Sun Peaks in the summer is a treasure few have discovered. The spectacular mountain resort offers oodles of activities for families but there are no crowds. The village is compact which means kids can easily traverse one end to the other without whining. The staff and fellow visitors are warm and welcoming. Visiting Sun Peaks is like travelling into a picturesque small town you see portrayed in movies. Every store is charming, the restaurants are yummy, and the people are genuinely nice.
Voyageur canoe trip on McGillivray Lake. Our hour long voyageur canoe adventure on McGillivray Lake was a highlight of our visit to Sun Peaks. Our passionate guide, Campbell, could convince even the most committed city-lover to give up the downtown experience for the quiet solitude of the wilderness. Our group of 8 (which included our 2 little ones) paddled around McGillivray Lake for an hour. During our trip, Campbell who was dressed as a traditional voyageur, told us of the exploration and discovery of Canada by both the Hudson Bay Company and the lesser-known Northwest Company. Grade 4 Social Studies all of a sudden made a whole lot more sense!
During our paddle we saw a pair of loons, checked out a loon nest (did you know loons’ legs are so far back they can’t actually walk on land?), swan countless fish jump and trailed our fingers through cool glacier-fed water. The majority of our group continued on after the canoe trip to a voyageur-themed dinner of soup, salad, pork ribs, salmon and berry compote. A fitting end to a day spent paddling on the water.
I was incredibly appreciative of the Chevrolet Equinox we were driving. The road up to McGillivray Lake is a steep gravel and dirt road. The Equinox zipped up the 20 minute drive without any difficulty! Be sure to pre-book this experience for your family. A group of 6 or more is welcome any time!
Alpine picnic. As we rode the Sunburst Chairlift to mid-mountain our senses were awakened. The ground below was covered in summertime alpine flowers and the air was perfumed with their scent. The smell was intoxicating and wonderful! As we were walking, in the middle of a heat wave, with a 4 & 6 year old we opted for the easiest hike: the Vista Trail. The mini waterfalls, the expansive fields covered in wildflowers, and the easy trail made the experience very memorable. We stopped mid-hike to have the picnic we picked up from Cafe Soleil. The Alpine Picnic package is a great deal! $28 for adults & $23 for kids gets you your lift ticket plus a sandwich, drink, fruit and chips from Cafe Soleil for you to take up the mountain.
There are 16 designated hiking trails to explore. Be sure to bring bug spray, the critters up top are enthusiastic but the views and flowers more than make up for the buzzing-things.
If you are looking for an event to scheduled your Sun Peaks holiday around, consider Canada’s Alpine Blossom Festival which is July 31 to August 2 on the BC Day long weekend.
Golfing. Now this is a fun family experience – a group golf lesson! We were assigned the talented Golf Pro Jeff as our instructor for our hour lesson. He had his work cut out for him! My husband can golf, I can not, and our kids are convinced they can (humbleness is a quality we are still working to locate). Most impressively Jeff navigated our diverse set of skills; at the end of the lesson all four of us agreed we had learned a new trick or approach and were all hooked on the idea of golf. Thanks to Jeff hitting buckets of balls is going to be a regular activity for our family this summer.
Summer concerts. All summer long Sun Peaks is playing host to a wide variety of free concerts. The weekend of July 18th & 19th brings the 80s and 90s to the mountain top. Country Fest returns to Sun Peaks July 24 – 26th. Get in the country spirit with free performances by The Chris Buck Band and Rod Black. The free concerts run all summer long. Be sure to check out the Sun Peaks website for more information!
Farmer’s Markets. Every Sunday from 9:30am – 1:30pm the main street of the Sun Peaks’ Village is converted into an open-air farmer’s market. Dozens of vendors set up stalls selling everything from veggies and fruit to wine and jewelry. Enjoy an early morning browse and pick up a few treats for a mid-afternoon snack. You can even try a wine tasting from two of Kamloops’ four new wineries.
Spacious and family-friendly accommodation. As soon as we opened the door to our lovely two-bedroom condo at the Kookaburra Lodge my husband said “Can we move here?” The condo is fantastic! The kids have bunk beds; what kid doesn’t love that? Of course they both wanted to sleep on the top so our “whose day is it?” rule kicked in. The eldest was born on an odd day, the youngest on an even. This rule solves countless disagreements.
While I would love to be one of those people who are capable of roughing it for a few days, I am endlessly grateful for a dishwasher, microwave and in-suite laundry facilities. The Kookaburra Lodge provides all of that plus a kitchen full of dishes and cookware, a full-size fridge and an eating area which could easily accommodate 6.
Out on the deck, which looks out to Tod Mountain, is a hot tub. As the weather flirted with 30C during our visit, I wasn’t looking to add additional heat to my life. My kids couldn’t get enough of the hot tub. I can only imagine how wonderful the hot tub would be in the winter.
The proximity of the Kookaburra Lodge combined with the in-suite facilities and overall size of the condo made it the perfect accommodation for our family.
Bungee trampoline. Now this is fun! Combine the bouncy-goodness of a trampoline with the fly-through-the-air sensation of bungee jumping. Both our boys loved their bungee trampoline experience so much that they begged for a second turn. I must say a big thank you to Casey who helped the boys. In the middle of a heat wave, she enthusiastically double-bounced them and yarded on the bungee chords to ensure they got the most out of their bungee trampoline experience. Big smiles were plastered on their faces the entire time!
Mountain Cross Carts (MCC). The newest addition to activities at Sun Peaks are the Mountain Cross Carts (MCC); the first of their kind in North America. My husband announced, after completing his turn, “that was the best $25 EVER!” The $25 price gets you four turns down the mountain. As predicted, the first run was cautious, runs 2 & 3 picked up speed, and by run 4 he was overly confident and crashed into the tires resulting in his slowest run of all. In order to drive you must possess a driver’s license. After strapping on a crash helmet the rope-tow takes you up to the top and gravity pulls you down. Great fun for mom and dad!