect to find root vegetables such as carrots, beets, garlic, potatoes, and cabbage that have been stored through the winter, though most exciting are the fresh, tender greens like purple and green lettuce, kale, and lettuce mixes perfect for spring salads.
The Kamloops Regional Farmers’ Market is celebrating 39 years of operation this year, and will be operate twice weekly throughout the season - Saturdays starting on April 22nd on the 200 block of St Paul Street, running from 8am-12pm and Wednesdays starting May 3rd on the 400 block of Victoria Street. The market is an eclectic showcase of local artisans – bakers, wine makers, artists, potters, beekeepers, florists and more.
An early season visit will reveal the freshest of Kamloops’ agricultural abundance. Exploring Kamloops flavours is quite simple – The Kamloops Flavours Trail highlights 3 options for visiting farm gardens, wineries, craft breweries, cafes and local foodie hotspots tasting the best of the season. Complete with a must-have “Shopping List”, your local souvenirs may consist of jars of honey, smoked salmon, local oatmeal and artisanal salsa. The Flavours Trail brochure can be picked up at the Kamloops Visitor Centre upon arrival to the city or plan ahead and download it online at www.tourismkamloops.com/flavourstrail.
Want to check out the busy workers that make all of this possible? Monte Creek Ranch Winery – Kamloops’ newest winery – also produces up to 400 litres of honey each year. Their honey is all natural, hand packaged and unpasteurized to present its full flavour while preserving the healthy, live enzymes that make honey good for you. To produce just one litre of honey, bees are estimated to have to fly more than 75,000 km.
Kamloops embraces the importance of these buzzy buddies and has recently been recognized as BC’s first Bee City by Bee City Canada - an organization that promotes habitat development and preservation for the country’s 800 bee species. As such, Kamloops’ certification will work to inspire and encourage local gardeners and farmers to introduce more bee-supporting plants and undertake public education on environmentally friendly pest management and the benefits of bees.
We certainly owe our thanks to our bees. Kamloops’ vibrant agriculture and urban food culture are a result of their hard work and tenacity helping to produce edible experiences that are perfect compliments to any Kamloops itinerary. Craft brews on a downtown patio, picnics paired with wine in the vineyard, food truck fare in the park or a three-course chef’s table are all options to add to your day. And…you can leave the driving to someone else! Let a local tour company play host for the day – DiVine Tours, Tailgate Tours, Tastefull Excursions and Wine Lover’s Tours all welcome you to sit back and relax.
Spring in Kamloops is the perfect season - no rush, no crowds, delectable flavours, stunning scenery, fresh abundance…and lots of sunshine! Come see what all the buzz is about!
Contributed by: Adrienne de Candole
The Kamloops Cowboy Festival will be celebrating it's 21st anniversary in Kamloops from March 16th to 19th. The Festival is a celebration of Kamloops' western heritage showcasing the best in cowboy and western fine arts featuring poets, musicians, artists and artisans. It is a celebration of Kamloops' history and is considered the biggest and best of its kind in North America.
This festival highlights the Kamloops of the past, but many do not realize that Kamloops is still very much a cattle town. It's strong ties to the ranching community make it the perfect host for North americans interested in western heritage and cowboy culture.
Tourism Kamloops Launches New Photo-Kamloops Partnership
New image database will help marketers showcase Kamloops through high quality photos
For Immediate Release
February 16, 2017, Kamloops, British Columbia – Tourism Kamloops has initiated an exciting new program, called Photo-Kamloops, which makes the work of local photographers available to anyone looking for high quality photos of the city and region. Tourism Kamloops has connected with a number of local photographers, selected a collection of breathtaking images and negotiated great rates on their work. The images are inventoried in Barberstock and available for purchase through Tourism Kamloops.
Photo-Kamloops has launched with 13 local photographers and over 200 of their best photos. Marketers can access pictures of local sports, events, landscapes, attractions and outdoor experiences all shot in the Kamloops area.
