Although Sun Peaks Resort is British Columbia’s second largest resort in terms of skiable terrain (and the second largest in Canada!), and it sits smack dab in the middle of the province, odds are still pretty good that you haven’t been. You may have never even heard of it. And that’s the beauty of Sun Peaks, because you can ski right through the lift maze most days and catch a ride into the alpine in no time. The notoriously friendly city of Kamloops is just 45 minutes away, down a well-maintained, countryside road, and upon arrival in the resort you’ll hit the magic elevation in the BC interior where the region’s legendary champagne powder is found. Sun Peaks’ ski-in, ski-out village is nestled in a valley between three surrounding peaks, with enough chairlifts radiating outwards to reach just about any line you can spot from the parking lot.
Slopes & Stashes
If you’re new to town, a great way to start your ski day and get the lay of the land is the Sun Peaks grand tour, sampling each of the resort’s three peaks and taking you 360 degrees around the village. Board the Sundance chairlift and take Rambler from the top—a green run servicing the often overlooked and snow-laden Bug Out glades—until hanging left onto East Village Ski-way. You can take any of the intermediate trails from the ski-way down to the Morrisey chair, so suss out the goods as you glide by and choose your own adventure.
Grab the Morrisey lift from the bottom and look for Back in Time at the top of this quiet, north-facing mountain. Consider a lap down the steep ‘Laundromat’ zone while you’re on this side of the resort, or opt for a tamer green or blue option featuring Morrisey’s famous gladed grooming. Back in Time will take you to the Burfield chairlift, which offers a long, relaxed ride to the Top of the World.
Now on to Tod Mountain, check the Top of the World grooming board and map, and chart a course back down to the village. 5 Mile is the easiest descent and the much steeper Chute or Spillway dependably deliver deep snow and fast grooming, respectably. If conditions are good and wind hasn’t been too wild, a lap from the Top of the World down either the front or backside of the Chief ridge to the Burfield chairlift’s mid-station will give you a taste of this ski area’s original raison d’être back in the 1960’s. Last Chance leading into The Other Way is a fun intermediate route down to the village, and the glades under the Sunburst and Elevation chairs are great mid-season detours.
If you’re in need of a buddy to cruise around on your first day, consider connecting with the ever friendly and hospitable Sun Hosts. These locals know the trails like the back of their hand, and their passion is infectious. Even better, these tours are complimentary.
Eats & Après
Sun Peaks offers plenty of cafes, grills, bars and pubs (over 20 in fact!) scattered throughout the central village, but there are a few spots that stand out from the rest. To start your day or warm up after a few laps on a chilly morning, Bolacco Café is one of Sun Peaks’ longest standing businesses and this family-run joint not only offers arguably the best coffee in town, but also fresh homemade and tasty sandwiches to keep you going.
Mountain High Pizza needs no introduction, just follow your nose through the village and you won’t be disappointed. It’s right beside Joe’s Pountine, a true taste of Canadian culture. Voyageur Bistro boasts a Canadiana theme, with cedar strip canoes hanging overhead and a unique menu that also nods to our nation’s history with rich poutines and game specialties. For a proper après ski experience there is really no alternative to Bottoms Bar & Grill—located at, you got it, the bottom of the main chairlifts—where a heated outdoor patio and all the ski bar regalia you could hope for await your final descent of the day.
Hang Your Helmet for the Night
Thanks to the unique topography of the resort, ski-in and -out accommodation can be achieved in one way or another from nearly every address in Sun Peaks. You’ll just have to work for it a little more in some spots, so consideration of variables—like how comfortable you are walking in ski boots, or what terrain or services are prioritized—should be considered while planning lodging. Plus, driving in ski boots is hard, so plan your ski-in and –out route with the village map before committing to that hotel or chalet you’ve been eyeing.
All of the hotels in the village core offer easy access to plenty of terrain and all of the village services, and there’s an in-resort shuttle running throughout the season during chairlift hours that can deliver you back to your doorstep if you miss the right route back home.