Just 45 minutes north of Kamloops in the Thompson Okanagan region of BC, is the beautiful alpine village of Sun Peaks Resort. Known for world-class skiing, the resort opens up for incredible lift-accessed biking and hiking during the summer and offers the perfect getaway spot even if only for a day or two. Heading there this past July, I got a first-hand experience of the welcoming and vibrant summer atmosphere at the resort and found both adventure and relaxation in my weekend escape.
Offering an intricate balance of easy to challenging hikes, the Sunburst Summer Chairlift at Sun Peaks takes you to the heart of the trail system giving you many options to customize your hike. Upon arrival and staying just steps away at the Delta Sun Peaks, we headed straight up the lift to plan out an enjoyable afternoon of hiking on this warm, sunny afternoon.
We decided to make our way up Gil’s trail which takes you through the backcountry ski area off the resort to the alpine. Though the first part of the trail was a bit ‘up’, the majority of our day hike was an enjoyable intensity. Sun Peaks has done a great job of making a large variety of moderate trail options and routes that are well planned and clearly signed. For the most part, the trails have little technicality to them so you can focus your eyes on the beautiful scenery instead of your feet.
Up in the alpine, we break into an amazing, wide-open meadow and marsh. It was hard to believe this expansive and quite flat area was at the top of the large mountain we had come up and it felt like we had transcended into a different land. Having it all to ourselves was a special treat as we trekked around the marsh area and made our way below the cascading bowls to the West Ridge Trail.
Hiking along the west side of the mountain, we were treated to lush and endless wildflowers and vast valley views. It was neat to see that as we moved along the intricate trail system that the landscape and vantage points were so diverse. As we wrapped around the mountain back to the main chairlift it was surprising to find that although we felt like we had been worlds away, we hadn’t been that far from the civilization of the village.
After a full afternoon of hiking, it was time to chill out in the hot tub and refuel with some delicious eats. Drawn to the sunny patio at Mantles, located at the Delta, I enjoyed a refreshing beverage and indulged in a delicious plate of bison poutine – a perfect BC twist on a classic Canadian dish. Satiated and starting to feel the work my body had done earlier that day, I soaked in the stunning views of the village and mountain from the elevated, outdoor pool and tub deck at the hotel. The hotel also has a great fitness centre, fully-equipped and spacious, which I got in to play around with the gym to myself the morning before check out.
Highly recommended as a unique spot for dinner, we headed to the Voyageur Bistro – a fairly new, Canadian-themed restaurant located in the village core at the Kookaburra Lodge. Boasting traditional Canadian ingredients such as maple syrup, peameal bacon, bison, and even bannock, the authenticity behind this quality food-fair is backed up by the ‘voyageur’ canoe adventure which the restaurant owners have been operating for over 10 years at Sun Peaks Resort. The creatively-Canadian menu was so tempting and even featured cocktails with Canadian-flair such as the Voyageur Caesar made with smoked salmon infused vodka and dressed with a strip of peameal bacon and a cheese curd. We started off with the beer & bacon marmalade served with deep-fried bannock and I enjoyed the stuffed duck breast served with maple glazed vegetables for my entrée – my taste buds start to water just thinking about how delicious this meal truly was. Yum.
There’s nothing better than the feeling after a great weekend escape. Getting adventure, activity, and relaxation all in our short visit to Sun Peaks Resort, we felt satiated and satisfied with our experience – the perfect getaway!
Sun Peaks Resort