“We frequently receive requests for photos from all over the region”, says Monica Dickinson, Director of Industry Relations & Communications, Tourism Kamloops, “but lack of third-party image usage rights limited our sharing with partners, so we innovated to meet the market demand.” Photo-Kamloops provides access to quality photography that can be used for annual reports, presentations, web sites, social media, marketing collateral and the like.
Photo-Kamloops allows Tourism Kamloops to highlight the importance of innovation in the tourism space. “Innovation is one of our key strategic platforms. By providing marketers with the tools to promote our city, we are helping to deliver our promise to showcase Kamloops in exciting and dynamic ways to our potential visitors,” explains Beverly DeSantis, Tourism Kamloops CEO.
“We were thrilled to work with the Tourism Kamloops team, as our first client globally, to launch a program like Photo-Kamloops on Barberstock. We welcome the collaboration and look forward to pushing the system to its highest abilities,” remarks Deanna Girardi, Barberstock’s Director of Operations.
People looking to access the Photo-Kamloops database can submit a request to http://www.tourismkamloops.com/images-and-photos-of-kamloops
Monica Dickinson, Director – Industry Relations & Communications
Did you know that every year photographers from around the world travel here to photograph the magnificent Common Loon who nest and raise their chicks here? Greg Downing gdphotography.com and Alan Murphy alanmurphyphotography.com/workshops.htm conduct sold out workshops in exotic locations around the world. Every year they spend June right here at Lac le Jeune.
They return every year because they know their customers will return home happy with memory cards full of great shots.
The Kamloops area abounds with those type of opportunities, not just for loons but also the hundreds of other species that call the area home. Local biologist Rick Howie has written a very comprehensive list of all the species that visit Kamloops, a PDF version can be downloaded here Birds of Kamloops.
If you haven’t taken a hike in Shuswap, Kamloops or Sun Peaks, you’ve been missing out on some of the world’s greatest trails. With thousands of kilometres of tracks strewn across one of Canada’s most diverse landscapes, there are hundreds of amazing hikes in The South Thompson Shuswap and countless opportunities to snap an epic picture. Mountain peaks, desert rocks, lush meadows, hidden beaches and foggy forests all await those who bring their hiking boots and camera to the region.
Most visitors utilize the area’s expertly-made trail guides to map out their perfect day. For specific trail guides, visit the hiking pages on the websites for Kamloops, Shuswap and Sun Peaks.
With so many incredible kilometres of maintained trails to explore, it’s difficult choosing where to take your next adventure in The South Thompson Shuswap. Here are a few of our area’s most unforgettable and photogenic hikes:
Embleton Mountain Trail
Near Sun Peaks Resort, this mountain trail rises to a remarkable view of Heffley Lake. At nearly 9km, it’s a great path for exercise and offers a rest stop at the top complete with picnic tables. Don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers, as during the warmer months, this trail weaves through areas of blooming alpine flowers.
Salmon Arm Nature Trail
Located just outside the quaint town of Salmon Arm, this boarded walk is perfect for bird lovers. The South Thompson Shuswap is known for being a resting point for a majority of Canada’s migrating birds and many of them find respite in the quiet waters of Salmon Arm. This Nature Trail connects to several longer hikes that feature some of the province's premier bird watching.
Gibraltar Rock, Kamloops
Just a scenic, thirty minute drive from Kamloops, this trail originates from peaceful Paul Lake and rises through shaded forests. The path meanders around Douglas-fir and pine trees until it reaches a fantastic overlook at Gibraltor Rock that just has to be photographed. On the way down, don’t forget to keep an eye out for the region’s roaming bald eagles and osprey. Save some time for relaxation at the end, as the trail finishes on the sandy beaches of Paul Lake.
Mount Ida Trail, Salmon Arm
The journey up Mount Ida is challenging and immensely rewarding. Winding through cedar forest and finishing at a dramatic cliff peak, this hike bestows grand views of Salmon Arm, Shuswap Lake and neighboring Mt. Bastion.
