Sun Peaks vs Big White: Which Resort is Best?


Sun Peaks and Big White are both huge skiing and snowboarding resorts located in British Columbia, but they both definitely appeal to slightly different types of people.

In this article, I’ll be directly comparing the pistes, villages, accommodation, prices and much more so you can decide which resort is best for your next season.

Sun Peaks vs Big White 101

Big White has better snow quality compared to Sun Peaks. However, Sun Peaks is often considered better for families as there are more activities available and the village and resort is larger. Sun Peaks also offers cheaper tickets for children compared to Big White.

The ski season is slightly longer at Big White and lasts from mid-November to mid-April, whereas at Sun Peaks it only starts in late-November and also runs to mid-April.

Aspect of the ResortBest Resort
Beginner TrailsBig White
Intermediate/ Expert TrailsSun Peaks
Snow QualityBig White
Village and ActivitiesSun Peaks
Ski SchoolSun Peaks
Best Value for MoneySun Peaks
Easiest to Travel ToBig White

Ski Map and Pistes

Sun Peaks has a larger skiable area and more trails compared to Big White. Big White caters well for all levels with a good amount of beginner trails as well as plenty to keep more advanced skiers satisfied. Sun Peaks has a good amount of beginner trails but less than Big White and caters more towards intermediate and advanced level skiers and snowboarders.

StatisticsBig WhiteSun Peaks
Skiable Terrain2765 acres4270 acres
Vertical Drop2550 feet2894 feet
Total Trails119 trails138 trails
Green Circle Trails (Beginner)18%10%
Blue Square Trails (Intermediate)54%58%
Black/ Double Black Diamond Trails (Expert)28%32%
Longest Run7.2 km8 km

Snow and Weather

In general, the snow quality is better in Big White compared to Sun Peaks so if this is your main priority then it’s worth heading there instead. The snow quality is still very good in Sun Peaks but the snowfall is lighter compared to Big White.

MonthTemperature in Big WhiteTemperature in Sun PeaksSnowfall in Big White Snowfall in Sun Peaks
November-3.8C (26.16F)-2.8C (27F)47.0″10”
December-8.0C (17.6F)-9.5C (15F)64.3″40”
January-6.9C (19.58F)-6.7C (20F)59.8″34”
February-9.0C (15.8F)-6.1C (21F)63.6″35”
March-4.7C (23.54F)-3.9C (25F)58.4″36”
April-0.3C (31.46F)-1.1C (30F)23.2″14”

Village, Restaurants and Other Activities

In terms of the resort villages and amenities, Sun Peaks is the best option compared to Big White. It has more restaurants, spas and other activities to keep you busy when you’re not skiing. Big White still has plenty to do, but the focus is definitely more on the slopes.

ActivityAvailable at Big WhiteAvailable at Sun Peaks
Dining20 locations24 locations
Spas/ Massages2 locations8 locations
Dog Sled ToursYesYes
Fat BikingYesYes
Ice Fishing (Guided)NoYes
Horse Drawn Sleigh RidesYesYes
Ice SkatingYesYes
Helicopter SkiingNoYes
Snowmobile ToursYesYes
Snowshoe ToursYesYes
Yoga ClassesNoYes
Axe ThrowingNoYes
TubingYesYes

Ski School

Both resorts have a ski school to make sure beginners can gain confidence on the slopes. Here is some information regarding the types of lessons available and the prices at each resort.

Costs are based on the most recent ski season at the time of writing and are subject to change. Please check the resort websites for up to date prices.

Big White Lessons

  • Discover Half/ Full Day: group sessions designed for beginners
  • Next Step: group sessions designed for skiers/ snowboarders which have completed the “Discover” session
  • Standard Private: private lesson with professional (full or half day)
  • First Tracks: private 1.5 hour lesson at the start of the day.
  • Late Tracks: private 1.5 hour lesson later in the day.
LessonTypeWhat’s IncludedPrice
Discover Half Day (Ages 3-5)2 Hour Group SessionRental equipment, day lift ticket$105
Next Step Half Day (Ages 3-5)2 Hour Group SessionRental equipment, day lift ticket$105
Discover Half Day (Ages 6-12)2 Hour Group SessionRental equipment, day lift ticket$111
Discover Full Day (Ages 6-12)2 x 2 Hour Group SessionRental equipment, day lift ticket$159
Next Step (Ages 6-12)2 Hour Group SessionRental equipment, day lift ticket$162
Discover Half Day (Adult 13+)2 Hour Group SessionRental equipment, day lift ticket$119
Discover Full Day (Adult 13+)2 x 2 Hour Group SessionRental equipment, day lift ticket$150
Next Step (Adult 13+)2 Hour Group SessionRental equipment, day lift ticket$194
Half Day Private (Any Age)3 Hour Private SessionN/A$335-440
Full Day Private (Any Age)6 Hour Private SessionN/A$675-$750
First Tracks (Any Age)1.5 Hour Private SessionN/A$175-$195
Late Tracks (Any Age)1.5 Hour Private SessionN/A$165-$185
*Additional participants for private sessions are $100/ person (up to 5 per group). Price range for private session due to time slot and off-peak/ peak season price variations.

