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Ski and Snowboard Holidays for Families in Kamloops

Updated on October 6, 2012

Ski, Snowboard, and Snow-ski Resort at Sun Peaks

When the weather outside is frightful, there is nothing so delightful as speeding down a snowy slope on skis. The hills at Sun Peaks are full of skiers and snowboarders who are doing just that--embracing the chill of the season and having the family vacation of their lives in a wonderland of powder snow in the 3678 acres of B.C.’s second largest largest ski terrain after Whistler.

The chairlifts move quickly, so even when the resort is busy the line advances fast. Once the metallic clang of the chair against the restraining bars subsides as it loops the bottom of the cable and turns to scoop us up, the forest immerses us in silence. Suspended above the slopes we hear only the wind and the faint frozen hiss of the electrical surge through the power cable. Crisp air, clean wind, and a pod of solitude rise to meet us as the mountain slopes away downhill. There’s a base of over 100 cm and new powder at the top of the mountains. New snow fell last night, and this week with the preparations gearing up for the 2011 Family Games February 20-25, the village is decorated for holiday cheer.

Ski Snowboard Holidays at Sun Peaks

Families on skis and snowboards move quickly in line at Sunburst Chairlift. Sun Peaks is BC's second largest ski terrain after Whistler, home of the Winter 2010 Olympics.
Families on skis and snowboards move quickly in line at Sunburst Chairlift. Sun Peaks is BC's second largest ski terrain after Whistler, home of the Winter 2010 Olympics. | Source

Sun Peaks Resort, Kamloops, BC

Sun Peaks Resort, BC:
Coordinates: Latitude: 50.885048 Longitude: -119.888859 BC, Canada

get directions

Sun Peaks is a forty-five minute drive north-east from Kamloops.

Enjoy Ski Snowboard Holidays at Sun Peaks

Options for snowy fun include 122 runs and trails for all levels of skiing, boarding, Nordic skiing, ski biking, tobogganing and tubing. Skiiers can spend most of the day on the mountain here winding through the glades on long trails, the longest of which is eight miles long. Trails are groomed winter and summer, with stumping, brushing, and grass seeding during the growing season to ensure maximum snow coverage on the slopes. With an average yearly snowfall of 18 feet, the season starts early and ends late. From the top elevation of 6,825 feet, there's a vertical drop of 2,894 feet to the base elevation of 3,931 feet. In addition, there’s an array of choices to sip hot drinks in the lounges, restaurants and cafes for those who prefer to enjoy the snow from the indoors looking out at silver skies, dark conifers draped with snow, and the triplet of huge silent mountains, Mt Morissey, Mt Tod and Sundance Mountain.

Come to Sun Peaks Resort to Ski and Snowboard

Enjoy excellent skiing and snowboarding on three groomed mountains.
Enjoy excellent skiing and snowboarding on three groomed mountains. | Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Sun Peaks compares to Whistler, but without the crowds.Skiing and snowboarding in late afternoon. Sun Peaks in British Columbia is a top ski resort for families.In late afternoon, the last run is ending.
Sun Peaks compares to Whistler, but without the crowds.
Sun Peaks compares to Whistler, but without the crowds. | Source
Skiing and snowboarding in late afternoon.
Skiing and snowboarding in late afternoon. | Source
Sun Peaks in British Columbia is a top ski resort for families.
Sun Peaks in British Columbia is a top ski resort for families. | Source
In late afternoon, the last run is ending.
In late afternoon, the last run is ending.

Nancy Greene Raine at Sun Peaks in 2000

Olympian Gold medallist Nancy Greene Raine skis in winter and golfs in summer at Sun Peaks Resort.
Olympian Gold medallist Nancy Greene Raine skis in winter and golfs in summer at Sun Peaks Resort. | Source
Nancy Greene Raine, 1986 Olympic Alpine Gold Medallist, with Jacobsom, Mancuso and Vonn in Vancouver, 2010.
Nancy Greene Raine, 1986 Olympic Alpine Gold Medallist, with Jacobsom, Mancuso and Vonn in Vancouver, 2010. | Source

Meet Nancy Greene Raine

Sunday nights in the Hearthstone Lodge from 7:30-8:30, Nancy Greene, who in 1999 was voted Canada's Female Athlete of the Century in a poll by Canadian Press and Broadcast News Association that also chose hockey great Wayne Gretzky as Male Athlete of the Century, welcomes guests to the Resort. Whether you are a first-time visitor or an old fan of Nancy from the days she won Olympic gold and silver for Canada in the 1968 Olympics at Grenoble, you may join her at this complimentary reception to learn about the activities, events, lesson options and services Sun Peaks offers.

