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. While there is cell service about 500m on either side of highway; however, it does not extend past the highway corridor. Manning Park is a great place to reconnect with yourself and nature. Spend your time playing and relaxing. It’s the perfect place to unwind and get away from it all.
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.
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 and you swoosh down hills on a tube at the Polar Coaster Park. At the end of the day bed down at the hostel or Manning Park Resort where modest accommodations lead to a good night’s sleep, leaving you dreaming of adventures to come.
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 just might take your breath away.
Manning 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. Most of all, keep your distance. You don’t want to become a bear snack.
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 lurks in trees. You may even catch sight of Columbian ground squirrels, marmot and beaver, who also call Manning Park home.
Playing in the Snow
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-kms 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.
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, in the first-come-first-serve hostel, 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 may have just what you need.