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Throughout, Kamloops was an important way station on the route of the Hudson's Bay Brigade Trail, which originally connected Fort Astoria with Fort Alexandria and the other forts in New Caledonia to the north (today's Omineca Country, roughly), and which continued in heavy use through the onset of the Cariboo Gold Rush as the main route to the new goldfields around what was to become Barkerville.The gold rush of the 1860s and the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, which reached Kamloops from the West in 1883, brought further growth, resulting in the City of Kamloops being incorporated in 1893 with a population of about 500.The city's centre is in the valley near the confluence of the Thompson River's north and south branches.Suburbs stretch for more than a dozen kilometres along both north and south branches, as well as to the steep hillsides along the south portion of the city and lower northeast hill sides.The two operations were merged in 1813 when the North West Company officials in the region bought out the operations of the Pacific Fur Company.After the North West Company's forced merger with the Hudson's Bay Company in 1821, the post became known commonly as Thompson's River Post, or Fort Thompson, which over time became known as Fort Kamloops.With Kwalila's death, the local chieftaincy was passed to his nephew and foster-son Chief Nicola, who led an alliance of Okanagan and Nlaka'pamux people in the plateau country to the south around Stump, Nicola and Douglas Lakes.Relations between Nicola and the fur traders were often tense, but in the end Nicola was recognised as a great help to the influx of whites during the gold rush, though admonishing those who had been in parties waging violence and looting on the Okanagan Trail, which led from American territory to the Fraser goldfields.
The two rail roads diverge to the north and east where they connect with the rest of Canada.
The first European explorers arrived in 1811, in the person of David Stuart, sent out from Fort Astoria, then still a Pacific Fur Company post, and who spent a winter there with the Secwepemc people, with Alexander Ross establishing a post there in May 1812 - "Fort Cumcloups".
The rival North West Company established another post - Fort Shuswap - nearby in the same year.
The surrounding region is more commonly referred to as the Thompson Country.
It is ranked 37th on the list of the 100 largest metropolitan areas in Canada and represents the 44th largest census agglomeration nationwide, with 90,280 residents in 2016.