Find the Essential Experiences

The Journey

Getting away from it all is easy with these directions and maps. The North Thompson Valley may feel like you’re at the edge of civilization; however, our destinations are easily accessed from major hubs.

The North Thompson Valley is located in the north central region of British Columbia known as the Thompson Okanagan region. The valley corridor stretches 330 kilometres (205 miles) from its southern to northern reaches before coming to Mount Robson and Jasper, Alberta.

By Air

in Kamloops, BC, there is a regional airport that serves the North Thompson Valley. International airports can be found in Kelowna, and Vancouver, BC, as well as in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta.

Driving Highway 5 Yellowhead Highway

Explore the local communities by driving along the picturesque Yellowhead Highway. Staging areas for many backcountry adventures are found just beyond the highway.

When arriving by land from the United States, steer yourself along scenic Route 97, which connects north central Washington to British Columbia’s Central Interior, and the North Thompson Valley.

Jasper and Columbia Icefields Parkway — A Canadian Icon

The scenic wilderness loop through the North Thompson Valley and Columbia Icefields Parkway is as Canadian as it gets. Veteran explorers and weekend warriors alike rejoice when planning road trip to Jasper. Stunning vistas, ever-changing landscapes and activities that range from the mild to the wild roll along the North Thompson route. Spend days uncovering the diverse ecology and glacier laden area of the Columbia Icefields. Venture off from Kamloops to Jasper (443 km, 275 mi) and on to Banff and Lake Louise, enjoying an experience that is quintessentially Canadian.

Driving Times

Driving times from airports
International AirportsDriving DistanceDriving Time
Kelowna to Kamloops210 km (130 mi)2 hours, 15 minutes
Vancouver to Kamloops355 km (220 mi)4 hours
Calgary to Kamloops675 km (421 mi)8 hours

Driving times from Kamloops to Communities in the North Thompson Valley
(check the avalanche bulletins before venturing out in the backcountry)
 Driving DistanceDriving Time
Kamloops to Sun Peaks50 km (31 mi)45 minutes
Kamloops to Barriere66 km (41 mi)45 minutes
Kamloops to Clearwater/Wells Gray126 km (78 mi)1 hour, 25 minutes
Kamloops to Blue River232 km (144 mi)2.5 hours
Kamloops to Valemount322 km (200 mi)3.5 hours

Driving times from Jasper to Communities in the North Thompson Valley
 Driving DistanceDriving Time
Edmonton to Jasper365 km (226 mi)4 hours
Jasper to Valemount122 km (75 mi)1 hour, 45 minutes
Jasper to Blue River212 km (131 mi)2 hours, 45 minutes
Jasper to Clearwater/Wells Gray317 km (196 mi)4 hours
Jasper to Barriere378 km (234 mi)4 hours, 45 minutes
Jasper to Sun Peaks448 km (278 mi)5 hours, 45 minutes

Driving times south to north to each North Thompson Valley Community
 Driving DistanceDriving Time
Kamloops to Sun Peaks50 km (31 mi)40 minutes
Sun Peaks to Barriere72 km (44 mi)1 hour, 10 minutes
Barriere to Clearwater/Wells Gray63 km (39 mi)50 minutes
Clearwater/Wells Gray to Blue River106 km (65 mi)1 hour, 20 minutes
Blue River to Valemount92 km (57 mi)1 hour, 10 minutes
Valemount to Jasper122 km (75 mi)1 hour, 45 minutes

Info To Know Before You Go

Where to Stay

The North Thompson Valley offers plenty of diverse lodging options: affordable motels, roadside RV resorts, rugged camping spots, resort stays, vacation rentals, bed and breakfasts, guest ranches and log cabins. Book ahead to secure your place, especially during the peak summer and winter months.

Visitor Information

Each community provides their own visitor information services, centrally located and easy to find. Contact any of the communities for more information and get assistance with travel planning or to find maps, directions and details for local tour operators, guided tours, restaurants and accommodations. For travel information for British Columbia visit Hello BC.

Boating Safety and License

Boaters need to know about boating restrictions in some lakes. A Pleasure Craft Operator Card boating license (PCOC) is required to operate a motorized boat in Canada. A PCOC proves that you have acquired the knowledge to operate a motorized boat on Canada’s waterways safely.

Boaters can obtain their Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) by successfully passing a Transport Canada Accredited, multiple choice exam.

Fishing Licenses

Fishing licenses can be purchased on-line, at Service BC at various retail outlets throughout the region. Visit Fishing BC for more information.

Rules of the Road

Seat belt use is mandatory for all drivers and passengers in Canada. The Distracted Driving Law is in effect in British Columbia, which prohibits drivers from talking, texting or emailing with hand-held communication devices, or using other electronic devices while behind the wheel.

The Climate and What to Pack

From mild to wild, the North Thompson Valley holds a wide range of activities and experiences for visitors, so make sure you pack wisely. Packing layers is the best option to be prepared for the various weather systems and landscapes in our region. The sun can shine year round here, so be sure to bring sun protection during any season.