BC's #5 Coquihalla Highway between Hope and Kamloops

The broad Valley of the Thompson River at Kamloops

Why Travel the Coquihalla Highway?

This route was originally a toll-highway, built to get Canadians to Vancouver's Expo 86, and divert heavy truck traffic from the at-capacity Trans-Canada route through the Fraser Canyon. East of Hope, detour to the Hope Slide (6 km east on Highway 3). The Coquihalla has some amazing rest stops, valley views, river crossings, and even an avalanche snow shed. At the north end the highway drops rapidly drop into Kamloops.

HighwayNotes Itinerary

Here is the itinerary for the 204 km along the #5 Coquihalla (toll) Highway between Hope, BC and Kamloops, BC:

View of tight curves in Coquihalla mountains Travellers can save 75 minutes driving time between Kamloops and Hope The road is fast, twinned (ie Interstate/Autobahn standards) and passes through spectacular rugged mountain scenery. Travelling northbound from Hope, Highway 5 follows the Coquihalla River until near the toll booth, then follows the Coldwater River to Merritt. The Coquihalla Highway climbs to the summit of 1240 metre high (4068 ft) Coquihalla Pass and then crosses the top of the Thompson Plateau.

Avalanche chutes scar the mountainsides and are a visible reminder of the steep terrain that surrounds the highway. Avalanche guns mounted on platforms beside the highway battle the elements to keep the highway open in winter, just like at Rogers Pass and at Revelstoke, to the east.

View of Nicola Lake, to east of highway, in North Coquihalla The forests here are home to Engelmann spruce, lodgepole pine, and sub-alpine fir at higher elevations, with Douglas fir and ponderosa pine at lower elevations and on benchlands. The forests and the high plateau grasslands support moose, mule deer, bears, and grouse, with some elk and mountain goats in the south. There are lots of hiking trails for travelers to get out an enjoy the surrounding nature.

Merritt is a hub where three highways converge the 5, 5A, and 8. Using 5A, you can access highway 97C to and from the Okanagan, at Peachland, just southwest of Kelowna.

Trans-Canada Highway History

Coquihalla Highway history

Trans-Canada Highway Itinerary Map

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Next West: West Vancouver to Hope

Next East: Kamloops to Revelstoke

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Travel Direction:
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Distance Scale:
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Elevation Scale:
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Detailed Itinerary


Highway Point & Features


Exit #374 Junction Yellowhead Highway (5) (Kamloops)  402 
Shuswap Nation Tribal Council

Tkemlups of the Secwepemc band of theShuwap First Nation

Access to downtown Kamloops, on exit further, Valleyview Rd (east) and Battle St/Columbia St (west into downtown)
Peterson Creek, Glenfair Peterson Creek Park (Kamloops)  448.1 
webcam facing north
Exit #370 Summit Dr underpass, Exit WB only (Kamloops)  549.2 
Exit #369 Columbia Way (N) Exit EB only (Kamloops)  590.4 
multiple gas statons north of highway, on Columbia St

Access to dowtnown, via Columbia Street, about 3 km from hihgway

Kamloops photos

south access to Royal Inland Hospital (Interior Health District) about 2.7 km NE of highway
Exit #368 Junction Princeton Kamloops Hwy (5A) (S), Hillside Way (N) (Kamloops)  630.9 
Kamloops Visitor Centre, just north of hihgway

Aberdeen Mall, Kamloops 8 screen multiplex cenemas

Dream Lodge, just south of highway

Four Points Sheraton Hotel, just south of highway

Comfort Inn & Suites, just south of highway

Best Western Kamloops, just south of Highway

Aberdeen Inn, jsut south of highway

Travelodge Mountainview, just south of highway

Esso, Petro-Canada gas stations, south of highway

Maverick Motor Inn, just north of highway

Aberdeen Mall, north side of highway
10  Exit #367 Pacific Way, exit to Kenna Cartwright Park (N) (Kamloops)  669.3 
Greyhound-Kamloops Terminal, just north of highway

Grandview Motel, 1.3 km north of highway

Argus Motor Inn, 1.2 km north of highway

Alpine Motor Inn, south of highway

Pantry & Shell gas stations to south of highway

Access to Kenna Cartwright Park, natural area in the City of Kamloops
12  Exit #366 Copperhead Dr (S) Hillside Rd (N) (Kamloops)  699.8 
Access to Kenna Cartwright Park, natural area in the City of Kamloops

PetroCanada Station, south side (EB) of highway
13  Bridge over Coquihalla River (Hope)  211.5 
Coquihalla River photos
16  Exit #362 Junction Highway 1 WB 744 
Trans-Canada Hihgway Access west to Cache Creek, Lyttton and Hope
19  Sugarloaf Rd underpass 769.9 
23  Exit #355 Sugarloaf Rd, tails to Sugarloaf Mountain E of hwy 840.3 
28  Desmond Lake to W of hway 1402.1 
30  Chuwheis Mountain Rd (W) Lac Le Jeune Rd (E) underpass (no access), Stake Lake to E of hwy, W to Lac Le Jeune PP, camping 1350.3 
Lac Le Jeune Provincial Park, camping, day use, water sports, scenic views

