Known as the Hub of the North Thompson, the small community of Little Fort is located in the North Thompson Valley region of British Columbia known as High Country.
The economy of Little Fort is boosted by traffic on the Yellowhead Highway, while relying on traditional businesses like farming (hay farms and cattle farms), forestry, fishing resorts, and guest ranches. Little Fort offers visitors and weary travellers a restaurant, a cafe and pub, hotel, campground, gas station, general store, craft store and a fishing tackle shop.
The Little Fort Ferry, an aerial tramway for passengers only, operates across the North Thompson River at Little Fort when the water level is high or icy. Crossing time is 5 minutes, and the ferry operates on demand; 7:00 am – 6:45 pm (except 11:45 am – 1:00 pm and 4:45 pm – 6:00 pm).
Whitewater Rafting: One of the most exhilarating outdoor activities has got to be whitewater rafting, and you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to indulge in it while you’re in this chock-full-of-rivers region. For easygoing paddling, the North Thompson River is perfect, using North Thompson River Provincial Park as your base. The current gently pulls paddlers downstream all the way to Kamloops, although you’ll need several days to cover the entire distance. River Rafters can ride the swift currents through the canyons of the Clearwater River, and savour the highlight of the trip, a run through the Grade 5 Saber Tooth rapid.
Hiking: The North Thompson Valley area boasts hundreds of hiking trails. The western slopes of Dunn Peak in Dunn Peak Protected Area can be reached on the Dunn Peak Park Trail. The difficult and undeveloped 18-km hike leads past a subalpine lake to the base of Baldy Mountain. The trailhead is reached via the Dunn Lake Road.
Flyfishing: Little Fort offers fabulous flyfishing, with hundreds of quality low and high elevation lakes, and several pristine rivers in the area, including the Canim River, Mahood River, Clearwater River, Adams River and the Raft River. The area is rich in rainbow trout, eastern brook trout, lake trout, burbot and kokanee. The scenic Highway 24 west of Little Fort is often called the Fishing Highway, as it winds through the Interlakes District where every branch off the road leads to a new and productive fishing spot. Larger lakes along the highway include Sheridan Lake, Bridge Lake and Lac des Roches.
The Barriere Lakes (North, South, and East) are all located about 40 km northeast of Barriere, and 16 km west of Highway 5 on Barriere Lake Road. Some of the best trout fishing in this region renowned for its fine fishing lakes can be found here. Try fly fishing and light spin casting for native Kamloops rainbow trout. The Kamloops Forest District details over 60 medium-sized and small lakes for fishing.
Winter Activities: Once the leaves have fallen from the trees and the birds have flown south, nearby Kamloops becomes a winter wonderland bursting with activity. Two downhill ski areas near Kamloops are Harper Mountain and Sun Peaks Ski Resort. Whether you go tobogganing, ski the diamond slopes or challenge the snowboard park, Kamloops is the place to do it all. Downhill Skiing is also available on the five runs at the nearby Clearwater Ski Hill, which offers a T-bar, and night skiing. Skiing & Winter Activities in Kamloops, Thompson Okanagan.
Cross-country ski enthusiasts travel from all parts of the world to experience the wonderful cross-country skiing in the mellow, rounded hills and snow-carpeted meadows in this area. Whether you’re interested in groomed trails, backcountry, or just looking for some peace and solitude along a trail, nearby Kamloops is the place to discover it. Sun Peaks Resort and Harper Mountain both offer groomed trails. Known for its pristine snow, the area is also an ideal location for snowmobiling and snowshoeing.
Golf: Golfers can head to Chinook Cove Golf, a championship length 9-hole, par-36 golf course set in the beautiful North Thompson Valley, 3 km north of Barriere. The first four holes are links style, with water coming into play, and the last five holes are carved through the natural forest, with each fairway holding a unique challenging feature. The awesome undulating Providence bentgrass greens are second to none. Golf Vacations in British Columbia.
Dunn Peak Protected Area east of Little Fort is a large wilderness area offering outstanding backcountry recreation spectacular mountain scenery. The 19,353-hectare park is bordered in the west by the North Thompson River and in the east by Harper Creek and the Shuswap Highlands. Remnants of the old Windpass Gold Mine (1916-1939) are still visible on Baldy Mountain, as well as an old forestry lookout tower.
Wells Gray Provincial Park is one of British Columbia’s largest (515,785 hectares) and most spectacular parks. Its area encompasses the greater part of the Clearwater River watershed. There are five major lakes here, as well as two large river systems, numerous small lakes, streams, and waterways, and a multitude of waterfalls, rapids, and cataracts. Although boating and paddling are major attractions for campers, the area has something for everyone. In winter, there are just as many opportunities for recreation as in summer, with the advantage of no bugs! This park is as ideal as any you will find in the province, with a climate and terrain varied enough to suit the most demanding backpacker or mountaineer.
In winter, the world-famous Helmcken Falls in Wells Gray Provincial Park forms a magnificent ice cone, a view of which is a reward for backcountry skiers willing to make a short trek. Another marvel here is the frozen crescent of Dawson Falls. Groomed and track-set trails lead cross-country skiers through the park past the Majerus homestead, King Meadow, and the always welcome sight of a warming hut. More challenging routes include the Corkscrew and the Roller Coaster. Hut-to-hut backcountry skiing provides an extended multiday winter adventure.
On the banks of the North Thompson River is the North Thompson River Provincial Park, which includes a quiet campground with vehicle/tent sites. A riverside picnic area, a playground, and trails complement the campsites in a forested area near the confluence of the Clearwater and North Thompson Rivers. Canoeing and kayaking are superb, as is the hiking. Smooth depressions in the ground are evidence of former Native Canadian habitation in the park; check out the two archeological sites as well.
Southwest of little Fort, the Bonaparte Provincial Park incorporates the Bonaparte Lake and Valley, the dominant lake and river system in the south Cariboo, which offers outstanding fishing opportunities. Head west of Highway 5 from Barriere.
The Clearwater Trout Hatchery offers free tours by appointment. The hatchery raised trout through the winter for release in the spring, so winter is a good time to visit the hatchery. The hatchery is located in Clearwater at 40 East Old North Thompson Highway.
Touring: Drive the circle routes to South Barriere Lakes and Adams Lake, or explore the miles of roads on Samatosum Mountain.
Farm Guide: Travellers looking for a down-to-earth experience can find a list of resources and activities featured in the Kamloops Farm Fresh Guide. The guide showcases the diversity of life in the Thompson Nicola region, which ranges from wine tasting to guided family horseback rides on a working cattle ranch. Visitors can use the guide (available from Tourism Kamloops) to locate area farmer’s markets and fall fairs, discover fresh-picked fruit and vegetables, farm-raised meat and eggs, and value-added products like honey and jellies.
Circle Tours: See the best of the area on Okanagan and Kootenay Rockies Circle Tour. Travel the sunny interior of British Columbia, north through the Okanagan to Sicamous, following Highway 1 into the mountains of the BC Rockies. From Golden, head south through the Columbia Valley to Creston, and west through the Southern Okanagan, starting and ending your sun-drenched voyage in Osoyoos, the place where two lakes come together. Circle Tours in British Columbia.