Located just 5 hours northeast of Seattle, Sun Peaks Resort & Kamloops BC offer a quintessential Northwest getaway, year-round. From sea to sky and sand to snow, there’s something unique to experience in every season, at any age. With gorgeous accommodations, farm-to-table dining and a relaxed vibe true to its Canadian roots, it really is a dream to explore, and a must on every family-friendly bucket list.
Sun Peaks Resort
In the winter, Sun Peaks Resort is the second-largest ski area in Canada, and consistently recognized as one of the top ski resorts in North America. Moreover, the European-style ski-in/ski-out, pedestrian village features locally-owned and operated shops, restaurants and lodging.
In summer, Sun Peaks offers a wide range of activities including an 18-hole, par 72 Graham Cooke-designed golf course, lift-access downhill, and cross-country mountain biking, hiking trails and a year-round line up of events.
Further, Sun Peaks is recognized for its environmental policies and practices, and was the first resort in North America and the only resort in Canada to earn the ISO 14001 designation for environmental management.
Sun Peaks Accommodation
The Sun Peaks Grand Hotel & Conference Centre is the resort’s signature property located in the core of village. It is a full service, luxury hotel where guests have exclusive use to a health club, featuring three outdoor hot tubs, an indoor entrance to a heated outdoor swimming pool, two massage rooms, sauna, and additionally, a well-equipped gym. Dine-in for breakfast, lunch, or dinner at Mantles Restaurant & Lounge serving Pacific Northwest cuisine with a regional flare, or take in the mountain views enjoying a drink on their scenic patio, for instance.
Things To Do In Sun Peaks
For the sake of this post I’m going to focus on summer, since that’s the season we had the opportunity of experiencing. With that said – we hope to return in the winter, so stay tuned for a full seasonal recap!
Built by hand 20 years ago, the raw single track trails on Tod Mountain remain the core of the riding experience at Sun Peaks Resort.
While we still embrace the rowdy nature of our trails that draw riders here to test themselves on infamous lines like Insanity One, Gnar-Boom, and Smitty’s Steeps, we’re now focusing on opportunities for newer riders to feel welcomed into the world of mountain biking.
In 2018 we opened a new dedicated Progression Park for skills development, accessible by carpet lift, giving even the youngest shredders a taste of lift-accessed riding. Additionally, paired with our new 9km green progression trail ‘Level Up’ (opened late summer 2018), newer riders can build skill and confidence comfortably.
This year we’re remodelling our other green trail ‘Switcheroo’, building a brand new top-to-bottom intermediate jump trail ‘Canada Line’, and adding a new flowy blue run ‘Bermalde’, along with further additions to our advanced jump line ‘Steam Shovel’. We truly believe riders of all levels will find their new favourite trail in Sun Peaks.
As the lift-access Bike Park evolves, so does riding throughout all of Sun Peaks, with a small but growing network of cross country trails spreading across the valley thanks to the hard work of the Sun Peaks Recreational Trail Association, a dedicated group of community trail builders.
Sun Peaks has 18 designated hiking trails from low-grade, sightseeing strolls to a breathtaking summit and a stop at Tod Lake. Meanwhile, you can start your adventure right from the village or better yet, take a ride up the Sunburst chairlift and start at mid-mountain, at 6,000′ above sea level. From here you can easily hike into the alpine to experience beautiful vistas and stunning wildflower meadows. When you’re finishing exploring the upper reaches of the mountain, save your legs and take the chairlift back down.
A favourite time of many to visit is during Alpine Blossom Season, the pinnacle of which is usually between mid-July to mid-August. Witness rolling alpine meadows in their kaleidoscope of wildflower glory while taking in the sweet aromas of the blooms. To inquire on the current status of the wildflowers, please contact Guest Services at 250-578-5474.
With greens located at 1,200 meters above sea level it’s British Columbia’s highest elevation course.
Surrounded by natural foliage and panoramic mountain views, the rewarding and sometimes challenging 18-hole par 72 Graham Cooke course weaves alongside the village at the foothills of three recognizable ski mountains – Tod, Sundance, and Morrisey. In addition, the 6,400 yard course offers risk and reward opportunities that will appeal to every level of golfer. Bonuses of golfing at a higher elevation are that your ball flies longer and the mountain air provides relief from hotter summer temperatures; Sun Peaks is often 10 degrees cooler than nearby Kamloops.
