Off the Radar at Manning Park
If you start walking the legendary Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in Mexico and continue walking for six months, you’ll end up at the northernmost tip of the PCT. It’s here you’ll find Manning Park in the North Cascade Mountains. It’s also where you’ll find 70,000 hectares of four-season fun.
Manning Park is an enjoyable three-hour drive from Vancouver or the Okanagan Valley. Once you’re here, it’s time to unplug. Why? Because while there’s cell service about 500m on either side of the highway, it doesn’t extend past the highway corridor, making Manning Park a great place to reconnect with nature. Spend your time playing and relaxing…it’s time to unwind and get away from it all.
20 Ways to Enjoy Manning Park
- Paddle the Park — canoe, kayak, or row your boat around Lightning Lake. Rentals are available at Manning Park Resort.
- Saddle up! Mount a mountain bike or horse, both share the same trails here. Bring your own horse.
- Cast your line for rainbow trout at Lightning Lakes, Nicomen or Poland Lake
- One, two, three — HIKE! Easy to moderate to take-your-breath-away expert, there are plenty of trails in the park to explore
- Plunge right into our lakes for a refreshing swim on a hot summer day
- Count the stars overhead before drifting off to sleep, camping in the park
- Snap up the scenery — a photographer’s dream with landscapes that go on forever
- Play follow the leader on guided interpretive walks
- Find the hotspots for wildlife viewing of moose, bear, Columbian ground squirrels, coyote, beavers, otters and more
- Take in the annual bloom on the Heather Trail, the only sub-alpine meadows in all of BC accessible by car
- Search for a glimpse of the great spotted owl, an endangered species still found in the park
- Learn about Manning Park’s natural wonders at interpretive presentations at the Lightning Lakes Amphitheatre
- Drop into the Loon Lagoon for a refreshing swim, hot-tub, sauna or steam after a full day playing outside
- Ride the Polar Coaster snow tubing park and try to recall the last time you laughed so hard in delight
- Get your cardio in snowshoeing the Similkameen Trail, then cool down (or warm-up) with a hearty snack at the Bear’s Den Pub
- Feel the warm glow on your cheeks after an afternoon skating the outdoor rink
- Grab your crazy carpet or old-fashioned toboggan and hit the slopes near the Nordic Centre
- Get a full-body work-out cross-country skiing 30-km of groomed Nordic trails
- Hit the slopes for Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding and ride the new Quad Bear Chairlift
- Learn how to fish – fun for the whole family!
View Manning Park Location Map
Come out and experience the park in summer when the wildflowers bloom and the fish are biting. The trails here are ready for riding, and nights are spent camping under a blanket of stars.
Hike Manning Park
Adventure here is as vast as our landscapes. There are plenty of intrepid hikers who wind up their Pacific Coast Trail quest here. Mostly you’ll find folks here who prefer spending a day, a weekend, or even a week hiking the rugged, yet surprisingly traversable, trails in the park. Start your hike at Lightning Lakes and take a leisurely walk through forests heady with the scent of fresh pine.
For something more challenging and more rugged, take the Larch tree-lined Mt. Frosty Trail to Manning’s highest peak at 2408 m (7900 ft). Bring your camera along because it’s here you’ll discover 360° panoramas that will take your breath away.
Manning Park is filled with lots of natural characters, making wildlife and wildflower viewing a favourite pastime. Come in June for the annual Bird Blitz and see how many species you can identify. The abundant blueberries and huckleberries growing around Big Burn attract black bears like bees to honey. Bring a camera and your bear spray. And keep your distance.
You’re likely to hear the call of the red-tail hawk when hiking to Strawberry Flats for its annual bloom of mountain wildflowers. Stop to listen and discover what else is hidden in the trees. You may even catch sight of Columbian ground squirrels, marmot and beaver, who also call Manning Park home.
For some people, counting the stars is more important than thread count, so it’s a good thing there are lots of choices around here. Bed down in a tent under a blanket of stars at one of the many campgrounds, at the Skyview RV Park, or in the comfort of a rustic lodge. Accommodations range from queen rooms to cabins and chalets. One thing is almost guaranteed: you’ll wake up the next day rested and relaxed and ready to explore some more.
Manning Park has a large 50+ group facility called the Last Resort, perfect for group, business or family functions. They welcome large groups, conferences and events. Whether it’s a team-building corporate retreat or the wedding of a lifetime, Manning Park has just what you need.
Playing in the Snow
Come in the winter when we’re covered in snow, and you’ll find lots of ways to relax and unwind. You can snowshoe and ski (both Nordic and Alpine) or get in touch with your inner child as you swoosh down hills on a tube at the Polar Coaster Park. At the end of the day, bed down where modest accommodations lead to a good night’s sleep, leaving you dreaming of adventures to come.
Riders, sliders and gliders will find plenty of unplugged fun here in winter! Our rugged wilderness makes playing in the snow almost as much fun as when you were a kid. Whether you ski or ride downhill, or glide along 30-km of Nordic trails, don’t be surprised when you encounter others out here. Spend the day skiing or snowshoeing, and you’ll go home exhausted but happy, with visions of snow ghosts dancing in your head.