Sun Peaks

Ski Resort in Canada

Introduction

Sun Peaks is a municipality and ski resort near Kamloops in British Columbia, Canada. There is something to do year-round for just about anyone. In winter, there is world-class skiing, as well as numerous other winter sports. In summer, the area is transformed into a hiker’s and biker’s paradise, with mountain trails for adventurers of all levels of experience. There is also an 18-hole golf course, as well as numerous events and festivals, for those who wish to have a more "relaxed" vacation time.

The summit of the ski area is at an elevation of 2,080 m (6,824 ft), with an 881 m (2,891 ft) vertical rise from the base of the peak. Sun Peaks Resort has 16 square kilometres (4,270 acres) of skiable terrain, and receives an average of 5.6 m (220 in) of snow per year. The resort has 12 lifts with a total capacity of 12,000 riders per hour with the Burfield chair being the longest at 23 minutes total ride. There are 135 runs, including 16 gladed areas and 40 km of cross country trails. Sun Peaks area averages over 2000 hours of sun a year. The ski area comprises three mountains: Tod Mountain, Sundance Mountain, and Mt. Morrisey. The annual snowfall of more than six meters attracts a lot of skiers and extends the season from November until Mid-April.

Tons of activities for kids, a ski school for all ability levels, generous slopes, and convenient skiing into the village make Sun Peaks Resort so popular among families with children.

Prior to 1993, Sun Peaks was known as Tod Mountain. Since that time the ski resort has evolved significantly including the addition of more terrain, a purpose built village, and modern facilities and services.


Sun Peaks info card

LocationBritish Columbia, Canada
Nearest cityKamloops, 56 km (35 mi)
Coordinates50°53′38″N 119°53′35″W
Vertical882 m (2,893 ft)
Top elevation2,152 m (7,060 ft)
Base elevation1255 m (4,117 ft)
Skiable area4,270 acres (1,730 ha)
Runs135 including 16 gladed areas
10% beginner
58% intermediate
32% expert
Longest run8 km (5.0 mi)
Lift system12 total
3 detachable quads
2 quads
1 triple
6 surface lifts
Lift capacity12,000 riders per hour
Snowfall559 cm (220 in, 18 feet)
WebsiteSun Peaks Resort


Skiing in Sun Peaks

The three mountains at Sun Peaks guarantee a blast for everyone with tons of greens, blues and blacks as well as some double black runs. Starting in the valley, you could first start with the intermediate Mt Morrisey (5.495 ft). Take the Morrisey Express to find blues like Grand Return, Mid-life Crisis or Still Smokin’. Beginners can hit the green trail Home Run that descends right into the valley. Experts will appreciate the Advanced Trails Tumble Dry and Lint Trap. Look for additional Expert trails, such as Cover Shot or Spin Cycle, further down the mountain.

Tod Mountain featuring a height of 7.060 ft is the highest mountain of the three in the resort. Start off with the Learning Zone at the foot of the mountain. Additional slopes for beginner skiing is available at the lower part of it. By taking the Sunburst Express you will have tons of beginner, intermediate and advanced runs to your disposal. Same goes for the Burfield chairlift and the Crystal chairlift. The famous Bowls can be found at the top of the mountain and off the Burfield lift. Beginners should take the easiest way down to get the top-to-bottom experience: 5 Mile. It is also the longest run in Sun Peaks and offers amazing views.

The Sundance Express gives you a ride to the peak of Sundance Mountain (5.676 ft). Check out the multiple blues and blacks. The black Peek-a-Boo is extremely popular among experienced skiers and snowboarders. Rambler is another designated green run. You can either ski it down or change onto the East Village Ski Way to take an extra long detour back to the base.

Sun Peak’s top-to-bottom ten acre Rockstar Energy Terrain Park leaves you with a ton of choices between jumps, rails, and boxes. The most common reason freestylers come here is probably the 60-foot jump Nancy. Since they put a lot of effort into snowmaking, they open their doors early and ensure best powder throughout the season.


Sun Peaks Climate

Sun Peaks gets an average annual snowfall of 220 in (or more than 18 ft) (559 cm / 5.5 m) The resort village is at an elevation of 4117 ft (1255 m) above sea level, and the top lift elevation is 6824 ft (2080 m). The yearly average temperature is 22F (-6C), with highs in the winter around the freezing mark and lows around 14F (-10C). In the summer, the high temperatures average around 67F (19C), but can reach up into the high 80’s (F) (low 30s C). The resort is probably known as “Sun” Peaks because it averages over 2,000 hours of sunlight annually.