Battle Bluff, Kamloops
This trail starts with a gentle rise near the shores of Kamloops Lake and elevates to a fantastic overlook in which you can see beyond the Thompson River and endlessly into the distance. It isn’t the steepest trail to start but the final 500 metres offer the perfect challenge. Of course, that challenge comes with a payoff as the hike’s summit features one of the most scenic and rewarding views in the region, especially when done during golden hour.
Margaret Falls, Shuswap
This rushing waterfall is an icon of the Shuswap area. Hikers can walk right up to the fall and take photos from an adjacent bridge. Not be overlooked is the hike to the waterfall, which winds through a mossy forest filled with roaming wildlife.
Sicamous Lookout, Sicamous
Accessible through forestry roads, this lookout is an icon of the area. With a sturdy ramp for hang gliders, it’s a beautiful setting for a picnic lunch and photo opportunity.
Grasslands Trail- Peterson Creek, Kamloops
Peterson Creek was originally a meltwater channel, formed at the end of the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago. These days, over 6,000 metres of designated, dog-friendly trails meander through the park. The grasslands trail is highlighted with views of glacial slits, exposed bedrock and a rushing waterfall to go along with a bird’s eye view of Kamloops.
Tod Peak Trail, Sun Peaks Resort
Peaking at over 2,150 metres, this trail up Mount Tod passes through many of the environments that The South Thompson Shuswap is known for: alpine forests, large meadows, freshwater streams and fields of flowers. The biggest reward is at the top, where a 360 view of the gorgeous landscape and rising blue mountains awaits.
Gils Trail, Sun Peaks Resort
A backcountry skiing favourite in the winter, this trail down Mount Tod is just waiting to have it’s picture taken in the summer months. Offering distant views, lakeside paths and bright alpine flowers, Gil’s Trail is one of the area’s best kept secrets. Throughout your hike, you may not see anyone else on its maintained path.
Sunset Trail, Kamloops
Accessible for hikers of all-levels, the trails that weave through Kenna Cartwright Park outside of Kamloops are best experienced in the evening. Near sunset, the grasslands turn to gold for a magical hour. There’s simply nothing like it. Pack a dinner and enjoy a meal on the park’s aptly named Sunset Trail, which holds picnic tables amongst the shimmering fields of gold.
Juniper Ridge, Sun Peaks Resort
The hikes from Sun Peaks Resort truly have it all. Incredible overlooks, sweeping vistas, blooming flowers, lush meadows and wandering wildlife are available on foot to those who venture up the chairlift. Juniper Ridge is famous for its fragrant, colourful alpine flowers that combine with elevated mountain views to create a photographer’s delight.
Bonus Hike (cover shot), Kamloops:
Long Lake in Lac Du Bois Protected Grasslands.
Next time you take a hike in The South Thompson Shuswap, be sure to tag your Instagram photos with the local tourism hashtags!
Ready to get your hiking boots on the dirt in The South Thompson Shuswap? These businesses will help you maximize your hiking experience in the area. Give them a call and we’ll see you on the trails soon.
Sun Peaks Resort
Nirvana (Noun): place or state characterized by freedom from pain, worry, and the external world
Mountain Biking Nirvana: The South Thompson Shuswap
Close your eyes and ask your imagination to script the most epic, unconfined and exhilarating mountain bike ride in Canada. You probably envisioned a ride that spikes your adrenaline, ignores your brakes and tears through terrain that feels like it was made solely for the purpose of being conquered on two wheels. If your imagination put you on adrenaline-spiking trails your mountain biking ambition should bring you to the South Thompson Shuswap. With seemingly endless kilometres of tracks that weave and fly through eleven different environments and across open, hilly and mountainous lands there is simply no better biking destination in Canada.
Each area within the South Thompson Shuswap has its own distinct features.
