If you are planning a road trip, driving from Vancouver to the Canadian Rockies, then this tour commentary covers the the drive between Vancouver and Kamloops, in either direction, Eastbound or Westbound. The journey travels through the fertile Fraser Valley, into the lush and wet coastal mountains, and the desert-like landscape of Kamloops.
As well as scenic stops close to the highway, there are 2 short side trips you are encouraged to take along the route.
Vancouver or Kamloops
Allow 4-6 of driving time and sightseeing stops, especially if taking the short recommended side trips. Road construction/maintenance of common in summer and may add some delays.
350km (217 miles)
While it’s faster to fly, many people choose to drive from Vancouver to Banff, passing through Kamloops on the way. The Trans-Canada Highway 1 makes for a pleasant 10-hour drive along well-maintained roads, and you’ll pass through a number of towns along the way. Located just before the halfway mark, Kamloops is about four hours from Vancouver and makes an ideal overnight stop.
Along the drive from Vancouver to Kamloops you’ll pass by Bridal Veil Falls, the fertile Fraser Valley, Harrison Hot Springs, the Hope Slide and the town of Hope, and Othello Tunnels.
Located just under halfway between Vancouver and Banff, Kamloops is a popular overnight stop and is around four hours and 220 miles from Vancouver on the Trans-Canada Highway 1 and Highway 5.
The Okanagan Valley is a top British Columbia wine region, and includes the cities of Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon and Osoyoos. The Okanagan is about a 2 hour drive from Kamloops, with a detour option at Merritt if you’re driving from Vancouver.
The Coquihalla Highway #5 between Hope and Kamloops used to be a toll road. The tolls were removed many years ago now, so there is no fee to drive on this fast route.