Sun Peaks Snow

Sun Peaks doesn’t get huge volumes of snow; an average of 6 metres of snow per season, which is less than many other BC ski resorts. The snow typically comes in small amounts per storm, rather than big dumps.

At Sun Peaks the emphasis is on quality not quantity, and the powder that does fall is delightfully dry. Snow preservation between storms is also very good due to limited sun exposure in the peak of winter (despite it being called Sun Peaks!) and cold temps due to its northerly position.

The Mt Morrisey area is north facing so it has very good snow quality, which is particularly apparent in spring. The Burfield area that has the most challenging terrain is south facing, and it gets about 30 percent less snow than the Morrisey area. At times this area can lack a little cover, which is most obvious in the trees. Snow cover is rarely an issue on the piste because they have great summer grooming that removes stumps and rocks.


Sun Peaks Accommodation

The Sun Peaks village offers a range of accommodations for 7,000 guests. The layout of the European style ski-through village makes everything really easy. All Sun Peaks lodging is not far from the ski runs, and many accommodations offer the convenience of true ski-in ski-out access.

All budgets are catered for and Sun Peaks accommodation includes hotels, lodges, condos (apartments), townhomes, houses (chalets), and a hostel.


Sun Peaks Facilities

The pedestrian village is reasonably well developed (it’s a far cry from the mega size of Whistler, but bigger than Silver Star or Big White) and has great facilities for those on a snowboard or ski holiday. The layout of the village makes it fuss free to get to a ski rental shop, child care, or ski school.

SunPeaks has various cafes, restaurants, and shopping opportunities. The village also has a few bars, but don’t have high expectations for a vibrant party scene. Sun Peaks is largely family-centric.


Apres, restaurants and other activities in Sun Peaks

Sun Peaks has something for everyone, experienced skiers and snowboarders will enjoy the huge terrain during the day and then make the most of the excellent town and bars in the evening. There are several bars in Sun Peaks including Bottoms Bar and Grill, Cahlity Creek Bar and Grill, Masa's Bar and Grill, and Morrisey's pub. Look out for open mic night in Morrisey's for a entertaining evening or go to Bottoms for apres and lively nights out.

There is also plenty of dining options in Sun Peaks for all tastes, from Hoopla for pita wraps and gelato, to Oya for the best sushi, to Powder Hounds for a delicious mix of German and Canadian cuisine to Mountain High Pizza for takeaway.

Ski holidays in Sun Peaks are a great family choice as it is a very family friendly resort with plenty of facilities for children of all ages. There is a ski school, childminding centre, Kids Ranch and a Kids Adventure Park with snowmobiling and toboggan activities to keep the youngsters entertained. As an extra bonus, during ski holidays in Sun Peaks resort guests are able to ski for free alongside Canada’s very own Nancy Greene. As a former Olympic ski champion and Sun Peak’s director of skiing, Nancy likes to get out on the slopes as much as possible and meets up with guests twice daily to help enhance their mountain experience. A full list of activities include:

  • Piste basher rides (Cat groomer rides)
  • Dog sled tours
  • Fat biking
  • Bungee trampoline
  • First tracks
  • Fundue and evening descent
  • Ice fishing
  • Horse drawn sleigh rides
  • Excursions to Kamloops Blazers Hockey game
  • Kamloops shopping excursion
  • Ice skating
  • Snowmobiling
  • Snowshoeing
  • Free ski guiding (Sun host mountain tours)
  • Tubing
  • Segway tours

Transportation - Get In


By car

Sun Peaks is located on Tod Mountain Road, which is accessed from BC Highway 5 at Heffley Creek, north of Kamloops.

DRIVING TIMES & DISTANCES TO SUN PEAKS
Kamloops, BC45 minutes50km / 31 miles
Vancouver, BC4.25 hours407km / 235 miles
Whistler, BC4.5 hours355km / 221 miles
Hope, BC2.5 hours260km / 162 miles
Kelowna, BC2.75 hours246km / 153 miles
Jasper, AB5 hours449km / 279 miles
Banff, AB6 hours557km / 346 miles
Calgary, AB8 hours675km / 421 miles
Edmonton, AB9 hours 813km / 505 miles
Seattle, WA5.5 hours 518km / 322 miles


By bus

It’s easy to get to and from Sun Peaks by bus from Kamloops. There’s a shuttle that runs every day of the year (except Christmas day and New Years day) that arrives at the resort by 9am and departs for Kamloops again at 4pm. The cost is only $10. There are no reservations available, and space on the bus is on a first come, first served basis.

There is also another shuttle that runs between Whistler and Sun Peaks.

