Driving to Kelowna from Kamloops in winter - December 2020

Nikitat
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Driving to Kelowna from Kamloops in winter - December 2020

Post by Nikitat »

Hi,

We recently moved to Kamloops and need to travel to Kelowna on December 18th and will return the next day. This is the first time to drive in winter and I have a small car. Can someone please tell me which is the best route to take? Thanking you in advance.
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Re: Driving to Kelowna from Kamloops in winter - December 20

Post by Even Steven »

Nikitat wrote:Hi,

We recently moved to Kamloops and need to travel to Kelowna on December 18th and will return the next day. This is the first time to drive in winter and I have a small car. Can someone please tell me which is the best route to take? Thanking you in advance.


There are two ways. One is through Merrit - Westbank - Kelowna. The other one is through Falkland-Vernon-Kelowna.

The first time is longer, but faster because you're mostly driving a high-speed highway. Connecter can be snowy-icy this time of the year, in fact, I would count on it. The second way is slower, but less distance. It's also relatively easier to drive in the winter as it gets less snow. But you can still expect snow there.

If I was you I'd go through Vernon. Make sure your tires are good, your cell phone is fully charged, you have some extra blankets just in case, etc. You never know, really.
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mexi cali
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Re: Driving to Kelowna from Kamloops in winter - December 20

Post by mexi cali »

Have made that trip countless times over the years and always took the Vernon route once snow started to hit the connector.

I am a hyper defensive driver and the way so many idiots drive the connector made my decision to stay off of it in the winter easy.

You need to be aware that the road is very windy in parts and obviously, drive to the conditions. Snow tires just make sense even though many of the worlds best drivers who also happen to live here will tell you that "they doan need no steenking snow tires".

My motto during the years I was on the road virtually everywhere was "drive to arrive".
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Bsuds
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Re: Driving to Kelowna from Kamloops in winter - December 20

Post by Bsuds »

Have good snow tires and go the Falkland, Vernon route.
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Re: Driving to Kelowna from Kamloops in winter - December 20

Post by typhoon44 »

The only problem with the Falkland route is that it is an undivided highway. Your speed, tires, and skill don't matter if the semi coming at you crosses the centre line. I still go that way though.
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Re: Driving to Kelowna from Kamloops in winter - December 20

Post by GordonH »

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Glacier
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Re: Driving to Kelowna from Kamloops in winter - December 20

Post by Glacier »

Through Vernon is faster and shorter and almost always better in terms of snow and ice on the road. Unless you're going to Peachland or maybe West Kelowna, I'd go through Vernon. Saves time, money, and stress.
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bb49
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Re: Driving to Kelowna from Kamloops in winter - December 20

Post by bb49 »

Just be aware that if the weather is a bit on the mild side in the valley in Kamloops, as soon as you leave the TCH at Monte Creek, you climb in elevation and the temperature drops.
This often means snow and/or ice.
And be patient on that highway. There's not much for passing lanes.
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Re: Driving to Kelowna from Kamloops in winter - December 20

Post by bigtimeoperations »

The Falkland route is 50km less distance than the Connector, and much lower in elevation. That route gets up to around 700 meters elevation, but it isn't a true highway summit, just valleys. 97C is 1000 meters higher than that. The Falkland area is in a snow belt, probably at least 150 centimetres annually, but its still much less than the Connector. The 2 lane highway is a negative, but there are a few passing lanes, and 3, several kilometre long 4 lane sections.
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Urbane
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Re: Driving to Kelowna from Kamloops in winter - December 20

Post by Urbane »

I can't add anything to the advice already provided but when you're not in a hurry you could consider taking Highway 5A. It goes from Kamloops to Merritt and it has some nice scenery.

The last time my wife and I were on that road the reflection coming off of Nicola Lake was incredible. It takes a bit longer than the Coq from Kamloops to Merritt but it's a nice change for sure.

By the way, the Quilchena Hotel, along the way, is a great place to have lunch. Unfortunately, their Facebook page announces that the hotel is closed for now because of the virus. Hopefully they'll have it back open sometime next year.
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Glacier
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Re: Driving to Kelowna from Kamloops in winter - December 20

Post by Glacier »

The last time I took 5A the pelicans were floating along the shore.
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