Gold Country Loop
Discover glacial shorelines of ancient lakes in cowboy country or gaze at hoodoos formed from 200-million-year-old volcanic rock on a road trip through the Thompson and Nicola Valleys. From Route 97 in Vernon, head 117 km (73 mi) west toward Kamloops, through the charming communities of Falkland and Monte Creek. Be sure to visit Clover, the Kermode (Spirit) Bear, at the fully accessible BC Wildlife Park or take a hike through the grasslands in Kenna Cartwright Nature Park, BC’s largest municipal park.
Travel through the sage-filled, semi-arid landscape as you continue west along Route 97. Explore hoodoos in Savona and experience life as it was during the Gold Rush at the Historic Hat Creek Ranch in Cache Creek.
Take Highway 1 south through the historic village of Ashcroft, to Spences Bridge before heading east on Highway 8 toward Merritt. Try your hand at geocaching as you explore Gold Country with over 142 caches hidden throughout the area. Search for treasure while uncovering details about each site you discover.
Approximately 20 minutes east of Merritt, via Highway 5A, you’ll come to Quilchena and Douglas Lake. Famous first-class bandit, Billy Miner, was said to have been captured in the area, and the western atmosphere will transport you back in time (with modern luxuries, of course). Continue north and wind past fishing lakes, protected wetlands and vast ranchlands towards Kamloops.
NOT TO BE MISSED
are impressive rock formations and a traditional gathering place of the Secwepemc (Shuswap) Nation.
encompasses ranch life, world class fly fishing and 19th century history nestled within the Nicola Valley.
features a “walk through time” exploring the Village of Ashcroft’s history. The park features an authentic soddy house, and operating waterwheel and a refurbished railway caboose.
KEY ANNUAL EVENTS
Kamloopa Powwow (Kamloops, August)
Rockin’ River Music Festival (Merritt, August)
Wildlights (BC Wildlife Park, Kamloops, December & January)