A woman stands at the top of a hill on the Peterson creek hiking trail looking over the Thompson River and the valley.
View from Peterson Creek hiking trail

One of the things that pulls many people to Kamloops is how it thrives on outdoor activities. This city is the place to be for anybody interested in anything outdoorsy, whether you’re a total beginner or a near expert. Follow along as I take you through my favourite parts of the nature of Kamloops with the expertise of a Geography and Environmental Studies student.


Image of Kamloops from Kenna Cartwright nature trail lookout point.
Kenna Cartwright Park

It’s no secret that Kamloops is full of excellent hiking and biking trails for every skill level. In the winter, some of these trails also function for either downhill or cross-country skiing. There is a ton of versatility in terms of the use of the plethora of trails around Kamloops. Furthermore, no matter where you live, there will be a trail close to you which makes outdoor adventures accessible for all. Close to TRU, there’s the famous Kenna Cartwright Nature Park. This is the largest municipal park in B.C. that offers 40 kilometers of varying levels of trail for all uses. This is one of my favourites to head to between classes when I really need to connect with nature. If you’re into more of an adventure further away, Sun Peaks is only 40 minutes north of Kamloops and has an array of hiking and biking trails available in the warmer weather. These examples are only the beginning. Apps such as AllTrails and websites like HikeKamloops have collections of so many trails that are just waiting for you to journey to.


Image of a skier in a red jacket skiing down a snowy mountain.
Skiing at Sun Peaks Resort

The vast geography of Kamloops offers low valleys, rolling hills, and beautiful mountains all within one local area. This diversity is a paradise for anyone with an adventurer’s spirit. The mountains especially offer a unique opportunity for outdoor activities. In the winter, the mountains are home to skiing and snowboarding trails. With Sun Peaks and Harper Mountain both so close, it’s pretty easy to get to the slopes for a day of fun. Even if you don’t ski or snowboard, both hills have tubing, making a day there great for all. In the summer, the rolling landscape of Kamloops is used by many for rock climbing and bouldering. If you’re just starting out, don’t worry! There are climbing gyms in town that are ready to teach you and connect you with likeminded people to head to the rock face with. All in all, a day spent on the mountains in any season is a good one.


Image taken from a paddle board taken from a paddle board overlooking a lake.
Paddle Boarding on Heffley Lake

If land sports aren’t your thing, water might be! Luckily, the valleys of Kamloops are full of bodies of water such as the Thompson Rivers, Kamloops Lake, or Paul Lake. There are so many options for water sports, from swimming to paddling in either a kayak or board. For me, I enjoy both swimming and stand-up paddle boarding, and love spending an afternoon at Paul Lake in the serene sounds of nature. If you’re unsure of what your water sport may be, you can try out a variety at places such as Kamloops Lake or Heffley Lake where rentals for paddling are plentiful, making this option perfect for a casual water sport goer.

Kamloops offers so many choices for all types of outdoor activities for all skill levels. In a time where you’re experiencing new things in your university life, why not try out some new things in your leisure time. If you’re looking for people to try these activities with, there are many TRU clubs and community organizations that are ready to welcome you. We can’t wait to hear all about your outdoor adventures!

Future Student Ambassador, Abby – Bachelor of Arts. “Kamloops: An Outdoor Oasis”, 9 Nov. 2022

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