With the variety of ski resorts here in the U.S., you may not be as familiar with those in Canada. Last week I visited our neighbors to the north and explored Sun Peaks Resort, the second largest ski resort in Canada. A beautiful family-friendly resort located outside of Kamloops in British Columbia, this destination is a must for skiing families. Here are my top reasons to visit Sun Peaks Resort.
1. It’s all about the snow
If you are from the Northwest you might think BC resorts have the same ski conditions as those in the Cascades. They don’t. I’ll skip the weather technicalities – They get more snow and it’s awesome. It’s called “champagne powder” and they’ve got plenty of it. With the opening of new terrain this year, Sun Peaks is now officially the second largest ski resort in Canada. That means 4,270 acres of diverse terrain covered in that renowned champagne powder. Add to that fewer crowds and short lift lines and you’ll wonder why you’d ski anywhere else.
2. There’s something for everyone
One of the challenges for a family ski vacation is having an option for everyone. Sun Peaks Resort has a Kids’ Centre for children 18 months to 5 years, a range of ski lessons for older kids and adults, an adaptive ski program, and a unique snow limo tour service, making it possible for everyone in your family to be on the mountain.
There are plenty of activities off the mountain as well. With over 22 miles of Nordic ski and snowshoe trails, lessons and excursions are available for any ability level. An aquatics center, skating rink, sledding hill, casual as well as upscale restaurants, and spa services all within easy walking distance means everyone in your family will enjoy their time. The village is friendly and casual, someplace that you can feel comfortable letting your older children walk around and explore. An NHL-sized hockey rink is under construction; it will bring tournaments and pick up games, promising a fun experience of Canada’s favorite sport. If a member of your family has limited mobility, check out their Acessibility Guide.
3. Ski-in ski-out
The European-style village is ski-in ski-out, meaning less schlepping of gear and more time on the mountain. And since virtually all runs lead to the ski village it’s that much easier to ski as a family. Even if you split up and ski in different areas, you meet back in the same general area. Of course it also means if someone forgets a glove in the hotel room it’s a quick trip to retrieve it. Apres ski, everything is right out your front door with a variety of great restaurants to choose from.
4. It’s easier to get there than you might think
It took us about 6 hours to drive from Seattle to Sun Peaks Resort, including border crossing time and pit stops. The drive itself is pretty direct; wide highways with much of it having a 120 km speed limit (although most people drove a lot faster). We hit a little snow storm on our way home, the roads were constantly being cleared and kept safe and there was minimal delay. My advice would be to leave early and get to Sun Peaks during daylight hours.
Direct flights are available from many cities to Kewlona, or via Vancouver to Kamloops. From there you can take a shuttle to Sun Peaks Resort – you won’t need a car.
5. You get more for your money
Sun Peaks Resort’s lift ticket prices are comparable to those at Northwest ski areas like Crystal Mountain and Stevens Pass, but Sun Peaks Resort is more than just a mountain, offering the full resort experience. When compared to Whistler and large US resorts, Sun Peaks Resort ticket prices are substantially more affordable. Add in a favorable exchange rates and your dollar extends even further.
So, what are you waiting for? There’s champagne powder begging to be skied at Sun Peaks!