Following her competitive career in skiing, Nancy Greene has continued to make skiing her life's work. Her career focused first on young skiiers, where her promotion of the Nancy Greene Ski League club racing program has introduced thousands of young skiers to ski racing. She and her husband Al Raine next turned to ski tourism, working in the early development of Whistler Resort and building one of the first hotels in the Whistler Village. In 1994, Nancy and Al moved to Sun Peaks where they developed Nancy Greene's Cahilty Lodge the first condominium hotel in the new village. Nancy has been Director of Skiing at Sun Peaks since the beginning and skiing regularly with resort guests and assisting with guest relations and promotions. From 2005 to 2011 Nancy served as Chancellor of Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, and in January 2009 she was named to the Canadian Senate by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. As a Senator, Nancy travels to Ottawa weekly when Parliament is in session, returning to Sun Peaks weekends and holidays. She still skis regularly with resort guests and hosts weekly welcome receptions. Meanwhile, Nancy's husband Al was elected Sun Peaks' first Mayor and they are both very proud of the growing, dynamic mountain community.

Come and skii with Nancy Greene Raine -- 1:00 at the top of the Sunburst Chair.

After skiing and snow boarding, warm up in the lodge or stay in the village for an apres-ski meal or drink.
After skiing and snow boarding, warm up in the lodge or stay in the village for an apres-ski meal or drink. | Source

Adaptive Snow Sports and Skiing

As part of the vision of Sun Peaks as a ski destination for people of all ranges of ability, planning for an adaptive snow sports program at Sun Peaks began in 2007 after a group of ski instructors and volunteers at a Level 1 Instructor Training Course began asking, "How can we enable students in wheelchairs and with various disabilites to enjoy fitness, fun, friendship and freedom on the ski slopes with their classmates in learn-to-ski programs at school?". As a result of this grass-roots interest in helping students in the Kamloops district, and with leadership from members of the Disabled Skiers Association of British Columbia (DSABC), Adaptive Sports at Sun Peaks was granted status as a not for profit society by the Province of British Columbia in April of 2010. Now, through its Assist-A-Skiier program, it can accept donations to help athletes who might not be able to participate.

Snow Boarding and Skiing on Alpine Powder

Powder in the parking lot, deep powder on the alpine runs.
Powder in the parking lot, deep powder on the alpine runs. | Source
Sun Peaks ski resort in deep snow.
Sun Peaks ski resort in deep snow. | Source

Ski Snowboard Holidays and Adaptive Sports

With its mandate widened beyond the geographical range of Kamloops, Adaptive Sports at Sun Peak provides opportunities for people of all ages and with a wide range of disabilities to participate in adaptive snow sports and recreation programs at Sun Peaks Resort. In consultation with Guest Services and the Snow Sports School, Adaptive Sports at Sun Peaks helps resort visitors with disabilities fully enjoy their day on the slopes with friends or family.

Some of these visitors are beginners, others are highly skilled and seasoned skiiers who may be heading for World Cup and Paralympic participation. To watch some of these athletes, who have not limited themselves by their disability in spite of skiing on one leg, without arms or with paraplegia, for example, open links below to the Poland World Cup Team on the slopes and the Vancouver 2010 Alpine Paralympic Alpine Ski event.

Once these champions were children; once they were learning first rudiments. Today there are new children at the beginning, and who knows where they might go with the right assistance, adaptations and awareness from a society that often plants obstacles in their way?

To raise awareness and promote participation in adaptive snow sports, February's highlights at the resort include Sun Peaks Adaptive Snow Sports Festival to be held from February 11-13. On Saturday the public will be able to try out demonstration equipment, potential students with a disability will be able to watch sit-ski demonstrations, and volunteers and instructors will be able to participate in workshops with Susan Hughes, Snowbility Co-ordinator with Disabled Skiiers Association of BC. In addition, there will be a limited number of volunteers available to accompany guests with a disability who wish to ski. On Sunday there will be a race and a barbecue social.

Poland World Cup Team

Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Alpine Skiing

Tyler Walker Vancouver 2010: Free to Ski

Sun Peaks Family Games in February

There is special fun afoot for families at Sun Peaks Family Games during the week of February 20-25. Everyone is welcome to these free activities, especially families. Each day has a special interest event to interest all ranges of skill:

  • Sunday February 20: Nerf Biathlon
  • Monday February 21: Obstacle Course
  • Tuesday, February 22: Hockey and Skating Races
  • Wednesday, February 23: Children's Fun Race
  • Thursday, February 24: Skeleton Tubing
  • Friday, February 25: Ski Poker

Check the Events Calendar for more details.

