This itinerary is recommended to start on a Friday, in order to arrive on time for the Kamloops Heritage Railway experience and Kettle Valley Steam Railway experience.
Depart from Hope on Friday and follow the Canadian Pacific Railway through the Fraser Valley along Trans-Canada Highway #1 and into Gold Country. Travel one and a half hours along the Fraser River to Lytton and stop to visit their Lytton Chinese History Museum, providing history about the Chinese contributions to Lytton’s past, particularly in railway construction and gold mining. Visit nearby Spences Bridge to view the remnants of the bridge and the old CPR tracks. Continue on your journey one hour north to Historic Hat Creek to explore this restored Gold Rush era roadhouse with original buildings from the pioneer heritage and a First Nations village. Enjoy a lunch on their scenic patio and visit their new gift shop. A short half an hour drive along the Trans-Canada Highway #1 will bring you to Savona and Kelly’s Kaboose, a railway store filled with toys, model trains, gifts, antiques, and more. Spend some time exploring the store and then continue your half-hour drive to Kamloops, stopping along the way at the Kamloops Lookout for a great view of the lake and both the CN and CP rail lines travelling on either side of the lake. Check into your hotel and prepare for your evening. Enjoy dinner at one of Kamloops’ many restaurants before visiting the Kamloops Heritage Railway for a rail tour. If you are visiting on a Friday night, you can experience a re-creation of the famous 1906 Bill Miner Train Robbery. After the tour, enjoy your evening in Kamloops.
Continue your journey of the CPR through the Shuswap. Depart Kamloops for the one-hour drive along Trans-Canada Highway #1 to Squilax and visit the Shuswap Lake Hostel that features train cabooses as sleeping quarters. Check them out and grab something from their general store. Continue on to Salmon Arm, a mere half-hour away, to visit the R.J. Haney Heritage Valley & Museum, a 40-acre park that features the Salmon Arm Museum, Heritage Village, archives, and trails. The site features exhibits about the Chinese railway workers influence on Salmon Arm’s heritage and the impact of the CPR, plus many heritage buildings. After exploring, enjoy lunch at the nearby Barley Station Brew Pub, built inside of an old railway station. Afterwards, travel half an hour on the Trans-Canada Highway #1 to Craigellachie, site of the driving of the Last Spike for the Canadian Pacific Railway. The site features a monument, interpretive centre, and gift shop. Close by is Three Valley Gap, a resort with a heritage town that features a railway roundhouse and antique automobile museum, plus many heritage buildings. A short drive to Revelstoke will provide the opportunity to visit the Revelstoke Railway Museum, featuring various museum exhibits and a Mikado steam engine to provide a great history of the CPR. After exploring these sites, drive one hour south along the Trans-Canada Highway #1 to Sicamous, and then take Highway #97A one hour south to Vernon for dinner and your overnight stay. Plan to visit the Planet Bee Honey Farm and Meadery not far from downtown Vernon.
In the morning, travel a short distance to nearby O’Keefe Ranch to learn about the heritage of BC ranchers and farmers. Afterwards, travel south along Highway #97 forty-five minutes to Kelowna to explore the Myra Canyon Trestles, a portion of the original Kettle Valley Railway and the KVR trail. Experience an easy two-to-three-hour cycling tour along the trestles and through the tunnels. Stop for lunch at nearby Summerhill Pyramid Winery before continuing forty-five minutes south on Highway #97 to Summerland. While travelling through West Kelowna, plan a stop for a tasting and tour at Grizzli Winery before continuing on for an afternoon tour on the Kettle Valley Steam Railway. On the train trip, you will see the Trout Creek Trestle Bridge, the highest trestle on the line. After your train adventure, check in to your accommodation and enjoy dinner in Summerland or Penticton.
Begin your day travelling the KVR Trail along the Naramata Bench. This section of the trail was also part of the CPR and is a great choice for cycling or hiking. If you have time, you can even check out a few of the many wineries along the Naramata Bench. Enjoy lunch nearby before travelling along Highway #97 and connecting to Highway #3A to Keremeos, where you can stop at the Old Grist Mill and Gardens, the oldest surviving pioneering mill in BC. Make sure to also visit the Red Bridge, a heritage landmark on the Similkameen River that represents the railway and mining heritage. This bridge is the last remaining covered bridge in Western Canada. Continue along the Hope-Princeton Highway #3 to nearby Hedley to visit the Hedley Heritage Museum, featuring historic mining displays and artifacts. Your journey continues to Princeton, where you can visit the Railway Station and nearby tunnels that were a part of the CPR. Travel another hour and a half along Highway #3 to Hope to visit the Othello Tunnels, a series of tunnels that were originally constructed for the railway. These tunnels are cycle and walking-friendly.
After your lunch in Naramata on Day 4, travel one hour further south along Highway #97 to Osoyoos to continue exploring the KVR trail. In Osoyoos, visit the Desert Model Railroad, a miniature model railroad museum. Drive east along Highway #3 to Midway to visit the Kettle River Museum, located at ‘Mile 0’ of the KVR trail. The museum features exhibits showcasing the heritage of the KVR, cabooses, the original station house, and more. Close by is the Greenwood Museum and Heritage Centre that provides history about Greenwood and the railway. Drive half an hour east to Grand Forks to visit the Railway station, highlighting Grand Forks’ role in the railway. The Heritage Courthouse and Boundary Museum are also located nearby, providing more context about the heritage of Grand Forks. That evening, enjoy exploring the village.
Overnight Grand Forks.
Take a day trip to the Kootenay Rockies, stopping in Castlegar, one hour east via Highway #3, to visit the CPR Museum that is housed in an old railway station. This museum features a perfectly preserved caboose and various artifacts. Continue your drive for another three hours along Highway #3 to Cranbrook. Stop for lunch and spend some time to explore the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel at the Cranbrook History Centre, featuring the largest collection of rail travel cars in North America. Visit nearby Fort Steele to explore the Fort and the Fort Steele Railway, where you can tour the museum and ride a heritage train powered by a steam locomotive.