  • Rates: $99.00 per person Schedule: Wednesdays & Saturdays
    • Departs Sun Peaks @ 7:30AM – Arrives at Whistler @ 12:30PM
    • Departs Whistler @ 12:30PM – Arrives at Sun Peaks @ 6:30PM

By plane

Sun Peaks can be accessed easily from either of two airports:


By train

  • As of December 2, 2008, VIA Rail (the major Canadian passenger rail service) made schedule changes that allowed people traveling to and from Vancouver or Jasper to arrive in Kamloops late evening or early morning and then catch a shuttle to Sun Peaks Resort.
  • Westbound
    • Jasper to Kamloops
    • 2:30PM–11:09PM (Departs: Fri/Sun/Tues)
    • Kamloops to Vancouver
    • 8:30PM–6AM (Departs: Tues/Fri/Sun)
  • Eastbound
    • Vancouver to Kamloops
    • 11:44PM–9:42AM (Arrives: Sat/Mon/Sat)
    • Kamloops to Jasper
    • 06:35AM–4PM (Arrives: Mon/Wed/Sat)
  • Vancouver - Kamloops is a night-time transfer
  • Jasper – Kamloops is mostly daytime

Transportation - Get Around

Sun Peaks is a pretty small town. There’s no need of a car or taxi to get around. Everything is easily accessible on foot or on bike (in the summer), and a large amount of the village is also available on ski in the winter.

Ski Area

Sun Peaks’ ski area, the second largest in British Columbia and third largest in Canada, stretches over three heavily-wooded mountains, a layout that earns it the nickname of “Little Whistler”.

However, Sun Peaks' ski area is far from little - it is Canada's third largest ski area by acreage with 3,678 acres of skiable terrain. Such is its stature that the Austrian National ski team has chosen it as its early season training ground in the run-up to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

The mountains are diverse: Tod, the original ski area, is the most challenging and the gateway to the area's cat skiing terrain; Mount Morrisey faces north and catches the snow; and Sundance Mountain is sunnier and home to most of the resort's easiest ski runs. Each mountain is fed by a high speed chairlift from the village base and the top of every lift offers green and blue runs allowing skiers of differing levels to board the same lift then ski a piste that suits their ability and meet up at the bottom. The longest run measures 8kms (5 miles) - short by European standards but long for North America.

The resort plans to open up ski pistes on two additional mountains to further extend the ski terrain and lift system. The skiing in Sun Peaks typically opens in mid or late November in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. Snow junkies will be dismayed to learn that the ski area closes on the second Monday of April every year even if there's still good snow cover to give them time to dig out the greens of the underlying golf course.

For Nordic skiing enthusiasts the resort boasts over 45km's of groomed and backcountry cross-country trails, some along the valley floor and the rest accessed from the top of Mount Morrisey.


Sun Peaks Beginner Skiing

Novice skiers in Sun Peaks can learn to ski in a designated “slow zone” on the edge of the village before progressing to longer greens trails on Morrisey and Sundance.

One green run on each mountain is described as the "Easiest Route Down": 5 Mile from the Burfield Quad on Tod; Homesteader from the Sundance Express on Sundance; and The Sticks from the Morrisey Express on Morrisey. The south-facing, open runs on Sundance Mountain are ideal for beginners whose ability outstrips the nursery slopes. Sun Peaks' relatively mild climate makes it an ideal destination for ski novices concerned about feeling the cold.


Sun Peaks Intermediate Skiing

Intermediate skiers in Sun Peaks can cut their tree-skiing teeth on the pistes artfully cut through the forests on Mount Morrisey.

Reminiscent of a computer ski game in places, trees pop up when you least need one. Showboat and Mid-Life Crisis are natural Super-G courses. The four blue-graded glade runs on Tod are even more fun, though for something longer and wooded head to Lonesome Fir Glades and The Three Bears Glades on Sundance Mountain. There's also a series of short and sharp blue runs at the top of Tod Mountain, great for panoramic views of the mountains beyond if you can be bothered to sit out the long Burfield chairlift. The new, short blue runs on Orient Ridge at the far end of Sundance are little more than connecting pistes for the far end of the villages and the future East Village.


Sun Peaks Expert Skiing

Tod Mountain, Sun Peaks’ original mountain, offers the most variety for expert skiers with challenging glade (tree) skiing and advanced terrain.

Head to the "Darker Side of Sun Peaks" for the double diamond black runs of Chief, Expo and Challenger running in super steep and speedy lines under the Burfield chairlift.

Since the construction of the Burfield mid-station the double diamond blacks lower down are seldom skied other than on a bad visibility day when the trees offer some shelter. Otherwise they offer millionaire's skiing. Headwalls, also on Tod, is a 55 degree pitch and the location for the FIS World Cup Speed Skiing event, the Velocity Challenge. Or try out your technique at the Nancy Greene's International Race Centre where the Austrian National ski team train in the early season.

