From Ranchlands to Fruit Stands Driving Tour
A bit of variety and plenty of scenic views make this drive worthwhile!
DT 4 - Gold Country Driving Tour
Highlights of the Thompson and Okanagan Valleys
Kamloops - Vernon - Kelowna - Merritt - Kamloops
Total Distance: 389 kms / 242 miles round trip
Total Time: 4 hr 30 min
1. Kamloops - Vernon
Distance: 117 km (73 mi)
Approximate Time: 1 hr 20 min
Route: Highway 1/ Highway 97
Origin/Destination: Head east out of Kamloops following Highway 1 for 20 km (12.5 mi) and take the exit for Highway 97 / Vernon.
Highlights: Grab a cup of coffee and some breakfast at one of the quaint cafes along Victoria Street in downtown Kamloops. Catch a glimpse of Monte Lake Provincial Park with its protected pine and grasslands area. Check out BC's largest Canadian Flag in Falkland, where you can also stop off at their museum. Make sure to stop off at the Historic O'Keefe ranch just before Vernon, where you can find anything from artisans to exotic birds, and also experience some BC history. Vernon is also home to the Okanagan Science Centre and waterslides.
2. Vernon - Kelowna
Distance: 53 km (33 mi)
Approximate Time: 45 min
Route: Highway 97
Origin/Destination: Follow Highway 97 through Vernon and onwards to Kelowna.
Highlights: Orchards and many fruit picking opportunities line the drive from Vernon to Kelowna. Stop at one of the many lakes through Lake Country and take a quick swim or have a picnic lunch. While driving through Kelowna, make sure to view the breathtaking Okanagan Lake. Be sure to check out the many wineries and breweries in the area.
3. Kelowna - Merritt
Distance: 105 km (65 mi)
Approximate Time: 1 hr
Route: Highway 97C
Origin/Destination: After Westbank, follow Highway 97C for 105 km to Merritt.
Highlights: Take a walk along the historic downtown and experience the "Walk of the Stars"
4. Merritt - Kamloops
Distance: 98 km (61 mi)
Approximate Time: 1 hr 30 min
Route: Highway 5A
Origin/Destination: Go west on Highway 5A.
Highlights: Along this drive, stop to check out the historic Quilchena Ranch, and keep your eyes open for wildlife!
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Kamloops Visitor Centre: 1-800-662-1994