Sun Peaks is the second largest terrain in Canada and seventh in North America. It has an adorable village, champagne powder, and is only four hours from Vancouver. Whether you’re into biking or skiing, it’s a beautiful destination year-round. Here is a complete guide to visiting Sun Peaks, from the food to the activities.
Getting to Sun Peaks
Sun Peaks is located 4-hours drive North-East of Vancouver. The closest airport is in Kamloops, less than an hour away. It’s within a 3-hour drive to Revelstoke, Silver Star, and Big White and makes for a good combination visit to any of those bike or ski resorts.
Why Visit Sun Peaks
- 2nd largest ski terrain in Canada
- European style pedestrian village
- Ski-in/ski-out accommodation
- Winter activities – dog sledding, snow bikes, ice-skating, snowshoe, cross country skiing
- Summer activities – mountain biking, hiking, and golf.
- Varied ski terrain for all abilities
- Some great restaurants and pubs
Dining in Sun Peaks
The village isn’t huge, like Whistler, but there are a number of good restaurants and pubs. It’s compact, so it’s easy to hop around between places.
Voyageur is the best restaurant with Pacific West cuisine and a strong drink menu. Service is friendly and it’s stylish, yet unpretentious.
Powder Hounds is a German restaurant with cozy wooden decor. If you’re not into German cuisine, sit at the bar for a drink. The vibe is great!
Steakhouse at Sun Peaks Lodge is a good option for meat lovers.
Burfield Bistro is in the Burfield hostel. It’s a great venue for casual comfort food, espresso or cocktails.
Vertical Cafe is the most popular cafe for casual, healthy fare. It has abundant vegetarian options with lots of bowls, salads, and wraps.
Baby Doh’s will fulfill your sweet treat needs with mini donuts and other delights!
Balocco Cafe is the locals favourite for coffee or breakfast.
Bars & Apres-ski
There are a handful of bars in the village, these three are the best options.
Bottoms is a classic ski bar with shot skis and snowboard decor. It’s noisy and fun with patrons from all walks of life. It’s popular for apres and if you want to party, you will likely end up here.
Umbrella Bar is a classic ski bar modelled after the Umbrella bars in the European alps. It’s a scenic spot for a mulled wine or beer.
Cahilty Creek Kitchen & Taproom has mountain views, a patio, and a friendly atmosphere. They have a good beer list, happy hour, pub food, and delicious mulled wine.
Skiing & snowboarding in Sun Peaks
Sun Peaks has a surprising amount of terrain for all abilities. It’s great for both skiers and boarders as there aren’t too many flat spots or cat tracks. It’s famous for Okanagan champagne powder and gets an average of 5.6m of snow annually. There are some nicely gladed areas but it’s mostly bowls and wide, rolling runs.
Lift tickets are $129 for a single day. There are a number of ski resorts with reciprocal discounts or free days. Listed at the bottom of the article.
Beginners and intermediate skiers – have a lot of terrain to enjoy. It’s a fantastic mountain to learn on and Sun Peaks market heavily to families, as they have great terrain for all abilities. The Orient chair has the most blue and green runs for beginners. Sundance, Sunburst, and Morrisey have a lot of cruisey, wide blue runs.
Advanced skiers – will enjoy the Burfield or Crystal chairs, for the most black runs. West Bowl T-bar opens up on weekends and has some fun, but short runs, especially on a pow day. Morrisey has some black runs, but involves a T-Bar and chairlift each time.
Visiting Sun Peaks in summer
Mountain biking: is big in Sun Peaks, both via the chairlift on the mountain, or on a growing network of cross country trails. Nearby Kamloops also has a strong trail network. $56 for day passes.
Hiking: There are 18 hiking trails in SunPeaks of varying degrees of difficulty. Hikers enjoy the mountain views, wildflowers, and meadows.
Golf: Sun Peaks has BC’s highest elevation golf course, at 1,200 metres above sea level. It’s an extensive 6,400-yard course with lovely views. From $44 to $90 per round.
Where to stay
Most accommodation options are ski-in/ski-out. You can’t go wrong with accommodation in the village. There are a few condos and Airbnbs, but it’s mostly hotels.
Sun Peaks Grand is the nicest slopeside hotel with mountain views, a pool, and three hot tubs. The Grand also has ‘The Residences’, 41 luxury Two-bedroom condos modeled after a Tyrolean village.
The Burfield is the only hostel in town, and also offers apartment-style lodging. It’s slightly outside the main village, by the Burfield chair.
Hearthstone Lodge is a cute boutique hotel in the middle of the village.
Cahilty Creek is slopeside with views of the mountain. It offers affordable pricing and has some units with kitchenettes.
Coast Sundance Lodge is another great village option with hot tubs and mountain views.
Tips for the best visit to Sun Peaks
- Book 3-6 months in advance for the best accommodation deals
- February & March traditionally have the best snowfall
- The busiest time for summer visits are July & August
- It’s 10 degrees cooler than in Kamloops, so a great place to hike in summer
- Make reservations at Voyageur or Powder Hounds on weekends in winter, as they book out
- You have to visit Bottoms for Apres ski
- Head straight to Burfield on a powder day
Season Pass Holders with reciprocal lift ticket programs:
- Silver Star – 2 free days
- Whistler Blackcomb – 50% off
- 25% day tickets: Apex, Big White, Cypress, Grouse, Mt Seymour, Mt Washington, Panorama, Red, Revelstoke, Whitewater (plus more listed on the Sun Peaks website)
For more on ski vacations, read my article on BC’s top 10 ski resorts: