Getting Here - Travel Essentials

You’ll find Blue River and Avola in the North Thompson Valley of Thompson-Okanagan Region just about mid-way point on the Yellowhead Highway (BC Highway 5) between Vancouver, BC and Edmonton, AB. It’s also the mid-way point between the wine capital of British Columbia inthe Okanagan Valley and Jasper, Alberta.

A small community with no more than 280 people, travel to Blue River, BC is via car or RV, Greyhound bus and by passenger train. If you’d rather fly in, the closest airport is Kamloops only 229 km (139 mi) south.

Where to Stay

For a small town, there are a variety of options of where to stay – from wilderness camping at Murtle Lake two drive-in campgrounds, one modest motel, a nationally recognized chain hotel, three lodges, and locally owned Bed & Breakfast inn can be found in Blue River. Avoid disappointment in summer and winter; book your accommodations ahead of time.

Camping is available in Wells Gray Provincial Park at Murtle Lake between May and the end of October. The Blue River Campground and Bone Creek Wilderness Retreat offer more extensive camping seasons – check opening and closing dates with local operators.

Visitor Information

Get your bearings before you arrive, so you can make the most of your time in Blue River. The Blue River Campground also operates as our seasonal visitor information source. Stop in - the team manning the office is more than happy to point you in the right direction, share local insights, provide area and hiking trail maps and make some recommendations to help you enjoy your stay.

Boating Safety

The picturesque lakes and rivers in the North Thompson Valley are some of the most beautiful places in BC for recreational boating. Boaters must be aware that there are boating restrictions in some lakes and a Pleasure Craft Operator Card boating license (PCOC) is required if you are operating a motorized boat in Canada. A PCOC proves that you have gained the knowledge to safely operate a motorized boat on Canada’s waterways.

How Do Boaters Obtain Their Card?

The easiest way for boaters to obtain their Pleasure Craft Operator Card is by successfully passing a Transport Canada Accredited, multiple-choice exam at

Fishing Licenses

Fishing licenses can be purchased on-line, at Service BC in Clearwater, or at Blue River Campground. Visit Fishing BC for more information.

Rules of the Road

Seat belt use is mandatory for all drivers and passengers in Canada. The Distracted Driving Law is in effect in British Columbia, which prohibits drivers from talking, texting or emailing on hand-held communication devices, or using other electronic devices while behind the wheel.

What to Pack

The diversity of activities calls for astute packing. If you’re heading into the mountains for any sort of outdoor adventure, it’s best to dress in layers. Our dining scene is totally laid-back, so casual attire is the order of the day. We’re known for our hot summers, but remember to bring sunglasses and a hat to provide protection from strong sunlight no matter the season.

Mind the Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are a pure fact of life in the Canadian wilderness, and it’s no different in the BC Interior, which includes some of western Canada’s most dramatic wilderness areas. The intensity of mosquitoes varies by location and from week to week. Come prepared. Bug repellent should be one part of your strategy, along with lightweight clothing or netting protecting your arms, legs and head.


Blue River and Avola’s weather conditions are dependent on the season. As both are located in a transition zone between the dry Okanagan region and the wetter and more variable conditions of the higher northern mountains, the weather pattern varies from the norm.

Blue River and Avola feature a temperate summer climate with beautifully warm days averaging around 30C, and evenings that cool off nicely.

Winter can be extreme with temperatures averaging –15C, and over four meters of deep powder snow falling on the valley. Snow generally clears from the valley by late March to mid-April.

Environment Canada provides up-to-date weather conditions.

Avalanche Risk

1.2 million acres and up to 10 m (32 ft) of powder snow each winter, mean Blue River and Avola are located in avalanche country. Prepare for your backcountry adventures, check for local and regional avalanche risk bulletins in winter before heading out.

Driving Distances

Vancouver 581 Km 361 Miles
Edmonton 578 Km 359 Miles
Calgary (via Revelstoke) 623 Km  387 Miles
Calgary (via Jasper) 627 Km 390 Miles
Clearwater, BC 105 Km 65 Miles
Kamloops 229 Km 139 Miles
Kelowna (via Hwy 97c) 397 Km 247 Miles
Banff (via TransCanada) 722 Km 449 Miles
Banff (via Icefields Pkwy) 497 Km 309 Miles
Seattle 694 Km 431 Miles
Sun Peaks 239 Km 149 Miles