Summer weather is finally here in the Thompson-Okanagan, and I am SO happy! Since the provincial parks started reopening in B.C. in mid-May, my husband and I have been exploring our area as much as possible. Today, I am sharing three easy hikes in provincial parks near Kamloops. These hikes don’t lead to waterfalls, but they all feature gorgeous lakes. Keep reading for my Kamloops hiking guide to Paul Lake Provincial Park, McConnell Lake Provincial Park and Lac du Bois Grasslands Provincial Park (Isobel Lake).
Kamloops Hiking Guide
Paul Lake Provincial Lake Park (Gibraltar Rock)
We’re starting with the best hike of the three, because I loved this hike so much! This is also the most difficult of the three hikes on this list, but it is so worth it. (the “difficult” part is also only 15 minutes, so it’s really not that bad) The views at the end of this hike are unbelievable! (PS I wore rain boots on this hike because I thought it would be muddy, but it wasn’t. I recommend running shoes instead!)
From Kamloops: 20 minutes
- Turn onto Paul Lake Road from BC-5 North. Continue on Paul Lake Road until you reach Paul Lake Group Campsite. You will see a parking lot on the right side of the road across from a row of mailboxes. Park here, then cross the road to find the start of the trail.
The majority of this trail is flat and follows Paul Lake. If you hike to the top of the mountain (Gibraltar Rock) and back, it will take around two hours.
The first part of the trail follows along the lake for about half an hour. The path is fairly narrow, but it is an easy walk. Be sure to watch out for turtles on logs at the edge of the lake along the way!
Once you reach this bench, the trail veers to the left away from the lake up the mountain. This path is fairly steep and switchbacks up the mountain. This part of the trail only took about 15 minutes though.
Once the switchback trail ends, you will see this sign. The last bit of the trail up to Gibraltar Rock is a bit steep, but there are no switchbacks and it is only 300 metres long.
The diagram seems to have the two trails mixed up, because it shows a fairly straight trail leading to this spot and a switchback trail leading to Gibraltar Rock.
Five minutes up the trail, you are greeted with this stunning view on top of Gibraltar Rock! The view of Paul Lake is breathtaking, surrounded by mountains and trees. Not bad for only a 15-minute climb!
McConnell Lake Provincial Park
The lakeshore loop trail around McConnell Lake is 3.5 kilometres and takes about one hour. The trail is very easy and flat, and has many great views of the lake.
From Kamloops: 25 minutes
- Drive west on Highway 1-West. Take exit 366 for Copperhead Drive toward Lac le Jeune Road. Turn left onto Copperhead Drive. Turn right on Lac le Jeune Road. Continue on this road until you see a sign for McConnell Lake Provincial Park on the left.
Lac du Bois Grasslands Provincial Park
Isobel Lake low mobility trail is a beautiful, easy hike within Lac du Bois Grasslands Provincial Park. The trail goes around the lake, and it is a gorgeous walk through the woods. The loop took an hour and a half, including many stops for photos along the way.
From Kamloops: 40 minutes
- Drive up Batchelor Hills Drive, which turns into Lac du Bois Road. Turn right on McQueen Isobel Lake Road. When you come to a fork in the road, keep left, and you will come to the parking lot.
There are points in the trail like the one below indicating a low-mobility option and a hiking option that actually join up soon after. The hiking option is not difficult at all, but it would not be good for someone with mobility issues.
Thanks for reading this Kamloops hiking guide! I hope this inspired you to get outside and explore!
For more local guides to hiking and Instagrammable murals, check out these posts: