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Hike, Mountain Bike or Golf in BC near an Alpine Meadow

Updated on May 30, 2012
Hills and Lakes near Kamloops
Hills and Lakes near Kamloops | Source

Great BC Vacations at Sun Peaks Resort

Sun Peaks near Kamloops is not only one of British Columbia's premier ski resorts, but it is also a year-round vacation destination with facilities for hiking, mountain biking and golf. Here you can walk in alpine meadows in August, load your mountain bike on the Sunburst Chairlift to access the alpine bike terrain, or golf the links, and at the end of the day drive to Kamloops for dinner. In one day you'll take a varied geographical tour of biosystems--alpine meadows with views of snow clad peaks of the Monashee Mountain Range, Ponderosa and fir forests, and sage brush, grasslands and trains from the Canadian transcontinental railroad in scenes from the wild west. The storied North Thompson valley is scenic, historic and unforgettable. Don't miss spending some time here on your next trip to western Canada.

Mount Paul in Winter Blue.  Here the Thompson Rivers meet at Kamloops, 45-minutes from Sun Peaks.
Mount Paul in Winter Blue. Here the Thompson Rivers meet at Kamloops, 45-minutes from Sun Peaks. | Source

A BC Golf Resort and Ski Destination at Sun Peaks

It's an easy drive year-round from Kamloops to Sun Peaks, on double highway that follows the North Thompson River to the Heffley Creek turn-off. Then the road climbs through rolling range land, mixed forest, and lakes, passing bed and breakfasts and small resorts along the way. Many of these are open for ski vacationers in winter and golf or horse-back riding vacationers in summer.

Sequestered in the valleys are cattle companies and working guest ranches. Small resorts and Bed & Breakfasts in the area cater to every interest.  Tod Mountain Ranch offers horseback vacations to guests who want to explore the rangeland on horseback
Sequestered in the valleys are cattle companies and working guest ranches. Small resorts and Bed & Breakfasts in the area cater to every interest. Tod Mountain Ranch offers horseback vacations to guests who want to explore the rangeland on horseback | Source
This is  horse country.
This is horse country. | Source

Ride Sunburst Chairlift at Sun Peaksup to Alpine Meadows

You can park for free at the foot of the Sunburst Chairlift at Sun Peaks, and buy the lift pass at the Visitors' Centre. Then you are on the way to the alpine meadows for an afternoon hike.

Walk in Wildflowers: asters and sometimes wild strawberries
Walk in Wildflowers: asters and sometimes wild strawberries | Source
Red Indian Paintbrush and Blue Lupins
Red Indian Paintbrush and Blue Lupins | Source
Yellow Turk's Cap Lilies and Blue Lupins
Yellow Turk's Cap Lilies and Blue Lupins | Source
Mosses and sedges at the stream's edge
Mosses and sedges at the stream's edge | Source
Once these alpine meadows were summer pastures for sheep from the  neighbouring ranches.  Views open to distant Monashee Mountains, the beginning of the Rockies.  Even in summer they are often capped in snow.
Once these alpine meadows were summer pastures for sheep from the neighbouring ranches. Views open to distant Monashee Mountains, the beginning of the Rockies. Even in summer they are often capped in snow. | Source

Mountain Biking Terrain at Sun Peaks near Kamloops

In this pristine landscape, there are trails for all levels of bikers. After loading their mountain wheels on the Sunburst Chairlift, bikers take the following chair and head for the trails at the top. Well-marked trails wind through alpine meadows and conifer forest, with views opening to the distant valleys. The most advanced trails have jumps, berms and tables for aerial skills as you can in this thrilling clip by video artist mtb4141, from Edmonton, Canada. If you like this one, look at the rest of his work on myspace.


Visitors who come to Kamloops for the mountain biking will also be interested in the 26-hectareKamloops Bike Ranch located in the city of Kamloops between Valleyview and Juniper Ridge.

Mountain Bikes on Sunburst Chairlift
Mountain Bikes on Sunburst Chairlift | Source
Bikers Ready to Off-load and Pick Up Bikes
Bikers Ready to Off-load and Pick Up Bikes | Source
Biker Buddies head for the trails.
Biker Buddies head for the trails. | Source
Part of one trail runs under the chairlift.
Part of one trail runs under the chairlift. | Source
Parts of the mountain bike trail run near conifer forest and fields of fireweed.
Parts of the mountain bike trail run near conifer forest and fields of fireweed. | Source
Parts of the mountain bike trail are more open.
Parts of the mountain bike trail are more open. | Source

Golf in BC at Sun Peaks Resort in Canada

Sun Peaks Golf Course is an 18-hole par 72 course designed by golf architect Graham Cooke. At elevation 1,200 meters above sea level, this 6,400-yard course is higher than any other golf course in British Columbia. Does the high elevation really let your golf ball stay longer in the air? You'll have to discover that for yourself, but for sure the temperature at this elevation is up to 10 degrees cooler than in Kamloops, and at the many other great golf courses in the area, such as Tobiano.

The driving range is near the bottom of the Sunburst Chairlift.
The driving range is near the bottom of the Sunburst Chairlift. | Source
Warm up and practice at the driving range.  Guests can stay at accommodations like the suites in the background, at guest ranches and B & B's in the area, or in Kamloops.
Warm up and practice at the driving range. Guests can stay at accommodations like the suites in the background, at guest ranches and B & B's in the area, or in Kamloops. | Source
The Pro Shop is in the Village.  The footbridge to the golf course is off-camera to the right.
The Pro Shop is in the Village. The footbridge to the golf course is off-camera to the right. | Source
Waiting Golf Cart
Waiting Golf Cart | Source

BC Vacations around Kamloops

At the end of the day, or at the end of your stay, it's an easy drive back to Kamloops. Stay and explore the area if you can. The film industry loves British Columbia, because not only is there a strong pool of trained, experienced acting and crew talent in Vancouver, but there are also ten or more distinct types of terrain within half a day's drive of the Lower Mainland. Consequently, locations to represent a wide variety of landscapes are fairly easy to find, and many of them are around Kamloops. Alpine meadows, snow-capped mountains, beaches, Ponderosa forest, long-grass grasslands, bunch-grass hillsides, hoodoos, and vineyards are all nearby. It's a vacation destination of a lifetime.

Silver-leaved trees adapted to dry country seek water on the shores of the Thompson River
Silver-leaved trees adapted to dry country seek water on the shores of the Thompson River | Source
Grasses on the Benchlands east of Kamloops
Grasses on the Benchlands east of Kamloops | Source
Silver Sages, Golden Grasses and Trains from Kamloops Wild West
Silver Sages, Golden Grasses and Trains from Kamloops Wild West | Source

Comments

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    • Janis Goad profile imageAUTHOR

      Janis Goad 

      6 years ago

      You could be right, Jack. I will try to find out. Does anyone out there know trees? If it is a Russian Olive, that opens a whole new angle on the story, for how did a Russian Olive get to Kamloops?

      Thanks for your comment!

    • profile image

      Jack 

      6 years ago

      I think the tree you have called Silver Willow is actually a Russian Olive - Silver Willow are more like a shrub that a tree and would not be a thick as the tree in the picture.

    • Janis Goad profile imageAUTHOR

      Janis Goad 

      6 years ago

      Thank you for your comment, Jaspal. Check back again for more pictures of the golf course. I live nearby and go to Sun Peaks often. This area really is one of the planetary energy centres, well worth a vacation.

      Where is your home, and what is beautiful there?

    • Jaspal profile image

      Jaspal 

      6 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thank you Janis for this excellent hub about a really beautiful area. Loved the pictures, though I do wish you had added some of the fairways and greens of the golf courses and not only of the practice ranges.

      The facilities available and the scenic beauty have been explained very well. I have never been to Canada but, after reading this piece, Kamloops and Sun Peaks are right up there on the list of places I must visit. And it will be for more than just two or three days. There are so many fun activities, each of which deserve at least a whole day if not more: trekking, golf, mountain biking, just soaking in and photographing the pristine beauty of the snow clad mountains, the streams and rivers, and the flora.

      Beautiful hub, voted up!

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