If your idea of nightlife is more cosmos than cosmopolitans (or both, that’s cool with us), there are plenty of great opportunities for stargazing in Kamloops. You might even catch the Northern Lights! Big, endless skies are one of our claims to fame, and the good news is that they don’t close for the night. Being outdoorsy doesn’t have to end at sunset, and we’re here to get you started. 


1. Stake Lake Star Park & Observatory

Through the summer, the Kamloops Astronomical Society hosts events at the Stake Lake Star Park & Observatory, which shares space with the Overlander Ski Club. Located 30 minutes south of Kamloops, with plenty of open space and dark skies, this is a prime location for stargazing. Keep an eye on the KAS website for upcoming events. 
To make the most of your visit, bring a chair and be prepared for an evening in the woods:

  • Wear appropriate shoes – The observatory is a short walk from the Ski Club parking lot, so flip-flops might let you down. 

  • Bundle up – Stake Lake is higher than Kamloops and gets colder after dark. No matter how hot the day is, it’s worth being ready for a nighttime chill. Pack blankets and a jacket, just in case.

  • Remember your bug spray – pack your favourite repellent and don’t let the mosquitos ruin your night.

  • Red lights recommended – Don’t ruin your night vision! Red wavelengths won’t cause your pupils to dilate like a full-spectrum light will, so choose a flashlight or headlamp with a red option. Now you can find your way around without blinding your friends!

  • Plan your trip – Stargazing is welcome year-round, but you can also enhance your experience by visiting during peak months. Stargazing at Stake Lake is best in the late summer to fall (August through October), as the evenings begin earlier and temperatures are still warm.


2. Lac Du Bois Grasslands

You don’t have to go far to find a great spot for stargazing. Just north of Kamloops, you’ll find the Lac Du Bois Grasslands just past the Batchelor Heights neighbourhood. While you won’t get entirely away from city lights here, the low rolling hills provide excellent, open views of the sky. Further up the road, you’ll hit the Lac Du Bois Grasslands Protected Area, which is full of beautiful spots to stop and enjoy the stars. This is a sensitive ecosystem, so be mindful of off-road vehicle and campfire restrictions during your visit. 

  • Getting there – head through town to Kamloops’ North Shore, and follow 8th Street until it turns into Batchelor Hills Drive. Once you’ve passed the last houses and hit the gravel road, you’ll find yourself in the Lac Du Bois foothills. Keep going until you find a spot you like.

  • Be safe – This area is home to endangered rattlesnake populations, so take a moment to familiarize yourself with their warning rattle. The grasslands are also tick territory, so use insect repellant, wear long pants, and check yourself and any pets before you go to bed.


3. Greenstone Mountain Lookout Trail

Located southwest of Kamloops, Greenstone Mountain Provincial Park boasts a 94-year-old forest service lookout tower that makes a great destination for stargazing. This site is maintained by local offroading clubs in partnership with BC Parks, so four-wheel drive will take you most of the way up. The lookout tower provides stunning 360° views with protection from the wind, making it ideal for astronomy. 

Backpackers may choose to overnight here, but be prepared – this is a rustic site with no amenities! If you opt to stay the night, be sure to pack drinking water and firewood, and practice good backcountry etiquette. Campfires are not allowed in the park, but the tower has a wood stove to keep you cozy.  

  • Getting there – head west from Kamloops on Highway 1 and take a left onto Selby/Greenstone Road. This is a rural road that becomes a forest service road with several twists and turns, but it should take you right to the top of the mountain if you stick to it.

  • Alternatively, head south on Highway 5 and take Exit 336 onto Meadow Creek Road, then take a right onto Paska Lake Road. Once you’ve passed the rec site, turn left onto Dominic Lake Road. About 7 km up, you’ll take a right to Greenstone Road. Signs for the lookout and rim trail should help you find your way.

  • High-clearance vehicles with 4x4 are strongly recommended for this route. The final 200 meters to the top are especially rough, so be prepared to finish the route on foot if necessary.


When to Stargaze in Kamloops

No telescope? No problem! There are several upcoming meteor showers you can view un-aided. Cross your fingers for clear skies and take a note of the following dates:

  • April 22, 2024 – wake up before dawn to catch the Lyrid Meteor Shower. Look southwest, just below the constellation Lyra for your best chance at viewing this one. 

  • May 5, 2024 – another early morning call, but this date is your best shot at the Aquariid Meteor Shower. Look south and find the Aquarius constellation for this one.

  • June 27, 2024 – as soon as it’s dark, look northwest to the Bootes constellation to catch the Bootiid Meteor Shower. Activity on this one will peak at 10 pm but continue through the night.

  • Aug 12, 2024 – Don’t miss this one! The Perseid Meteor Shower ought to be stunning this year, with excellent visibility in the early morning and low interference from moonlight. In-the-Sky.org estimates about 144 visible meteors an hour at its peak. On top of that, early August provides some of the best odds for clear skies in Kamloops. Look northwest and find the Perseus constellation to view this one. 

  • Check Aurora Forecast closer to your visit – the Northern Lights do show up above Kamloops sometimes!


Did you catch any falling stars? We won’t ask what you wished for but tag us on social @tourismkamloops with the hashtag #explorekamloops – we still want to hear all about your adventures stargazing in Kamloops!