Sun Peaks Resort

Sun Peaks Resort is one of the largest and best ski resorts in all of Canada. There are 122 trails to choose from at the Sun Peaks Ski Resort, and these trails include twelve gladed runs. When you're not skiing in the trees, you might hit the two alpine bowls, cruise down a relatively tame groomer, or try some tricks in the terrain park. These are just some of the options when it comes to things to do on a winter visit to this wonderful British Columbia playground, and you might be interested to know that a summer visit can also be full of fun pursuits.

The Sun Peaks Ski Resort is located in the British Columbia Interior near the city of Kamloops. Hailed as Canada's Tournament Capital, Kamloops in general is a destination that has plenty to offer the outdoor enthusiast. During the warmer months, kayaking, rafting, fishing, and hiking are among the preferred activities in the Kamloops area, while skiing and snowboarding take center stage during the cooler months. Late November to mid-April is the time to visit if you are interested in skiing or snowboarding on your Sun Peaks vacation, and while some of the lifts run from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., most operate daily between the hours of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eleven lifts are in place to get skiers and snowboarders where they want to go on the three different mountains, and these lifts include three high-speed quads to help keep the lines moving.

The base elevation for the Sun Peaks Resort is 4,116 feet, while the summit elevation is 7,060 feet. This results in a vertical drop of almost 3,000 feet. Plenty of steep runs can be tackled on the way down to the bottom, and if you prefer an easier ride, there are scores of intermediate runs to choose from. In fact, almost 60 percent of the terrain falls into the intermediate category. As for beginners, they will be happy to know that 10 percent of the terrain caters exclusively to their needs, while the advanced-level visitor is sure to appreciate the fact that 32 percent of the terrain gets a black diamond rating. In other words, there's something for every level of skier and snowboarder, especially when you also consider the nine-acre terrain park. There are three different zones at the terrain park, with the advanced zone offering the biggest and most challenging jumps, jibs, and rails.

If you don't know how to ski or snowboard, a Sun Peaks vacation in the winter can still be rewarding. The resort has a sports school that offers both skiing and snowboarding lessons, and since it is possible to rent equipment upon arrival, you don't have to bring your own. If Nordic skiing (cross-country skiing) is the kind of skiing that you prefer, you can rent equipment for that as well. There are miles of groomed, track set, and backcountry trails at the Sun Peaks Resort that cater to cross country skiers. The Sun Peaks Ski Resort also offers free mountain tours. On these tours, knowledgeable guides take guests to the kinds of trails that they want to ride.

As is true of other top rated British Columbia ski resorts such as Whistler-Blackcomb and Red Mountain, the Sun Peaks Ski Resort can make a fine vacation destination in the winter or the summer. At the Sun Peaks Resort, visitors can enjoy a spa treatment when they're not engaging in outdoor activities. It is also possible to visit the Sports Centre, which offers a heated outdoor pool and tennis courts, among other things. The attractive village at Sun Peaks offers more than twenty eateries, not to mention some good nightlife, and you won't want for enticing shops or lodging options. The Sun Peaks cabin rentals are somewhat scarce, though this family-friendly resort boasts plenty of spacious condos and chalets that are close to the slopes and everything that the main village has to offer.

A Sun Peaks vacation is definitely worth keeping in mind if you want to enjoy outdoor activities, not to mention tons of beautiful mountain views. The lodging options offer something to fit most budgets and tastes, and shuttle service is available from both the Kamloops and Kelowna airports if you aren't planning on renting a car. For those who are staying in nearby Kamloops, weekend shuttle buses offer transportation to the resort and back. You might also be interested to know that shuttle service is also available for those who want to travel between Sun Peaks and some of the other top resorts in the area. These resorts include Whistler-Blackcomb, Silver Star, Big White, and Revelstoke Mountain.

Image: Sun Peaks Resort / Adam Stein
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