Kamloops is home to unique, geographical landscapes including sagebrush, grasslands, and hoodoos. Hike to see hoodoos formed by volcanic rock or go for a scenic drive to view silt bluffs from a glacial lake. Here are 3 spots where you can see the ancient formations around Kamloops.
East Shuswap Road
The silt plateau that sits above the East Shuswap Road is the remains of what was once the floor of an ancient glacial lake. Near the end of the Ice Age, glacier ice filled the North Thompson Valley and waters were temporarily dammed in the South Thompson valley, forming a glacial lake. The silt-rich glacial meltwater, derived from glacier grinding on rock, settled to the lake floor and over time tens of meters of sediment accumulated. Eventually the glacier receded, releasing the lake waters and re-establishing the South Thompson River. The river cut a valley through the soft silt, leaving the old lake floor high and dry, as benchlands of silt. A drive along East Shuswap Road gives you the best views of these silt bluffs and hoodoos.
Drive east on East Shuswap Road. Along the drive, notice the silt bluffs and hoodoos; the remains of an ancient glacial lake bed. After about 7km there is a pull off on the left side of the road where you can take photos and admire the most prominent of these silt hoodoos. You can continue to drive down East Shuswap Road to take in more sights and indulge in a wine tasting at Harpers Trail Winery or Monte Creek Winery before returning to Kamloops.
Cinnamon Ridge Hoodoos are the eroded remains of an ancient volcano that erupted in the area 50 million years ago. The weathering of volcanic rocks released iron that stained the rock a cinnamon brown colour, giving the ridge its name. A trail will bring you closer to the hoodoos and through the old stream bed that carved slot-like canyons through the volcanic rock.
Drive west on Tranquille Road past the airport for about 2.5kms and turn right onto Ord Road. Drive over the train tracks and turn left. Follow the dirt road, driving slowly, until you reach the cul-de-sac at the end for parking. From here, you can follow the trail that will take you right up to the hoodoos.
Please note that the Tranquille Road access to the trail, by parking along Tranquille Road and hiking over the train tracks, is illegal. Please follow the directions above for the legal and safe access to Cinnamon Ridge Hoodoos.
Dallas-Barnhartvale Nature Park
Just off Highway 1 East, the Dallas-Barnhartvale Nature Park is home to silt bluffs, formed by the same glacial lake that formed the East Shuswap Road silt bluff. Hike through the silt bluffs to the top of the benchlands for a view overlooking the South Thompson River Valley.
Head east along the Trans-Canada Highway and take exit 384 for Dallas Drive/Barnhartvale. Take the second exit at the roundabout and proceed on Dallas Dr. Turn right onto Mountainview Drive in 2.2km and park in the small parking area. You’ll get the best views of the hoodoos on either the Pussy Willow or Hoodoo Trail.
Learn more about hiking Kamloops trails and exploring the unique geography.