Kamloops is located in the south-central interior of British Columbia, just North of the Okanagan Region. The city is surrounded by steep hillsides and lies where the South and North Thompson Rivers join. Kamloops rests in the rainshadow of the coastal mountains, offering semi-arid temperatures throughout the year. It can get hot (avg 29C or 84F in July), but the climate in the area makes the trails available all year long. Combine a vacation to Kamloops with the popular BC Ale Trail and the Kamloops Wine Trail.
Kamloops is a trail haven for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking, and of course, trail running. A map from Kamloops Hiking Trails shows the various trailheads located in the region. The trails are so extensive that many of Canada’s top mountain bikers, including 2016 Olympic Bronze Medalist Catharine Pendrel, live and train in Kamloops. The city has hosted several top mountain bike trail races and even has been featured in MTB films.
Kenna Cartwright Nature Park is a park located just North of the Trans-Canada highway with over 40 km of trails. A great route around the cell tower in Kenna Cartwright Park is 5 km and does not have too much elevation but still grants great views of the region.
Peterson Creek Park is located right in the middle of Kamloops. Peterson Creek runs through a ravine that challenges even the toughest trail runners.
Pineview Trails have some great options for medium and long-distance routes on the opposite side of the highway from Kenna Cartwright. The Pineview Valley Development built several single and double track trails to add on to the roads already established miners from years past. The Iron Mask Loop summits the Iron Mask hill in the middle of the park. Combine trails around the park for a longer Pineview trails run.
For more trails to explore in Kamloops, check out these websites:
Kamloops Bike Ranch – As the name says, these trails are catered to MTB. For runners who like to wear mountain bike shoes, this place is for you.
There are also several trails that connect the neighborhoods throughout Kamloops.
The North Face Dirty Feet Trail Run Kamloops 5km, 10km & Half Marathon runs through the grasslands in North Kamloops. Lots of great views of the river and the city of Kamloops. A great spring race in desertlike conditions.
The North Face Dirty Feet – Beat The Buzzer – Last man or woman standing! Just what it sounds like: a trail running race of 6.0-6.5km that re-starts every hour on the hour until the last runner is left standing! This event could last a couple of days. The course isn’t revealed until near the race date.
Walk in the Park 14km, 25km, & 50km in Kenna Cartwright Park is one of BC’s oldest ultramarathons.
The North Face Dirty Feet Trail Run -Vista Run – This 5km, 10km, & Half Marathon in Kenna Cartwright Park is a fundraiser for the Kamloops Food Bank.
Trail Running Groups
Phil and Grace Hiom started Dirty Feet to get people in the local areas into trail running and racing. The Dirty Feet Run Crew meets at different trails in the Kamloops area on Tuesdays for an hour run. The group is open to experienced and new runners, and all paces are welcome.
5 Bean Brewbar & Cafe is a great local coffee shop that is located close to the trails and very central to everything on the Southshore of Kamloops.
Reservoir Coffee is located a few blocks from 5 Bean and right across the street from Thompson Rivers University. Reservoir serves coffee, smoothies, pastries, breakfast wraps, and sandwiches for lunch.
Noble Pig is a great restaurant and brewpub with some amazing food and exceptional beers. The managers also compete in Dirty Feet races.
Red Collar is another great local brewery that is close to the Noble Pig in downtown Kamloops; perfect walking distance to try out both breweries. Each spot has outdoor patios for nice afternoons.
Iron Road Brewing is located near Thompson Rivers University. The taproom has the basic brewpub food like nachos, but also craft tacos from the taqueria menu.