McConnell Lake Provincial Park day use, with water sports and hiking
35  Exit #336 Meadow Creek Rd W to Surey & Sussex Lakes, E to Walloper Lake PP, camping 1321.6 
Walloper Lake Provincial Park, day use with water sports
44  Surrey-Sussex Lakes to E of hwy 1415.2 
64  Helmer Rd underpass 1361.8 
64  Exit # 315 Helmer Rd & U-turn view of Helmer Lake to W of hwy 1390.5 
webcam looking north
80  Exit #290 Junction Highway 5A (Voght St) Merritt, E to Merritt Airfield (1 kn), Nicola Lake (9 km), Zoht Indian Reserve 4 (10 km), Monk Lake PP (20 km) (Merritt)  613.3 
Zoht Indian Reserve 4, member of the Lower Nicola Band
90  Exit #286 Junction Highway 5A & 97C (Nicola Ave), W to town of Merritt (2 km), all services, ccess to Joeyaska Indian Reserve 2 (1 km), Nicola Mameet Indian Reserve 1 (8 km) (Merritt)  681.5 
Joeyaska Indian Reserve 2, member of the Lower Nicola Band
96  Exit #276 Comstock Rd access to Coldwater Indian Reserve 1 (10 km), and hiking trails 987.9 
Coldwater Indian Reserve 1, part of Nicola Band, 10 km from hihgway
115  Exit #256 Coldwater Rd (N/W) access to Paul's Basin Indian Reserve (15 km), Brookmere Rd (S/E) 838.8 
115  Road overpass 880.6 
118  Exit #250 Brodie Siding Rd (SE) & Fig Lake Rd (NW) observe sharp twist in rail track E of hwy 999.4 
webcam facing north
121  Connecting Rd, access to Coldwater River PP, camping 1012.2 
Coldwater River Provincial Park, with hiking and fishing
132  Crossing Coldwater River bridge, rapids N of hwy 988.8 
133  Murray Lake Rd Exit WB/SB only 1005.8 
134  Juliet Creek Exits, access to Juliet Station airfiled 1062.5 
138  Juliet Creek Rd overpass 1060.4 
141  Exit to Nicola Provincial Forest 1080.5 
142  Coldwater Lake, to West of hwy 1176.8 
144  Exit #228 WB: Coquihalla Lakes Rest Area 1111.9 
Nicolla Lakes Rest Area, with scenic views
145  Exit #228 EB: Coquihalla Lakes Rest Area 1120.7 
146  Coquihalla [former] Toll Booth 1129.6 
webcam facing south

webcam facing north

Coquihalla Highway Toll Plaza

Rest Area with bathrooms
150  Exit #221 Coquihalla Summit Rec Area 1171.3 
153  Coquihalla Summit 1280.2 
webcam facing south
169  Chain Up Area, Pull off 1218 
171  Exit #202, Portia and U-turn 584.6 
Kicking Horse Bridge
173  Exit #200 536.8 
177  Exit #195 Caroline Mines Rd, turnaround 374 
179  Exit #192 turnaround WB Exit, to Kettle Creek Railway trails at Boston ar Creek 349.3 
Kettle Creek Railway - the segment still operating is short stretch west of Summerland, in the southern Okanagan

Kettle Valey Railway railtrail, hiking and mountain biking
180  Exit #192 turnaround EB Exit, to Kettle Creek Railway trails at Boston ar Creek 327.1 
access to Kettle Creek Railway, recreeational pathway and railway tressle bridge
181  Crossing Coquihalla River 318.2 
183  Bridge over Deneau Creek 320 
185  10 Mile Creek crossing 277.4 
190  Peers Creek Rd underpass 214.6 
190  Exit #183 Othello Rd exit, W to Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park and Othello Tunnels 217 
Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park, picnic area, hiking trails, about 2 km southwest of hihgway

access to Kawkawa Lake Resort, about 7 km E of highway
196  Exit #177, junction with #5 Coquihalla Southbound interchange with Highway 3, Crowsnest Highway 263.3 
Complex intersection. South-westbound traffic wishing to visit Hope Slide exist west and then loop-around to head eastbound on the #3

Complex intersection. South-westbound traffic wishing to visit Hope Slide exist west (toward Hope) and then loop-around to head eastbound on the #3
197  EB Exit #177, Highway #3 junction with Coquihalla Highway 274.3 
Crowsnest Highway #2, east to Princeton, Osoyoos and Penticton

Nicolum River Provincial Park, fishing, hiking, biking, about 5 km E

Hope Slide 1965 natural disaster, 10.7 km E, (access best wetbound, tricky eastbound)
201  Exit #173 Old Yale Rd (Hope)  128.3 
East Access to Hope, all services
204  Junction Highway 1 and Highway 3 (Hope)  72.2 
204  Exit #170 WB, to Old Yale Rd, and Trans-Canada 1 North (Hope)  144.5 
Acces to town of Hope

Community of Hope, BC

Panoramic VR image along Fraser River from Centennial Park (park in town, on east side of highway)

Hope photos


Highway Point & Features


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