Tulameen BC


Tulameen is a small recreational community located in the Similkameen Valley of British Columbia about 27 kilometres northwest of the town of Princeton, and about a 300 kilometre drive east from the city of Vancouver, B.C.  The townsite sits between Otter Lake and the Tulameen River and is on the edge of the Canadian Cascades mountain range with an elevation of 823m (2700ft). 

A popular destination for weekend warriors and outdoor enthusiasts, the town is the perfect hub for enjoying numerous recreational activities from ATVing and snowmobiling the surrounding mountains, swimming & boating in the valley and camping & hiking the numerous parks, rec sites & heritage trails.

Many people also choose to live here full-time as the quiet community offers a slower pace lifestyle providing a higher quality of life. Current population varies, but there are about 250 permanent residents and the number grows in the summer months. The community offers plenty of convenient amenities including a general store with restaurant, liquor, post office and gas station. There is also a motel, community centre, skating rink, public library, volunteer fire department, and a Can Am/Skidoo dealer & repair centre.  It's a great place for families and friends to hang out and enjoy the outdoors.

The Drive

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 the 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 landmarks. You can still see evidence of its 100+ years of roots, including the famous Coalmont Hotel and other aged 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

Aerial view of Otter Lake Front Homes

Otter Lake is approximately 6km long and 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 features an excellent public beach front and boat launch. The popular Provincial campsite borders the north-west side. The Trans Canada Trail runs along the east side providing wonderful scenery of the lake and mountains.

Roads & Trails

Trans Canada Trail near Otter Lake

Tulameen offers easy access to a variety of horseback, hiking and ATV trails throughout the valley for those looking for a backcountry adventure. You will find an endless network of forest service roads that are perfect for long distance exploring in your 4x4 or ATV.

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 the Tulameen River. Keep going south along the river and you'll find yourself passing through train trestles, tunnels and beaches as you head through Coalmont, Princeton and out the Princeton Summerland Road.

Tulameen Falls:  Located at approximately 30km on the Tulameen FSR, the 1km hiking trail is a moderate grade hike into a spectacular waterfall. It is recommended that it only be used during low water seasons as the unmaintained trail involves two river crossings. The hike winds through old growth forest and steep rocks banks along the river's edge and takes approximately 1 hour to complete.

Vuich Historic Trail:  An "easy grade" 1km hike at the Jacobson Recreation Site and horse camp (46km out Tulameen FSR). The short section of the original Tulameen Valley pack horse trail that intersects with Hudson Bay Company Trail and the Rice Historic Trail at the south end of Jacobson Lake.

Rice Historic Trail:  4 km return trip, moderate hike that follows the old trail used by prospectors and trappers into lush grassy meadows dotted with tiny ponds. Starts from the Vuich Trail junction south of Jacobson Lake.

Hudson Bay Company Heritage Trail (West):  The original route used by the fur brigades from 1849-1860. The 7.5 km moderate hike starts at the Vuich Trail junction and climbs into the alpine and past the pristine "Palmer Pond" at 1,805 meters. Venture further and stand on top of the Cascade Divide at 1,850 meters.

Hudson Bay Company Heritage Trail (East):  A more challenging 20 km (one way) remote backcountry camping experience that runs through the Tulameen River, crossing at Horseguard Camp. Pass through the timber stand in the majestic mountains and up onto the Tulameen Plateau that joins the Whatcom Trail heading to Lodestone Lake.

Tulameen Ice Rink
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 was 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.

Volunteer Fire Department
Tulameen Volunteer Fire Dept.

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.

Tulameen Family Fun Days

Tulameen Daze...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, with a beer garden for the adults, and 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. There's 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.

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 astounding 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.

Otter Lake Campsite Map

Otter Sleep Inn

Motel Accommodations in Tulameen--Otter Sleep Inn

Otter Sleep Inn is a modern six unit motel situated in the heart of Tulameen. The motel offers clean, comfortable accommodations 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 and friendly hospitality and lots of parking for trailers. Rooms are non smoking and no pets allowed. A microwave, toaster and barbecue are available on request. Also available onsite: Laundromat, propane refills, payphone, and coin-operated showers for public campers.

Skidoo/Can-Am Dealership

Tulameen Skidoo Dealership

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.


Historic Otter Lake Beach

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 Flats.

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.

Tulameen enjoys something of an advantage, being the first dry belt town after the rail journey had overcome the steep grades and tunnels of the Coquihalla Canyon and Coquihalla Pass. Coal seams in the area were also 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.

Other historical sites in the area include the gold rush town of Granite Creek, the coal mining posts 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.

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
October 06
  • Fall Seniors Luncheon
December 26 - Jan 01
  • Tulameen Winter Carnival

Properties For Sale in Tulameen

Get In Touch

Lee Mowry

Phone: 250-295-1990

Fax: 1-888-493-6163


Office Info

Century 21 Horizon West Realty

224 Bridge St. PO Box 880  Princeton,  BC  V0X 1W0 

Stay Connected