11 Fun Things to Do in Kamloops

11 family activities to do near Kamloops if you don’t only want to ski:

  • Snow tube or snow shoe (or ski) at Harper Mountain, smaller, cheaper, less crowded and lower-key than Sun Peaks.
  • Visit the children’s gallery at Kamloops Museum and Archives.
  • Walk on the beach for miles at Mission Flats, an off-leash dog park with free parking.
  • Visit Santa at Aberdeen Mall, or look for Boxing Day bargains.
  • Skate at one of the 6 arenas (skate rentals at Dolson’s Sports 269-1320 Trans- Canada Hwy, Kamloops 250-372-5531 in the Aberdeen Mall).
  • Look around the@Kool Online School exhibit of work by fourteen students aged 6 to 11 from the Gallery’s Community Group Workshop program December 11, 2010 to January 30, 2011. Admission is free on Thursdays at Kamloops Art Gallery.
  • Share story time in the library after the art gallery--they are in the same building.
  • Swim at the Canada Games pool at the Tournament Capital Centre, with a 210 foot spiral waterslide, Pelican Slide, and Waterfalls.
  • Join a yoga class at Let’s Move Studio.
  • Go indoor climbing at Cliffside Climbing Gym. Kids Day is Sunday 12-8 pm. Call to make a reservation.
  • Shop for gluten-free, organic, vegan and niche dietary and health supplies at Nature's Fare Market.

Plan a Family Vacation in Kamloops near Sun Peaks

If you are planning a ski vacation with the family there this winter, there is a wide range of accommodation: ski-in ski-out options are available in the resort, but what if some of your family are less interested in skiing than others? You may prefer staying in Kamloops, about a 45 minute drive.

Hotels and Motels:

  • the Maverick has a hot tub, indoor pool and water slide, and a wonderful view of the North Thompson Valley and the Apostles’s Mountains, Mt. Peter and Mt Paul.
  • the Sheraton has easy access to the highway and a unique fusion menu at Ric's Grill.
  • Accent Inn has a Ski Package.
  • Scott’s Inn has some pet-friendly rooms and easy access to the Victoria Oriental Restaurant, that serves fresh authentic Chinese food and dim sum all day.

Bed and Breakfast:

Would you prefer accommodation in the country that offers other winter sports?

  • Hitch n Rail is a rustic resort near Heffley Lake for ice fishing and winter activities, fifteen minutes from Sun Peaks.
  • Tod Mountain Guest Ranch offers dogsledding, snowbikes, horses, and winter activities fifteen minutes from Sun Peaks

Winter in Kamloops is sunny, dry and mild. With over 2000 hours of sunshine annually and a mean average low for December and January of -7 degrees Celsius, it’s a perfect spot for a family ski vacation.


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    • twinstimes2 profile image

      Karen Lackey 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Amazing information as well as awesome pictures. I am not a winter girl, but the views and scenery while skiing could convert me. Great use of capsules! Beautifully constructed hub!

    • Janis Goad profile imageAUTHOR

      Janis Goad 

      6 years ago

      It is harder to have fun learning if you didn't learn as a child, because it gets cold on the slopes if you aren't active. But it is fun!! Thanks for the visit, Judi.

    • Janis Goad profile imageAUTHOR

      Janis Goad 

      6 years ago

      We used to take family ski vacations at Horseshoe Valley when I was in high school. That was a wonderful way to spend active family time together. I love living in Kamloops, with Sun Peaks only 45 minutes away.

    • Judi Bee profile image

      Judi Brown 

      6 years ago from UK

      I've never even attempted to ski, I just know it would be a disaster! I might be persuaded to try cross-country skiing, but downhill is an absolute non-starter. My brother and his family enjoy it though, they've skied in the US and Europe, so I'll send this in their direction.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      My husband used to ski all the time in Sault Ste. Marie, and every once in awhile will ski at Horseshoe Valley. Nothing compares though to the places you guys have out west. I've never been much of a skier myself but my sons ski and snowboard. I'm more of a chalet person :)

    • Janis Goad profile imageAUTHOR

      Janis Goad 

      6 years ago

      Yes, the skiing at Sun Peaks is amazing--huge mountains, many trails, fast lifts, and few crowds. and those who prefer tubing, snowshoeing and cross country skiing can do that there, too.

    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 

      6 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      I don't think I've ever seen a ski trail map of even half that complexity. Looks to me like Kamloops would make an absolutely great ski vacation for anyone enjoying powder skiing.


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