HomeTrue North Blog

Best Things To Do in Kamloops

The Kamloops Heritage Steam Engine is known as the best thing to do in Kamloops, but there is more to this British Columbia town than first meets the eye. Kamloops offers various activities perfect for travellers of all ages and abilities.

Aerial view of downtown Kamloop and the Thompson River

Rustic cafes and restaurants dot the downtown alongside stores. One can also delve into the area's rich history by visiting the local museum. The city's outskirts are a beautiful showcase of the abundant wilderness of British Columbia. There are also many outdoor things to do in Kamloops that allow visitors to explore nature.  

Skiing, riding on horseback, and paddling are just some of the most ways to immerse oneself in the wild beauty of the area. 

The travel experts at Canadian Train Vacations know the best way to take in the breathtaking views of Kamloops is on a train journey with the Rocky Mountaineer.

1. Explore Riverside Park on foot 

Riverside Park, in the center of the city, is a green oasis located on the banks of the Thompson River. You may enjoy a quiet picnic or spend an afternoon swimming at the beach.  

Playing at the water pad or strolling around the rose garden are two of the top Kamloops activities to do with your family — and both are found in this park. You could also just relax and take in the beautiful scenery of Mount Paul.  

You should know that there is a strict no-dogs policy if you plan to bring along your pets. 

People sit on a bench looking out at the lake as the sun sets in Kamloops

2. Visit Sun Peaks 

 Sun Peaks is a popular ski resort that offers various activities throughout the year. More than 122 downhill, snowboarding, and cross-country ski trails open up in the winter. Skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels can enjoy the light, dry powder snow. There are beginner's courses taught by competent instructors. Guests may also go cross-country skiing or stroll through the quaint shops and eateries in the town area. 

During the warm summer months, guests may enjoy the resort's mountain bike and hiking paths and the area's famously beautiful golf course. No matter what season it is, you shouldn't miss out on the opportunity to go to Sun Peaks. 

Sun Peaks Resort village in winter with lots of snow and the sun rising behind the mountains

3. Bike through Kenna 

 The Kenna Cartwright Park in Kamloops is the biggest municipal park in all of British Columbia measuring 2,000 acres.  

Kenna Cartwright, one of the city's former mayors, was a big proponent of preserving the area's parks. This one was named in her honour. Its 40 kilometres of paths can be used for walking, running, or biking. The well-known Tower Trail is a challenging hike that offers spectacular vistas over the city. The trail is rather steep, but the ascent is well worth it for the reward at the top.  

Visit Sunset Trail in the evening to see a breathtaking panorama of the sun setting over Kamloops Lake. This trail is another option that is quite popular among the locals. Another option, the Reservoir Route, is one of the best things to do in Kamloops for families given its low total elevation gain and its beautiful stops for picnics. 

The park map will tell you the level of difficulty of each trail, allowing you to choose the one that best matches your abilities and preferences. The trails are used by mountain bikers, dog walkers, and hikers, so be aware of your surroundings and be considerate of other people who are using the trails. 

Two people mountain biking through the arid landscape of Kenna Cartwright Park in Kamloops
Download our Canada By Train Brochure

Keep reading or discover more travel inspiration in our brochure. This guide showcases our world-famous train journeys, with ideas for personalizing your Canadian vacation.

Download brochure

4. Embrace the wild at BC Wildlife Park, Kamloops 

 Learn more about the amazing animals that call this area home at the British Columbia Wildlife Park. Since it opened its doors in 1966, the little zoo has been providing medical attention and foster care for native animals that have been wounded.  

The wildlife park is home to around sixty-five different kinds of animals and birds, some of which are very elusive, such as the Kermode bear, cougars, deer, moose, and grizzlies. Take a guided tour to get valuable knowledge about the animals and to hear intriguing anecdotes about the zoo. 

Close up of a grizzly bear walking through the forest

5. Taste the wine at Monte Creek 

 The Monte Creek Ranch Winery has set out to recreate the experiences of the region's first settlers and adventurers. Be immersed in the natural splendour and abundant resources that drew these early settlers to the West.  

