Location: Junction of Trans Canada Highway 1 and Yellowhead South Highway 5. 80 km (50 miles) east of Cache Creek; 356 km (214 miles) from Vancouver on the Coquihalla Highway. Kamloops is served by three railroads and a regional airport. Population: 83,000. Visitor Information: Kamloops Visitor Centre, 1290 W. Trans Canada Hwy, Kamloops, BC V2C 6R3, Phone: (800) 662-1994; Email: email@example.com; Website: tourismkamloops.com.
The first inhabitants of the Kamloops region belonged to the Shuswap tribe of the Salish Nation. Kamloops was founded in 1812 as a depot of the North West Company and later became a Hudson’s Bay Company post. By 1863 the gold rush had enticed many miners to the area. The name Kamloops is derived from the Salish word "T’kemlups" meaning "confluence or coming together" as the city is situated at the confluence of the North and South Thompson rivers in the heart of the South Central Interior of BC.
A mild, dry four-season climate means visitors can enjoy summer and winter activities. Kamloops receives over 2000 hours of sunshine a year and only 10 inches of rain. Spring through fall, visitors can golf, fish, hike, bike, swim, kayak, canoe and tackle white water rafting. Winter provides opportunities for unforgettable downhill, cross county and heli-skiing, snowmobiling and snowshoeing. Average snow fall is 34 inches in Kamloops to 17 feet at nearby Sun Peaks, Canada’s third largest ski resort.
The Kamloops region is a land of geological contrasts where a visitor can uncover a 50-million year old fossil, valuable moss agate or semi-precious opal. That diversity provides breathtaking scenery with towering mountains, alpine wilderness, wild rivers and unique grasslands, where both the casual wanderer and serious explorer can experience sage covered hills and wide-open skies. Residents savor urban entertainment, but also take great pride in Kamloops’ western and Native heritage.
The town offers all the amenities of a larger center: art galleries, professional theatre company, symphony orchestra, two museums and cultural events such as the Wildlights Festival at Christmas and the International Film Festival in the spring. The Cowboy Festival is a celebration of the ranching lifestyle and thousands of visitors take a trip back in time each summer on the restored steam locomotive 2141 "Spirit of Kamloops". Listen to a cowboy poem, re-create the old days on a cattle drive or see the archeological remains of a 2000-year-old Shuswap winter village. Scenic drives and backcountry hiking are the best ways to experience the abundant wildlife, pristine forests and crystal clear lakes.