About Kamloops, British Columbia
Brilliant blue skies. With over 2,000 hours of sunshine each year, all of our seasons are perfect for escaping to the outdoors. Spring starts early, to the delight of golfers and boaters. Summer is hot and sunny with warm days extending well into autumn. And with our endless blue skies and famous dry powder, winter in Kamloops is a snowy, playtime paradise. The City of Kamloops located at the junctions of Hwy 1,97,5 and 5A It is a commercial and cultural center, a thriving cosmopolitan community where shopping, entertainment, and artistic expression and sporting challenge are found in full measure. Winter is special in Kamloops with lots of powder snow and an average of more than 10 hours of sunshine each day. Sun Peaks Resort is by far the most favorable winter haven in the area.
Spectacular landscapes. Kamloops is home to an incredibly diverse landscape of sagebrush-covered hills, ravines, wide open grasslands, rugged mountains, forested valleys and pristine lakes. As a semi-arid ecosystem, our natural environment provides habitat for many unique plants and animals. The choices for hiking in Kamloops Country are endless - Sugarloaf Mountain, the Hoodoos, Dewdrop Range, Tranquille River, Gibraltar Rock and Kenna Cartwriight Park provide some of the finest hiking in the area. Riders from around the world consider Kamloops Country to be mountain biking heaven - from the D Drop and Fat Tire Flyer, to Mara Mountain and the Razor Back, there are trails for experts, beginners and middle-of-the track riders. At Sun Peaks Resort, you can catch a lift up to the high-country and experience awesome hiking as well as downhill mountain biking on 40km (25mi) of single track. If you like kayaking, your only problem will be deciding which perfect stretch of water to spend the day on since there are over 100 lakes and streams within an hour's drive of Kamloops. Take it easy on the smooth South Thompson River, or throw yourself into the waves of the Adams River or the Thompson west of Savona. For a great day of canoeing, check out Kamloops Lake, which is actually a huge widening of the Thompson River.
Non-stop outdoor fun. Whether you prefer adrenaline-charged excitement or more laid-back pursuits, you'll find unsurpassed opportunities to pursue your outdoor passions. Nowhere else will you find championship golf courses, renowned mountain biking, world-class skiing, dozens of lakes for fishing and boating, and more - all within 45 minutes of downtown. If golf is your game, then this is where you need to be. Here in sunny Kamloops Country, golf is considered to be one of life's essentials. With 18 courses in scenic locales and an extra-long playing season, your golf adventure is conveniently close and the play is as challenging as you want. Test your skills on ten 18-hole championship courses, with Tobiano being the latest opened in June 2007. Eaglepoint Golf Course is one of Canada's top 100 courses and is situated on a high plateau above the South Thompson River Valley, nestled in a fragrant pine forest on rolling terrain.
Relaxed western hospitality. Although we have everything you'd want in an urban centre, we haven't forgotten our small town roots. You'll love our unhurried lifestyle and our warm and friendly people.
A vibrant downtown. With its mix of unique shops, historic buildings, tree-lined streets and brick sidewalks, the downtown area is the heart and soul of our city.
A convenient location. By road, by rail or by air, Kamloops is easy to get to. Four major highways come together in our city, providing convenient access from major centres such as Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Seattle.
Another place to visit in Kamloops Country is the town of Barriere, just 66 km (41 mi) north of Kamloops on Hwy 5. Barriere's unique community has a character all of its own. It's laid back attitude accommodates those who genuinely enjoy pristine lake views, powder drenched slopes and abundant forests. Barriere offers a wide variety of recreational opportunities. Lake fishing in the area is considered some of the best in BC while The Thompson Valley Fall Fair and Rodeo entertains spectators every year. In the winter, visitors flock to Barriere as the area is fast becoming a winter sanctuary for snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. The summer is even more promising as the gorgeous lakes melt to offer all manner of water sports. Barriere is also known for its hiking, horseback riding and hunting. People love to visit this town because it is an idyllic community with small-town values and many outdoor activities.
