Hiking in Kamloops
Hike through Kamloops' desert-like valley setting surrounded by wide-open grasslands, fragrant sagebrush, ponderosa pine forests, deep gorges, sandstone canyons, and chiseled hoodoos. From meandering strolls through grasslands to hiking rugged, steep valleys, there are trails for every level of adventurer.
Hiking Best Practices
Here are some best practices for social distancing while hiking:
- Keep at least 2 metres (6 feet) from others
- Visit parks and trails during less busy times
- Stay local, avoid crowded parks and trails
- Don’t linger and avoid gathering in groups
- Hike solo (or only with your household)
- Wash or sanitize hands after touching communal surfaces like gates or garbage bins
- Bring your own ‘Clean Trip Kit’. A clean trip kit includes hand sanitizer, gloves and toilet paper
- Stay home if you are feeling sick, especially if you are coughing or experiencing a fever
Hiking Trails & Areas
Kenna Cartwright Nature Park
Kenna Cartwright Nature Park is the largest municipal park in British Columbia, covering almost 800 hectares of terrain. The park features over 40kms (25 miles) of trails of varying difficulties that are enjoyed by hikers, mountain bikers, walkers, families, and dogs. The park offers many breathtaking views of the Thompson Valley and Kamloops as well as several benches and picnic tables where you can catch your breath. Kenna Cartwright Park is delightful any time of the year, for any skill of hiker, and is off-leash dog-friendly.
Peterson Creek Nature Park
Peterson Creek Nature Park is situated in the heart of the city along a natural creek corridor. The park encompasses almost 100 hectares and features over 10km of trails. Trails vary in difficulty, largely influenced by elevation change, and offers trails for every skill level. Peterson Creek is widely used during the summer months, is off-leash dog-friendly, and features a remarkable view of the downtown core.
Valleyview Nature Park
High above the silt bluffs of Valleyview, explore the trails of the Valleyview Nature Park as they wind through the fragrant desert sagebrush. A variety of trails allow you to discover the hidden beauty that awaits you in this small park. You might even catch a glimpse of mountain bikers tackling the Kamloops terrain in the Kamloops Bike Ranch next door.
Dallas-Barnhartvale Nature Park
The Dallas-Barnhartvale Nature Park connects the Barnhartvale and Dallas communities through a series of trails through the grassland landscape. Take in views along the South Thompson River as you admire the silt cliffs below.
Distance: 3.2km (2 miles)
Time: 1 hour
Located in the Lac du Bois Grasslands 40 minutes from downtown Kamloops, explore the interpretive trail that loops around Isobel Lake. The 3km low mobility trail offers rest benches, picnic tables, and fully accessible outhouses and docks so that everyone - including those in strollers or wheelchairs - can enjoy the trail.
Distance: 4.8km (3 miles)
Time: 1.5 hours
The Battle Bluff Trail begins in the Dewdrop Range, a protected grasslands area west of Kamloops that overlooks Kamloops Lake. The trail winds over a low hill then descend to some open grasslands before climbing the rocky bluff to the viewpoint overlooking the lake. The medium difficulty trail is a 4.8 km return hike. Take in the extensive panoramic views of Kamloops Lake from the summit of Battle Bluff.
Distance: Up to 12km (7.5 miles)
Time: 3+ hours
The Dewdrop Trail also starts in the Dewdrop Range. The trail approaches the bottom of the cliffs, climbing the ridge and brings hikers to the edge of the cliffs. This trail offers a commanding view of the Thompson Valley below. There are many picturesque spots to stop and take in the view or have some lunch. Photo
Gibraltar Rock Trail
Distance: 3.7km (2.3 mi)
Time: 1-1.5 hrs
Located in the Paul Lake Provincial Park, the Gibraltar Rock hike will reward you with sweeping views of Paul Lake. The hike begins just past the cartop boat launch in the day-use area of the park. Pack a lunch to enjoy at the top or once you return to the beach.
En route to Sun Peaks Resort, Embleton Mountain trails climb to an incredible view of Heffley Lake. At nearly 9km, it’s a great trail to get your heart pumping and includes a gazebo and picnic table awaiting you at the summit. Be sure to stop and smell the flowers during the warmer months as this trail winds through fields of blooming alpine wildflowers. Photo:
Sun Peaks Resort
From mid June – September, explore the 18 designated hiking trails at Sun Peaks Resort. Choose from easy, sightseeing strolls to an awe-inspiring summit and a break at Tod Lake. An exciting time to visit is during the alpine blossom season, which occurs between mid-July to mid-August. Witness rolling alpine meadows in their kaleidoscope of wildflower brilliance while taking in the delightful aromas of the blooms.
Reducing Conflict with Wild Animals
Kamloops is a natural playground with great outdoor opportunities, but with this, we must also be mindful of the fact that we share the outdoors with all types of wildlife. It is our responsibility to ensure that we do not contribute to human-wildlife conflict.
Specific information on the various species can be found on Wildsafe BC under the species pages, but when hiking in Kamloops these general rules can help:
- Plan ahead. Know what type of wildlife you might encounter.
- Know the wildlife's timetable. Often mid-day is a good time to avoid many types of larger predators and conversely, dawn and dusk, are inopportune times to be in the area.
- Wildlife avoidance. Whether it is a bear, cougar or a defensive cow moose, it is always better to have avoided a confrontation.
- Take wildlife safety training. Specific knowledge about bear, cougars, rattlesnakes and other species.
- Carry bear spray with you at all times. Bear spray is effective against all large mammals and should be your first choice as a deterrent.
- Mountain biking and running increase your risk of encountering wildlife (due to your speed and lack of sound) - recognize this and increase your vigilance.
See where others are hiking