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

From towering sandcastles (read: hoodoos below) to orchards and salmon spawning grounds, the Wellness, Wildlife, & Wine Loop will give you a fresh perspective of the Thompson-Okanagan region. Come as you are, try something new, and let curiosity be your compass.

From Kamloops, the 265km drive on Highway 1 loops back through Highway 97 and takes around five hours. Here are seven highlights of the Wellness, Wildlife, & Wine Loop. Do them all or do a few. Take a day or take two! This is a self-guided road trip that gets travelers off the beaten path and exploring some unique locations in the Interior of BC.

 

Hoodoos on East Shuswap Road

Start your day heading east along East Shuswap Road at the base of Mount Paul (hint: the mountain resembling a horse saddle). The South Thompson River snakes on the right, while the view from the driver’s side will showcase the weird and unique geological features, hoodoos.

The hoodoos are silt bluffs that formed from a glacial lake’s melt – which covered the entire Thompson Valley - where Kamloops is located - over 10,000 years ago.

Locals tip: At the 7km mark from the Highway 5 junction, snap a photo at this iconic location.

Llama Sanctuary

A 15-minute detour off the highway near Chase takes you on a picturesque, curvy side road to the Llama Sanctuary. Situated on a sprawling mix of farmland and forest, this sanctuary is dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of llamas and alpacas.

Note: walk-in tours are not available, please pre-book by calling or visiting their website.

Adams River Sockeye Salmon Run

Every fall, Sockeye Salmon return to their spawning grounds along the Adams River in Tsútswecw (meaning “many rivers” in Secwépemc) Provincial Park. Volunteers from the Adams River Salmon Society provide visitor information and complimentary tours annually to share their knowledge of the salmon ecosystem. Wander along accessible gravel trail to the salmon viewing platform.

Quaaout Lodge & Spa

On the shores of Little Shuswap Lake lies Quuaout Lodge & Spa, an Indigenous-owned resort. Take part in an authentic smudging ceremony with an elder from the Little Shuswap Band or enjoy locally-inspired cuisine at Jack Sam’s restaurant. Quuaout Lodge & Spa is a must-visit location on this road trip.

Larch Hills Winery

The view from the top at Larch Hills Winery is worth the winding road on the outskirts of Salmon Arm. This winery offers panoramic views of the surrounding foothills, as well as the friendliest winery sidekick (the Great Pyrenees pup). Enjoy a wine flight and pick up a bottle or two of bubbly. After all, not all souvenirs have to stick to your fridge or luggage.

The Village Cheese Company

Merlot-inspired, jalapeno-dipped, and squishy cheese curds are just a few specialty items at the Village Cheese Company in Armstrong. Experience local production in action behind a 30-foot wall of glass in the building that’s split into a retail shop and cheese factory.

Farmstrong Cider

Farmstrong Cider is a family-run cidery Thompson-Okanagan hospitality at its finest. Sip on a fresh flight of cider (dry-hopped or cherry, anyone?) as you sit in a reclaimed church pew in the spacious tasting room barn house.

 

Trip-Planning Resources

  • Click here for Google Maps directions of the Wellness, Wildlife, & Wine Loop
  • Plan and check highway conditions on Drive BC

Addresses

Llama Sanctuary | 2415 Chase Falkland Road, Chase
Adams River Sockeye Salmon Run | Tsútswecw Provincial Park, 2300 Squilax-Anglemont Road, Lee Creek
Quaaout Lodge & Spa | 1663 Little Shuswap Lake Road, Chase
Larch Hills Winery | 110 Timms Road, Salmon Arm
The Village Cheese Company | 3475 Smith Drive, Armstrong
Farmstrong Cider | 4300 Maw Road, Armstrong