This holiday season, hit the road and find yourself in a winter wonderland. Kamloops offers ample activities to play outside and take in the fresh air. The wide-open spaces that surround our region mean you can frolic on snowy trails, whether that's by snowshoe, ski or snowboard. Holiday events help usher in a festive spirit, and lively shops and breweries provide a welcome respite from the elements.
There's no shortage of ways to experience winter in Kamloops. So pack a bag and make the most of the season with the top 10 things to do this winter in Kamloops.
1. Skiing + Snowboarding
Long renowned for dry, powdery snow, and home to two ski resorts, Kamloops is ideal for hitting the slopes. You won't find long lift lines or crowded slopes here, either. Located 45-minutes north of Kamloops, enjoy 4,720 acres of skiable terrain across three mountains at Sun Peaks Resort, Canada’s second largest ski area. The resort is now open for the season, and day tickets can be purchased in advance online. Or take in Harper Mountain, set to open Dec 10, a family owned and operated ski resort located 20-minutes from downtown Kamloops that is full of history and rustic charm.
2. Snowshoeing + Winter Hiking
Get your heart pumping and enjoy the fresh air. With plenty of sunshine, mild winter temperatures, and snow in the surrounding hills, hiking in Kamloops is a year-round activity. Take in panoramic views from the Tower Trail in Kenna Cartwright Nature Park, one of BC’s largest municipal parks, or from the silt bluffs in Valleyview Nature Park. Bring your own snowshoes, or rent a pair from Overlander Ski Club, or Harper Mountain and enjoy snowy, tree-lined trails. Most places offer rentals from December onwards.
3. Cross-Country Skiing
In need of quiet reflection this holiday season? Try cross-country skiing. There's nothing like gliding through a peaceful forest blanketed in snow with just the sound of your skis beneath you. Located 20 minutes from downtown Kamloops, Stake Lake features more than 60 km of meticulously groomed and set trails perfect for day skiing, and 5 kms of lit trails for night skiing. Didn't pack your Nordic skis? Don't worry — you can rent a pair from the Overlander Ski Club at Stake Lake. Quiet times to visit are weekdays, Sundays, and before 11am. Remember to be Adventure Smart and bring plenty of water and snacks. Note: some areas of this trail network have limited to no cell service. Make sure to leave a trail plan with someone you trust. Stake Lake is open for the season as of November 26, 2022.
4. Ice Fishing
Kamloops is a known hot spot for freshwater fishing — even in winter. Try your hand angling for Kokanee Salmon, Rainbow Trout or Brook Trout. Where to go? Some of the best ice fishing is found on Tunkwa Lake, Monte Lake, Edith Lake, Walloper or Heffley Lake. If you're new to the sport, Kamloops is a great place to learn. Consider heading out with Elevated Fishing Adventures; they'll supply all the gear, local insight and know-how you need to haul up your first fish through the ice. Be ice aware with Adventure Smart before stepping onto any frozen surface.
There’s another way to venture down the hill this winter — no skis, snowboard, or skill needed. Give tired legs a break and take the family on an exhilarating slide down the Snow Town Tube Park at Harper Mountain. Open daily starting December 17th from 10am - 4pm. Night tubing available on Friday and Saturday nights 5-9pm.
Strap on a pair of skates and enjoy a seasonal tradition for many Canadians. In Kamloops, you can find frozen lakes or indoor rinks where you can take part in one of winter's great pastimes. Ice skate amongst snow-covered trees at Inks Lake, or at arenas, such as McArthur Island or Sandman Centre. Be ice aware with Adventure Smart before stepping onto any frozen surface.
7. Winter Biking
Kamloops is one of B.C.'s premier mountain bike destinations — just because there is snow doesn't mean you have to stop riding your bike. Load up the car with your fat bike and head to Kenna Cartwright Nature Park to crush powdery snow on natural slopes and trails. If you prefer maintained routes, try the Isobel Lake Recreational Trails. Located 17 km northwest of Kamloops, this area is home to over 30 km of machine groomed singletrack trails. While these trails are free to ride, consider making a donation at the Bicycle Cafe to the local bike organizations and trail builders who maintain Kamloops' trails for the enjoyment of all. Note: The trails in Kenna Cartwright are multi-use and popular with hikers so please be respectful of others enjoying the park.
8. Arts & Culture
Get into the holiday spirit with these winter events. From November 24 to December 10, a live play adaptation of the holiday classic "It's a Wonderful Life" comes to the Sagebrush Theatre. It's the movie masterpiece you know and love but told with new energy onstage in the form of a 1940s radio broadcast. The Kamloops Symphony Orchestra is offering a festive program featuring classic holiday hits. Tickets are available for "Christmas with the KSO," on December 17 and December 18. Help sing classic Christmas carols, presented by nine local choirs, in a "Choral Rhapsody," on December 19. Or, make a new holiday tradition this year with this panto adaptation of "Alice in Wonderland" on Christmas eve. Don't miss the return of the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train, which rolls into town on December 16.
9. Craft Breweries
Cozy up inside this winter with a brew from one of Kamloops local craft breweries. Each brewery serves up their own unique, innovative flare in the form of great food and beer.
- Noble Pig Brewhouse: Pair a mocha porter with one (or more) of their stuffed yorkies, made with local beef that's been braised in this dark, rich ale.
- Red Collar Brewing: An IPA is the perfect complement to their special-ordered Tongdak Korean fried chicken.
- Bright Eye Brewing: Revel in a seasonal pale ale poured directly from the tank with their famous crispy brussel sprouts.
- Iron Road Brewing: Indulge in their taqueria or nacho menu paired with a railroad-inspired flight.
- Alchemy Brewing: Satisfy your taste buds with their smoked chicken wings and a refreshing lager.
10. Holiday Shopping
Hit the shops and tick off your holiday gift list. Stores in Kamloops offer a festive holiday atmosphere and unique, one-of-a-kind items where you can pick up the perfect present. Downtown Kamloops is home to locally-owned, unique and eclectic boutiques while Aberdeen Mall is a one-stop shop, with more than 50+ national retail chains. Or, give the gift of experience for the skier or snowboarder, mountain biker, or wildlife lover in your life. Need a place to rest post-retail blitz? Find a comfortable place to stay.
Bonus: Catch a Blazers Hockey Game
Cheer on the Kamloops Blazers and catch WHL Hockey action at the Sandman Centre starting end of September. Watch as these potential NHL prospects play against teams such as Vancouver Giants, Kelowna Rockets, Prince George Cougars, and Victoria Royals.
We can't wait to welcome you to Kamloops this holiday season. Plan your visit now.