Mogul-lovers will enjoy the knee-bashing challenge of Static Cling or avoid being spit out by Spin Cycle on Mount Morrisey. Most skiers will be tired before they tire of the options. Acres of powder fields and untracked terrain lie beyond the ski area boundary.. The vertical drops aren't very steep or very long - little more than 130 metres - but the area offers a good taste of this increasingly popular form of off-piste skiing. The views from the backcountry are truly sensational across forested hills to the mountain ranges further east on a clear day.


Sun Peaks Snowboarding

Sun Peaks’ two terrain parks are both on Sundance Mountain.

Sun Peaks Rockstar Energy Terrain Park

Sun Peaks has a huge variety of jumps, rails, boxes and sweet urban hits to keep you coming back for countless laps over 3 distinct zones across 9 acres. And with dedicated snowmaking, the Rockstar Energy Terrain Park gets rockin' early and remains open longer for those sunny spring sessions.

Ski Pass


DAY TICKETS

2017-18 ALPINE LIFT TICKET DAY RATES
1-2 Days3+ DaysHalf Day**After 2pmFoot Passenger / Platter Lift
Adult (19-64)

$95

$90$76$47$22
Senior (65+)$76$72$61$38$22
Youth (13-18)$76$72$61$38$22
Child (6-12)$48$46$38$24$22
University Student (19-64)$86$82$69$43$22
Tot*** (5 and under)FREEFREEFREEFREEFREE

2017-18 'LET'S PLAY' PACKAGE RATES
With Alpine Lift TicketWithout Alpine Lift Ticket
Adult (19-64)$108$27.28
Senior (65+)$92$27.28
Youth (13-18)$92$27.28
Child (6-12)$65$24.64

2017-18 NORDIC SKIING TICKET RATES

1-2 Days3+ DaysAlpine + Nordic
(1-2 Days)
Alpine + Nordic
(3+ Days)
Regular Nordic
Season Pass
Adult (19-64)$19$18$103$98$229
Senior (65+)$15$14$82$78$186
Youth (13-18)$15$14$82$78$165
Child (6-12)$10$9$52$49$102
Students**
(19-64 Canadian University)
$17$16$93$88


PEAKS SNOW CARDS

2017-18 PEAKS CARDS
1 Day Peaks Card
Until November 15
1 Day Peaks Card
After November 15
3 Day Peaks Card
Until November 15
3 Day Peaks Card
After November 15
Adult (19-64)$92$102$228$257
Senior (65+)$73$83$182$205
Youth (13-18)$73$83$182$205
Child (6-12)$45$55$115$130
University Student*$83$93$206$232

2017-18 PEAKS SNOW CARD DISCOUNTS
Full Day RatesSavingsAdult

Senior/Youth

ChildUniversity Student
Regular Rate-$95.00$76.00$48.00$86.00
November 18 to December 2225%$71.25$57.00$36.00$64.50
December 23 to January 710%$85.50$68.40$43.20$77.40
January 8 to January 2620%$76.00$60.80$38.40$68.80
January 27 to March 3115%$80.75$64.60$40.80$73.10
April 1 to April 1525%$71.25$57.00$36.00$64.50
Every Sunday20%$76.00$60.80$38.40$68.80


SEASON PASSES

2017-18 SEASON PASS RATES FROM OCTOBER 10
Alpine
Pass
Nordic
Pass
Alpine + Nordic
Combo Pass
Adult (19-64)$1,299$229$1,470
Senior (65+)$981$186$1,120
Youth (13-18)$895$165$1,018
Child (6-12)$626$102$702
University Student*$706/$1,056*--
Family**^$4,476$764$5,049

Ski lifts

The days are long gone when they gave you a blanket for the epic lift journey on the Burfield chair. The Sun Peaks lift system is modern and efficient. Now with 11 lifts including 5 quads, Sun Peaks infrastructure can carry 12,000 people per hour up the three mountain peaks. That's almost double the overnight bed base resulting in having the pistes virtually to yourself and most of the time skiing right onto the lift with no line at all.

The Burfield chairlift still takes 22 minutes to the Top of the World, as long as an episode of Neighbours, though skiers can now load at a mid-station to loop the black runs from the top of Tod.

Skiers on Sundance can gain access to the skiing on Tod without returning to the village thanks to the construction of the new quad chairlift "Elevation" halfway down the 5-Mile run. Built through a long standing partnership with the Austria National Ski Teamwho shared costs and train early season in Sun Peaks on the Nancy Greene's International Race Centre.

