Discovering Nature’s Playground: Top 12 Recreational Areas to Explore in Kamloops

Nestled in the heart of British Columbia, Kamloops beckons outdoor enthusiasts with its diverse landscapes and endless opportunities for adventure. From scenic lakeshores to rugged mountain trails, this vibrant city offers a plethora of recreational areas waiting to be explored. In this guide, we’ll unveil the top 10 destinations that make Kamloops a playground for nature lovers and thrill-seekers alike.

Riverside Park:
Riverside Park stands as a green oasis amidst the urban landscape of Kamloops. With its picturesque location along the Thompson River, this park offers a blend of leisure and recreation. Visitors can enjoy picnics on lush lawns, leisurely strolls along scenic pathways, or bask in the sun on the sandy beach. Riverside Park is also home to playgrounds, sports courts, and vibrant floral displays, making it a favorite spot for families and outdoor enthusiasts.

Kenna Cartwright Park:
As one of Canada’s largest municipal parks, Kenna Cartwright Park boasts over 40 kilometers of multi-use trails winding through diverse terrain. From rolling grasslands to rocky ridges, this park offers stunning panoramic views of Kamloops and the surrounding mountains. Hikers, mountain bikers, and trail runners will relish the challenge of exploring this expansive wilderness area, with opportunities to spot wildlife and soak in the natural beauty of the region.

Lac du Bois Grasslands:
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and venture into the pristine wilderness of Lac du Bois Grasslands. This protected area features a variety of ecosystems, including sagebrush-covered hillsides, wetlands, and hidden lakes. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore a network of hiking and horseback riding trails, immersing themselves in the tranquility of nature while enjoying the chance to encounter diverse wildlife species.

Paul Lake Provincial Park:
Located just a short drive northeast of Kamloops, Paul Lake Provincial Park offers a tranquil retreat surrounded by lush forests and clear waters. Whether you’re paddling on the lake, fishing for trout, or simply relaxing on the beach, this park provides endless opportunities for outdoor recreation. Hikers can explore scenic trails that wind through old-growth forests, providing glimpses of wildlife and stunning vistas along the way.

Sun Peaks Resort:
In the winter months, Sun Peaks Resort is a premier destination for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts. However, when the snow melts, this mountain paradise transforms into a haven for outdoor adventure year-round. Mountain bikers, hikers, and golfers flock to Sun Peaks to explore its extensive trail network and championship golf course, surrounded by breathtaking alpine scenery.

Peterson Creek Park:
Located within city limits, Peterson Creek Park offers a convenient escape into nature for Kamloops residents and visitors alike. This urban park features a network of trails that wind through lush forests and along the banks of Peterson Creek. With its tranquil ambiance and diverse wildlife, it’s the perfect spot for a peaceful hike or leisurely stroll close to home.

McArthur Island Park:
Situated at the confluence of the North and South Thompson Rivers, McArthur Island Park is a recreational hub offering a wide range of activities for all ages. From sports fields and playgrounds to walking paths and picnic areas, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Birdwatchers will especially appreciate the park’s diverse avian population, with opportunities to spot a variety of species in their natural habitat.

Harper Mountain:
Just a short drive from Kamloops, Harper Mountain is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure in every season. In the winter, the mountain offers skiing and snowboarding opportunities, while summer brings hiking, mountain biking, and scenic chairlift rides with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

Stake Lake:
Located south of Kamloops, Stake Lake is a hidden gem known for its tranquil setting and excellent recreational opportunities. In the winter, the lake transforms into a winter wonderland with groomed cross-country ski trails, while summer offers hiking, fishing, and wildlife viewing amidst the stunning Cariboo Mountains.

Lac Le Jeune Provincial Park:
Situated halfway between Kamloops and Merritt, Lac Le Jeune Provincial Park is a pristine wilderness area that beckons visitors with its serene lakes and lush forests. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy a variety of activities, including canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and hiking along scenic trails that meander through the surrounding landscape.

Kamloops Lake:
Stretching over 29 kilometers, Kamloops Lake offers endless opportunities for outdoor adventure. Whether you’re boating, fishing, or simply soaking in the scenic beauty, this expansive lake is a must-visit destination for water enthusiasts.

Juniper Ridge Bike Ranch:
Juniper Ridge Bike Ranch, is a premier mountain biking destination renowned for its diverse trails and stunning natural scenery. Nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of the region, the ranch offers riders of all skill levels an exhilarating experience with purpose-built features, including berms, jumps, and technical sections. With ample parking, trailhead amenities, and a vibrant community atmosphere, Juniper Ridge Bike Ranch provides the perfect setting for riders to connect, challenge themselves, and immerse themselves in the thrill of mountain biking amidst the rugged beauty of Kamloops.