Kamloops: Home to Canada’s Largest Municipal Bike Park and countless trails through desert and golden grassland
Shuswap: Hundreds of kilometers of isolated, flowy trails through lush and scenic landscapes
Sun Peaks: Steep downhills through fields of wildflowers with a chairlift available to take you back to the top
Combined, these destinations (all within a short drive or long ride of each other) give the region a strong claim as one of Canada’s premiere mountain biking destinations. These iconic destinations remain largely undiscovered to cyclists in North America. That means the hero dirt, the preserved trails, the massive jumps, and the striking vistas are yours to experience without any traffic.
Want to see what mountain biking heaven looks like before visiting? Behold these photos, taken by local and visiting mountain bikers, and consider a trip to these trails before the season ends.
The larger the climb, the more rewarding the descent will become. #mountanbiking #bike #trail #cycle #mountainbike #mtb #mtbpage #rockymoutain #downhillmtb #rockshox #adventure #climbing #climb #arcteryx #mountain #mountains #backcountry #outdoors #explorebc #explorecanada #outdooradventurephotos @outdooradventurephoto
A photo posted by Seth Cavers (@mrfiretk) on
Tonight was a beautiful evening for a little bit of mountain biking ???????? we had to stop and admire this view...a view I grew up riding my horse by almost every time we'd go riding! It feels good to be on the bike again, even if my legs feel a little rubbery now ???????????? shot on iPhone #exploreshuswap #getoutside #liveauthentic
A photo posted by Jaclyn Tanemura / BC, Canada???????? (@jaclyntanemura) on https://www.instagram.com/p/BENHjqgMwsw/
Seem to end up on Mars every time I hang out with @bretttippie ! @pinkbike just fired up Picture of the Year. Stay tuned for some epic bangers and my submissions. I cannot wait to share what I accomplished this season! #RiffStills #pinkbike #mtbbc #bicyclecafekamloops #explorekamloops
A photo posted by @riffstills on https://www.instagram.com/p/_V3BhmofHI/?taken-by=riffstills
Love love love it when Kamloops is this green. Green season only lasts about 2 months of the year in this dry climate, but happy to be home to enjoy it. Cool shot captured by Alex Lavigne during a morning interval session at the #kamloopsbikeranch Back over to Europe today for rounds 2 & 3 of the World Cup???? #hometime #explorekamloops
A photo posted by Catharine Pendrel (@cpendrel) on https://www.instagram.com/p/BFeMjXoBNjE/
A photo posted by Sam Loxton (@sloxton) on https://www.instagram.com/p/BF2tyyPGFKE/
Sunny times at #rubberhead ? #salmonarm #okanagan #shuswap #wildernessculture #freeride #downhill #mountainbiking #modernoutdoorsman #getoutside #neverstopexploring #backpacking #wearethewild #rei #pnwcollective #mountains #loveandpeace #bestplaceonearth #explorebc #ohcanada #hiking #nature #livefolk #natgeo #instagramhub #steepnature
A photo posted by Benjamin Radomske (@benjaminbluebenjamin) on https://www.instagram.com/p/BEYofh6qKq2/
@laras_looking and @jsnlocke on Sweet One at #sunpeaks for #canadaday We live in the most amazing place... #sunpeaks360 #beautifulbc #explorebc #explorekamloops #backyardkamloops #mountainbike #mtb #cyclingshots #cyclinglife #cycling #gopro #goprooftheday #goprocycling #mountainbiking
A photo posted by Jason Dixon (@mountain_dixon) on https://www.instagram.com/p/BHWDXHyAxfe/
'Storm Chasers'. #explorebc #explorecanada #discoverbc #discovercanada #kamloops #stormclouds #sunset #IloveBC #rideon #mountainbike #mountainlove ##thompsonokanagan #thegoodlife #familytime #nikon_canada #kamloopsphotographer
A photo posted by Kelly Funk (@kellyfunkphotography) on https://www.instagram.com/p/BFPqnSLSxtC/?tagged=kamloopsphotographer
