Hiking up to Canada’s most accessible alpine wildflowers
It’s time to hit the hiking trails at Sun Peaks Resort near Kamloops
When winter transforms into spring and then into a beautiful summer, it’s time to hit the hiking trails at Sun Peaks Resort in central British Columbia. The vibrant, colourful displays of wildflowers covering the alpine meadows beckon you, and well-marked trails lead you to them.
Although you can arrive right on the flowers' doorstep by riding the Sunburst chairlift, your challenge for the day can be to start off with one of the intermediate or beginners' trails right from the village and hike to the top of Tod Mountain. Depending on the incline, a strenuous hike or a leisurely stroll over one of the 16 trails will take you up to one of the most accessible alpine meadows in all of Canada. You can't miss the clusters of Indian paintbrush growing up to 30 centimeters tall covering the mountain slopes—and they do look a lot like a brush dipped in red paint.
As you traverse your way up the incline, take pleasure in the sweeping views of the Thompson region and natural B.C. flora and fauna you see along the way. An area rich with volcanic soils, Sun Peaks becomes thick with a variety of flowers every summer. The bright yellow Canadian goldenrod and the blue or pink Arctic lupine are just two of the most common growing in this fertile ground. The sun alpine daisy, the red columbine and the orange hawkweed all thrive here and return each year.
Safety tips for hiking Tod Mountain
- Obtain a trail map that tells you what the elevations and distances are, as well as an estimated time to complete.
- Check for weather conditions before you leave and wear clothes appropriate for the conditions, dressing in layers. Remember the higher you go the cooler the air will be.
- Choose a trail suitable to your abilities and let someone know where you are going and when you will return. Take a hiking partner with you and don`t hike alone.
- Carry plenty of water and snacks for each member of your group and carry out any wrappers, containers, etc.
- Help preserve the alpine flowers and other vegetation by staying on the trails and not wandering off them.
- Never approach any animals you may encounter.
Rejuvenate yourself after a strenuous hike
You deserve to be spoiled after a strenuous day hiking the trails leading up Tod Mountain, so why not plan for a special treatment when you return? You and your hiking partner probably have sore muscles, so a side-by-side massage room or a warm foot soak on a large private deck will be enjoyed together.
The alpine blossom season is from mid-July to mid-August and the spectacular mountains at Sun Peaks are at their best during the warm summer months. Take along a guidebook for the wildflowers as well as one for the many birds and animals you may find along your hike. A weekend spent hiking the superb trails leading up to the alpine meadows, followed up by a transforming spa treatment, is probably one of the nicest treats possible.