Manning Provincial Park
This 70,844-hectare (175,100-acre) park in the Cascade Mountains, 64 kilometers (40 miles) east of Hope along Highway 3, stretches down to the Canada–U.S. border. To really appreciate Manning Provincial Park, you need to get off the highway—take in the beautiful bodies of water, drive up to a wonderful stretch of high alpine meadows, or hike through dense subalpine forests.
Sights and Recreation
A summer highlight of the park is driving up to Cascade Lookout, a viewpoint offering a magnificent 180-degree panoramic view. Beyond the lookout, the road turns to gravel and continues climbing for nine kilometers, ending at a parking lot surrounded by a rich yellow, orange, and white carpet of wildflowers as far as you can see. Along Highway 3 are some short self-guided nature trails, including a 700-meter (0.4-mile) walk (20 minutes) through a stand of ancient western red cedars. The trailhead is Sumallo Grove day-use area, 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) east of where Highway 3 enters the park from the west.
At Manning Park Resort (250/840-8822, www.manningpark.com), 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) west of Highway 3 along Gibson Pass Road, skiers and snowboarders take advantage of a 437-meter (1,430-foot) vertical rise served by two chairlifts, a T-bar, and a rope tow. Most runs are for intermediate skiers, but novices and experts will also find suitable terrain. Lift tickets are adult $42, senior and child $27. Along with 190 kilometers (118 miles) of wilderness trails, cross-country skiers can enjoy 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) of groomed trails for $15 per day. Cross-country skis rent for $18 per day.
In the heart of the park on Highway 3, Manning Park Resort (250/840-8822, www.manningpark.com, $154–349 s or d) is a full-service lodging providing comfortable hotel rooms, cabins, and triplexes, as well as a dining room, self-serve cafeteria, small grocery store, and an open fireside lounge. Other facilities include saunas, indoor pool, TV room, fitness center, tennis courts, coin-operated laundry, and gift shop.
The park’s four campgrounds hold a total of 355 sites; in summer, get in early to be assured of snagging one. Each campground provides drinking water and toilets. The most popular is Lightning Lake (Gibson Pass Rd., $22), which has showers. The others along Highway 3 have limited facilities and are $15 per site.
The park’s Visitor Information Centre (250/840-8836, daily 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. in summer, weekdays only the rest of the year.) is one kilometer (0.6 miles) east of Manning Park Resort.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition