Location: Having added two new Alpine zones to their ski area in the 2014/2015 season, Sun Peaks has become the second biggest ski area in Canada, behind Whistler. It is the perfect warm up destination for anyone who is heli skiing at CMH’s Cariboos Lodge.
Getting there: Easily accessible, Sun Peaks is about a 50-minute drive from Kamloops Airport. Internal flights from Calgary and Vancouver fly daily to Kamloops. The airport shuttle, Sun Star Shuttle, runs every hour and a half. It costs CAD$39 + taxes per person per way and can be paid directly to the driver by cash or card.
Where to stay: Sun Peaks Grand is the finest accommodation and is situated in the centre of the resort. Staying here will give you access to the Health Club which is made up of three outdoor hot tubs, an outdoor heated swimming pool, a well-equipped gym, a sauna and two massage rooms. If you’re looking for a more condo-style hotel, then stay at Nancy Greene’s Cahility Lodge – run by the delightful Olympic Ski Champion Nancy Greene and her husband Al Raine.
Highlights: The terrain is a perfect fit for intermediates with lots of superb glades. The village has a charm about it and is a great place for strolling around – Sun Peaks is traffic-free. It is the perfect place for warming up when heading heli skiing at CMH’s Cariboos Lodge.
Downsides: Kamloops isn’t the easiest city to fly into and some of the connecting flights to/from Europe involve lengthy lay-overs. During the week the slopes tend to be quite quiet which is great for skiing but not so great if you’re looking for good après.
Best piste run: There’s plenty of terrain to explore for the intermediate skier, however if you’re looking for something a bit steeper then head to Mount Tod – the runs here, like double black diamond Offset, are quite challenging but they are short. (Mt Morrisey is where you will find some blacks with moguls)
Best Mountain Restaurant: We’d recommend heading back to the village for a spot of lunch as the only option on the mountain is the Sunburst Bar + Eatery (at the top of the Sunburst Express Chair) which has been renovated recently and doubled in capacity. Expect to graze on burgers, salads, chilli and soup – and don’t forget to try one of their fresh cinnamon buns!
Best Restaurant in town: Despite its small size, there are a good range of restaurants in Sun Peaks. Bella Italia serve the best pizzas in town but if it’s a steak and ribs you’re after then head to Steakhouse at the Sun Peaks Lodge. It’s popular though so don’t forget to book!
Best Après Bar: There’s limited choice for après in Sun Peaks and most people tend to have an afternoon drink and head out for dinner instead of party after their hard day’s skiing. However, you will find entertainment at either Bottoms Bar + Grill based in the Coast Sundance Lodge or Masa’s Bar + Grill based in the Village Day Lodge.
Best off piste run: Great Alpine off piste for advanced and expert skiers can be found at the top of the Burfield and Crystal chairs.