Tulameen is a small recreational community in British Columbia, about 27 kilometers northwest of the town of Princeton, and about a 300 kilometer drive east from the city of Vancouver, B.C. Located between Otter Lake and the Tulameen River, it sits on the edge of the Canadian Cascades mountain range with an elevation of 823m (2700ft). The town is the perfect hub for weekend warriors and outdoor enthusiasts providing numerous activities from ATVing & snowmobiling the surrounding mountains to camping and boating in the valley. It's a great place for families and friends to hang out and enjoy the outdoors.
Current population varies but there are about 250 permanent residents and the number grows in the summer months. The Tulameen General Store has a restaurant, liquor store, post office, and gas station. The community also has a motel, bike rentals (Crossroads Bike Rentals), community center, skating rink, library, volunteer fire department, and skidoo dealer & repair center.
Historical sites in the area include the gold rush town of Granite Creek, the coal mining past of Blakeburn and Coalmont. You can also hike along the Historic Fur Trading Trails in the mountains like the Dewdney Trail or HBC Trail and discover breathtaking views and points of interests.
The 30 min drive from Princeton is a winding scenic drive with beautiful valley, canyon, mountain and river views along the way. The paved road heads Northwest as it follows the crystal clear waters of Tulameen River and the historic Kettle Valley Railway. Some areas of the road feel daringly narrow as you cling to the rocky mountain sides, but it rewards you with beautiful backcountry scenes.
About 3/4 of the way up you'll find yourself driving into the small quirky village of Coalmont and its historical land marks. You can still see evidence of it's 100+ years of roots including the famous Coalmont Hotel and other age old buildings. A few more minutes up the road and you'll finally find yourself in the popular recreational town site of Tulameen and Otter Lake.
Otter Lake is a popular 6km long lake that covers about 290 hectares (716 acres) at an elevation of 823 m (2700 ft). The clear blue lake is fed by fresh mountain runoff and natural spring water. It is a great recreational lake for swimming, boating, water-skiing and fishing for lake trout, rainbow, brook trout and Kokanee. The town of Tulameen is located at the south end of the lake and the Provincial campsite borders the north-west side. A scenic bike ride will take you on the Trans Canada Trail along the East side of the lake.
Trans Canada Trail
This historic stretch of the Trans Canada Trail is part of the old Kettle Valley Railway that runs along the East side of Otter Lake.The trail comes down from Brookmere near the Coquihalla Highway and runs through Tulameen where it meets up with Tulameen River. Keep going South along the river and you'll find yourself running through Coalmont and downtown Princeton passing through train trestles, tunnels and beaches along the way.
Tulameen Ice Rink
The residents of Tulameen banded together to build a permanent roof over the outdoor ice rink, despite having a budget far short of the estimated cost of the project. All the hard volunteer work finally came to an end as the community project finalized in 2013. The venue has been the perfect location for events such as hockey games, outdoor dances, basketball, floor hockey, swap meets and more! Also located near the rink is a beach volleyball court and fire pit. Click the following link to listen to a CBC report on the project: Raising a Roof in Tulameen
Volunteer Fire Department
Volunteers maintain and operate the fire department serving the rural communities of Tulameen, Coalmont and surrounding areas under authority of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.
The Trading Post
The Tulameen General Store is a one stop shop that includes, Canada Post office, gas station, restaurant, groceries, liquor and more.
Otter Sleep Inn
Otter Sleep Inn is a modern six unit motel situated in the heart of Tulameen. The motel is a clean, comfortable accommodation at a very affordable price. Located within a short walk from the beach at Otter Lake and the Kettle Valley Railway Historic trail, Tulameen offers a unique vacation experience.Some of the services include: Queen size bed, Satellite TV, Fridge, Tub/Shower washroom, Complimentary gourmet coffee and tea, panoramic mountain views, warm, friendly hospitality and lots of parking for trailers. Rooms are non smoking, no pets. Microwave toaster and barbecue available on request.Also available onsite: Laundromat, propane refills, payphone, and coin-operated showers for public campers. view OtterSleepInn.com for more information.
Reichert Sales & Service Ltd. started in 1969 selling the Bombardier Ski-Doo snowmobiles. They are a family owned and operated dealership. Their Platinum certification with Bombardier goes a long way in their specialty of giving good service. In 2003, they added the Bombardier Can-Am ATVs to their lineup.
In over 38 years of business, they have won the "Dealer of the Year" award for their region several times. The Reichert Sales & Service Ltd. staff members are active Ski-Doo enthusiasts, giving them the opportunity to test and enjoy the products they sell.
