Get your blood pumping on an energizing Nordic ski loop in the ‘Loops. Head just outside the city to Overlander Ski Club at Stake Lake to hit cross-country trails that will give you twice (or thrice) the views as you go loopy for these circular(ish) routes that trek through forests and across canyons, and glide you alongside frozen lakes.
Not all of nature is hibernating so look out for wildlife like ermines, lynx, bobcats, moose and calves, bald eagles, rabbits, and the resident ravens (Steve and Cindy) as you make your way around. High up above the clouds, there is usually enough sun to spot a woodpecker or whiskey jack in the ancient trees, and you’re also likely to catch stunning stars if you’re skiing after dark.
Start – and finish– at the rustic lodge, where you can meet friends and fuel up with potluck food or warm up by the fire with a coffee afterwards (bring your own and use the hot water dispenser there!). The beauty of a loop is you come back to where you started, so it’s always easy to gather again, no matter which route you take.
Don’t have your own skis or snowshoes? No worries - you can rent them from the Overlander Ski Club before you hit the trails.
Nice for newbies: Greens Loop
New to Nordic skiing? You’ll love this loop so much you’ll want to go round it again and again until you get dizzy (don’t worry, you won’t really be going that fast). Gentle gradients and rolling terrain make this short green-rated loop an easy intro to cross-country skiing for first-timers and newbies, then head back to the lodge for a warm bevvy!
Loop: Head north from the Day Lodge on Ponderosa, take the second right onto Hoss. When Hoss meets Ponderosa again head left and follow Ponderosa back to the lodge and give yourself a high-five for making it back!
Total distance: 4km
Incredible for Insta: The Lookout Loop
Get ready for some epic views of Lac Le Jeune on this intermediate blue-rated loop that takes you through 11km of Insta-friendly scenery. Seeking a sunset? Ski to the apex of the Lookout Loop to catch the last of the winter sun and bring a headlamp to light up your life (and the trail) on the way back to the lodge!
Loop: Head out on Cartwheel towards Drifter, and then continue left past Drifter Junction. At the next junction head right, skiing south on Rustler. Continue straight onto Ambush and then take your first right to join the Lookout Loop. Ski to the apex that overlooks Lac Le Juene and follow the loop around to rejoin the trails and reverse your route to the lodge to warm up.
Total distance: 11km
Challenge accepted: Holdup Loop
Up for a challenge? Take the lake’s longest stretch of downhill skiing in the system, with sharp turns and a black-rated slope on the Holdup Loop. Get ready for an advanced Nordic ski through a groomed cross-country route that covers more challenging terrain. Come here in the summer to bike it, too, if you can’t get enough of it this winter.
Loop: Head out clockwise on Cartwheel, then turn left on Ponderosa, turn right on Skel'ep, and continue straight onto Rustler, stay right after 1.1 km at the Y junction. Take your second right off of Rustler onto Rattler, follow Rattler until the T intersection of Holdup, turn right and follow Holdup back to the lake. (Sounds complicated? Don't worry, you can grab a paper map from the gate attendants, review maps at every junction or follow the online maps)
Total Distance: 7.8km
Travel light: Lit Loop
The fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Get lit the whole way around this illuminated loop (no, not like that!) and enjoy a night of skiing under the stars on a short trail that has lights all the way around. On week days, the lodge is open until 9pm so you can enjoy a starlit ski late into the evening.
Loop: Take the illuminated trail south away from the lodge along Cartwheel, making a loop through the lit trail that takes in parts of Outlaw and Bronco before rejoining Cartwheel. Follow the lights to ski counterclockwise around the lake until you reach the lodge again!
Total Distance: 3.2km
Fantastic for fur babies: Dog Loop
Calling all dog moms and dads! No need to leave your pup at home this season. Bring them along on the dog-friendly loop at Stake Lake where you can ski with your four-legged friend through 5km of trails. (Check out our dog-friendly stays!)
Loop: The dog trail at Stake Lake consists of a 5km loop with a 2.5km cut off in the middle that makes two separate loops. Head’s up: It’s one-way skiing (to the left) for the safety of all skiers and dogs. Parking is separate from the main area, but this is a paid off-leash area, so please check in with the ticketbooth before you head over to ski with your pooch!
Total distance: 5km
BONUS LOOP - Spruce up your snowshoes: Canyon Loop
Why should skiers have all the fun? Get your snowshoes on and get out on the picturesque Canyon Loop that treks through forests of old spruce trees, traverses a beautiful canyon, and gets you to a va-va-voom viewpoint of the valley below.
Loop: Head south on the lake trail from the lodge, cross over the ski trails at the stadium and head onto the Stadium trail. Follow the Stadium trail and take the first left onto Cow Creek. Follow this trail until it becomes The Spruce Canyon, heading back towards the lodge. This will eventually become the Rattler Viewpoint trail, where you will meander upwards to a beautiful view of the valley. Once this trail rejoins Stadium, head right on Stadium to where it rejoins the Lake trail, taking a left back to the lodge along the Lake trail.
Total distance: 5km
Get out and about this season and let loose in the ‘Loops, dabble in other Nordic ski options, and indulge in a hearty meal at one of our local restaurants to keep fuelled up and ready for action! Save big on your stay in Kamloops this season with our Travel Deals.