The piste map gives helpful pointers such as "Easiest Route Down" and "Slow Ski Zone". Sun Peaks Ski Lift Passes The Village Day Lodge on the edge of the resort is the main meeting point for skiers and snowboarders and the place to buy lift passes, organise ski lessons and sort out ski and snowboard hire.

  • Sunburst Bubble 4 Seater Detachable - Doppelmayr - 1993 - Tod Mountain
  • Sundance 4 Seater Detachable - Doppelmayr - 1995 - Sundance Mountain
  • Burfield 4 Seater Fixed Grip - Doppelmayr - 1998 - Tod Mountain
  • Crystal 3 Seater Fixed Grip - Doppelmayr - 1979 - Tod Mountain
  • Elevation 4 Seater Fixed Grip - Doppelmayr - Unknown - Tod Mountain
  • Morrisey 4 Seater Detachable - Doppelmayr - 2002 - Morrisey Mountain
  • West Bowl T-Bar Surface Lift - Doppelmayr - 1993 - Tod Mountain
  • Village Platter Surface Lift - Doppelmayr - Unknown - Sundance Mountain
  • Village Carpet Surface Lift - Doppelmayr - Unknown - Sundance Mountain
  • Tube Time Carpet Surface Lift - Doppelmayr - Unknown - Sundance Mountain
  • Morrisey Platter Surface lift - Doppelmayr - 2002 - Morrisey Mountain

 

Activities & Things to do

Sun Peaks has no shortage of activities for you to take part in. There are lots of things to do year-round, for people of all levels of physical ability, as well as just relaxing around a hot tub. Below, there is a list based on the time of year, as well as a few things to do at Sun Peaks year-round.


Winter

The most popular winter activity at Sun Peaks is skiing and snowboarding at Sun Peaks Resort. The ski resort features 3,678 acres of ski runs and 2,891 vertical feet of downhill spread over three mountains. It has some of the best weather for skiing in Canada, with an average of over 2,000 hours of sunshine per year.

Aside from downhill and cross-country skiing and snowboarding, there are many other things to do. A short list includes:

  • Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding a guide will take you to the backside of Tod Mountain for a day trip to areas not generally open to the public. You would have to be an intermediate to expert skier to take advantage of such a trip.
  • Groomer Rides Have you ever wanted to know what it’s like to ride in one of the ski run grooming machines? Or maybe take a tour of the mountain without being on your skis? You can take a 3/4 to 1 hour ride in one of the groomers and see just what it is they do.
  • Dogsledding Just like you’ve seen on TV, you can pilot a team of sled dogs (called “mushing”) through the woods at Sun Peaks. This is another activity that requires a fair amount of physical stamina and strength, and shouldn’t be undertaken by anyone who isn’t prepared to occasionally have to run beside their dog teams through deep snow, uphill.
  • Snowshoeing One of the quietest and most relaxing ways to get around the mountains in winter, snowshoeing is also probably one of the oldest methods of winter transportation in this part of the world. On snowshoes, you can see parts of the mountains that are inaccessible in any other way, and see the beauty and wildlife of the Rockies up close.
  • Snowmobiling The exact opposite of snowshoeing, snowmobiling is neither quiet, nor relaxing. It is, however a very exciting and exhilarating way to take a tour around the mountainside.
  • Sleigh Rides Another old-fashioned way to enjoy the countryside is in a horse-drawn sleigh. Again, we’re back to the quiet and relaxing type of transportation through the mountains.
  • Snow Tubing Much like the inflatable tubes that can be pulled behind a motor boat on a lake, you can also ride one of these types of tubes down a snow-covered hill. Sun Peaks has a large Snow Tubing park where tub riders of all ages can slide as much as they want.
  • Ice Skating There is a full-sized skating rink at Sun Peaks where anyone who enjoys skating can take part in public skates or drop-in ice hockey games. Check the schedules to see which type of skating is going on at a particular time.

