A must-do for all hikers in the Kamloops area each summer is to take the chairlift to mid-station at Sun Peaks then do the hike to Tod Mountain Summit. Our favorite route is to take the Top of the World Trail – the Westridge Trail – Tod Peak Trail. For hikers, Sun peaks uses trail numbers on red seasonal signage so it is best to carry a trail map (free at the ticket area). We can also go online to see the route – link.
The best route to the peak follows these trails: 2 > 5 > 10 > 7 > 11. Hikers can return the same way or can take other loops back to mid-station. On this outing, we took the Gil’s Trail which traverses the steep slopes on the east side of the mountain. It is more of a forested trail than the other routes on top of the ridges.
Our favorite trail on all the Sun Peaks Trails is the Westridge Trail which connects Top of the World (the top of Crystal Bowl) to the summit area of Tod Mountain. The trail gently winds between hills and there are meadows above and below, in summer all covered with wildflowers.
The summit area is really a series of hilltops so the trails wind between them. The southern slopes tend to be open meadows and the north-facing slopes are forested. The upper area is mostly sub-alpine with an alpine ecosystem at the highest points (at 2152m or 7060 feet).
The final section of the summit climb winds steeply up the open ridge.
In a wildfire summer, smoke haze blurred the western horizons. We could see the Ashcroft Fire and to the north the Thuja Lake and Dunn Lakes fire. Views to the east were clearer, but the wind must be from the right direction to get clear views in any direction.
These are wonderful trails, especially at the peak of the wildlfower bloom. Earlier in the season, conditions can be muddy and buggy. The prime time is mid-July to the first week of August. With difficult conditions around the province in July (wildfires, smoke, mosquitoes, heat, closed areas, etc.), Sun Peaks offers some respite for those who love the outdoors in summer.