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Our Favourite Hiking Trails around Sun Peaks Resort BC
While Sun Peaks is a magical wonderland in the winter, covered with a blanket of powdery snow for fantastic skiing and boarding, come late spring, warmer temperatures unveil new activities in the gorgeous rolling landscapes. It’s all about the great outdoors but for now we’ll focus on the great opportunities for hikers. With a network of 18 designated trails that range from short, gentle strolls to heart-pounding alpine summit treks, it’s a wonderful place to spend a few days exploring.
The natural beauty here is stunning anytime, with the hiking season running between late June and the first week of September, during the peak wildflower season, from mid-July through mid-August, you’ll see the hills blanketed in vibrant yellows, fiery reds and deep purples for an even more unforgettable experience. No matter which routes you plan to take, be sure and bring your camera, smartphone as you’ll be able to capture many picture-perfect moments.
You can begin your explorations in the village or take advantage of the Sunburst chairlift and start at 6,000 feet, hiking in the upper reaches of the mountain, then enjoy the relaxing chairlift ride back down. The chairlift operates from mid June through September and we can pre-book your tickets.
Image Credit: Peter Olson
West Ridge Trail
Experienced Sun Peaks hikers often note the #10 West Ridge Trail as boasting the very best views in the region, including panoramic vistas of Skunk Peak and the valley below. To reach the trailhead, take the chairlift and then head onto #2 Crystal Bowl Loop before turning on the Top of the World Trail. That route then joins with the #10 West Ridge Trail where you’ll stroll through open meadows (with wildflowers during the season) before enjoying views of the valley below while Skunk Peak towers above to the east.
Time Required: 45 minutes one way
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
For those looking for a short but sweet hike, the Vista Trail can be found at mid-mountain base after ascending on the Sunburst chairlift. It traverses through mountain meadows and subalpine woods, with the bottom half relatively flat for an easy out-and-back. Or, you can end with a short uphill climb to Sun Peaks chapel to make it a loop.
Time Required: 30 minutes round trip
West Bowl Trail
Accessed from the Vista Trail, the West Bowl Trail is a scenic path that leads to wildflower-filled alpine meadows and forested sections out to Tod Lake.
Time Required: 90 minutes one way
Tod Peak Trail
One of the top trails in Sun Peaks, the Tod Peak trailhead can be accessed via the upper reaches of the West Bowl Trail. It peaks at more than 2,150 metres, passing through many of the environments the South Thompson Shuswap is known for, like vast meadows, freshwater streams and alpine forest. Your reward for this trek can be found at the top: a spectacular 360-degree view of the colourful landscape and towering mountains.
Time Required: 30 minutes one way, 5 hours for the full route from the mid-mountain trailheads.
Difficulty: Moderate to difficult
Crystal Bowl Loop
This hike starts with the easy Vista Trail, but rather than following the loop you’ll continue on the West Bowl Trail until it joins with the Crystal Bowl Loop. Head to the right where the route climbs across the lower Crystal Bowl through beautiful wildflower meadows that include fireweed paint, tiger lilies and Indian paintbrush during peak blooming season.
Time Required: 45 minutes round trip
While Gil’s Trail is popular in the winter for backcountry skiing, it’s considered one of the region’s best-kept secrets for hiking during the warmer months – oftentimes, you won’t see another soul, just magnificent scenery. The shortest route to Tod Lake, it descends Mount Todd, following the steep slopes on the east side of the mountain, dotted with lots of vibrantly-hued alpine flowers during the peak blossoming period.
Time Required: 45 minutes one way
Top of the World and Juniper Ridge Trail
Your reward that comes with hiking the Top of the World Trail is a trek on the iconic Juniper Ridge Loop, considered a must-experience. It traverses a gentle, uphill sloping route through the Headwalls meadows before connecting to Juniper, an easy loop where you can take in some of the most breath-taking sights, and the lovely scents of the wildflowers when they’re in bloom.
Distance: 1.2km Top of the World + 0.6km Juniper Ridge Trail = 1.8km
Time Required: 30 minutes Top of the World + 15 minutes Juniper Ridge Trail = 45 minutes
These are all great trails which are easily navigable on your own, but if you prefer there is a guided walking option that we can pre-book for you. The walks departing at either 10.00 or 13.00 daily
Image Credit: Sam Loxton