Summer

  • Golf As with many ski resorts, there are plenty of golf courses in and around Sun Peaks. Rather than list them all here, I’d suggest you just Google “golf at Sun Peaks”, which will get you a great list of golf courses in the area.
  • Canoeing and Kayaking There are numerous lakes and rivers nearby, all worthy of a canoe or kayak trip. It’s also easy to find guides to take you on a trip of this kind. If you’re staying at one of the major hotels, they will provide access to such a service.
  • Fishing As noted above, there are many lakes and rivers, and therefore, opportunities to go fishing very close by Sun Peaks.
  • Hiking Since Sun Peaks is in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, it is one of the nicest places for a summer mountain hike. There are numerous trails within and around Sun Peaks, just waiting for you to take a leisurely stroll or a strenuous hike.
  • Mountain Biking As with Hiking, above, there are many mountain biking trails in and around Sun Peaks. Mountain biking has become a very popular summer sport at most ski resorts in the summertime.
  • Horseback Riding Again, as with mountain biking, horseback trail riding is a very popular thing to do in the mountains in the summer. You can join a trail riding tour with Sun Peaks Trail Rides or close by at Tod Mountain Ranch

Year-round

  • Swimming Sun Peaks has no shortage of heated indoor and outdoor swimming pools. This makes swimming available to everyone, all year round.
  • Photography Clinics The Rockies are spectacular in any season, and there are several professional photographers at Sun Peaks who run photography clinics year-round. This can be a great addition to your trip. Whether you’re a novice or a “serious amateur”, you’ll be able to build on the skills you will learn at these clinics. Be prepared to get up really early in the mornings, as some of the best photographs and the most spectacular views happen at sunrise.

Facilities & Services

Most of the Sun Peaks ski resort facilities and services are situated at the main base of the ski resort or in the main street of the village, which is just a stone’s throw (or quick slide) away. The layout of the village is fantastic and makes access to the lifts and amenities really convenient. Getting ski rentals or getting to child care or ski school from your accommodation is super easy and is one of the reasons that Sun Peaks is so popular with families.


Sun Peaks Ski Rentals and Snowboard Hire

The Sun Peaks Rentals shop is located in the Village Day Lodge at the base of the main lifts. It’s reasonably small and has kids ski rentals and snowboard gear, as well as beginner to mid performance equipment rentals. The other resort owned shop is Fall Line in the Sun Peaks Grand Hotel building, which has performance ski rentals and snowboard gear. The rates for Sun Peaks ski rentals are very reasonable, both for standard and performance gear.

Sun Peaks has a few privately owned rental shops, which assists in the maintenance of the competitive prices. Jardine’s has both ski and snowboard rentals. McSportie’s specialises in alpine and cross country (Nordic) ski rentals, but they also have snowboard gear for hire. McSportie’s also has a great reputation for high quality equipment tuning and repairs.


Facilities for Children

Sun Peaks has child minding services for children aged 18 months to 5 years of age. The Sundance Kids Centre is conveniently located at the main base of the ski resort. Child care programs are either for the full day (including lunch), half day, or by the hour. The rates are quite reasonable and are in line with child care prices at other BC ski resorts such as Big White and Silver Star.


Sun Peaks Ski School

Sun Peaks has ski and snowboard lessons for both kids and adults, and the ski school also provides snowbike lessons. The ski and snowboard lessons are rated by ability from 1 (for beginners) up to 5 (for experts), although the expert groups are not really for “experts”.

Sun Tots (ages 3 to 7) provide 1:1 private lessons for 1 or 3 hour blocks, and this can be combined with child care. Sun Kids is for ages 6 to 12 (snowboard lessons for 8 to 12 years only) and the format for group lessons is either for a full day or half day.

The adult and youth programs are for ages 13 and up. Group lessons are 2 hours in duration. The other option is private lessons which can be 1 hour, 2 hour, half day, or for the full day. The Sun Peaks ski school also has first timer packages that incorporate a lesson, rentals and lift ticket for the learner area.

The rates for Sun Peaks ski school are quite reasonable and very similar to other BC ski resorts such as Big White and Silver Star.


Ski Tours

The ambassador of Sun Peaks is Nancy Greene, an Olympic gold medallist and Canadian senator. When she’s not busy with politics (e.g. weekends, holidays) she runs tours of the mountain at 1pm. Look for signs at the bottom and top of the Sunburst Chairlift as to whether the tour is on. She’ll take you to some of her favourite spots around the mountain, but you’ll need to be able to keep up! Unfortunately I don’t think she wears her characteristic red powder suit anymore!

Alternatively take a tour with the Sun Hosts – they are excellent!


Eating On Mountain

Bento’s is a massive family oriented day lodge at the main base of the ski resort. The cafeteria has a large range of quick meals, and you can also brown bag it there. The lodge has lockers to store your picnic and they also have WiFi.

Sunburst Lodge is located mid-mountain at the top of the Sunburst Express chairlift. They are famous for their cinnamon buns and when you ski past you can’t help but be lured in by the aroma of them cooking. The buns are really yummy but they’re massive, American sized massive, and this is all you’ll need for lunch! Of course the lodge also sells a range of other lunch and snack items. This lodge is rather small so it can be hard to find a seat, although on nice days there’s extra space out on the deck where you can watch people ripping the bumps on Headwalls.