From urban parks to remote wilderness areas, Kamloops offers a wealth of recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts of all interests and skill levels. Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping adventures or peaceful moments in nature, you’ll find it all amidst the stunning landscapes of this vibrant city in British Columbia. So pack your gear, hit the trails, and discover the natural wonders awaiting you in Kamloops.

Unveiling the Charm of Kamloops: 7 Fascinating Facts

Nestled in the heart of British Columbia, Kamloops stands as a hidden gem waiting to be explored. This vibrant city boasts a rich tapestry of culture, history, and natural beauty, making it a captivating destination for travelers and locals alike. Let’s embark on a journey to uncover seven intriguing facts about Kamloops that will undoubtedly pique your interest.

  1. Kamloops, the Tournament Capital of Canada: Renowned for its love of sports, Kamloops proudly bears the title of the Tournament Capital of Canada. Hosting over 100 tournaments annually, ranging from hockey to lacrosse and everything in between, the city’s state-of-the-art facilities and enthusiastic community make it a premier destination for athletes and spectators alike.
  2. The Majestic Kamloops Lake: Glistening like a sapphire jewel, Kamloops Lake stretches over 30 kilometers fed by the Thompson River, offering breathtaking vistas and recreational opportunities. Whether you’re an avid angler, a nature enthusiast, or simply seeking serenity, the tranquil shores of Kamloops Lake provide the perfect backdrop for relaxation and adventure.
  3. Indigenous Heritage and Cultural Richness: Steeped in Indigenous history, Kamloops pays homage to its First Nations heritage through various cultural sites and events. Visitors can immerse themselves in the traditions and stories of the Secwépemc people at places like the Secwépemc Museum and Heritage Park, gaining a deeper appreciation for the land’s significance and the resilience of its original inhabitants.
  4. Sun Peaks Resort, a Year Round Wonderland: Just a short drive from Kamloops lies Sun Peaks Resort, a winter wonderland that beckons skiers and snowboarders from far and wide. Boasting over 4,000 acres of skiable terrain, pristine powder, and a charming alpine village, Sun Peaks offers an unparalleled mountain experience for enthusiasts of all skill levels. In the warmer months Sun Peaks is transformed to a mountain bike and hiking mecca, with many trails to explore.
  5. Kamloops’ Thriving Art and Culture Scene: Art aficionados will find themselves right at home in Kamloops, where creativity flourishes amidst a vibrant cultural landscape. From captivating galleries showcasing local talent to dynamic performing arts venues hosting live music and theater productions, the city’s art scene reflects its diverse community and boundless creativity.
  6. The Remarkable BC Wildlife Park: Nature lovers rejoice at the opportunity to encounter British Columbia’s native wildlife up close at the BC Wildlife Park. Home to over 65 species of animals, including grizzly bears, cougars, and timber wolves, this expansive park offers educational experiences and conservation efforts aimed at preserving the province’s natural heritage.
  7. The Flavorful World of Kamloops’ Craft Beer Scene: Raise a glass to Kamloops’ burgeoning craft beer scene, where local breweries craft unique and flavorful brews that tantalize the taste buds. From hoppy IPAs to robust stouts, beer enthusiasts can embark on a sudsy adventure, sampling the city’s finest offerings while soaking in the laid-back atmosphere of its brewpubs and tasting rooms.

From its storied sports legacy to its breathtaking natural landscapes and vibrant cultural tapestry, Kamloops captivates visitors with its charm and diversity. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, cultural immersion, or simply a taste of local flavor, this dynamic city offers something for everyone to enjoy. Plan your next adventure to Kamloops and uncover the countless wonders that await in this picturesque British Columbia gem.

Compelling Reasons Why Lower Mainland Residents Love Relocating to Kamloops, BC!

