Flowers in the Thompson Okanagan, Photo Allen Jones

Merritt

The gem of the Nicola Valley, Merritt carries the title of “Country Music Capital of Canada” for good reason. The Rockin’ River Country Music Festival in August, the Merritt Walk of Stars, the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, Nicola Valley Pro Rodeo are just some of the reasons to visit.

The Nicola Valley is hiking country, with its rolling hills, mountain meadows, endless trails, and breathtaking beauty. Walk the Harmon Lake Interpretive Trail and spot many bird varieties. The area also boasts over 200 fishable lakes and streams. Drop a line in nearby Nicola Valley, Paradise and Chataway Lakes. Visit Quilchena Hotel situated on Nicola Lake. This was the site of the first local Post Office and government buildings and many original buildings remain. Discover the beauty of Nicola Lake as you head to Quilchena.  Tour the ranch, rent a boat for a float on the lake, enjoy a round of golf or just stop for a historic lunch. Kentucky-Alleyne Provincial Park is nearby and right in the heart of cattle country with rolling grasslands and dry open forest surrounding the sparkling turquoise waters of Kentucky Lake and Alleyne Lake.

Lundbom Mountain Bike Trail, Merritt Photo: Kim Walker

Lundbom Mountain Bike Trail, Merritt Photo: Kim Walker

Location

Merritt is located 271 km (168 mi) northeast of Vancouver via Highways 1 and 5, 126 km (78 mi) west of Kelowna on Hwy 97C and 87 km (54 mi) south of Kamloops on Hwy 5.

A Step Back in Time

The Nicola Valley has long been home to a number of First Nations who continue to call the area home. European pioneers searching for a trading route between the Coast and the Interior reached the area in the mid-1800s.

Right from the beginning, early settlers were attracted to the area because of its rich grasslands ideally suited for livestock (ranching remains an important part of Merritt’s economy!).

In 1865, William Henry Voght, the father of Merritt, entered the valley and returned in 1872 to take up land at the forks, where the Nicola and Coldwater Rivers meet. This was the start of the development of Merritt. In 1906, the town was renamed Merritt, in honour of William Hamilton Merritt, a mining engineer and railway promoter.

Merritt was incorporated as a City in 1911, and by this time the community’s economy had diversified to include coal mining, which would continue to be a major industry up until the 1930s. In the 1930s the failure of a local mill precipitated the receivership of the City.

Following the end of WWII, several mills opened in the city and forestry became the new backbone of the economy. In 1961 the nearby Craigmont copper mine opened, followed by several others in the Highland Valley. Copper mining would continue to be a major player to the present day, although its importance declined following the closure of Craigmont in the 1980s.

In 1986, following years of lobbying, the Coquihalla Highway was completed, providing a freeway link between Merritt and the Lower Mainland, and subsequently, Kamloops and Kelowna. The completion of this interior highway network placed Merritt at the hub of transportation and communications in the southern interior and precipitated economic changes that continue to the present.

Contact Information

Tourism Merritt

Merritt & Nearby Accommodations

13 Listings

Claybanks RV Park & Campground

Claybanks RV Park & Campground

Merritt

Large grassy sites, flowers galore, along Coldwater River. Gift shop with local art, crafts and snacks. Clean heated washrooms, free showers. Easy walk to downtown core with many amenities; shopping, restaurants, aquatic center, playgrounds, water park, museum, 9-hole golf course. We have golf disco ... Read more
Moon Shadows RV Park & Campground

Moon Shadows RV Park & Campground

Merritt

Moon Shadows is located south of Merritt along the spectacular Coldwater River. Enjoy this year round, brand new campground hosting a variety of secure and immaculate campsites and facilities. Moon Shadows has everything....natural beauty, sun and shade, relaxation and friends. Come and visit us. ... Read more
Quilchena on the Lake Golf & RV Park

Quilchena on the Lake Golf & RV Park

Quilchena

Visit Quilchena on the Lake Golf and RV Park for a relaxed golfing and recreational camping experience. The well-tended greens of the golf course and RV park feature nine holes and full facilities. ... Read more
Logan Lake Municipal Campground

Logan Lake Municipal Campground

Logan Lake

On Logan Lake beside Meadow Creek Golf Course, Copper Ridge Disk Golf and Bike Skills Park 1 km. from downtown, hiking on nature trail. Clean and quiet. Reservation fee $8. Nightly fee $30.00 powered site; tent site is $24.00 ... Read more
Mile High Resort

Mile High Resort

Logan Lake

Enjoy a piece of paradise at Mile High Resort! Surrounded by pristine forests with breathtaking lake views, our resort is a tranquil oasis for guests to escape their busy lives. We have 14 cabins, eight are deluxe and six are heritage styles. Our cabins offer guests privacy and comfortable beds for ... Read more
Acacia Grove RV Park & Cabins

Acacia Grove RV Park & Cabins

Spences Bridge

Located in the historic community of Spences Bridge, Acacia Grove RV Park & Cabins is situated on a lush setting overlooking the famous Thompson River. Our well-appointed duplex and triplex cabins are self-contained with air conditioning, fully-equipped kitchens, two or three beds, and picnic tables ... Read more
Tunkwa Lake Resort

Tunkwa Lake Resort

Logan Lake

Tunkwa Lake Resort is a premier family vacation destination that has fantastic fishing and hunting for outdoor enthusiasts. Situated on the shores of Tunkwa Lake, our resort is in the southern interior Thompson Nicola region, which is a short drive from Kamloops and Logan Lake, and a three and half ... Read more
Coquihalla Lakes Lodge

Coquihalla Lakes Lodge

Merritt

Welcome to an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise! Nestled in the Cascade Mountains on eight acres of lush forest, Coquihalla Lakes Lodge offers self-contained lakeside cabins with spectacular views of Coquihalla Lakes. Bring your ATV, UTV or dirt bike and explore the pristine lands of Coquihalla Summit ... Read more
KUMSHEEN Rafting Resort

KUMSHEEN Rafting Resort

Lytton

Kick back and relax or stay active, the choice is yours. Kumsheen’s luxurious, activity-filled adventure resort is one of BC’s premier tourism destinations, ideal for short or long visits. Offering first class service and a variety of accommodation options, we welcome guests to enjoy their stay ... Read more
The Douglas Lake Ranch / Salmon Lake Resort / Stoney Lake Lodge & Quilchena Golf Course RV Park

The Douglas Lake Ranch / Salmon Lake Resort / Stoney Lake Lodge & Quilchena Golf Course RV Park

Douglas Lake

Resting on the beautiful shores of Salmon Lake, our resort is the perfect family getaway. Enjoy fantastic fishing for Rainbow Trout, swim in our outdoor heated pool or hike along the scenic trails nearby. With various accommodations to choose from, including lakefront cottages, campground and RV Par ... Read more
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Travel Spotlight
Camping Lodging

The Super Camping / Select Lodging Guide

First Published in 1989