Located in British Columbia’s interior, Sun Peaks is famed for its light powder, vast terrain and barely-there lift lines in the winter months.
However, as the destination grows, so does its reputation as a must-visit summer destination. With over 2,000 hours of sun each year, Sun Peaks offers adventure-enthusiasts everything from gnarly bike park laps to alpine hiking amidst fields of wildflowers and free outdoor concerts.
Summer is right around the corner, so make your time count with an adventure-packed 48 hours in Sun Peaks.
Ride Until the Sun Sets
Sun Peaks/Reuben Krabbe
As you drive into Sun Peaks, three mountains greet you. You may not realize that hidden in the trees lies a network of legendary mountain bike trails that make up the Sun Peaks Bike Park. Good thing you’ve arrived just in time for a Twilight Ticket (4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.) to get in some hot laps. You’ll quickly realize why these trails are famous to BC. With 2,000 feet of lift-access vertical, and close to 70 kilometres of trails, there are no shortage of choices for riders of all levels. Beginners can start in the new Progression Park before stepping up to the suitably named top-to-bottom flow trail, “Level Up.” Adrenaline junkies should head to the signature black-diamond machine trail “Steam Shovel”—a classic jump line that serves up plenty of air time. If the Bike Park isn’t for you, go for a pedal to explore the growing network of cross-country mountain bike trails in the valley before resting your legs on a patio.
Local Tip: Celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Sun Peaks Bike Park with $20 Twilight Tickets (4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.) during "Windback Wednesdays” all season long.
Refuel on an Outdoor Patio
You’ve already managed to pack your first few hours with adventure, now it’s time to fuel your tank with a stop at one of Sun Peaks’ many outdoor patios. For mountain views, stop by Bottoms Bar & Grill or chill out by an outdoor firepit at Morrisey’s Public House patio. Just don’t indulge too much. You have an early morning tomorrow.
Local Tip: As you stroll back to your accommodation, keep an ear out for free live music at various village restaurants, just in case you want to make another pitstop.
Rise and Shine with a Fitness Boost
Set your alarm early and kickstart your day with a morning conditioning class at Black Beaver Athletic. This one-hour class runs from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. and will focus on improving agility, strength and cardio. Your endorphins will be running at an all time high by the time the class is over.
Local Tip: After class grab a cup of joe and a tasty crepe at Tod Mountain Café to help fuel your day of adventure.
This Could be Your Best Golf Game Yet
Keep your early start going with a game of golf. The Sun Peaks Golf Course is BC’s highest elevation course—meaning your ball will fly further! The 18-hole, Graham-Cooke designed course weaves along the valley floor, while the surrounding mountains offer stunning scenery. You’ll enjoy breathing in the fresh mountain air, and the mild mountain temperatures will keep you comfortable all day.
Race Against the Clock
At this point, you’ve been on your feet for awhile, so take a break by coasting down North America’s only Mountain Cross Cart (MCC) course. Rival your crew as you race for the fastest descent. Hairpin turns take you down the 512-metre course, as you descend 52 metres of vertical. Once your foot comes off the brake, these gravity-fed carts can reach speeds up to 35 km/h, making for an exhilarating ride.
Take in a Free Event
In the summer months, Sun Peaks boasts an event roster that brings the mountains alive and animates the village. Regardless of when you time your trip, you will find an event to keep you entertained after a day of adventure. Planning ahead could pay off if you hope to take in a free outdoor concert by six-time JUNO award winner Serena Ryder (July 27). If classic hits are more your style, Sun Peaks’ free Retro Concert Music Weekend returns for its 10th year this season. Bands will be playing tribute to the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Tragically Hip and Neil Young on an outdoor stage (August 23 to 25). For more live music, join the Patio Party (July 12 to 14) to patio hop while listening to a variety of tunes.
Local Tip: If you’re travelling with your family, keep Family Weeks on your radar. Sun Peaks offers free, kid-friendly activities such as art classes, interactive science shows and access to the driving range on weekdays (July 15 to August 9).
Surround Yourself with Wildflowers and Mountainscapes
It’s almost time to bid farewell, but not before you lace up your boots and hop on the Sunburst chairlift to explore Sun Peaks’ extensive array of colourful alpine blossoms. Take your pick from Sun Peaks’ 18 designated hiking trails to explore stunning mountain vistas. The perfect time to visit is during the alpine blossom season which usually occurs between mid-July and mid-August. Wildflower fans should join in on the Alpine Blossom Festival (July 20 to 21) and hike up Tod Mountain with Olympic champion Nancy Greene, unwind with a mountain-top yoga class and take part in various family-friendly activities.
Local Tip: Fuel up before your hike with a stop at Vertical Café where you’ll find organic coffee, freshly baked goods, homemade soups and more.
Get Out On the Water
It’s time to load up the car, but before the drive home, stretch your legs and get out for a paddle on beautiful Heffley Lake. Just minutes down the road you’ll find Stand-Up Paddle Boarding lessons and rentals. An array of lessons and tours are on offer that will guide you around the lake, as you take in the scenic surrounding mountains and lush forest. Expect to venture around the unique shoreline areas to see loons, fish, turtles and even the great blue heron that lives nearby. If you have your own board, just stop at the public shore access and explore the lake at your own pace.
Yes, 48 hours isn’t nearly enough time to see and do everything in Sun Peaks. You’ll want to check out the full list of Summer Activities to start planning your return visit.