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About the Thompson-Nicola Region

Latitude: +50.68 (50°40'48"N) Longitude: -120.34 (120°20'24"W) Altitude:~530 m

Time zone: Pacific Standard Time - PST - same as Vancouver and Los Angeles
Country: Canada
Continent: Americas
Sub-region: North America

Quick Facts

The Thompson-Nicola region is northeast of Vancouver.

The City of Kamloops is the largest community in the region:  population 87,000 and services to support more than 125,000 (more).

The 11 municipalities are: Ashcroft, Barriere, Cache Creek, Chase, Clearwater, Clinton, Kamloops, Logan Lake, Lytton, Merritt, and Sun Peaks Mountain Resort.

The 10 Electoral Areas (unincorporated areas) comprise the communities of 70 Mile House, Avola, Bonaparte Plateau, Blue River, Brookmere, Douglas Lake, Little Fort, Loon Lake, Lower Nicola, Monte Lake, Nicola, Pritchard, Quilchena, Savona, Spences Bridge,  Walhachin, Westwold, and many others.



Vancouver to Kamloops is a 3.5-hour drive on the 4-lane divided Coquihalla Highway #5.

Vancouver to Kamloops is a 4.5-hour drive through the Fraser Canyon on the Trans Canada Highway #1.

Vancouver to Merritt is less than a 3-hour drive on the Coquihalla Highway #5.

Distance Charts


Kamloops Airport (click here) has Customs

Vancouver to Kamloops is a 45-minute direct flight

Calgary to Kamloops is a 65-minute direct flight 

Kelowna Airport to Kamloops is a 2.5-hour drive

Charters, smaller airplanes and helicopters may land at: Cache Creek Campbell Hill Airport, Merritt Saunders Field Airport and Blue River Airstrip.

Smaller airstrips are Blair Field in Kamloops, Quilchena gravel airstrip beside Q Hotel, the Aspen Hill paved airstrip and Yellowhead Helicopter pad in Clearwater, Douglas Lake Ranch paved airstrip, the High Kelly Ranch airfield near Logan Lake, the Echo Valley Ranch & Spa paved airstrip west of Clinton and a private paved airstrip northwest of Clinton.

Trains - all meet in Kamloops

Canadian National Railroad - CNR's Via Rail for passengers and Rocky Mountaineer for tourists.

CNR also runs on old Kelowna Pacific Railroad tracks.

Canadian Pacific Railroad

2141 Steam Locomotive operates in Kamloops (click here) for tourists.


Small ferries cross rivers at McLure (Barriere), Big Bar (Clinton/Jesmond), Little Fort and Lytton.


Pacific Standard Time (PST) - same as Vancouver and Los Angeles.

Daylight Savings Time (DST) begins at 2:00 a.m. local time on the second Sunday in March. Clocks spring ahead one hour.

Daylight Savings Time (DST) ends at 2:00 am on the first Sunday in November and returns to Standard Time. Clocks fall back one hour.

Year DST Begins at 2 a.m. DST Ends at 2 a.m.
2014 March 9 November 2
2015 March 8 November 1


Desert (click here)

Arid, semi-desert, hoodoos, sagebrushed, rolling hills, dried golden grasses, clay cliffs, box canyons, gullies and prickly pear cacti

Desert areas are:

  • Kamloops and southwest
  • Cache Creek
  • Ashcroft
  • Spences Bridge
  • Big Bar area, west of Clinton

Grasslands (click here)

Grasslands with prairie-like features or rolling hills are:

  • Kamloops/Knutsford
  • Along Old Nicola Highway #5A
  • Nicola Valley to Merritt

Steep Mountains & Valleys (click here)

Sculpted valleys with dramatic views and rock formations, usually outlining rivers and small lakes. See Locations Library.

  • Fraser Canyon from Vancouver to Lytton
  • Thompson River Valley from Lytton to Ashcroft
  • North Thompson Valley from Blue River to Kamloops
  • Turtle Valley near Chase
  • Deadman Vidette Valley
  • Upper Hat Creek near Cache Creek and Marble Canyon
  • Lower Hat Creek near Ashcroft
  • Venables Valley near Spences Bridge
  • Botanie Valley near Lytton
  • Big Bar Valley west of Clinton
  • Empire Valley west of Big Bar
  • Echo Valley west of Clinton and Marble Range
  • Kettle Valley near Merritt and Brookmere

Rivers (click here)

  • LARGE: Fraser River . North Thompson River . South Thompson River . Thompson River . Clearwater River
  • MID: Coldwater River . Nicola River . Adams River
  • OTHERS: Bonaparte River . Salmon River

Parks, Waterfalls & Trails

Wells Gray Provincial Park (click here) is 5,200 sq km (2,000 sq miles)

Thompson-Nicola provincial campgrounds (click here)

Thompson-Nicola forestry recreation sites (click here)

Thompson-Nicola's hundreds of miles of trails (click here)


Semi-arid; desert-like weather and landscapes; dry in all seasons (climate charts)

More than 2,000 hours of sunshine annually

One of the warmest and driest regions in Canada

Northern part has snow all year - Blue River's Monashee and Cariboo Mountains


Snow typically arrives in late November and stays until March on higher elevations.

  • Abundant snow in north: Blue River, Clearwater, Barriere, 70 Mile House and Clinton.
  • Abundant snow in Logan Lake area due to high altitude.
  • Dry and unpredictable (may not stay) snowfall in southern areas.

Ski Resorts & Hills (downhill)

  • Sun Peaks Mountain Resort near Kamloops (click here)
  • Mike Wiegele Heli-Ski Resort, Blue River - Monashee and Cariboo Mountains    (click here)
  • Harper Mountain near Kamloops  (click here)
  • Clearwater Ski Hill (click here)

TNFC Agendas

The TNRD posts three years of Thompson-Nicola Film Commission AGENDAS for your perusal.

  • Association of Film Commisioners International