Otter Lake Provincial Park
If you’re looking for privacy in a natural setting, Otter Lake is ideal for old-fashioned camping. The popular park has two locations: a main picnic/day-use area in the village of Tulameen and a lakeside campground about 5 km further north along Coalmont Road. The Cascade Mountain Range surrounds the park and includes awesome canyons and clear flowing streams. Large numbers of otter, beaver and red squirrel inhabit the area, as well as, mountain goats, cougars and grizzly bears. Fishermen will find time spent on Otter Lake rewarding, with large lake trout being the catch of the day. The scenic lakeside campground is an ideal base for those who want to explore the mining history of the Tulameen & Coalmont area. Across the lake is the Trans Canada Trail.
- Size: 51 Hectares
- Facilities: 45 campsites, day-use area, boat launch, pit and flush toilets.
- Location: 33 km north of Princeton on Coalmont Road towards Coalmont and Tulameen.
The community of Tulameen and Tulameen River derive their name from a Thompson Indian word meaning red earth. A steep bank of the Tulameen River four miles north of Princeton was the source of the much-prized red ochre for which natives traveled from afar. The settlement of Tulameen was earlier known as Campement des Femmes, or Otter Flat.
The name Otter Flats endured until 1901 when the name Tulameen was officially adopted. As the town acquired some stability due to its location on the routing of the southern mainline of the Canadian Pacific Railway, constructed in 1896. The southern mainline is commonly known today as the Kettle Valley Railway (KVR), and connected the original mainline at Hope with the Okanagan and Kootenay cities and boomtowns farther east.
Today much of its route has been converted from rail bed to part of the Trans Canada Trail. During this period, a proper town site with a street grid was laid out and the lure of the lake, mountain scenery and dry climate of the area encouraged the first recreational residents, as Tulameen enjoyed something of an advantage of being the first drybelt town after the rail journey had overcome the steep grades and tunnels of the Coquihalla Canyon and Coquihalla Pass. Coal seams in the area also were useful to rail company operations and the town was a regular stopping-place for taking on coal and water during the Age of Steam. Although early tourism never really transformed Tulameen into the fashionable watering-hole it might have been, the town enjoyed another small boom with the discovery of a major coal deposit in the area, with a mine nearby Blakeburn opening in the 1920s, but lasting to only about 1940.
Tulameen is located 27 kms northwest of Princeton, and is a 3 ½ hour drive East of Vancouver. From Vancouver, drive East on HWY 3 to Princeton then follow Coalmont Road to Coalmont and then Tulameen. Tulameen can also be accessed from Highway 97C, Coquihalla Connector Highway. Turn at Aspen Grove then turn right on Coalmont Road off Highway 5A and follow the main road.
Tulameen Calendar of Events
Timberline Cruisers Snowmobile Poker Run
March Long Weekend
Otter Fish & Game Club East Egg Hunt/Breakfast
Spring Senior Luncheon
May Long Weekend
Tulameen Market Place
Otter Fish & Game Club Walk For Wildlife
Otter Fish & Game Club Pike Mtn Fishing Derby
August Long Weekend
Tulameen Family Days
Fall Seniors Luncheon
Dec 26 - Jan 01
Tulameen Winter Carnival
The trailhead is located at the 30 km mark on the Tulameen Forest Service Road. The area encompasses the confluence of Vuich Creek and the Tulameen River. The trail is not maintained and is recommended that it only be used during low water seasons as the trail has two river crossings. The trail winds through old growth forest, steep rock bluffs and along the rivers edge. The short 825m trail runs South up the river valley and ends at an impressive waterfall.
Tulameen Family Fun Days
A parade takes place on Saturday at noon on the August long weekend. There are lots of activities and crafts for children and the younger people of our community, there's a beer garden for the adults, with a horse shoe tournament. The community puts on a baron of beef/cob of corn lunch at a great price at the town community hall. There are a lot of sights, contests, duck races, raffles and booths to check out on the main street, in town. Theres a pancake breakfast, and town clean-up on Monday. All funds raised from the Tulameen Family Fun Days events, supports the community of Tulameen and the Tulameen Fire Department.
Courtesy of: Apex Communications
- Public Beach
- Tulameen & Otter Lake
- Lake Front Living
- Ice Hockey
- Coalmont Road
- HBC Heritage Trail
- Jim Kelly Peak
- Water Sports
- Ice Skating/Hockey