Article presented by

sun peaks resort logo


Sun Peaks can be found in the Interior of British Columbia, and has a longstanding history dating back to 1961 when it’s first ski lift opened. It has now grown to claim the title of Canada’s second largest ski area, which translates to loads of diverse ski terrain, almost non-existent lift lines and a charmingly-friendly mountain community.

Skiers know it best for dumping an annual six metres of powder in winter, but fair-weather guests might not know that Sun Peaks has evolved to become a year-round destination. Affordable accommodations and expanding outdoor recreation are proving that summer isn't just a season for the beaches. Crisp mountain air begs hikers to lace up their boots and trek alpine trails; guided fly-fishing tours call to anglers; and free outdoor concerts make it easy to soak up those long summer days. 

Here's how outdoor enthusiasts can spend a summer weekend adventuring at Sun Peaks.

 

Lift-accessed mountain biking:

Not just for daredevils

Sun Peaks Resort Mountain Biking DownhillPhoto: Sam Egan, Cedar Line Creative

When the late spring sun melts the snow, Sun Peaks’ alpine reveals a network of legendary mountain bike trails that is famous to British Columbia. 

Hitting the trails is as easy as rolling your bike onto the bike rack of the chair lift (lift operators can help), sitting down on the chair behind it, and enjoying the panoramic views as you’re whisked to mid-mountain. The Sunburst Express offers up 609 m of lift-accessed vertical.

While professional mountain bikers stop in—and even choose to call this place their home mountain—the Sun Peaks Bike Park caters to all ability levels. Riders will find everything from green (beginner) to double black diamond (expert) single track. The runs are aptly named. Expect a smooth ride on “Smooth Smoothie”, say hello to tree roots on “Root Dog”, and perhaps leave “Insanity One’ to advanced riders. 

Sun Peaks Resort Mountain Biking Cross CountryPhoto: Courtesy of Sun Peaks

If downhill mountain biking doesn’t pique your interest, check out the newly expanded cross-country mountain bike trails.

Not travelling with your bike? Don't worry, quality rentals are available in the village. 

 

Hike in the alpine:

The wildflowers are calling

Hike in the alpine The wildflowers are callingPhoto: Kelly Funk Photography

The lift-accessed hiking season at Sun Peaks starts in late-June and runs to the first week of September. There are 16 hiking trails to choose from, ranging from gentle sightseeing strolls to breathtaking vistas.

Hikers can start from the village or take the Sunburst Express directly into the alpine, 1,800 metres above sea level. See a trail map here. 

Recommended trails: 

Hike in the alpine The wildflowers are callingPhoto: Kelly Funk Photography

  • Tod Peak Trail - 2.4 km. Trailhead is accessed from the upper reaches of West Bowl Trail. Return by following the loop back down to the West Bowl Trail, then Gil’s Trail back to the Sunburst chairlift. Trail is marked. 
  • West Bowl Trail - 5.4 km. The trail is accessed from Vista Trail, and offers a scenic route to alpine meadows, carpeted with beautiful wild flowers. 
  • Crystal Bowl Loop - 1.8 km. Crystal Bowl Loop is accessed from the Vista Trail, then climbs and traverses across the lower Crystal Bowl through wildflower meadows. In the height of summer Indian paintbrush, tiger lilies and fireweed paint the alpine in deep purples, bright reds and sunny yellows.  Alpine blossom season runs mid-July to mid-August.

Stand up paddleboarding:

Walking on water is easier than it sounds

Stand up paddleboarding Walking on water is easier than it soundsPhoto: Kelly Funk Photography

Just minutes from Sun Peaks is Heffley Lake, where outdoor enthusiasts will find the home of Paddle Surfit, a stand up paddleboarding company. Run by Canada's first certified instructor, Bodie Shandro, Paddle Surfit provides lessons and tours. 

Heffley Lake is surrounded by mountains and deep forest, making it a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere to “walk on water”. SUP’ers might spot loons, fish, turtles, and a resident great blue heron.

All ages can participate in this non-intimidating activity. Shandro promotes inclusivity, ensuring all paddlers are comfortable on their boards. Stop by for a swim, relax on the board, or test your balance with some SUP yoga.    

Sun Peaks stand up paddleboardingPhoto: Courtesy of Sun Peaks

Local tip:

Hidden gem: stop for a walk on the way back to Sun Peaks.

As you exit the village of Whitecroft, pull over on the right-hand side of the road, just past the cattle guard before the road becomes steep. You’ll find a well-used trail leading to a hidden waterfall in the forest. The waterfall flows all year, but rages in the early summer as the snow melts.

 

When you go:

summer sun peaks resortPhoto: Kelly Funk Photography

Where to stay:

Score summer savings: hotels start at $119 based on double occupancy.

 At $200+ per night, splitting a ski-in/ski-out (i.e. hike-in/hike-out) condo, town home, or chalet with a group of friends or another family is a steal. 

Summer events:

sun peaks concertPhoto: Kelly Funk Photography

Pull up your favourite lawn chair, Sun Peaks plays host adventure races, outdoor concerts and a variety of free entertainment. 

sun peaks race mountainPhoto: Courtesy of Sun Peaks

Check out the full event calendar here.

 

Get there: 

Drive: Sun Peaks is located 50 km from Kamloops, 407 km from Vancouver and 675 km from Calgary.

Fly: The nearest airport is Kamloops (YKA); airport shuttles to Sun Peaks meet all Kamloops flights. Airport shuttles to Sun Peaks from Kelowna (YLW) are available on select flights

 

sun peaks resort logoNeed help planning a summer
weekend getaway to Sun Peaks?

Visit Sun Peaks Resort for
summer lodging packages | bike park | hiking

           

More Sun Peaks on Explore:

           

Plan your next great adventure with explore!
Off the beaten path locations, tips and tricks, interviews with intrepid explorers and more.