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#ExploreBC Road Trip: From Kamloops to the Cariboo

4 to 6 Days, 450 km (279.62 mi)

From Kamloops to the Cariboo, a unique road trip with professional content creators Jordan Dyck and Ben Giesbrecht

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Experience the great outdoors with professional content creators Jordan Dyck and Ben Giesbrecht who took a trip from their home in Ucluelet to Kamloops and through the Cariboo region’s wide open spaces. Follow their adventure to get a taste of the unique travel experiences found in BC’s ranches, rivers, and ranges.

Part 1

Kamloops, then east to Jesmond

Ben Giesbrecht (@bennnnnnnngie) at Amplified Cafe, next to the Kamloops Art Gallery | Jordan Dyck

Expansive Kamloops covers a city area bigger than Manhattan, but the pace and style couldn’t be more different. Stay overnight (direct flights from Vancouver) and chillax between bouts of adrenaline-pumping activities. Enjoy a cold brew on the north shore of the lake after a day of guided mountain biking with Ted Morton of the Canadian Enduro SeriesBe sure to also make time for a drive up to the Kamloops Lake Viewpoint, a beautiful spot for a picnic underneath massive willow trees overlooking the lake and sagebrush below.

Downtown Kamloops is bustling so definitely save some time for urban exploration, including a self-guided Alley Art Murals Walking Tour to see this eclectic outdoor collection. Enjoy a patio dinner at Mittz Kitchen, a trendy downtown hot spot, and book a time with DiVine Tours to sample a variety of local brews in town. 

Ben’s Highlights:
  • “The mountain biking tour with Ted Morton in Kenna Cartwright Nature Park was amazing. It was hot, so come prepared, but the ride down was breezy. It was great being led by a guide, getting to know the land and trails through a local’s eyes.
  • The brewery tour was for sure a highlight—I had no idea how many breweries Kamloops has. Our favourite was probably Bright Eye Brewing. The decor was beautiful and the beer was some of the best.” 
Jordan’s Highlights:
  • Valleyview Nature Park is an amazing spot with sagebrush and desert wildflowers to explore. This was a great place to watch the sunset, as you can see all of Kamloops and the city lights down below.
  • Amplified Cafe is a super indie cafe right by the Kamloops Art Gallery with picture-perfect lattes and awesome seating outside. The marble countertops and light-soaked patios were hard to beat!”

Part 2

Big Bar Guest Ranch, west of Clinton

Ben Giesbrecht (@bennnnnnnngie) fishing the stock pond at Big Bar Guest Ranch | Jordan Dyck

On your way to Big Bar Guest Ranch, make fun pit stops along the way such as Horsting’s Farm Market, just outside of Cache Creek, where you can explore the orchards and gardens and pick up fresh produce as well as homemade pies (try haskap berry!) Stop by the Clinton Emporium, a vintage, flea market-inspired shop that’s straight out of an old Western movie. Then, look out for bighorn sheep as you pass through the caves, chasms, and limestone karsts of Marble Range Provincial Park.

You’ll get a friendly welcome at Indigenous-owned Big Bar Guest Ranch, which is accommodating physical distancing requirements this year by bringing fresh food to your cabin door to minimize contact. After fishing on the lake, head back to the cabin to warm up by a fire under the open skies.  

Jordan’s Highlights:
  • “At the ranch, they built an amazing Indigenous Garden out of locally foraged wildflowers and herbs. It was interesting to see the traditional names and then to be taken out into the wild to see how close they grow to the ranch.
  • The goats were also a highlight. They said hi every morning and loved being picked up and cuddled. The babies were adorable.”
Ben’s Highlights:
  • “We really loved stopping at all the tiny lakes and rivers just on the sides of the roads. There’s always a body of water to jump into.
  • Our favourite time of the day was just after sunset, sitting outside the cabin with a fire and the blue hour glow.”

Part 3

Flying U Ranch, northeast of 70 Mile

Jordan Dyck (@joordanrenee) at Flying U Ranch | Ben Giesbrecht

Drive along winding roads through ranchlands dotted with grazing cattle and horses, making a stop at Chasm Provincial Park. This amazing ponderosa pine-covered canyon features striking colours best seen at sunrise or sunset when the light brings out hues of red, brown, yellow, and purple. A steep, lava-layered canyon wall runs for eight kilometres along a 600-metre wide, 300-metre deep chasm. Slam an espresso shot with real maple syrup from the roadside Sugar Shack in 70 Mile House to keep you alert for the drive, then take a detour to Jackson’s Social Club & Brewhouse at 100 Mile House for cute decor and great beer .

At the Flying U Ranchexperience authentic Cariboo culture and stay in a cozy cabin at Canada’s oldest guest ranch, established in 1849. Guests have “free-rein” of the grounds, including use of the main lodge saloon, theatre, games room, dock and swimming area, as well as access to canoes, kayaks, hayrides, yoga, and archery. Three home-cooked meals are provided daily and guests also have access to a 24-hour refreshment centre.

Ben’s Highlights:
  • “The nice thing about Flying U is that you can choose your own adventure. You can be super social around the fire and when cruising around in a boat, or you can have a dip in the lake or explore with a horse at your own pace.
  • The cabins were really unique, with wash basins and cozy wood stoves. It was fun to take the horses around the cabins and explore from a totally different vantage point.”
Jordan’s Highlights:
  • “Being able to ride on your own was amazing—to feel the power of the horses and be in total control. 
  • They have a really cute, western-style saloon that was great for a pint at the end of a ride. Awesome decor, and excellent staff.
  • Sunsets over the lake were incredible. Cotton candy-coloured and calm, they were the perfect way to end a hot day of riding.”

Driving Directions

Part 1 - Vancouver
  • 6.25 km
  • 12 min
Show Map & Driving Directions

With smaller capacities and safety protocols in place, it’s best to book ahead if you want to visit a popular bar or restaurant, and don’t forget to pack your mask and hand sanitizer. Here’s what Jordan and Ben had to tell us about how they prepared for their trip:

Ben: “Before we started travelling, we monitored our heath and stayed safe. On the road, we were mindful of how many different towns and cities we were visiting and kept a respectful distance when possible; when it wasn’t possible, we were in masks and we carried individual hand sanitizer.”

Jordan: “In preparation for the trip, we made sure to have not one, but a few different masks knowing that we’d be travelling in warmer weather and we wanted to stay fresh. We also had sanitizers in each of our bags, and made sure to have plenty of water to stay hydrated. We talked in advance about how we were going to approach travelling, making sure that we were on the same page regarding interactions with other people, restaurant etiquette, etc.”

Feature Image: Ben Giesbrecht fishing the stock pond at Big Bar Guest Ranch. Photo: Jordan Dyck

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