5 Ways to Conquer Cross Country in Sun Peaks

Posted July 20, 2017

Whether you’re just starting out on two wheels or you’ve been sweating up summits for years, tackling a new trail network for the first time can be a challenge. You want to enjoy your ride and not get stuck grinding up endless climbs or riding around in circles.

To maximize your time in the saddle and help you discover the best trails in town, here’s five tips for making the most of Sun Peaks’ cross country network:

Our bike maps are double sided; XC on one side and DH on the other.
Our bike maps are double sided; XC on one side and DH on the other.

1. Grab a map

There’s nothing worse than delaying a post ride beer after missing that crucial turn. While our trails are well marked, nothing beats a good ol’ fashioned handheld map for finding your way back to the village after a long day in the forest. Swing by Guest Services on your way to the trailhead to pick up our biking trail map and plan your route for the day. Don’t forget to flip the map over to the Bike Park side if you’re looking for our alpine cross country trails.

Looking for trail recommendations? Call in at Elevation Bike, Ski and Board on your way through the village, where the team can point you in the right direction and help you stock up on any last minute equipment needs. If you’re not in Sun Peaks yet you can start your planning and check out our online trail map.

Sunset views on Altitude.
Sunset views on Altitude, a lift-accessed alpine trail.

2. Jump on a lift

Everything is better at altitude! The jewel in the crown of the Sun Peaks cross country trail network is Altitude, 10km of alpine singletrack heaven that races over roots and through stunning wildflower meadows against a backdrop of epic views. At just $25 for a one ride ticket you can jump on the Sunburst Chairlift and unlock alpine riding the easy way.

After reaching the terminus of the Altitude trail at Tod Lake head down Gil’s Trail, newly converted to a multi-use trail to provide a loop option on Altitude, and link up with Big Rock Ride (11km) to descend back to the village, where, depending on how your legs feel, you can either head in or continue on to the Morrisey trails. As an alternative for the bold, an adrenaline pumping descent on legendary Bike Park lap Sugar/Sweet One provides an addictive and challenging way down or, for the truly eager, the ‘Sun Peaks Epic’ beckons.

Bike coach Jase Petersen cruising through the wildflowers on Big Rock Ride.
Bike coach Jase Petersen cruising through the wildflowers on Big Rock Ride.

3. Bring A Local

What better way to find the best trails than by following a local? Our mountain bike instructors live and breathe the Sun Peaks trails- when they’re not out guiding, teaching, or riding then they’re hard at work digging, cutting, and shaping to ensure the trails stay in top shape.

If you’re new to all this, a lesson is the perfect way to get more confident on your bike while discovering the best trails for your ability level.

More experienced riders can ditch the basics and get straight to the best bits with the help of a local led guided bike tour.

Fall Line Tuning and Repair Centre
Fall Line Tuning and Repair Centre.

4. Upgrade Your Bike

The best way to ride YOUR best is to ride THE best. Now that you’ve got the hang of the trails it’s time to unleash the newest technology on your favourite sections. Swap your old reliable for a new model (or leave your bike at home) with high performance rentals from Elevation Bike, Ski and Board. With rental options covering everything from a family ride out to McGillivray Lake to a high speed alpine descent from the top of Tod, Elevation has you covered if you can’t travel with your bike.

If you’ve brought your own bike then taking care of it is a critical part of making the most of your time in Sun Peaks. Fall Line Tuning and Repair Centre (downstairs from Elevation) is the place to be for services, tune ups, and spare parts, while you can keep your ride clean with the free bike wash stations at the base of the Bike Park. 

Exploring the snowy forests surrounding Sun Peaks is easy on a fat bike.
Exploring the snowy forests surrounding Sun Peaks is easy on a fat bike.

5. Don't Stop for the Snow

Think that winter spells the end of your pedal powered adventures? Think again! Our designated fat bike trails let you explore on your bike all year round. Bring your own wide wheeled steed or rent one from Elevation to experience our cross country trails in the snow.

If you really want to make the most of biking in Sun Peaks all year long then here’s your chance. Rug up and get riding!

Bonus: Try Some Downhill

Now that you’ve conquered everything that our cross country trails have to throw at you, you may find yourself casting your eyes uphill towards the big bikes and body armour of the Bike Park. Find out more about our downhill trails, rentals, and lessons and get a taste of this addictive adrenaline sport.