Summer has arrived! The weekend was forecast to be the best weather we’ve had in over a month. Thankfully I had the foresight to reserve a campsite at a campground in a popular (almost) local provincial park. We also arranged to have a couple friends join us for the weekend.
Dan and I were lucky enough to have Friday off. We got our gear organised and hit the road mid-morning. The drive to Manning Park took about two and a half hours.
Our first stop was the Cascade Lookout and High Alpine Meadow, a drive up to 5000 ft and a short hike through some wildflower-filled meadows.
Next we headed to our campground to claim our site. The rest of the afternoon was a lazy one, waiting for our friends to drive up from the city.
The next morning we enjoyed a big breakfast made over the campfire and then headed for a hike. Our goal for the day was to get as high up the Frosty Mountain trail as reasonable. I had checked in with the park ranger the day before, and had been told that the snow line was somewhere beyond Frosty Creek camp at the 7 km mark.
We hit the trail around 10:30, with the heat of the day already setting in. Thankfully the first 5 km (3 miles) of trail are gentle switchbacks through the thick forest. We were treated to a couple peak-a-boo views of the Chain Lakes below us as we climbed.
Around 5 km the trail rounds over and becomes a gentler track wandering along a flat ridge. The trail started to climb again after passing by Frosty Creek camp. For the last kilometre we abandoned the trail and followed a shallow snow chute up to a high alpine meadow. We were rewarded for that extra work with amazing views of Mt. Frosty as well as a 360 view of the mountains of Manning Park.
We stayed in the meadow amongst the larch stands for nearly an hour, enjoying the views and the heat of the summer sun. The trip down went quickly and easily and we got to soak our feet in Lighting Lake at the end.
For our last day in the park we decided to take it easy. We headed back to Lightning Lake, but this time to work our upper bodies, renting a canoe for an hour or so to explore the lake. It was a great morning to be out on the water. We watched as a mother duck herded her crew of ducklings along and we even saw a deer swim across the lake!
It was hard to leave the park to head for home. However, I know I’ll be back in a little over 2 months, though on that occasion I’ll be walking in via the Pacific Crest Trail!