Chase is another budding town in Kamloops country. Located 56 km (35 mi) from Kelowna on Hwy 1, Chase is known as the "Home to the Big Horn Sheep". This town combines spectacular scenery and nature that characterizes interior BC with all the amenities of a large city. Residents of Chase enjoy a splendid waterfront view afforded by the town's location on the outlet of the South Thompson River. This quaint and quiet town offers visitors a relaxing stop over at while traveling though British Columbia.
Sun Peaks Resort is an international year-round resort just a short drive from Kamloops. Boasting 117 ski runs on three mountains, an average snowfall of 559 cm (that's 17feet!) and a visually stunning European-inspired village, Sun Peaks is one of the finest resorts in all of Canada. Even in the summer, this resort provides lots of recreation opportunities including a challenging 18-hole golf course and some of the most technical downhill mountain biking available.
Canada's Tournament Capital
With close to $50 million invested in new and renovated facilities to launch our Canada's Tournament Capital initiative, Kamloops is the premier host centre for tournaments, cultural events, high performance training camps, and national and international competitions. Click here for more information on the Tournament Capital Centre.
As a warm and friendly city that supports sports and recreation to its fullest, there is always a solid support team involved in every event. This includes dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers, spirited ambassadors, and of course incredible support from local businesses and spectators.
In 2009, Kamloops hosted 92 tournaments, held numerous cultural events, and welcomed thousands of participants and spectators to the city. For many years, Kamloops has been synonymous with first-class events, a knowledgeable and enthusiastic volunteer base, strong athletic showings, and a wide variety of outstanding venues.
The City of Kamloops has long recognized Sport Tourism as an economic generator for the City and to that end has made Canada's Tournament Capital one of its top goals in City Council’s Strategic Plan. Sport tourism is now the fastest growing segment of the tourism industry in Canada.
The History of Kamloops, British Columbia
Kamloops - A Meeting Place
The word Kamloops comes from the Secwepemc word “Tk’emlúps”, meaning "where the rivers meet" and in this case referring to the flowing together of the North and South Thompson rivers. In the early days, 30 bands of Secwepemc (or Shuswap people) lived along the rivers and lakes of BC’s south-central interior, moving constantly, thus being known as a semi-nomadic nation. A bounty of elk, deer, salmon, wild plant roots and berries dominated the Thompson Valley, as well as excellent farmland and water sources for growing crops. This made for a suitable place to settle and eventually set up trading posts to trade furs and contraptions with the white man. The earliest human remains date back to over 8,250 years ago, yet it is not known exactly how long the people have occupied the valley. Before the Shuswap, vast ice sheets covered the valley.
From train robberies to stagecoach transport, to cattle ranching, Kamloops is home to the true wild west drama of the Kamloops region. Europeans arrived in Kamloops around 1811. From their technical advances came further trading, industry, the railroad, and ship transport. The Gold Rush brought wealth and a large influx of people searching for a better life. In 1893, Kamloops was incorporated with less than 1,000 people; yet today it is a population of nearly 85,000 and growing.
Kamloops is still a central hub with its south central geographic location in the province connecting to Calgary, Vancouver, and the northern Cariboo-Chilcotin regions.
The people of Kamloops are what truly make the heart of Kamloops beat. Kamloopsians care about keeping the city beautiful and keeping our heritage alive: encouraging the western heritage of genuine leather, giving a wholesome friendly smile, and incorporating a cosmopolitan flair with exquisite, high-end urban amenities.
Western Heritage of Kamloops, BC
Kamloops has a rich history of wild west lore that still shines through today. After all, the city has been a ranching community since the nineteenth century, and even today, ranching is an integral part of the lifestyle of many residents. It’s easy to immerse yourself in Kamloops' western heritage. Check out the annual Kamloops Cowboy Festival or take in our scenery by horseback.
Rodeos, Festivals and Fairs
Amateur rodeos are held almost every weekend in the summer, and the world renowned Kamloops Cowboy Festival is an annual event occurring every spring with 3 full days of cowboy poetry, music and other events. Fairs, such as the Provincial Winter Fair, offer a chance to mingle with local ranchers and farmers and horsemanship clinics are popular for those looking to learn to ride or to sharpen up on their skills.
© 2012, Tourism Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. All Rights Reserved.