Meet your instructor outside Guest Services before boarding the Sunburst chairlift for the ride to mid-mountain. Once you arrive your group will undertake a short hike through alpine wildflower meadows (25-30 minutes) to a remote mountainside location, before enjoying a 45 minute yoga practice. Once complete, your instructor will lead you on a return hike to the on-mountain Sunburst Lodge.
Open June – September, the bungee trampoline is located slopeside by the Village Day Lodge. The cost is $7/ride.
Chase Zipline Tours
May through August you can enjoy breathtaking scenery with three zip lines that soar over two waterfalls and wildlife in a pristine environment. For additional excitement, try the 50ft tower jump and the Screaming Eagle Swing! More importantly, the professional guides and state-of-the-art technology provide you with the safest, most comfortable experiences available.
Open June – September, this kid friendly activity is a fun and educational step back to earlier times, when intrepid prospectors searched for gold and other precious metals in the wilds of British Columbia and the Yukon. Their special mining mix guarantees that your little one will uncover plenty of eye catching gems and minerals when they step up to the sluice, which are theirs to take home!
Sun Peaks is home to North America’s first (and only!) Mountain Cross Cart (MCC) course. Open June – September, located slopeside of the Village Day Lodge, the MCC course has become a main attraction at the village base. Moreover, with a 512-meter long course that includes a 52 meter vertical descent, the carts are capable of reaching speeds up to 35km/hr—which makes things quite interesting with some of the hairpin turns on the ride down! The platter lift runs daily during the summer months to bring both carts and racers to the top of the course.
Despite high speeds and a winding, gravity-fed course, the carts themselves offer precise control and a high level of safety thanks to powerful disc brakes, four-point seat belts, roll bars, and padded seats. Although this may loosely resemble favourite childhood go-carts, the mountain environment and tight corners add an exciting twist. To add an element of competition, runs are timed allowing participants to race the clock or rival friends for the fastest descent.
No transporting, carrying, or crowds. To clarify, just park in their private driveway & your board awaits you on a secluded, private dock! Safe, secure and simple on one of British Columbia’s most spectacular mountainside lakes just minutes from Sun Peaks Resort!
All equipment is included; board, paddle, personal flotation device, and leash. However, participants 12 years or younger must be accompanied by an adult, comfortable in the water, and able to swim.
Public courts are available complimentary on a first come, first serve basis. Operated and maintained by the Sun Peaks Municipality.
Additionally, tennis rackets and balls are available for rent from the Activities Desk located in the Village Day Lodge from 10:00am to 7:00pm.
Sun Peaks Stables offers Horseback Trail Rides, Horseback Riding Lessons and Carriage Rides conveniently located next to the Burfield chairlift at the entrance to the resort.
The annual mid-summer festival, when the alpine wildflowers are at the height of their bloom on Tod Mountain, hosts free activities, entertainers, live music, and more! Perfect for families!
Every Sunday from June – September, you’ll find fruit, vegetables, meat, seafood, arts, crafts, beauty products and more in the heart of the village!
Dining in Sun Peaks
The car-free village allows you to be within walking distance to dozens of restaurants, cafes, and sweet shops. So a few of our favorites include:
- Voyageur Bistro – Amazing charcuterie!
- Cahilty Creek Kitchen & Taproom – Certainly, the best homemade burger in town.
- Mountain High Pizza – A village staple for over 20 years! Gluten-free also available.
- Tod Mountain Cafe – Specializing in savory and sweet crepes and fair-trade coffee
- Mantles Restaurant & Lounge – Located inside the Sun Peaks Grand Hotel – known for their delicious breakfast buffet
Getting to Sun Peaks, B.C.
In short, the best, easiest, and most direct route to Sun Peaks Resort is via Highway 5 North, exiting at Tod Mountain Road by Heffley Creek, BC.
You can also fly in via Kamloops or Kelowna which offer international routes.
On our way to Sun Peaks Resort, we had the opportunity of spending a few nights in the city of Kamloops, known as both a gateway and a destination for a myriad of rural and urban adventures. It has a small-town feel with a little metropolitan buzz.
