E C Manning Provincial Park
- All campground opening dates are weather dependant. Snowpack levels may persist into June. Early season reservations may be affected due to operational requirements or limitations. Contact 250-840-8807 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to check current campground conditions.
All revenue received assists with the maintenance costs in E.C. Manning Provincial Park.
Backcountry Camping fee is $5.00/person/night and applies to everyone 6 years of age and older for all locations within E.C. Manning Provincial Park.
Payment can be made online prior to your arrival, through Discover Camping’s Backcountry Registration System, or, at the Manning Park Visitor Center, or the Manning Park Lodge and/or the Lightning Lake Gate House.
About This ParkE.C. Manning Park is a focus of outdoor recreation that is unique in British Columbia. Located in the heart of the Cascade Mountains it is within a three hour drive from either the Lower Mainland (Vancouver) or the Okanagan. The climate and geography have combined to make this park an all season recreation area. Bisected by Hwy. 3, Manning Park is one of the most popular destination areas in the province. The landscape diversity of this park combined with four seasons’ development and easy access are the prime factors which stimulate visitor interest. The park contains a large number of scenic, historic, floral and fauna attractions and provides a wide range of both summer and winter recreational opportunities.
For further reading, please see this report: Manning - A Complete Natural and Cultural History [PDF 6.51MB]
Frontcountry opportunities along the Highway 3 Corridor offer vehicle accessible camping, day-use interpretive trails while backcountry/wilderness opportunities offer longer hiking trails, horse use and wilderness camping.
Park Size: Over 70,844 hectares of rugged forest-clad mountains, deep valleys, alpine meadows, lakes and rivers.
- The park has a large variety of walking/hiking trails which range anywhere from a 15 minute walk up to a 6 day hike. For your own safety and the preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails. Shortcutting trails destroys plant life and soil structure.
- During the winter season, all trails are closed for hiking due to snow.
- The plants in this park are susceptible to winds, rain, extended periods of dry weather, heavy snow fall and a very short growing season. For this reason we ask that you and your pets stay on the trails, don't trample or pick the flora.
| Campground Dates of Operation
*All dates are subject to change without notice due to operational requirements and weather
|During early or late season campgrounds are accessible, but may not offer full services such as water, security, firewood, etc.
Campground gates are closed during the off-season.
Lightning Lake day-use area is open all year without restrictions. Winter overnight camping fees in effect.
Campground Dates with Full Service and Fees
|- Cambie Creek group campsite (Winter camping only)||December 1 - April 1|
|- Coldspring campground||May 17 – October 14
|- Hampton campground||June 15 – September 2
|- Lightning Lake campground||June 6 - October 14
|- Lone Duck I & II group campsites||Year Round|
|- Mule Deer campground|| May 3 – September 26
Campground Reservable Dates:
|- Cambie Creek group campsite||December 1 - March 31|
|- Cold Spring campground||June 27 - September 1|
|- Hampton campground||June 27 to September 1|
|- Lightning Lake campground||Small Loop: June 14 – September 1
Large Loop: June 14 - September 14
|- Lone Duck I & II group campsites||Lone Duck 1: May 1 - October 30
Lone Duck 2: Year round
|- Mule Deer campground||June 27 - September 1|
|Total Number of Vehicle Accessible Campsites:||Coldspring = 66
Hampton = 99
Lightning Lake = 143
Lone Duck Group = 2
Mule Deer = 49
|Number of Reservable Campsites, if applicable:
|| Coldspring = 33
Hampton = 52
Lightning Lake = 143 100% reservable
Lone Duck Group site = 2
Mule Deer = 24
|Note: The above information is for the drive-in, vehicle campgrounds only, not including the backcountry campgrounds. Park users can still walk into the park if conditions such as weather permit. Check the "Attention Visitor Notice" above for park alerts.|
ReservationsAll reservable, vehicle accessible campsites and group sites must be reserved through Discover Camping.
Campsite reservations are accepted at Lightning Lake, Coldspring, Mule Deer and Hampton campgrounds; Lightning Lake campground is 100% reservable, each of the other three campgrounds contain approx 50% reservable and 50% first-come, first-served sites.
Group Camping: There are group two campsites available at this park. Group campsite reservations are accepted at this park through Discover Camping.