At the base of the Mt Morrisey chair is the small Umbrella Café that sells light fare and beverages.

For table service you can head to Masa’s Bar and Grill which is located in the Village Day Lodge. Or considering that the Sun Peaks village is ski-in ski-out you can also easily get lunch or a snack at any of the cafes and restaurants in the village.

Restaurants & Nightlife

The Sun Peaks village has a good range of restaurants. Bars aren’t as prolific in Sun Peaks and the “nightlife” is rather sedate.

We found that the service at the Sun Peaks restaurants and bars to be highly variable. The locals are incredibly friendly and in our experience, the local staff provided fantastic service. However Sun Peaks also employs lots of very young visiting staff, and we found some sub-standard service at a couple of establishments.


Sun Peaks Restaurants

There are at least 10 restaurants in Sun Peaks, several cafes (see below), and a few bars that also double as restaurants. The Sun Peaks restaurants are diverse and range from family friendly and casual fare to more formal dining. Sun Peaks has much more dining variety than with the Big White restaurants where it’s largely just grills.

A must-do Sun Peaks restaurant is Powder Hounds (in the Fireside Lodge). OK so we’re a little biased when it comes to the name, but Powder Hounds is absolutely fabulous! Don’t go out for appies (après ski appetizers) elsewhere beforehand, because you’ll want to make it to the gorgeous desserts. The multi-cultural menu includes lots of German and Austrian cuisine such as wiener schnitzels and Kartoffelauflauf (potato casserole), Canadian fare, and a few Asian inspired dishes. The eclectic décor that includes wooden logs and old snowboards is fantastic, and the service is super friendly.

The Cahilty Creek Lodge & Bar is great for appies, casual fare, and North American classics. It’s located slopeside in the Cahilty Lodge. Unfortunately it’s not really overlooking the slopes but it’s got a really nice vibe and very good service.

The Voyageur Bistro is another dining highlight of Sun Peaks. It’s located in the Kookaburra Lodge just a little up from the main strip. The bar and dining area has interesting Canadian memorabilia adorning the walls, and the matching Canadian menu is really interesting and ranges from their renowned poutine, to bison to burgers and exquisite ravioli.

The Black Garlic Bistro also has a really eclectic menu which is Asian and Indian fusion, with lots of healthy dishes, many of which have a healthy dose of black garlic (high in anti-oxidants and great for warding off colds)!

Mantles Restaurant & Lounge (located in the lower lobby of the Sun Peaks Grand Hotel) is an obvious choice for dinner and drinks. The ambience is a cross between upscale and very family friendly and casual, with mid-range prices. The food menu is as long as the drinks menu so there’s pretty much something for everyone. If you want some adults-only time, you can dine on tapas and sip wine in the lounge adjacent to the dining room in front of the fire.


Sun Peaks Cafes

Sun Peaks has several cafes where you can grab a coffee and breakfast on the run (or slide) to the slopes. Considering the ski in ski out village, these cafes are also easily accessible for a pit stop for lunch or a snack. Sun Peaks has lots of inexpensive options for daytime dining.

Some of the cafes in the main strip include 5Forty Café and Deli, Tod Mountain Coffee House, Bolacco Coffee, and the Vertical Café where the service can be so slow that the staff are almost horizontal! The village also has a pizza by the slice shop and a bakery.

At the base of the main lifts is the Village day lodge. Here Café Soleil serves Starbucks coffee and basic breakfasts or deli sandwiches.


Sun Peaks Bars & Nightlife

Considering the amazing family friendliness of Sun Peaks, it’s not surprising that the nightlife is very sedate and not a patch on the Whistler nightlife or the Tremblant partying. Après ski in the afternoon can include some drinking festivities, but in the evenings most people go out for dinner and then retreat to their accommodation.

If you are keen for a self-made party it’s easy to do a bar crawl in Sun Peaks because the village is so compact and most of the bars are in a straight line from each other. Or considering the bars are mostly upscale and a cross between a bar and restaurant, rather than calling it a “pub crawl” you might want to call it “progressive tasting”! Start at the base of the mountain at Masa’s Bar & Grill which sometimes has live music. Wander to the adjacent Bottom’s Bar and Grill, which is a classic type pub, and enjoy the happy hour specials.

Mantles is good for a grown up chilled out drink, or saunter further along the village to Morrissey’s Public House. This pub was pretty quiet for après when we visited, or perhaps that was just due to the really crap service there??!

If you can stay awake way past dark, there’s a lounge club in the Delta Sun Peaks Resort that opens at 9pm from Thursday to Saturday.