The places my bike takes me are absolutely amazing. So thankful to be able to ride and race my bike across BC ???? stoked to get back at it this weekend at the @islandcupseries in Cumberland! @arrowsmithbikes @gamutusa @s4suspension #arrowsmithbikes #gamutusa #explorebc #kamloops #islandcup #bcenduroseries #mtb #giantbikes #ridelife #racing #pnw #explore
A photo posted by Takoda Crawford (@takodacrawford1) on https://www.instagram.com/p/BHBPqvcAnVN/
@daryazz and @bluecollarpowder Dew Drop #kamloops classic! #earnyourturns #singletrack #mtb #mtblife #mountainbike #cycling #cyclinglife #cyclingshots #beautifulbc #explorebc #explorekamloops #backyardkamloops #goprooftheday #gopro #goprocycling
A photo posted by Jason Dixon (@mountain_dixon) on https://www.instagram.com/p/BG3HEtgk9Z8/
A photo posted by Meg Broswick (@mbroswick) on https://www.instagram.com/p/BE2Di__Ird8/
A photo posted by Mike Coulter (@mikey_coulter) on https://www.instagram.com/p/1lADrstCNW/
One of my favorite aspects of riding in Kamloops are the big landscapes #loamcoffee #loamrangers #coffeeandbikes #kamloops #explorekamloops #explorebc #hellobc #adventure #outdoors #getoutside #singletrack #cycling #mtb #mtbphotos #mtbbc #bicycle #pinkbike #eskapee #bikes #luxuryofdirt #mountainbiking #mountainbike #enduromtb #dhmtb #graemepatersonmedia #freeriding #bikemagazine
A photo posted by Graeme Paterson (@graeme.paterson) on https://www.instagram.com/p/BG5eWDUt2aL/
Consider this your invitation. Mountain biking nirvana awaits in the South Thompson Shuswap. These links will get you from two feet to two wheels in no time. We’ll see you on the trails.
Sun Peaks Resort Bike Park
Mostly Mental Shuttles, Kamloops
Shuswap Trail Alliance
The South Thompson Shuswap is a paradise for those who love to stand up paddleboard. With countless lakes and rivers to paddle on and the perfect, sunny weather to fulfil your SUP dreams, there’s simply no better place in Canada to be on a board and walk on water. Just take a look at these incredible pictures from Shuswap, Sun Peaks and Kamloops.
Need more convincing? We didn’t think so. But just in case, here are the 10 reasons why the South Thompson Shuswap is Canada’s SUP Capital.
Amazing landscape diversity
Only in the South Thompson Shuswap can you paddle on water surrounded by lush forests, towering mountains, arid deserts and bright green grasslands. You can find almost any biome in The South Thompson Shuswap and paddle through it.
The quietest, smoothest waters
Love the feeling of having a lake all to yourself? In the South Thompson Shuswap you’ll see more wildlife in the water than you’ll see people. The result: quiet and smooth waters perfect for SUP.
A photo posted by David McAleenan (@mashola) on https://www.instagram.com/p/2jZrsQELnr/
Famous SUP culture
Stand up paddleboarding is more than just an activity in the South Thompson Shuswap, it’s a way of life. Locals and visitors find their peace on the still waters of area’s lakes and strong SUP businesses help support the cause.
A photo posted by @christian.dennis on https://www.instagram.com/p/3rbQF3GqmT/?taken-by=christian.dennis
Crystal clear water
The lakes of the South Thompson Shuswap clear themselves at an astounding rate, meaning the water is fresh, pure and so clear that you can see straight to the bottom. This calmness in the water allows you to explore a whole new world under your board, where dash by and curious turtles swim at your feet.
Reflections #explorecanada #fantastic_earth #huffpostgram #huffpostcanada #nikond300 #nikoncanada #natgeolandscape #landscapephotomag #tourcanada #universetoday #landscapephotographers #nikon #morninglight #oh_canada #nikonphotography #sunsetphotos #cangeo #explorebc #explorekamloops #shotonnikon #amazingearth #nikon_dslr_users #wildernessculture #outsideculture #ilovebc #imagesofcanada #tourcanada #mthrworld
A photo posted by Dave Markel (@davemarkelphoto) on https://www.instagram.com/p/BDXX8swMAe4/
Did we mention the views?
