Just a two and a half hour drive from Vancouver lies E. C. Manning Provincial Park and it is definitely worth a weekend trip. Home of the very cute marmot and with many hiking trails to be explored, it is a real outdoor lovers paradise. We stayed at Coldspring Campground and managed to get a spot right on the river – it was beautiful. The campsites are large and spacious and you will often get a visit from a cheeky marmot wanting to steal some food.
There are a lot of trails to in the park and we chose the 16km Windy Joe trail. It was a nice and steady uphill climb along an abandoned access road to an old fire lookout at the top of Windy Joe Mountain. The walk through the forest is beautiful and the views from the top are spectacular – you get a good view of Frosty Mountain which is the highest peak in the park. The old fire lookout has been re-done and you can walk inside, climb to the top, and get a 360 degree view of the area. This is where we parked up to enjoy some lunch – bring bug spray!
While at Manning, a visit to Lightning Lake is a must. It is a beautiful area to walk around and go canoeing. It is also a good place to see A LOT of the park’s famous marmots. While driving through Manning Park we were also lucky enough to spot a couple of mule deer.
Our brief trip To Manning Park was wonderful and pretty inexpensive.
Here is a breakdown of our costs for 2 days (3 people):
Camping Fees – NZ$64
Food/Drink – NZ$180
Car Rental – NZ$176
Petrol – NZ$85
Firewood – $20
Total spent – NZ$525 (CA$480 / US$364)