Shopping

Sun Peaks Resort has a decent amount of shopping. This isn’t a destination for shopper-holics but there are several boutiques and specialty stores to wander through, various Sun Peaks ski shops, souvenir stores, and shops for staple requirements.

Or if you want a day off the mountain, there’s a shopping shuttle that heads to Kamloops during the day on weekends that will get you back to Sun Peaks in time for après.


Sun Peaks Ski Shops

Whether you’re looking for new skis or snowboard, a new snow outfit, or new thermals to cope with the butt freezing time on the Burf chair, there are various Sun Peaks ski shops and snowboard stores. Most of these ski shops are just small to medium sized so you’ll need to shop around to find what you’re looking for. Here are just some examples of Sun Peaks ski shops.

Jardine’s in the Hearthstone Lodge is probably the largest of the ski/snowboard stores at Sun Peaks. They have the latest hardwear with skis from Elan, Head, Line, Rossignol, Salomon, Volkl, Blizzard, Nordica, and Kastle, as well as boards from Ride Snowboards. And considering the village is ski-in ski-out, it’s easy to demo skis or snowboards here.

Jardine’s sells a large range of Spyder clothing and lots of ski and snowboard accessories. When we visited they had what seemed like a trillion beanies, or touks as the Canadians like to call them! Jardine’s also has Sun Peaks souvenir T-shirts.

McSportie’s is an old school ski shop which is lead by a couple of old chaps who really know their stuff when it comes to downhill and cross country skiing. In addition to rentals, they have a good range of skis and boots for sale. They also sell a little ski clothing and lots of accessories.

Southside Board Shop is the largest dedicated snowboard shop, selling boards, soft goods and lots of accessories.

Sun Peaks has a few outdoor clothing stores including North Face which has clothing for men, women and children, whilst the Helly Hansen store has a disappointing assortment of HH clothing.


Souvenir & General Shopping Sun Peaks

The John Tod Trading Co is the centre for Sun Peaks logowear. Here you’ll find lots of different pieces of clothing with Sun Peaks emblazoned across it.

The village also has a few gift shops that sell Sun Peaks souvenirs as well as general Canadian knick-knacks and keepsakes. A couple of these gift shops double as art galleries. Tree Line Studios and the Lone Wolf Gallery are definitely worth checking out for an array of art and interesting gifts.

The Fusion North Boutique is chicks’ heaven with lots of girlie things such as scarves, jewellery, bags, beautiful coats and colourful Neve sweaters. And the blokes aren’t left out, because there are sweaters for fellas too.

One of the most popular shops at Sun Peaks is the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Shop. Once you’ve been spoiled with the Patagonian chocolate shops in Argentina it’s a little difficult to pay that much for chocolate in Canada, but undoubtedly you’ll still be lured into buying something in this shop. They even have powderhounds chocolates; a mix of coconut with white, milk or dark chocolate!


Grocery Shopping

The Bluebird Market grocery store is located in the Delta Residences. This is a medium sized supermarket with lots of basics, a small meat section, and a little fresh produce such as fruit and vegetables.

Alternatively there are a couple of grocery delivery services available.

Sun Peaks also has a big liquor store that stocks a large range of BC wines, beers, Alco pops, and spirits.

Stay safe

The resort is located in the Rocky Mountains and fairly isolated from any major cities. There is always the chance of an encounter with a bear or even possibly a cougar when deep in the mountains. If you are skiing or hiking or otherwise travelling off the beaten path in the backcountry, it is wise to take any precautions necessary to protect yourself in case of such an encounter. Always carry a cell phone or other radio device, so you can contact someone in an emergency, and never travel alone. Since this is a mountainous region, there is also the risk of falling and being injured badly enough to not be able to make it back to where you came from. Again, always travel with an experienced guide or group, and make sure you have access to a radio transmitting device in case of an emergency situation.

Skiing Safety

There are elements of risk that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce. Regardless of how you use the slopes, always show courtesy to others. Please adhere to the code listed below and share with others the responsibility for a safe outdoor experience.

  • Always stay in control. You must be able to stop, or avoid other people or objects.
  • People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
  • Do not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.
  • Before starting downhill or merging onto a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
  • If you are involved in or witness a collision/accident you must remain at the scene and identify yourself to the Ski Patrol.
  • Always use proper devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
  • Observe and obey all posted signs and warnings.
  • Keep off closed trails, and closed areas.
  • You must not use lifts or terrain if your ability is impaired through the use of alcohol or drugs.
  • You must have sufficient physical dexterity, ability, and knowledge to safely load, ride, and unload lifts. If in doubt, ask the lift attendant.
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