Travel Back in Time in the Thompson
When Route 97 stretches its arms northwest through the Thompson Region you can’t help but think of the old west. Take a road trip through an ancient landscape carved by glaciers and rivers and smoothed by the ages. This is where cowboy and First Nation’s culture live on today. Your Thompson adventures has a variety of road trips. Choose from the North Thompson/Columbia Ice Fields Loop, the Gold Country Loop, and the Shuswap Loop.
As you travel northwest from Falkland’s lush farmland you’ll see the rounded slopes of the Monashee Mountains. Then the scenery changes to the bunchgrass and sage grasslands surrounding Kamloops and Cache Creek. Look up as you approach the city of Kamloops. Those same gentle slopes now sweep ever higher here. This is where you’ll find some of the best skiing in the BC Interior.
Mother Nature has lots of surprises in store for you in the Thompson. It’s here the North and South Thompson rivers converge in Kamloops. There are more than 200 lakes brimming with Kokanee and Rainbow trout. So pull over and cast your line, there are ample opportunities for fishing here.
Should you forget your rod, don’t worry — the Kamloops Visitors Centre will loan you one! Come and hike the windswept hoodoos when the alpine meadows are in full bloom. Imagine yourself standing amidst a rainbow of wildflowers. Another path will take you high atop a 10,000-year-old sandstone rock formation. Breathe deep and drink in the views all around you.
Kamloops — Wildlife, river, lakes, heritage, golf and more!
Bring the gang to get up close to the creatures who call the Thompson home. You’ll find plenty of wildlife, including the rare spirit bear, at the BC Wildlife Park east of town. To the west of Kamloops, relax and have fun at Kamloops Lake. Learn about the heritage of this area at the riverside Secwepemc Museum & Heritage Park. While you are there, also check out the remains of a 2,000-year-old village.
Pack your clubs and tee off in Kamloops, Canada’s Tournament Capital. Golf season can run from mid-March until October. Some of British Columbia’s finest golf courses surround Kamloops. There are over a dozen of them all within a short drive of the city centre. Maybe it’s here you’ll have your best game ever!
The Doorway to Gold Country
To find Gold Country, follow the sagebrush and tumbleweeds west from Kamloops to Cache Creek. this is Route 97’s northern most community in the Thompson Region. This area is rife with treasure of a different kind. There are hundreds of geocaching sites scattered along the Gold Rush Trail. Learn about our earliest explorers and settlers, and our robust First Nation’s culture along the way. Uncover our western roots and gold rush legends at a historic ranch. Then head north toward Alaska or south to Vancouver.
Beyond Route 97 — The Yellowhead Highway
Want more adventure? Drive north of Kamloops along the Yellowhead Highway (BC Hwy 5), for an iconic drive. Now you’re driving under the shadow of ever-taller mountains through the North Thompson Valley. This is the gateway to Jasper, Alberta and the Canadian Rockies.
There are plenty of experiences to be had along this seemingly endless stretch of highway. Rest your head for the night at a ranch in the Barriere area. In the morning, awake refreshed and hike the wildflower meadows in the mountains. Get your fill of waterfalls at Wells Gray Provincial Park. Try your hand at white water rafting on the Clearwater River. Journey further north to Blue River where Murtle Lake beckons you to explore by kayak or canoe. In summer you can watch bears in their natural habitat on a river safari. In the winter there’s always deep powder skiing. Want even more adventure? Then keep your vehicle pointed north to Valemount and Mount Robson Provincial Park. This Unesco World Heritage Site will challenge your hiking skills against the tallest peak in the Canadian Rockies.
Need to Know:
|Distance Vernon to Cache Creek:||155km/96mi|
|Duration to drive:||Minimum two to three hours|
|Best time to drive:||Year round|
Barriere Tourism Information Booth
British Columbia Visitor Centre at Mt Robson
500 Connaught Drive