Participate in a wine tasting, have dinner in the fresh air on the Terrace, explore the vineyard, and browse for regional goods. In addition, learn more about the emerging trends in the world of winemaking. 

Pathway and green grass in front of the main building at Monte Creek Ranch Winery

6. Go boating on Kamloops Lake 

 Close to the city, you can go canoeing, kayaking, or stand-up paddleboarding on the calm waters of Kamloops Lake.  

The lake extends for a total distance of 29 kilometres, has a width of 1.6 kilometres, and reaches a maximum depth of roughly 150 meters. It is the ideal size for a peaceful paddle on the water due to its breadth and depth. 

While paddling along the coastline, take some time to take in your surroundings. You'll see some intriguing sights along the way, such as cliffs, rocky beaches, hoodoos, and railroad tracks.  

Sun setting over Kamloops Lake and Battle Bluff 

7. Stroll around downtown 

If you want to get a feel for the city of Kamloops, you should go to the downtown area and explore the many stores, restaurants, and cultural attractions.  

Spend an afternoon window shopping and browsing the boutiques for souvenirs. Look for books by Canadian writers in the local bookshop. Visit this sporting store — this is a great spot to grab some winter gear, like a warm hat and gloves. Or visit the souvenir shop and bring home a small piece of Indigenous art.  

When you need a break from shopping, stop for a bite to eat or linger over a cup of coffee at one of the many cafes in the area. There are a variety of restaurants to choose from, including Indian food, Mexican cuisine, and even a poutinerie.

A tree-lined street in downtown Kamloops with red brick buildings on the left

8. Travel back in time with a steam locomotive 

 The Kamloops Heritage Railway is the area's most popular attraction. It is a must-see for train buffs. The Canadian Locomotive Company constructed 25 locomotives specifically for the Canadian Northern Railway, and one of those engines, number 2141, still resides at the non-profit Kamloops Heritage Railway.  

The engine was first used for the transportation of people through the plains and across the Rockies in the early 20th century. Eventually, it found its way out to British Columbia, where it was employed on Vancouver Island in the 1950s by the forestry industry.  

The steam locomotive was lovingly rebuilt and can now be seen in Kamloops, where it gives tourists a chance to experience what it was like to ride a train in the good old days. The engine operates for various special events throughout the year, including a Halloween Trick or Treat train, a Christmas train in the early winter months, and a Spirit of Kamloops tour in the summers.  

The tours often reach capacity quickly and last anywhere from sixty minutes to an hour and a half, during which they travel eight kilometres along the railway. So be sure to get your tickets in advance if you want to take part in this trip down memory lane.  

Close up of a steam locomotive at the Kamloops Heritage Railway

9. Play a round of golf 

Golfers, this one's for you: Kamloops has seven courses considered to be among the best in the world. Its playing season usually lasts eight months, from March through to October.  

The golf courses in the Kamloops area make the most of the stunning and distinctive natural elements of the region. This includes high cliffs, rolling meadows, beautiful mountains, and rough valleys, among other natural features. 

The Tobiano Golf Course is recognized as one of the most contemporary and well-played courses in the area. This par 72 golf course was designed by Thomas McBroom and constructed on a historic ranch. The course's layout allows one to really appreciate the wonderful scenery of the surrounding area.  

Talking Rock Golf Resort is another well-known course. It offers 18 holes, par 72, and a picturesque setting on the beaches of Little Shuswap Lake. It is located in the nearby town of Chase, approximately 45 minutes outside Kamloops. 

There are many different courses to choose from, so regardless of your current level of expertise, you should have no trouble finding some entertaining and challenging rounds.  

Tobinao Golf Course next to Kamloops Lake

10. Go Fishing 

If you like fishing, you'll be pleased to learn that you can fish in and around Kamloops almost every day of the year. The area has several lakes and rivers that are perfect fishing grounds.  

