Kamloops is an off-roader’s paradise. Whether you ride a dirt bike, ATV or side-by-side, there are a bevy of exceptional trails and routes to cruise through—regardless of your skill level. This variety and accessibility is thanks in large part to the Thompson Valley ORV Club (TVORVC).
“Kamloops is situated in a very good location,” said Curtis Riffel, President of the TVORVC. “If you want to ride many kilometres of trails without riding on roads, this is your area. There is a lot of riding within 30 minutes to one hour from town in each direction.”
Curtis Riffel and his wife, Londea, are dedicated to maintaining and improving the ORV trails around Kamloops. — Photo courtesy Sean Ellis
Pendleton Creek Recreation Site
The TVORVC is responsible for maintaining the Pendleton Creek Recreation Site at the base of Greenstone Mountain, south of Kamloops. Riffel recommends this area, which started out as motorcycle trails and then some were turned into ATV trails. Now that ATVs and side-by-sides have gotten bigger, the trails have gotten wider to accommodate the larger machines, although 64-inch-wide side-by-sides won’t be able to access the narrowest trails.
“We collect the money from the site and all the funds go back into the campsite and trail system,” Riffel said.
Whether you ride a dirt bike, ATV or side-by-side, there are a bevy of exceptional trails and routes to cruise through around Kamloops—regardless of your skill level. This variety and accessibility is thanks in large part to the Thompson Valley ORV Club (TVORVC). — Photo courtesy Sean Ellis
The TVORVC also has a trail agreement for the Rim Trail, which does a 140-kilometre loop around the area. The Rim Trail is set up so that riders of all levels and ages can enjoy it. Within this large loop, there are several hundred kilometres of other trails that have something for everyone.
“The Rim is the most popular trail for people that come to the area for the first time because it is a family trail,” said Riffel. “The whole family can enjoy this trail and easily find their way back to the campsites. There are over 400 signs up on the Rim because of all the other trail intersections. This is what people love about it. If you get turned around or lost you can always find the Rim Trail and navigate your way back. And when the kids get tired, the parent that wants to go out and ride some technical trails can do that right from the campsite.”
Curtis Riffel and his grandson, Phoenix Mitchell, aren’t afraid to get a bit muddy while enjoying the Thompson Valley ORV Club’s trails. — Photo courtesy Sean Ellis
Over the last couple of years, the TVORVC has been busy implementing upgrades to their trail system.
In 2019, the club applied for several grants from ATVBC. They were successful in getting two grants. With the funds, the TVORVC built and installed two outhouses along the Rim Trail, as well as one at Wyse Lake and one at Jacks Lake. They also installed picnic tables and fire rings in the campsite.
“2020 was a very moist year on the trails and, due to COVID, people were staying home so we saw a large increase in traffic,” Riffel said. “With all the extra traffic, the Rim Trail sustained a lot of damage. A detailed report was sent into Rec Sites and Trails and they supplied a contractor and we did $35,000 in repairs.”
For this season, Riffel and the TVORVC are applying for an ATVBC grant and ORV funding to repair large mud holes and worn-down trail sections. They are also looking to establish emergency evacuation routes for the area.
For this season, Riffel and the TVORVC are applying for an ATVBC grant and ORV funding to repair large mud holes and worn-down trail sections. They are also looking to establish emergency evacuation routes for the area. — Photo courtesy Sean Ellis
Every two years, the TVORVC hosts a two-day Polaris sales training event at the Pendleton campsite where Polaris sales staff get to try out not only Polaris ATVs, but the competitor’s machines as well. For the event, the TVORVC supplies security for two nights, lunches, and guided rides for two days.
As for events taking place in 2021, it’s a bit up in the air. Despite the uncertainty, Riffel and the TVORVC are optimistic and ready to mobilize when the time is right.
“Due to COVID, we have not made any plans for group rides,” said Riffel. “As soon as the restriction starts to get lifted, we will start putting it out there for organized rides. We are playing it safe as we don’t want to see our club name in the news as a COVID spreader.”