Be amazed by the twisty single-track bike trails and winding walkways. Tee off on award winning golf courses. Cast a life on trophy Stillwater. Poke around local shops and boutiques. Engage with the vibrant arts and culture scene. Sample an assortment of food that promises to satisfy and satiate even the most discerning of palates. Additionally, indulge in a burgeoning bevy of wineries, craft breweries, restaurants and cafes that are overflowing with culinary enthusiasm and intensity.
Kamloops is a city for every season. Don’t escape, explore. Go off the grid, get lost and discover the unexpected along the way.
The place is beyond beautiful with a park or garden on nearly every corner! In fact, it has…
- 82 parks, covering 5+ miles
- 100 freshwater lakes within 60 minutes
- The largest municipal park in British Columbia
A darling family-friendly town with sandy beaches, splash pads and plenty of room for the kids to roam. Not to mention free community events, festivals and concerts all summer long.
The Sandman Signature Kamloops Hotel, located directly across the street from Sandman Centre, home of the Kamloops Blazers, faces both Riverside Park and The Thompson River.
Each of the 202 beautifully appointed guest rooms at this downtown hotel, including the 100 suites, provides the perfect setting to unwind. Further, you can relax by the indoor swimming pool and hot tub, enjoy a delicious meal at Moxie’s Grill & Bar, watch a game at Shark Club Sports Bar & Grill, or exercise in the state-of-the-art fitness room. Modern amenities, such as complimentary Internet access and a business centre, makes travelling for work or leisure easier and elegant.
Things To Do In Kamloops
Hike in Kenna Cartwright Park
Kenna Cartwright offers an extensive network of gentle nature trails for hiking or cycling with panoramic views of the city, the Thompson Valley, Kamloops Lake, and the convergence of the North and South Thompson Rivers. Kenna Cartwright Park encompasses almost 800 hectares of Mount Dufferin, making it the largest municipal park in the province.
For gorgeous views of Kamloops Lake, I recommend the Sunset Trail! Hiking Directions: Park on Hillside Drive (2000 Hillside Dr.). Take the Tower Trail (6) to the Ponderosa Trail (2) then to the Sunset Trail (5). Follow the same path back or consider trying Little Pine (19) and Sunnyside (33).
Kamloops Regional Farmers’ Market
- May – October – Wednesdays, 8am – 2pm
- November – December – Wednesdays, 10am – 2pm, Indoors
- April – October – Saturdays, 8:30am – 12:30pm
26 diverse art murals are a part of an eclectic collection along the back alleys in Downtown Kamloops. Above all, explore the wonders of different artistic styles in this outdoor art gallery.
The BC Wildlife Park is an interactive wildlife experience specializing in the rehabilitation of over 65 North American animal species. Moreover, it is the most successful breeder of Burrowing Owls in North America.
Every Wednesday starting at 7pm in the summer months, Riverside Park offers live music, food trucks, and beer gardens.
A family-friendly outdoor theatre experience!
Learn to SUP with Bodie Shandro, one of North America’s very first professionally certified instructors and international SUP competitors. Meanwhile, enjoy the peace and tranquility of the fastest growing water sport in the world!
Dining in Kamloops BC
The city offers a variety of dining options from scratch kitchens and craft beer to vegan and gluten-free. For instance, a few of our favorites include:
- The Noble Pig Brewhouse – They’ve perfected the fried pickle! *Fun fact: Their outdoor patio is a restored vintage pool deck.
- Hello Toast – The best vegan and gluten-free menu in town!
- Scoopz Ice Cream – Located at the base of the Sandman Signature Hotel with a line out the door (always a good sign!).
Getting to Kamloops BC
This city a major transportation hub in interior British Columbia. Moreover, three major highways intersect the city: Trans Canada Highway 1, Highway 5 north to Sun Peaks and Highway 5a south to Merritt. Its airport is serviced by two major airlines, Westjet and Air Canada, and one provincial airline Central Mountain Air making air travel effortless. In addition, you can travel by rail with Rocky Mountaineer and VIA Rail through BC and Canada.
Sun Peaks Resort & Kamloops BC
Whether you have a week or just a weekend, a leisurely drive up the Coquihalla Highway to Sun Peaks Resort and Kamloops offers the perfect northwest respite nestled in the heart of British Columbia.
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Disclosure: This post is in collaboration with Sun Peaks Resort & Tourism Kamloops. The opinions expressed here represent my own, which I take great pride in providing pure honesty…because I’m OBSESSED with sharing the Good!