With miles of waterfront and isolated lakes, the South Thompson Shuswap is famous for its secret shores. Paddle up to one and spend the day (and maybe your night) on your own private beach.
A photo posted by Paul Anderson (@whiskeythrottleadv) on https://www.instagram.com/p/BF0PVzjGmK8/?tagged=scotchcreek
One of first ever paddleboards imported to Canada came through the South Thompson Shuswap, making the region one of the first SUP areas in the country. In the region, you’ll find some of Canada’s most knowledgeable stand up paddleboarders who are eager to share their advice on where to SUP.
A photo posted by Bodie Shandro (@paddlesurfit) on https://www.instagram.com/p/BH53zShgg95/?taken-by=paddlesurfit&hl=en
Best weather in the country
The South Thompson Shuswap is known for its blue skies and warm, comfortable temperatures.
I couldn't make it on time for #sup today because @vancouverwateradventures still closes at 7pm ????...so I'm reflecting on my #longweekend #paddleboarding adventures on #heffleylake. Thanks for the board @typhanieyetman and thank you to Bodie from #paddlesurfit who inflated my board for me and saved my weekend!! #zen
A photo posted by three bees (@three_bees) on https://www.instagram.com/p/BHgGvkfjvWP/
Stand up paddleboarding doesn’t have to be just for those with two legs. With dog friendly hiking trails and beaches, the South Thompson Shuswap is a natural fit for adding a dog to your paddleboard.
Everyone can do it
Most importantly, SUP in the South Thompson Shuswap is an activity for everyone. Beginners love the calm, gentle waters while more advanced paddlers can find challenges in downwinding in the Shuswap. Whatever your skill level or familiarity with SUP, there’s water waiting for you in the South Thompson Shuswap.
Paddle-Specific Local Businesses
Ready to walk on water in Canada’s SUP Capital? Any of these paddle-specific local businesses will have you on the water as soon as you can get to the South Thompson Shuswap.
A photo posted by Bodie Shandro (@paddlesurfit) on https://www.instagram.com/p/8JESXiybTY/?taken-by=paddlesurfit
Wake Up SUP
A photo posted by Wake Up Sup (@wakeupsup) on https://www.instagram.com/p/6yrLxcpE0q/
Guest Writer and Photographer: Doug Smith
Kamloops lies at the junction of two river valleys and in every direction, the hills rise up to the Interior Plateau. The drier climate in the City and in the surrounding valleys supports grasslands and open forest slopes. Above those slopes, forest covers the higher elevations of the Interior Plateau. Hikers can pick from dozens of trails that explore the grasslands hills, mountainous slopes, or upland forests. Some of the Kamloops’ best hikes are featured here.
- Battle Bluff
The Battle Bluff Trail starts in the Dewdrop Range, a protected grasslands area west of Kamloops overlooking Kamloops Lake. The trail climbs over some low hills, then drops to a lower open bench before climbing a rocky bluff to a viewpoint over the lake. The moderate-level trail is a 5 km return hike. The viewpoint on top of Battle Bluff is the featured spot of the route, but while hiking the trail, watch for bighorn sheep, deer, coyotes, hawks, and eagles.
- Dewdrop Trail
The lava cliffs of Red Plateau rise 2000 feet above the Dewdrop Range. From the trailhead, the route approaches the bottom of the cliffs then winds up a gully and onto a ridge which brings hikers to the rim of the escarpment. The trail continues west along the tops of the cliffs with open views to the east, south, and west. There are several good viewpoints on the way up, but if the goal is to have lunch on the top, the hike is 4 km up. Since the trail continues west for a few more kilometers you can pick your turn-around point, retracing your steps down the slopes to the start.
