A Kamloopsian take on Kamloops
No one knows where Kamloops is! Maybe I shouldn't tell you because secretly us Kamloopsians would like to keep "the loops" under wraps - our hidden gem - but if you happen to drive through or just moved to Kamloops to go to University, this is what I love about the city I call home and here are some ideas of things to keep you busy.
Where is Kamloops?
Whenever I go travelling, people always ask me where I am from. I never say Kamloops because no one seems to know where it is and instead I tell them Vancouver. Thanks to the 2010 Olympics and our embarrassing Stanley Cup riots people seem to know that Vancouver is located on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. Kamloops is just a little north of Vancouver and in the interior of the province. Kamloops is on the Trans Canada Hwy and most people bypass the city on their way east to Jasper, south to Kelowna, north to Prince George or west to Vancouver. Not a lot of people stop because, I have to admit, the city isn't that attractive if you are just passing through. We do this on purpose so you just keep going. We want to keep Kamloops all to ourselves! So don't even think about buying property there but if you are visiting for a tournament, vacation, day trip or going to Thompson Rivers University here's a little guide on what to see and do.
So, why is Kamloops so ugly? I told you, we do that on purpose so that you don't overstay your welcome. Just kidding, Kamloops is semi arid so in the Summer it gets crazy hot and there is not a lot of rain so the landscape around the loops turns brown. Brown's not really an attractive colour but give it a chance and take a closer look at the beautiful variety of grasses, hoodoos, and sand dunes in the area. Passing through by car, you're not really going to see what Kamloops has to offer as far as picturesque landscapes go. You'll have to stop and take a hike or mountain bike through Kenna Cartwright Park, Bachelor Heights, or the Dew Drop. From there you'll see amazing views of the North and South Thompson rivers passing through the city and experience great trails for hiking, trail running or mountain biking. There are some great places to pitch a tent and camp for free. Just ask a local. Watch out for cactus and rattlesnakes!
In the summer, a tradition my friends and I love to do is float down the river. Buy a $9 inflatable boat from Canadian tire, a six pack (optional) and a lot of sunscreen and you're set. Park one vehicle at Pioneer Park and together with a friend, drive to the Valleyview boat launch to start your float. It takes about 2 hours to float back to Pioneer depending on how high the river is. Best months to float are July and August.
If you love sports especially soccer, soft ball, and hockey chances are Kamloops is hosting a tournament for your division. The August Long Soccer Tournament is invitational so if you can't get on a team, you can always volunteer at the dance or beer gardens. Guaranteed to see some quality soccer and side line entertainment.
Also during August Long Weekend is Pow Wow, a huge traditional celebration of First Nation's culture. It will amaze you.
If you like to ski or snowboard check out Sun Peaks or Harper Mountain. Fish like crazy at all the lakes nearby and try ice fishing during the winter. Golf your heart out at Tobiano and do not leave until you've eaten at the Club House - best chef EVER! Bar hop from Carlos O'Bryans to the Commodore to CJ's to the Noble Pig and back again! Catch a burlesque show at the Grotto or listen to some funky live music at the Art We Are.
If you plan on staying a few nights, I would check out accommodations at Sun Peaks for a cozy ski resort experience. Thompson Rivers University has brand new accommodations in their huge residence and conference centre. Camping around Kamloops is awesome - check out camp grounds at Adam's Lake and Shuswap Lake.
Enjoy your stay but please don't even think about moving to Kamloops. Even though there are tons of new developments in Batchelor Heights, Pineview Valley, Dufferin and Southgate...Kamloopsians get first dibs!
If you want any more information on Kamloops and area, just leave me a message. I would be happy to give you more in depth suggestions of what to do and where to go.