I’ve worked for Tourism Sun Peaks for sometime now, shooting most of the their lifestyle, landscape and leisure activities and events. It’s been a great experience working with a progressive marketing team that ‘gets it’, and it’s also been a lot of fun getting to know the whole resort, from village to back country. As someone who was an avid skier growing up in Merritt, it’s a bit of a kick to be able to see what goes on at the resort and what makes it tick from a marketing perspective. To know a bit about that I’ve paid attention to what we produce, what sells and what the future holds.
What I had very little knowledge of, and really still do, is what exists at the top of the mountain and beyond to what is the backcounty of Sun Peaks. Over the last couple of seasons I’ve spend a bit more time, primarily near the ‘Top of the World’ in early summer to focus on the fields of vibrant wildflowers, that really are a unique feature to the area. The diversity is incredible, and coupled with outstanding views is an experience that most might want to put on their list.
More recent, just last week actually, in association with the Corporation of Sun Peaks, as well as Tourism Sun Peaks, I was allowed an overnight visit into the backcountry to acquire imagery that covers the sunrise and sunset times. ** Please note that as you read this, camping is not permitted at this time. It may be something that will be looked at in the future of both the Corporation and TSP but right now it is a ‘no-go’. For me, it was one of the perks of what I do as hiking in and out at dawn or dusk would be logistically very difficult. That all being said, during lift times the experience of the trail systems and the scenery is absolutely breath taking; and I don’t make that claim lightly. I’ve seen a lot of this great province and seen some wonderful areas, but to have something this outstanding, so close and easily accessible is not to be ignored.
From the mid-mountain chair, trails 2 and 5 take you to trail 10 and from there trail 7 that make their way to Tod Lake. That trail turns into 12 and west at the north end of the lake, circling around Mt Tod itself . There is a summit trail that leads off trail 12 if you wish to go there. I didn’t make it on my last journey as I had substantial weight on my back and a schedule to keep.
To say it’s peaceful would be a large understatement, and to think the drive is only 45 minutes from Kamloops seems almost ridiculous. There aren’t too many places where you can catch a lift 3/4 up a mountain, hike 1.5 to 2 hours and be in pristine sub-alpine terrain. The scenery was reminiscent of Mt. Robson, it was that special.
The trail systems are very good in the way they’re cared for, hard core hiking boots are not needed. Wildlife abounds and I saw several massive Mule deer bucks, who were hanging out in bachelor herds. By taking my time and acting like I was interested in something else I was actually able to get quite close to one of them.
After spending some time back here and near the ‘Top of the World’ over the last few seasons I’ll look forward to promoting the area with TSP as I really didn’t have an idea about what lies beyond the lifts. It’s special and it’s a place that’s so easily accessible it would be hard not to consider spending more time at. Enjoy!
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