Shhhh, Don’t Draw Attention to Canada’s Second Biggest Ski Area
When it comes to ski holidays in Canada, the same old names keep coming up, but one resort has crept under the radar a little, quietly growing to become the country’s second largest in terms of skiable terrain.
Sun Peaks in British Columbia likes to keep things low key, despite its incredible 4,270 acres of terrain spread across three mountains, surrounding the pretty pedestrianised alpine village at its heart, this is no ‘mega resort.’
Instead the emphasis has always been on the community feel here, both for year round residents and everyone who visits, and is quickly welcomed like a local.
Sun Peaks has been designed and built from the start with skiers in mind. The compact ski-through village is home to great restaurants, authentic coffee-shops and friendly bars, as well as a selection of shops and plenty of ski-in, ski-out accommodation.
The vast amount of terrain here means you’ll find the slopes quiet when they’re at their busiest and pretty empty the rest of the time. There’s rarely a wait to board a lift, so you can spend more time actually skiing.
The Ski Area
There’s every kind of terrain here – wide novice trails, long corduroy-smooth cruisers, steep and deep, glade zones and powder stashes. At the top of every lift there’s always a choice of terrain for different abilities so mixed groups can take different lines if they like and meet up at the bottom. It’s possible to ski all three areas in one day or just focus on one mountain at a time, the choice is yours, but with 138 runs to choose from it’s going to take a while whichever way you cut it. Complimentary Mountain Hosts are on hand to show you the best runs of the day and you can also sign up for lessons with the excellent ski school if you wish. There’s also a great slope side nursery for the youngest kids.
Sun Peaks has a great natural snowfall record and is one of the first in BC to open for the season each November. It averages six metres (20 feet) of light, dry, powder snowfall annually.
The relaxed, family-friendly ambience of Sun Peaks continues off the mountain with lots of winter activities and events beyond skiing offered, both on and off the slopes. There are 34km of groomed and set Nordic tracks if you fancy some cross-country skiing through the forest, or if you’d rather be pulled along rather than having to push yourself with ski sticks, there’s a great dog team ready to take you on a ride. Enjoy snowmobiling or a sleigh ride and new this winter is the exciting discipline of axe throwing!
Sun Peaks keeps the focus on value for money and convenience. The après ski scene is relaxed and with your slope side accommodation, everything is within a short walk from your door. There’s a good choice of bars and restaurants, offering a selection of cuisines, from burgers and pasta to sushi and the Canadian classic ‘Poutine’.
Sun Peaks is easy to reach too, just 45 minutes transfer from Kamloops Airport, reached via Vancouver or Calgary. Just don’t tell anyone, let’s keep those slopes beautifully quiet so we keep Canada’s second biggest ski area to ourselves.
Main Image © Reuben Krabbe