Sun Peaks Lessons

  • Adult Full Day Private Lesson: 6 hours, $659 for first 3 people and $179 per additional person
  • Kids Full Day Private Lesson: 6 hours, $509 for first 3 people and $109 per additional person
  • Park Posse Private Lesson: 6 hours, freestyle coaching, $339 for first 3 people and $109 per additional person
  • Bump or Carving Private Lesson: 6 hours, specialist lessons, $659 for first 3 people and $189 per additional person
  • First Tracks Private Lesson: 2 hours, intermediate-expert level, $398 for first 3 people, $109 per additional person
  • Sun Tots Private Lesson: 3 hours, 7-12 years, $199 per child and $129 for additional child
  • Learn to Ski/ Snowboard for Kids: 2 hours, 6-10 years, $109-$195 per child depending on age/ time slot
  • Learn to Ski/ Snowboard for Adults (Half-Day): 2 hours, age 13+, $107-$138 per person depending on age/ time slot
  • Learn to Ski/ Snowboard for Adults (Full-Day): 2 hours, age 13+, $150 per person depending on age/ time slot
  • Sun Kids Half Day: 4 hours, group session, 6-9 years, $129 per child (plus lift ticket and equipment)
  • Group Lessons The Next Step: 2 hours, $65-$139 depending on time slot and rental equipment needed
  • Group Lessons The Next Step: 4 hours, $225 depending on time slot

For a full list of available lessons at Sun Peaks, check out this page.

Accommodation

Big White has a range of accommodation options including 3 hotels, 25 town house complexes, 244 cabins/ holiday houses and a youth hostel. On average, accommodation for 2 adults in January for a week will cost roughly $2500-$4000.

Sun Peaks has 6 hotels, 15 town house complexes and an extensive range of chalets and suites. On average, accommodation for 2 adults in January for a week will also cost roughly $2500-$4000.

Check out the following links to accommodation options and availability:

Location and Traveling

Both Sunpeaks and Big White are easy resorts to access.

  • Big White is 56 km from Kelowna in Okanagan Valley and is a 55 minute shuttle ride away from Kelowna’s International Airport.
  • Sun Peaks is 59 km from Kamloops and is a 50 minute drive from the local airport. Alternatively, it is a 2 hour 45 minute drive from Kelowna International Airport.

Additional Costs

In terms of the daily lift prices, Sun Peaks works out cheaper compared to Big White. The difference isn’t huge when comparing the adult tickets, but it’s very significant when comparing the youth, child and senior tickets.

Remember that you can get deals though when you are booking accommodation so make sure you consider all the options available to you rather than just the daily rates.

In terms of equipment rental prices, both resorts are very similar.

Costs are based on the most recent ski season at the time of writing and are subject to change. Please check the resort websites for up to date prices.

Ticket Price Day Lift (Peak Season)Big WhiteSun Peaks
Adult$134$115
Youth$123$80
Child$104$50
Senior$123$80
Equipment Rental (Daily)Big WhiteSun Peaks
Skis and Poles/ Snowboard$49$50
Boots$27$28
Helmet$10$15 (or $7 as add-on)
Skis, Poles/ Snowboard and Boots$54$55
*Discounted rates available for child and youth equipment rental in Sun Peaks

Which Resort is Best?

If your main focus is on the slopes and you’re planning on spending most of your time either skiing or snowboarding then Big White is probably the better option. It has a great range of trails despite being smaller than Sun Peaks so it suits all ability levels and the snow quality is excellent.

If you want to make the most of the village and other activities as well as spending time on the slopes then Sun Peaks is the best option. It is much larger and there’s a lot more to do so it’s great for families as well.

For beginners, both Sun Peaks and Big White are good options. There are plenty of Green Circle trails available (although slightly more at Big White) and the ski schools offer a wide variety of lessons. However, for younger skiers/ snowboarders, the rates are cheaper at Sun Peaks.

Rosie

I have been a keen skier for a number of years, skiing in different locations around the world, and have a real passion for snow sports. My favourite skiing resort is in Banff, Canada!

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