The best times of year for fishing are usually the spring and autumn seasons. Still, a dedicated fisherman will find that the summer and winter months provide some very different and exciting opportunities. 

During the summer, you should go up into the mountains and check out the fishing in lakes located at higher elevations to see what fish you can catch.  

Throughout the winter months, the fish are still actively biting, and Kamloops is a great area to try ice fishing. Monte Lake, a little more than half an hour outside of the city, is a fantastic location. Be sure to consult with a local guide to make sure that the ice is thick enough to allow you to ice fish safely.  

A person stands in a lake and casts his fishing rod 

11. Become a Knight Rider 

 Visit one of the local ranches to go on a horseback excursion in the Kamloops region. You will have a wonderful time discovering the natural splendour of the southern interior area, regardless of whether this is your first time riding or if you are an experienced rider. 

Many ranches in the area, such as the Campbell Hills Guest Ranch and the Jandana Ranch, provide opportunities for horseback riding excursions. Despite their proximity to the city, the ranches' bucolic landscapes make them an excellent choice for city dwellers searching for a quiet retreat. 

No matter which ranch you choose, the start of the journey will consist of getting to know the horses. You will work directly with your horse, often assisting with grooming and feeding the animal.  

The next step is to get out into the trails. Trips geared at novices go at a relaxed pace over less strenuous routes, yet provide beautiful scenery. Riders with more experience can crank up the pace and investigate some exciting new route possibilities. 

You can sign up for either a half-day or full-day trip when you visit Campbell Hills Guest Ranch, but you may also choose to remain there for the night. There are a variety of accommodations available, from sleeping outside beneath the clear night sky to getting cozy in a quaint cottage. 

Most horseback riding companies operate seasonally from around the middle of spring to the middle of autumn. If horseback riding is high on your list of Things To Do in Kamloops, you should plan your vacation accordingly. 

A person horseback riding through grasslands in Kamloops

Explore Kamloops with Rocky Mountaineer

  1. First Passage to the West:  Vancouver » Kamloops » Lake Louise 
  2. Journey Through The Clouds: Vancouver » Kamloops » Jasper 

On these trips, you will also see the majestic Rocky Mountains, thunderous waterfalls, and quiet old-growth woods covered in moss. Riding the rails across western Canada is awe-inspiring.  

Rocky Mountaineer offers the following service levels: 

  1. GoldLeaf: This service features a two-story carriage with a glass-dome ceiling for the best views. There's also an outdoor viewing platform so you can enjoy the fresh mountain air while taking pictures. Meals are taken in a luxurious dining car on the first floor.  
  2. SilverLeaf: This service offers comfy seats in a single-level car with over-sized windows. Passengers dine at their seats.  

Passengers only have an overnight stop in Kamloops, but the area is worth an extended visit. 

A Rocky Mountaineer host talks to guests in the GoldLeaf glass-dome car

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Kamloops, BC worth visiting?

Yes, Kamloops, BC is worth visiting if you are an outdoor enthusiast or someone who loves the scenic beauty of nature.

What are the best things to do in Kamloops, BC?

Kamloops is one of the most popular destinations for outdoor activities and sportsmen. You can indulge in activities like golf, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, camping, hiking, biking, etc. If you want to simply relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the place, you can go for a train ride on the Rocky Mountaineer.

Where is Kamloops located?

Kamloops is located in the southern part of British Columbia, Canada. It was founded at the junction of the North and South Thompson Rivers.

Kelowna or Kamloops, which is better?

It depends on what you are looking for. Kelowna offers more "big-city" things such as art, music, restaurants, food, etc. It is also more expensive when compared to Kamloops. If you are an outdoor person or an adrenaline junkie who loves the wilderness and outdoor activities, Kamloops is the place for you.

Discuss your Canadian train vacation with a local travel expert

Cartoon polar bear speaking on the phone

Or call us toll free

Cartoon polar bear speaking on the phone