The semi-arid, desert landscape of Kamloops makes it one of the most unique places in British Columbia for hikers and photographers to explore. Local photographer and avid hiker, Tamra Jaeger, explains the appeal. “In late spring and summer, a radiant golden hue lights up the lush, green hills and sagebrush-covered landscape. At sunrise and sunset, the pink and orange colours are so saturated in the light that they almost look fake.”
Here are six incredible hikes in Kamloops to take in the view, and capture those golden, pink, and orange hues.
1. Tower and Sunset Trails at Kenna Cartwright Park
There are over 40 km (25 mi) of trails in Kenna Cartwright Park and the entire network of trails are sanctioned for hikers, bikers, and dogs. This makes it a popular area for everyone to enjoy nature together. Head for the Tower Trail, a slow and steady climb with the perfect place for a picnic lunch, or tackle the Sunset Trail for a wide scenic view of Kamloops Lake that is particularly spectacular at sunset.
2. Rim Loop Trail at Valleyview Nature Park
The Rim Loop, a 2.5 km (1.5 mi) trail, is the place to go if you’re looking for a view of downtown Kamloops. Follow the narrow single-track path above the Valleyview cliffs for the chance to capture the city in all its glory. It’s a great trail to hike in early spring, when the light is the best. It’s also a designated off-leash dog park, so you can bring your best friend along for the fun.
3. Gibraltar Rock at Paul Lake Provincial Park
A 30-min drive from downtown Kamloops sits Paul Lake Provincial Park. This is a popular destination in summer to relax beachside, with great hiking trails to tackle between swims. For a vista overlooking Paul Lake and the surrounding mountains, set your sights on Gibraltar Rock. Walk the 3.2 km (2 mi) trails through gentle terrain before reaching the viewpoint at 282 m (900 ft).
4. The Pimple at Tranquille
This more challenging 1 km (0.6 mi) trail is worth it for the views of the Thompson Valley and Kamloops Lake. The Pimple is located in Lac du Bois Grasslands Protected Area, known for its endless rolling hills, hidden lakes, wildlife sightings, and open grasslands.
5. Grassland Loop at Peterson Creek Nature Park
The Grasslands Loop is a 1.1 km (0.6 mi) flat gravel loop trail in Peterson Creek that is perfect for people of all abilities. With support from the Rick Hansen Foundation, improvements to the trail make it easier for strollers, wheelchairs, bikes, and children to take in a view of Kamloops.
6. Battle Bluff
This is the ideal sunrise and sunset spot in Kamloops. Battle Bluff is considered a challenging 4.8 km (3 mi) singletrack trail, but trekkers will be treated to sweeping views of Kamloops Lake and the surrounding sagebrush hills. If you plan to hike this trail in spring, you’ll be rewarded with a sea of wildflowers in bloom all around you.
For hikers who like a view, and photographers who like to capture it, you now have a list of go-to trails for your next adventure.