Enjoy a peak experience...
at this year-round resort
Arriving at our weekend destination was a pleasant surprise after viewing rolling hills and sage brush during the three hour journey along the Coquihalla.
Nestled amongst towering evergreens and cocooned by award winning ski runs, we were greeted by the multicolored shops, restaurants and accommodations, which are home to Sun Peaks Resort. As a quieter alternative to the bustling pace of Whistler, this young, alpine style village lies just forty-five minutes north-east of Kamloops BC, and offers guests a variety of activities for year round enjoyment.
Our visit to Sun Peaks was a somewhat non-conventional family getaway, intended to fulfil two purposes. Leaving our spouses behind, my sister and I looked forward to a weekend away with our two teen age daughters while mine also participated in the BC Cup Mountain Bike Champions which are hosted by the resort each year. In 2001, Sun Peaks also hosted the National competitions. We booked two rooms in The Stumbock Sun Peaks lodge, with one conveniently overlooking the ski runs, where we enjoyed a bird's eye view of the bike races from our picture window. Spaciously designed and professionally decorated, the rooms offer provide comfy king beds, colour TVs, and complimentary coffee. The whirlpool, steam room and sauna were additional hotel perks.
There are a variety of accommodations within the resort, (including a new Delta Resort opening in 2003), and by booking through their Central Reservations service, your specific needs can be met, whether for a couple or a larger family. Reservations can also be made by directly booking through any of the six hotels at Sun Peaks. We had chosen a Vacation Club package, an excellent value as it included our accommodation, use all of the resort's amenities, chair lift passes, and use of the Sports Centre, the 18-hole golf course, and mountain bike rentals.
Traveling with two teens and making dining decisions can be a challenging component of a holiday - especially at Sun Peaks. With the wide variety of restaurants, it was difficult deciding (and agreeing) on which ones to try. From casual pub, bistro, and deli delectables to exquisite fine dining and European cuisine, there are lots to choose from. For a real treat, we highly recommend riding the Sunburst chair up to the mountain top cafeteria; the breathtaking mountain and valley views will whet any appetite!
From here, you can trek any one of the well-marked hikes (some are also accessed from the village) which are geared for both the novice and the experienced walker or mountaineer. Again, the vistas are spectacular; particularly if you're there when the alpine meadows are simply a profusion of blossoming wild flowers, usually May-mid August. Get a copy of the mountain's "Interpretive Guide to Alpine Flowers"; it helps to make hiking especially fun by identifying Trembling Aspens, Yellow Water Lilies, False Solomos Seal, Grand Mullein and others. In fact, you may want to schedule your visit around the annual Alpine Blossom Festival, late July/early August, where "Music in the Mountains" is played by the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra and accompanies the naturally pristine landscape.
After our descent from Sunburst Peak chair, the girls were anxious to cool off in the Sports Centre's large round outdoor pool. Open year round it is accompanied by a hot tub and a children's swimming area. Don't forget your tennis rackets if you want to try out the professional tennis courts. They are also included in the Vacation Club package and lie adjacent to the pool area.
Because Sun Peaks is on the championship mountain bike circuit, there are trails, terrain, and guided tours to help meet the needs for those who like to ride. While my daughter did practice runs in preparation for her downhill race, my sister and I chose a somewhat more conventional (and safer!) cycling route. The Valley trail borders the picturesque golf course, against a backdrop of majestic peaks and forested hillsides. Custom designed homes and new condominium developments are very much in evidence, and testimony of how popular - and desirable - Sun Peaks is becoming.
Trail rides and guided horseback tours are other favorites at Sun Peaks. A variety of packages are offered, from an afternoon ride to an overnighter. If horseback riding doesn't appeal, then perhaps the horse-drawn wagon will. Each wagon can accommodate groups of up to forty people for tours around the village and surrounding area.
Our two days just didn't seem long enough to enjoy all Sun Peaks in its entirety, and looking towards the winter schedule, the activities just keep on coming. Sleigh rides, snow mobiling, dinner theatre, dog sledding, family casino night, and some of the finest powder you'll ever ski. You can discover Sun Peak ski packages for as low as $75.00 and kids twelve and under stay and ski free! You never know...you may even get the opportunity to ski with Canada's gold medallist, Nancy Greene. She loves Sun Peaks so much, she lives there!
If You Go:
Sun Peaks Resort
#50-3150 Creekside Way,
Sun Peaks, BC V0E 1Z1
Ph: Central Reservations -
toll free: 1-800-807-3257
45 minutes north of Kamloops
41/2 hours from Vancouver via the Coquihalla
51/2 hours from Seattle via Sumas border crossing and Coquihalla
41/2 hours from Whistler via the Duffey Lake Road
© Travelink Publishing - All Rights Reserved