Friday, December 3, 2010

North Thompson River ~ Kamloops, BC

We love Kamloops and we’re surrounded by the natural beauty of the Thompson Valley.  The North Thompson River is one of the natural beauties of the Kamloops area, but it seems to be the river that gets little attention. There are no public boat launches and the river has not been charted so it doesn’t encourage the summer power boats that crowd the South Thompson River nearby. That means the only boat traffic is the occasional kayak or canoe and that makes a quiet river to enjoy.
North Thompson River, Kamloops, BC
The North Thompson, named by Simon Fraser to honor his explorer friend David Thompson, originates west of Valemount, BC at the base of the Thompson Glacier then continues south and meets up with the Clearwater River, the North Thompson’s biggest tributary, which drains much of Wells Gray Provincial Park.
Reflections in the North Thompson River, Kamloops, BC
On this day I stopped to visit the Little Farmers Petting Zoo in the Westsyde Centennial Park, which I will share with you later, and hoped to see some fall colors along the North Thompson River from this vantage point.  Much had changed in the years since I was last down to the river there and the river was so much prettier than I remembered it to be.

Damaged tree in Westsyde Centennial Park, Kamloops, BC

There are many more trees in that grove than I remember, and they’re so much larger, too.  This tree, sadly a recent victim of this damage, stood alone but I remember a cluster of birch trees where we once had family photos taken nearby that no longer look the same, how things do change.
Looking north on North Thompson River, Kamloops, BC
Spring and summer runoffs from the winter snow bring the river levels much higher than you’ll see in these pictures and have been known to flood on more than one occasion but today I am walking the rocky beaches and enjoying the very still water of the North Thompson River in the Fall season.   It is a calm and quiet river today.

A path to the North Thompson River, Kamloops, BC

There is a walking path that follows along the dike that protects the park and Oak Hills/Oakdale subdivisions, rebuilt after the flood of 1972. If you want to get right down to the river, you will follow the path past the dog park but there are other access paths along the dike, too. Some will take you through a grove of trees that run along the rivers edge.

South view of the North Thompson River, Kamloops, BC
I gained a new appreciation for our beautiful rivers while on our Cross Country trip and that was that we do have some of the most beautiful rivers on this continent! We crossed many rivers during our eight month trip and few came close to comparing to the size and beauty of the rivers we have right outside our own backyard.
This just gives us another reason why we love Kamloops.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing your words & photos. We lived in Kamloops & the Thompson River was walking distance from our backyard. It was in 1973 off of Shuswap Road almost 43 years ago. Many happy memories for my family. The mountains across from the river back then had the most beautiful green trees. There was a huge forest fire around 1974 I think that was the year, it was very scary to see being such a small child watching it through our picture window. But all in all I wanted to thank you once again for sharing. I never thought I would ever get to see it again. Blessings to you & I am grateful for having the chance to have known the heavens of having the good life in the country of Kamloops.