Kamloops is a community built around adventure and exploration and summer is one of the best seasons to discover the Thompson Valley’s many scenic lookouts and hikes locals won’t stop talking about. So fill up your water bottles, pack some snacks and venture out to these destinations.
The Bluffs trail may be one of the most popular out and back trails in the Thompson Valley, and for a good reason! The nearly 5-kilometre path ascends from the Dewdrop Range and through a slot in the rolling bluffs where you’re presented with a view of Kamloops Lake beyond golden grassy fields.
From here, the real climb begins as you zigzag up the rock. You’ll know you’ve reached the top when you spot a stone-laden memorial hiding a guest log and geocache.
But the real reward is the view of distant Kamloops and the Western tip of Kamloops Lake. At any day of the week, you’ll find locals gathered on top of the rock to watch sunsets.
Sunset Trail (Kenna Cartwright Park)
The name speaks for itself. Kamloops is known for its breathtaking unparalleled summer sunsets, especially observed high above Kamloops Lake.
Kenna Cartwright’s Sunset Trail can be found at the furthest stretches of the 800-hectare park known for a plethora of trails dedicated to hiking and mountain biking.
At the end of the Sunset Trail, you’ll find a wooden viewing platform that offers an unobstructed view of the lake bordered by Canadian Pacific and National railways. Be sure to bring friends, some snacks and wait for the sun to kiss the horizon for a fantastical photo opportunity.
Locals to Kamloops never tire of this popular trail. With two trailheads at either end of Paul Lake and an almost 360-degree view of the lake below, Gibraltar Rock is a short, steep and worthwhile lookout to tackle solo or with friends.
From the Paul Lake campground and rec site, you can find two access points to the Northern trail, either from the campsite or the lakeside boat launch.
A longer lakeside stroll can be found on the southern end of Paul Lake from Harper Mountain Road. This scenic walk along the lake offers up a reflective view of the neighbourhood made up of cabins that line the Eastern bend of Paul Lake.
More often than not, paddle and watersports enthusiasts dominate the Heffley Lake area 40 minutes north of Kamloops but what many may not know is the rocky faced mountain that lingers over the 8km lake is home to hiking trails.
With several tracks, each featuring a moderate climb to the mountain’s peak at varying lengths, all paths lead to the lookout and gazebo that sits in a green meadow of summer wildflowers.
The parking entrance for high clearance vehicles can be found across from the Heffley Lake Northeast Campground. Additionally, lower clearance vehicles can park at the Heffley Lake rec site.