Getting Here

There are several ways to get to the monastery:

 

IMPORTANTWe look forward to welcoming you to the monastery, but please do not visit without notifying us well in advance of your intended visit.  The monastery is unable to provide accommodation to visitors who arrive unannounced.  Please consult the 'Book A Visit' page to make a booking.  Please also ensure that your arrival and departure travel arrangements are finalized BEFORE your visit as guests do not have phone/internet access at the monastery.
 


Driving Directions:

From KAMLOOPS: 
-From the TransCanada Highway/BC-1 West/BC-5 South, take Exit 368 onto Highway 5A (Princeton-Kamloops Highway)
-Continue South on Highway 5A for about 25 km and look out for 'Roche Lake Resort' signs
-Turn Left at ROCHE LAKE RD
-Follow Roche Lake Road for about 7 km (gravel road)
-Then turn Right at SMITH LAKE Forest Service Road (you will see a 'Birken' sign indicating the turn)
-Follow the 'Birken' signs up Smith Lake road for another 7 km.
until you reach the monastery

N.B.  It is recommended that you refill your gas tank in Kamloops before arriving as there are no other gas stations on the way to/from Birken.  Please also be aware that cell phone reception is intermittent between Merritt/Kamloops and Birken. Please email or call us from Merritt or Kamloops (778-785-6059) if you are delayed past the expected arrival time you provided in your registration form.

* PLEASE NOTE: In the winter and spring, driving along the logging roads near the monastery can be especially challenging and potentially dangerous.  Please plan to arrive at the monastery no later than 4:00pm during these seasons. Vehicles not equipped for rugged, off-road winter conditions are VERY LIKELY to get stuck or risk sliding down steep icy hills into the ditch. While we cannot predict weather conditions on any given day, snow tires are mandatory in this area of BC, and either four-wheel drive or chains are STRONGLY recommended.

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From VANCOUVER / MERRITT:
-Leaving Vancouver, head east on Hwy 1 towards Hope
-Continue onto Highway BC-5 North (Coquihalla Highway) towards MERRITT

-From Merritt, take Exit 290 onto Highway 5A towards Quilchena (Princeton-Kamloops Highway) which heads north to Kamloops  [Note: do not follow BC-5 North all the way to Kamloops as the turnoff to the monastery is off Highway 5A, halfway between Merritt and Kamloops].
-Drive about 70 km on Highway 5A and look out for signs to 'Roche Lake Resort'
-Turn Right on ROCHE LAKE RD.

-Follow Roche Lake Road for about 7 km (gravel road)
-Then turn Right at SMITH LAKE Forest Service Road (you will see a 'Birken' sign indicating the turn)
-Follow the 'Birken' signs up Smith Lake road for another 7 km.
until you reach the monastery

N.B.  It is recommended that you refill your gas tank in Merritt before arriving as there are no other gas stations on the way to/from Birken.  Please also be aware that cell phone reception is intermittent between Merritt/Kamloops and Birken. Please email or call us from Merritt or Kamloops (778-785-6059) if you are delayed past the expected arrival time you provided in your registration form.

* PLEASE NOTE: In the winter and spring, driving along the logging roads near the monastery can be especially challenging and potentially dangerous.  Please plan to arrive at the monastery no later than 4:00pm during these seasons. Vehicles not equipped for rugged, off-road winter conditions are VERY LIKELY to get stuck or risk sliding down steep icy hills into the ditch. While we cannot predict weather conditions on any given day, snow tires are mandatory in this area of BC, and either four-wheel drive or chains are STRONGLY recommended.

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GOOGLE MAPS:

View Larger Map
 


Bus & Air Schedules

Ebus: 1-877-769-3287 (Service between Kamloops, Kelowna, and Vancouver)

RidersExpress: 1-306-209-3636 (Service between Calgary, Kamloops and Vancouver)

Wilson's Transportation: (Service between Victoria, Vancouver and Kamloops - coming soon)

Air Canada: 1-888-247-2262

West Jet Airlines: 1-800-538-5696

*Please note that the monastery does bus pick-ups only on Wednesdays at approximately 2:30pm; we no longer pick-up guests from the airport (see "Wednesday Pick-ups & Drop-offs" below for more information). If you arrive outside of this time, you may wish to take a taxi to the monastery (see taxi info below).
 


Wednesday Pick-ups & Drop-offs

Monastery Vehicle

Pick-ups and drop-offs may be arranged for no charge only on Wednesdays, when stewards need to be in town for other errands.  Pick-ups take place about 2:30pm and drop-offs about 9:30am at the Starbuck's located at 1210 Summit Dr #1 Unit 900, corner of Columbia and Notre Dame in Kamloops; that will be the only guest pick-up and drop-off location in Kamloops. These arrangements need to be confirmed with the Office Steward when you make your booking.  Guests arriving or departing on other days of the week, or requiring transportation in the early morning, must make their own arrangements before they arrive at Birken. Please do not expect to use the Birken phone or internet to make or confirm your travel arrangements. 

PLEASE NOTE: We no longer pick-up or drop-off guests guests arriving and departing from the Kamloops Airport. All guests arriving and departing from the Kamloops Airport are asked to take a taxi to the Starbuck's location mentioned above. Your flight arrival should be no later than 1:30pm to allow for taxi travel time to this location.

SCHEDULED (FORMAL) RETREAT PICK-UPS + DROP-OFFS:  There will be one pick-up trip by the monastery vehicle on the start date of the retreat and one drop-off trip on the last day of the retreat.  Pick-up and drop-off times need to be confirmed with the Office Steward when registering for the retreat.
 


Taxi Service

Kami cabs: 1-888-526-9663 or 250-374-9999 or bookings@kamicabs.ca

Yellow cabs:  877-360-9852

The charge from the Kamloops Greyhound bus depot is about $100 one-way (more, from the airport).
 


Rideshare Board

The RIDESHARE BOARD is hosted and maintained by external volunteers solely for the purpose of facilitating rides to the monastery.  Please enter your offer/request for ride sharing there. 

Please note that the Rideshare board has four sections:
1 & 2 for offers & requests TO Birken
3 & 4 for offers and requests FROM Birken