When I told my friends I was spending a weekend in Sun Peaks, everyone responded with “Ooh, I can’t wait to hear all about it.” Though many Vancouverites have been to Sun Peaks Resort in winter for its famous skiing and snow sports (unlike Whistler, Sun Peaks boasts no wait times for lifts), fewer have been there in the summer. So everyone was wondering—myself included—just what is there to do in Sun Peaks without the snow?
The answer, I found, is practically every outdoor summer sport we love: golfing, canoeing, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding. Add to all that a charming alpine village that’s packed with delicious restaurants, safe for kids and dogs, and a super-short walk from all the sports amenities, and you have the ideal getaway to the B.C. interior.
Sun Peaks Village
The heart of Sun Peaks is the charming, European-style alpine Village, home to the Resort’s hotels, restaurants and shops, and just steps from the mountains, lifts, and golf course. It’s central location means you don’t need a car in Sun Peaks; you can walk everywhere!
One of the first things that struck me about the Sun Peaks Village is how ideal it is for kids and dogs. Travelers of all sorts bring their pets for their stay and can be seen strolling with their dogs through the village centre, while families can feel secure letting the kids bike through the streets or explore on their own—it’s that safe and welcoming.
Sun Peaks Mountain Biking
Mountain biking is a hugely popular sport in Vancouver, but I know a lot of mountain bikers who find the local scene too hard-core. With 2,000 vertical feet of lift-accessed terrain and 29 distinct trails, Mountain biking at Sun Peaks is ideal for all skill levels. And in the summer, the mountain is blanketed in alpine blossoms, adding to the dramatic downhill scenery.
Golf at Sun Peaks
The golf course at Sun Peaks is not only challenging and beautiful—it winds its way through the valley between the Resorts’ three mountains—it’s also the highest-elevation golf course in B.C. (Your ball flies longer at higher elevations.) The 18-hole par 72 Graham Cooke course is incredibly varied: the front 9 are distinctly different from the back 9 (which have an even higher elevation), so that it’s almost like playing two different courses in one. Also fabulous in summer: great golf deals! Specials this summer include Fridays “9 & Dine”: 9 holes and a $20 gift certificate to the Village’s Masa’s Bar + Grill for $69!
Canoeing on McGillivray Lake at Sun Peaks Resort
I was in Sun Peaks last weekend for a “blogger event” that included VanCity Buzz‘s Crystal Kwon and Vancouver is Awesome’s Rick Chung. Of all the outdoor sports options available at Sun Peaks, there was one Crystal, Rick and I all agreed we had to try: canoeing on McGillivray Lake. Just a few minutes drive from the Sun Peaks village, McGillivray Lake is a picture-perfect spot for canoeing: there are small islands to canoe around, scattered water lilies to glide through, and idyllic, panoramic alpine scenery.
Check out Rick’s pictures of canoeing on McGillivray Lake here.
To me, what sets Sun Peaks apart from other Vancouver weekend getaway destinations is how convenient and all-inclusive it is. As mentioned, once you arrive in Sun Peaks Village, you have everything you need just steps from your door. On any given weekend, you can canoe, hike, bike, golf, and dine at fabulous restaurants (have the Chicken Curry at Mantles Restaurant & Lounge!) with incredible ease.
Getting to Sun Peaks
Located 45 minutes from Kamloops, B.C., Sun Peaks is about a five hour drive from Vancouver or a short, 40-minute plane ride (to Kamloops Airport). If you can afford the plane, it’s the way to go; it’s easy to grab a shuttle from Kamloops to take you to and from the airport. Since I hadn’t been to the B.C. interior before my trip, I loved flying: it gave me an opportunity to see B.C.’s dramatic scenery from a bird’s eye view!
If you’ve been to Sun Peaks in the summer before, I’d love to hear from you in the comments!