The Heather Trail in Manning Provincial Park
E.C. Manning Provincial Park  is in British Columbia, Canada. It is 70,844 hectares in size.
Flora and fauna
The only way to get in is on the Crowsnest Highway (Hwy 3) via Hope in the west or Princeton in the east.
From Vancouver, it is approximately 3 hrs driving time east along Hwy 1 and Hwy 3. Coming from Kelowna, it is approximately 2.5 hrs driving by heading south along Hwy 97 and then following the 3A and Hwy 3 west.
Manning Provincial Park in July 2007
- Take in the view from the Cascade Lookout. The lookout is accessed from the road that climbs to Blackwall Peak, which begins across from Manning Park Resort. The road leading to the lookout and onwards past that to the Alpine Meadows is generally not open before June due to snow, enquire at the Lodge. At the lookout you will be mobbed by chipmunks looking for handouts and an assortment of birds of the same mind. With patience these animals will take bits of food or nuts right out of your hand. Chipmunks may climb on you, birds may land on you. They mean no harm but this kind of activity can surprise and concern visitors so be prepared. Birds claws may seem sharp at first, but really aren't too bad if you want them to land in your hand. Unsalted nuts or seeds make the best offerings.
- In summer, hike on the numerous trails in the park.
- Lightning Lakes Day Use Area is the central hub of the park if there is one, after the Lodge. It offers picnic facilities and the possibility to rent canoes. Swimming is possible but the lake water can be very cold. There is a great trail around Lightning Lake that can be completed in about 3 hours, with a bridge across a narrow part of the lake shortening the hike if you so desire. Hardy people can continue on to the other 3 lakes in the chain--Flash, Strike, and Thunder lakes. More than just catching a glimpse of the second lake requires detailed planning. High fitness level is not required for this hike although there are some hilly sections. Also from parking lots can be found trail heads for the Windy Joe Trail and 20 Minute Lake. Small prairie dog type animals called Marmots live in the Day Area and can usually be observed.
- In winter, cross-country ski on 35 km of trails or downhill ski and snowboard at the Manning Park ski area.
The Country Store at the Manning Park Resort is the only place to purchase supplies in the park. It carries groceries, auto and camping supplies, some clothing, postcards and other souvenirs. Selection can be very limited and essentially has only snack items and the very basic must haves. There is a smaller store at the East Gate of the park where you can buy gasoline. The store has a small selection of general food items but its a fairly quick trip down the highway just to check out. Otherwise, the nearest town of any size is Hope, which is about 40 minutes away.
There is a restaurant at the Pinewoods Lodge building at Manning Park Resort. Mostly cafeteria style foods. Snacks at the adjoining store. Both Hope, and the further and smaller town of Princeton have a variety of restaurants. Both directions have sections of highway that are challenging and have wildlife at night. Parts of Route 3 have no painted lines on the road left. If you go to either town for dinner be prepared to take your time returning to the Park.
November snowfall at the cabins
- Manning Park Resort, 7500 Highway #3, +1 250 840-8822 and 1-800-330-3321, . A lodge and cabins situated in a valley within in the park. Lodge rooms have an occupancy of 4-6 persons and include bar fridge, microwave and TV. Cabins include the above plus a full kitchen and have an occupancy of 8-14 people. Amenities include fireside lounge, games room, unheated indoor pool, sauna and hot tub, tennis courts and volleyball court. Rooms and cabins range from $164 - $369.
There are four campgrounds open for camping in the summer that are accessible from Hwy 3. The opening and closing times vary from year-to-year depending on snow levels. The park tries to have at least one campground open from mid-May to the Canadian Thankgiving holiday weekend (second weekend in October).
- Lightning Lakes - Located on Lightning Lake near Manning Park Resort. 100% of sites are reservable. Requires reservations after mid-June. $28/night.
- Coldspring is located 40 km east of the park's western portal. It is near the Similkameen River with a few sites overlooking the river. 50% of sites are reservable. $21/night.
- Hampton is located 12 km west of the park's eastern portal. It is the only campground not on water. 50% of sites are reservable. $21/night.
- Mule Deer is located 3.5 km west of the park's eastern portal. It is also on the Similkameen River and tends to be the first campground to open. 50% of sites are reservable. $21/night.
There are 10 backcountry camping areas in the park accessed by trails. Facilities are limited and cost is $5/person per night.
Be bear aware in the summer. Some wilderness campgrounds have bear caches for storing food.
If driving through the park in winter, it's a good idea to carry chains. Black ice is common and the snow can accumulate quite a bit in a storm before it is plowed.
|Routes through Manning Provincial Park