How Cold Does It Get in Kamloops?

How Cold Does It Get in Kamloops?

April 30, 2024 Blog Home 0

Kamloops in British Columbia is the Canadian state’s second largest city. While it boasts more than 100 lakes, the city also features a desert-like interior filled with wide-open grasslands and hoodoos. 

When winter comes, this interior becomes a winter wonderland, along with the rest of the city’s mountains, rivers and lakes. Winter season in Kamloops is from December to February, and temperatures range from -7°C to 2°C (19°F to 35°F). However, this can go down to the below 20s or 30s, which isn’t as cold as places in eastern Canada. 

While it is cold where I live in Michigan, I do not think I would be able to adjust to Kamloops below zero temps!

The Coldest Temperature Ever Recorded in Kamloops

According to InfoTel News, the coldest temperature ever recorded in Kamloops was -38.3°C (-36.94°F) on January 18, 1950. In recent years, the winter of December 2023 holds a record low of -30.3°C (22.54°F). 

Meanwhile, the coldest the month of February ever was in Kamloops was in 1936 with -15°C (59°F). In 2019, the city recorded an average temperature of -8.6°C (16.52°F). The normal temperature for a February in Kamloops is 0.1°C (32.18°F). “Our records go back really far — they go back all the way to 1891. But all the colder temperatures were before 1936,” Environment Canada meteorologist Carmen Hartt told CFJC Today

Kamloops Winter Activities

Winter in Kamloops means winter sports. The city is a hot spot for skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and skating. 

Skiing and Snowboarding

There are two major destinations in Kamloops you should head to when you itch to ski and/or snowboard: Sun Peaks Resort and Harper Mountain. The former is Canada’s second largest ski area and features 137 trails across over 4,000 acres (about 1,620 hectares) across three peaks. Sun Peaks also offers dog sledding and sleigh rides. 

Meanwhile, Harper Mountain is a small family-owned ski resort with only 16 runs across 400 acres (around 160 hectares), but it offers night skiing and a tube park. An alternative for night skiers is Stake Lake, home of the Overlander Ski Club, and its 3 miles (5 km) of lit trails. Of course, if you visit in the daytime, you can enjoy more than 35 miles (60 km) of trails. Its snowshoe trails are set out along about 12 miles (20 km). 

Snowshoeing

If you’d rather be hiking through glorious white powder, take your snowshoes and head to one of the many places that feature this heart-pumping winter activity. There are maintained snow trails in Stake Lake, Harper Mountain, and Sun Peaks. 

Stake Lake is a good place to go to when you’re in a group as it offers more than 8 miles (13 km) of trails in differing difficulties. You can even bring your dog on some trails. 

If you want beautiful winter scenery along with your vigorous activity, head to Harper Mountain. The summit offers panoramic views of Thompson Valley.

Sun Peaks boasts an extensive snowshoe trail system along with many snowshoe tours. You’ll receive a complimentary trail map and booklet along with your trail pass.  

If you forgot to bring your snowshoes, you can rent one from Overlander Ski Club, Sun Peaks Resort, Runners Sole, or Harper Mountain. Nothing can stop you from enjoying the snowy, tree-lined trails of Kamloops in winter. 

But, there’s no need to shell out any moolah, as Kamloops has four public snowshoe trails. Kenna Cartwright Nature Park and Peterson Creek Nature Park are both in the heart of the city. The former offers more than 20 miles (40 km) of trails with panoramic views of Kamloops, Thompson Valley, and Kamloops Lake. The latter features singletrack trails and some climbing. Meanwhile, McConnell Lake and Bush Lake Area are great for a quick or short snowshoeing, and both are dog-friendly too. 

Skating

Another winter pastime, skating can be enjoyed from Kamloops’ many frozen lakes and indoor rinks. Bring your skates to Albert McGowan Park, Inks Lake, Little Heffley Lake, and Shumway Lake to skate on frozen lakes and ponds. Other outdoor skating rinks are located in Juniper Park, Thompson Park, Pineview Valley Park, Westsyde Centennial Park, Valleyview Centennial Park, and Len Haughton Park. 

However, if you prefer to skate in an indoor setting, Kamloops has those too. Head to Brock Arena, Sandman Centre, McArthur Island Sports and Events Centre, Memorial Arena, and Valleyview Arena. 

Winter Biking

Kamloops is a popular mountain bike destination in British Columbia even in the winter. You can either go to the Isobel Lake Recreational Trails or Kenna Cartwright Park. The former offers more than 15 miles (30 km) of singletrack trails, which is maintained by a group of volunteers. The latter features about 25 miles (40 km) of natural but accessible trails in the city. 

Ice Fishing

Kamloops is famous for freshwater fishing, and when winter comes it’s the ice fishing enthusiasts turn on the water – or rather ice. Bring your gear to Tunkwa Lake, Edith Lake, and Walloper Lake to catch some trout.  

Head to Paul Lake and Monte Lake for some kokanee salmon and trout. Meanwhile, Heffley Lake is your go to if you’re also into bird watching while you wait for your catch. You’ll spot falcons, hawks, osprey, and eagles here. 

If you’re interested in ice fishing but don’t want to invest in the equipment yet, contact Elevated Fishing Adventures. They’ll provide you all the gear you need, plus guidance on catching your first fish through the ice.  

How Cold Does It Get in Kamloops?

More Kamloops Winter Activities

If the outdoors isn’t calling your name or in addition to them, Kamloops has a line up of winter activities for you. From mid-December to early January, the BC Wildlife Park dons more than a million bulbs for its annual Wildlights display. The Wildlife Express Train will also be adorned with lights too. Plus, tons of holiday decorations. 

Of course, the arts and cultural attractions are always active in Kamloops even in the cold season. There are tons of places you can visit, including Kamloops Art Gallery, Secwepemc Museum and Heritage Park and Kamloops Museum & Archives. You can join a tour at the Kamloops Heritage Railway, or watch performances by the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra or the Western Canada Theatre. 

When your thirst for arts and culture is satiated but your indoors craving still wanting, why not have a pint at one of Kamloops’ local craft breweries. Food and beer have never been a perfect pair than in the cold, cold winter. You can have both in Noble Pig Brewhouse, Alchemy Brewing, Red Collar Brewing, Iron Road Brewing, or Bright Eye Brewing. Head to the Winter Kamloops Regional Farmers Market to stock up on ingredients for a hangover soup, you know, just in case.