- Mara Canyon
Right on the edge of town, Mara Mountain stands over the floodplain of the Thompson River on Tranquille Road. The mountaintop stands 700 m above, but we can start hiking right next to the road. This is an informal (but popular) trail inside the Lac du Bois Protected area. Although some hikers park on the side of Tranquille Road and cross the CN Tracks, it is much safer to use the level road crossing at Ord Road, taking the left turn, parking at the end of the road. From there, a single track trail winds up through the sagebrush and splits into two. Take the left fork as it climbs a hill next to the canyon. Follow the track for 0.5 km and watch for a turn down to the canyon floor. The route continues up the dry stream course for 1km where the terrain opens up. A trail goes to the right to the top of the ridge (a good place to have lunch). Turn there and follow the ridge south to complete a loop route of about 4 km. The canyon features hoodoos, ragged erosion features, colorful cliffs, and fine views from the ridge. This rugged trail requires good hiking shoes/boots and trekking poles are recommended.
- Sunset – Mesa Trails
Kenna Cartwright Park is the largest city park (800 hectares) in British Columbia. There are over 36 designated trails ranging from easy to difficult. Hikers can combine trails to their own interests (Kenna Cartwright Park map). One of the best trails on the slopes of Mount Dufferin is a series of single and double tracks on the west end of the park. There are several official trailheads to choose from, but the one on Hillside Drive will be the best choice. Follow the Ponderosa Trail over to Sunset Trail to go to the viewpoint to enjoy the view out to Kamloops Lake, then follow the Mesa Trail as it winds its way through gullies, over ridges, up to viewpoints, working its way back Ponderosa again to return to the parking area, a 8km route on open slopes with many views.
- Grasslands Community Trail
North of Kamloops is the Lac du Bois Grasslands Protected Area, 15 712 hectares of grasslands, dry forests, hills, ponds, mountains, and a wide variety of habitats and terrain, all in close proximity to each other, but also close to Kamloops. One trail traverses multiple ecological zones from its high point in the McQueen Lake- Isobel Lake area down to the end of the trail near Deep Lake.
This trail is best done using a two vehicle system. Leave a vehicle lower down on Ida Lane (or at Westsyde Shopping Center) and start the hike at the trailhead in the forest at 990m elevation. Follow the signed trail through the forest on the east side of Griffin Lake staying outside the McQueen Lake Environmental Education Center over to meadows east of Clay Lake. The trail then winds through the forest and down through the gully of McQueen Creek before emerging into the open upper grasslands. The final section of the 14 km trail climbs over hills before dropping down to the lower grasslands near Deep Lake, then out to Ida Lane.
There are hundreds of trails to explore in the Kamloops area. Hikers and snowshoers take to the trails in all 4 seasons. We will see you on the trails.
Is it really Pumpkin Spice season? Man, time flies! Well before the snow starts to fall and the lakes start to freeze, how about heading off for one last weekend fishing excursion, and hey…it’s even right in our own backyard.
If you turn right on Paul Lake Road just off the Highway 5 North, follow it up for 16km and you will see Paul Lake Provincial Park on your right hand side. Head on down to the day use parking lot by the lake and grab your fishing gear, where you can either fish off the dock by the boat launch, or launch a small fishing boat in.
If you are going to go later in the day, make sure you bring a jacket as it does get chilly…definitely made the mistake of not bringing one up there and boy was it cold in flip flops! Fish were jumping left, right and center and not a single bite. But to watch that sun set in behind Gibraltar Rock, sure made the night with my partner in adventure that much nicer and worth every minute! Gibraltar Rock is also a really nice hike which starts at the end of the parking lot with the most breathtaking views of the lake and mountains. This hike is also dog friendly (on-leash) and family friendly. Although we didn’t venture up to the top this time, we’ll be back next season to conquer!
After a few hours on the water we decided to have a bite of our own. So we started up a campfire, had a weenie roast and camped under the stars at the Paul Lake campground with layers and layers of blankets. Of course we had a bit of downpour, but that just makes the adventure that much more exciting. As for now, we packed up our boat and fishing rods and will be waiting to go back out as soon as that snow melts!
Visitor Information Counsellor