Thinking about leaving the hustle and bustle of Lower Mainland behind? Consider the tranquil charm of Kamloops! Here are 5 reasons why this picturesque city is capturing the hearts of those seeking a change:

  1. Breath-Taking Scenery: Escape the concrete jungle and embrace Kamloops’ stunning natural beauty. From rolling hills to majestic mountains, and pristine lakes to winding rivers, Kamloops offers a breathtaking backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
  2. Affordable Living: Bid farewell to sky-high housing costs and hello to affordability! Kamloops boasts a more manageable cost of living compared to its metropolitan counterparts. Whether you’re looking to rent or buy, you’ll find a range of housing options that won’t break the bank.
  3. Thriving Community Spirit: Say goodbye to anonymity and hello to community connection! Kamloops prides itself on its welcoming atmosphere and strong sense of community. Whether you’re attending local events, exploring cultural festivals, or joining clubs and organizations, you’ll quickly feel like a valued member of the Kamloops family.
  4. Outdoor Recreation Paradise: Trade traffic jams for trailblazing and city noise for serene outdoor adventures! Kamloops offers endless opportunities for outdoor recreation, including hiking, biking, skiing, fishing, and more. With over 2,000 hours of sunshine annually, there’s no shortage of days to explore the great outdoors.
  5. Quality of Life: Experience a higher quality of life in Kamloops, where the pace is relaxed, and the stress is minimal. Enjoy shorter commutes, cleaner air, and a healthier work-life balance. Whether you’re raising a family, pursuing your career, or enjoying retirement, Kamloops offers a peaceful and fulfilling lifestyle.

Ready to make the move? Discover why so many Lower Mainland residents are choosing Kamloops as their new home sweet home!

Contact us today to learn more about relocating to Kamloops, BC, and start your journey to a happier, healthier lifestyle!

Carriage Houses and Garden Suites in Kamloops

Did you know that carriage suites and garden suites are permitted in many areas of Kamloops?

When buyers think of having a secondary suite they most often think of a basement suite but there are two other secondary residential suite options that are increasingly prevalent in the Kamloops housing market. These are carriage suites and garden suites. Many Buyers question whether a property would allow for a secondary detached suite. Here is a guide to help determine if a property or home you are looking to purchase would qualify to have a carriage home or garden suite.

What is a Carriage Home and Garden Suite and what is the difference?

Garden Suite

A garden suite is a self-contained secondary dwelling that is smaller than and an accessory to the main single family home. Garden suites are only permitted to be one storey in height and have a maximum allowable square footage of 861 square feet. Garden suites are permitted in a greater number of areas than are carriage suites.

Carriage Suite

This term is often used to describe a garden suite but is actually a different dwelling unit. In Kamloops, a carriage suite is a separate and self-contained secondary dwelling that is smaller than and an accessory to the main single family home. But, the main difference between this and a garden suite is that a carriage house can be two storeys tall and have a garage on the bottom storey. The maximum building footprint needs to be under 861 square feet but because a carriage house is two storeys tall the maximum living space can be 1022 square feet.

Where Are Garden and Carriage Suites Permitted?

According to the City of Kamloops Residential Suites Guide garden suites are permitted in the following zones:
• RS-1, RS-1S, RS-4, and RS-5
• RT-1, RT-2 (only Urban Residential lots, as per the OCP), and RT-3
• RM-2A • CD-1, and CD-5 (no suites on consecutive lots, corner lots, or lots fronting a cul-de-sac bulb)

Carriage suites are only permitted in the RS-1S zone. Carriage suites will only be considered where the property is one of the following:
• a double-fronting lot (a lot that fronts two streets)
• a corner lot with approved access from two street fronts
• a lot with lane (alley) access
• a lot that can accommodate a 4.5 m wide driveway to the carriage suite.

For garden and carriage suites a development permit and building permit is required as well as a final occupancy permit before the suite can be rented out.

Other Regulations of Note

Garden and carriage suites must abide by other regulations such as:

  • No living space permitted below the 200 year flood plain other than an entrance foyer.
  • The principal building, garden/carriage suite, and all other accessory buildings can not cover over 40% of the total lot area.
  • It is not permissible to have both a garden and carriage suite on the same single-family lot.
  • The carriage or garden suite building cannot cover more than 12% of the total lot area.
  • 40% of the front yard must be landscaped and vehicles cannot be parked in the landscaped area.
  • Suites are not permitted on lots with duplexes.


A single family home plus secondary suite must have at least 3 unstacked parking spaces, plus 40% of the front yard must be landscaped with no vehicles parked in the landscaped area. The requirement for 3 unstacked parking spaces does not mean that all of the parking spaces have to be located beside each other on the lot.

More Information

So if thinking of secondary suite options there may be more to consider than just a basement suite. A carriage or garden suite could make a great home for in-laws or a short/long term rental suite. Short term rentals are permitted within the city of Kamloops. For more information see the City of Kamloops Guide to Residential Suites or contact the planning and development department at 250-828-3561 or ac.spoolmaknull@gninnalp.

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