Kamloops is the place where real places and rough edges are embraced. Here, spontaneity reigns, every street and trail are yours to explore, and wrong turns often lead to the greatest discoveries. So if you're looking for polish and flash, you're in the wrong valley. Whether you've got fun between your legs mountain biking alongside hoodoos, sipping back crafty gin cocktails, tantalizing your taste buds with local cuisine, or swinging balls across award-winning golf courses, Kamloops has what you crave. So come as you are, play in our weird and awesome backyard, and let curiosity be your compass
Take a winding road trip past some of North America’s best freshwater fishing lakes on the Copper & Cowboys Loop. From sampling bannock, authentic Indigenous cuisine, to savouring a sunset at Tobiano Golf – Canada’s top golf course, this road trip celebrates the golden gems of the BC Interior.
From Kamloops, the 290km drive winds along Highway 5A (“the Old Merritt Highway”, as locals call it) and takes around four hours. Here are eight places to visit along the Copper & Cowboys Loop.
Have a slow morning by starting off with a fresh cappuccino and breakfast bite from Amplified Café in downtown Kamloops. This café has a cozy perch for people-watching and trip planning (if you’re lucky enough to get the space before the morning commuters do).
Note: From May-October, the Kamloops Regional Farmers’ Market takes place on Wednesday mornings on the street outside Amplified Café. Pick up sweet treats for the day from one of the many vendors.
The scenic Highway 5A winds past lakes, grasslands, and ranch lands. Don’t be surprised if you see herds of cattle and cowboys on horseback along this route. Douglas Lake Ranch – Canada’s largest working cattle ranch – spans this entire route. Before you enter Merritt, spot Nicola Lake – a popular destination for locals - on your right-hand side.
Kekuli Café Indigenous Cuisine
A trip to Merritt isn’t complete without a visit to the Indigenous-owned Kekuli Café. With locations exclusive to the Thompson-Okanagan region, this is a must-visit location during the Copper & Cowboys Loop. The bannock and Powwow tacos are made fresh daily and are a tasty midday treat.
Logan Lake Mining Truck
Get up close to a 19 ft, 187-ton decommissioned ore haulage truck in Logan Lake, the hometown of many miners working nearby at Highland Valley Copper Mine. This is a good spot to stretch your legs and read up on the surrounding communities.
Historic Hat Creek
Just ten minutes north of Cache Creek is the Historic Hat Creek, an Indigenous-owned heritage park that immerses visitors in the Gold Rush era. Cache Creek was a popular stop for gold prospectors, which can be experienced by touring the onsite stage house and hearing from local storytellers.
Cariboo Jade & Gift Shoppe
In 2019, the Cariboo Jade & Gift Shoppe made national headlines after a 1,300 kg jade boulder was stolen outside the family-owned shop. Today, the boulder is safely stored inside alongside gemstones, minerals, and unique trinketsto purchase.
Jade is the provincial gemstone, as British Columbia has some of the largest Nephrite Jade deposits in the world.
Black Iron Club & Grill at Tobiano Golf
Enjoy a local brew, or glass of regional wine, on the patio at Black Iron Club & Grill at Tobiano Golf. This restaurant offers panoramic views of Kamloops Lake, including watching the twilight teams finish up on the 18thhole of Canada’s top-course.
- Click here for Google Maps directions of the Copper & Cowboys Loop
- Plan and check highway conditions on Drive BC
Amplified Café | 455 Victoria Street, Kamloops
Kekuli Café Indigenous Cuisine | 2051 Voght Street, Merritt
Logan Lake Mining Truck | 31 Chartrand Avenue, Logan Lake
Historic Hat Creek | Intersection of Hwy 99 & 97, Cache Creek
Cariboo Jade & Gift Shoppe | 1093 Todd Road, Cache Creek
Black Iron Club & Grill at Tobiano Golf | 38 Holloway Drive, Tobiano