Winter sports and winter wonderland enthusiasts in general, we’ve got news for you.
We can all agree that the cold season has well and truly set in, but it doesn’t officially kick off until you’ve felt the adrenaline rush of your first ski run (and experience the après-ski that goes along with it!).
This year, you don’t have to wait until the holidays to hit the slopes because Canada’s second-largest ski area, nestled in the BC interior, is on track to open earlier than the rest. That’s right, Sun Peaks has a scheduled opening day of November 23, while most other resorts are set for November 28.
Wondering how and why this is happening? Well, you can start skiing or snowboarding here five days earlier than everywhere else due to consistent snowfall — think fluffy white clouds, the likes of which we’ve been dreaming off all summer — and some expert off-season prep.
Now’s the time to start planning your first pre-winter road trip to Sun Peaks. Here’s why.
It’s incredibly easy to get there
Never visited Sun Peaks before? Okay, there are plenty of reasons to visit this ski haven, and it all begins with the journey. Less than five hours’ drive from Vancouver, Sun Peaks is the perfect road trip destination. Round up your friends, stick on your go-to playlist or podcast, and hit the road with a stash of snacks to munch on during the drive.
Don’t worry, if you’re not a driver you can still visit the resort by taking a quick flight to Kamloops; a bus or taxi from the airport to the resort takes just 45 minutes.
There’s epic early-season skiing
Sun Peaks doesn’t just open for the winter season as soon as the weather forecast looks good — the resort plans for this year-round. Grooming requires year-long attention so that once the resort opens, you can speed along ski runs without having to worry about encountering anything unexpected.
During the off season, the mountain operations team at Sun Peaks prepares the terrain for winter grooming. This involves the removal of vegetation, carefully grading the ground, and adding water bars to collect rain and prevent erosion. The trail crew works all summer long to create a flawless foundation for the ultimate ski experience.
All of the terrain is at your feet
When it comes to skiable terrain, you’ll be spoiled for choice at Sun Peaks — the resort covers 4,270 acres! You can ski right through the village and make your way to the three main peaks with 137 trails and 17 gladed areas, from there. In 2018, Sun Peaks unveiled a new $4 million chairlift to provide even better access to its vast network of trails, allowing you to take in awe-inspiring views on the way to your next ski run.
And the best part is, the resort is uncrowded with almost non-existent lift lines! This means you can make the most of getting multiple laps in before you hang up your ski boots for the day.
Fun-filled opening weekend festivities abound
If there’s one thing we know for sure it’s that the opening weekend at Sun Peaks is always a fun time. You can hit the slopes and enjoy all of the happenings in the village, too. On Saturday, November 23 check out the Après and Ales event taking place over at Masa’s Bar + Grill from 2 to 6 pm. Enjoy an ice-cold Lions Winter Ale by Granville Island Brewing on the house — your alpine ticket covers this! Season pass holders, don’t worry, this applies to you, too.
Have your pick of early season activities
You don’t have to be an avid skier or snowboarder to visit Sun Peaks; there’s an abundance of things you can check off your winter bucket list at the resort.
Join a snowshoe tour or craft your own adventure, enjoy a European alpine fondue and starlight descent, take the kids on the bungee trampoline, hop on a groomer ride and see how ski run magic happens, glide along the pristine Nordic ski trails, go off-road with a fat bike, and embrace the true wonder of the season during a magical dog sled tour.
Pro tip: don’t forget to bring your camera!
Sleep in serenity with early-season pricing
There’s no shortage of beautiful places to stay at Sun Peaks, as the resort is home to 1,100 units with everything from luxury to standard accommodation options. Make the most of your visit by booking now and snapping up early season deals starting at $149 per night.
Some of your options include the Cahilty Hotel and Suites, which sits just steps from the village activities; the Coast Sundance Lodge, located at the base of the Sundance Express chairlift; and well as the quaint ski-in, ski-out Hearthstone Lodge, which you’ll find close to the resort’s restaurants and shops.
Need one more incentive to visit Sun Peaks? The resort sees more than 2,000 hours of sunshine annually! Think of it as a winter and sun-soaked vacation all in one.
For more information and to book your winter vacation, visit Sun Peaks now.