Location and MapsPlease note: Any maps listed are for information only - they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
Maps and BrochuresAny maps listed are for information only - they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
- Park Map [PDF 430KB]
- E C Manning Map [PDF 3.19MB]
- E C Manning Map - North West [PDF 383KB]
- E C Manning Map - South West [PDF1.21MB]
- E C Manning Map - South East [PDF1.28MB]
- E C Manning Map - Alpine [PDF 1.35MB]
- Coldspring Campground Map [PDF 126KB]
- Hampton Campground Map [PDF 221KB]
- Lightning Lake Campground Map [PDF 729KB]
- Mule Deer Campground Map [PDF 267KB]
Management PlanningManagement Planning Information
- A Management Plan [PDF 961.14KB] for E.C. Manning Provincial Park and Cascade Recreation Area is available in pdf format.
Activities Available at this Park
Lightning Lake Loop: 9km return/ 2.5 hours. Trail begins at Lightning Lake day-use area or at the Spruce Bay parking lot.
Lightning Lakes Chain: 12 km one way from Lightning Lake day-use area/ 3.5-4.5 hours; or 10 km, one way from Spruce Bay/ 3-3.5 hours.
Rhododendron Flats: this 20 minute walk, located 32 km west of the Manning Park Resort travels through an impressive stand of red rhododendrons; peak bloom usually June 1-15.
Castle Creek/Monument 78: 12km one way / 3.5hours / elevation change: 200m. Trail starts at Monument 78/83 parking lot.
Dewdney Trail: 36km one way / 14-16 hours / elevation change 1131m. Trail begins at the Cascade Recreation Area parking lot and ends at Dick's Cabin in the Cascade Recreation Area.
Heather: 21km one way to Nicomen Ridge / 8-10 hours / elevation change 292m. Stat at Blackwall parking lot.
Hope Pass Trail: easy-moderate 23.5km one way / 10 hours / elevation change 1000m; begins at Cayuse Flats.
Bonnevier: 25km one way / 8-10 hours / elevation change: 950m. Begin at Blackwall Peak parking lot.
Frosty Mountain Loop: 29.3km or 27.7km depending on route / 9-11 hours / elevation change: 1150m. Begin just past dam on eastern end of Lightning Lake.
Grainger Creek: 17.5km one way (includes 6km along Hope Pass Trail)/ 5-7 hours / elevation change: 952m. Begin 25km west of the Visitor Centre at Cayuse Flats.
Monument 83: 16km one way/5 hours/elevation change: 850m. Begin at Monument 78/83 parking lot.
Pacific Crest Trail: 13km one way/4 hours/elevation change: 450m. Begin at Windy Joe/Pacific Crest parking lot on the Gibson Pass Road.
Poland Lake: 8km one way/2.5-3 hours/elevation change: 435m. Begin at Strawberry Flats parking lot.
Skyline I: 20.4km loop / 7-9 hours / elevation change: 775m. Begin at Spruce Bay parking lot or Strawberry Flats.
Skyline II: 12.5km to Mowich Camp / 5 hours / elevation change: 469m. Begin at Strawberry Flats.
Whatcom: 13km one way / 6-7 hours / elevation change: 1082m. Begin at the Cascade Recreation Area parking lot.
Windy Joe Mountain: 16km return / 4.5-5.5 hours / elevation change: 525m. Begin at Windy Joe / Pacific Crest parking lot on the Gibson Pass Road.
Camp only in designated areas. Horse Camping is available at the Headwaters Corral located at Manning Park Resort, also back country horse camps are available on the Dewdney and Hope Pass trails. Visitors are requested to carry backpacking stoves and to avoid having campfires. Unless otherwise noted on the trail description all horse camps include a toilet, fire ring, water, hitching rail and grazing.
Pets on Leash
Some good locations include: Beaver Pond, Rein Orchid, Lightning Lake day-use area, and the Similkameen Trail.
Facilities Available at this Park
Group Summer Camping: Two group campsites, Lone Duck I and Lone Duck II are available for summer camping. The group campsites are open from May to October. (Dates subject to change due to weather conditions) The group site consists of a shelter complete with picnic tables and wood stove; no firewood, pit toilets, grassy area for tents, a parking lot and the use of showers at the Lightning Lake campground. Both sites overlook Lightning Lake Lone Duck Bay. They are located 4 km off of Hwy 3. The turnoff to the campground is 41 km east of the west portal to the park. There are several hiking/walking trails close to this campground and the Lightning Lake Amphitheater is a very short walk.
Lone Duck I and Lone Duck II Group Campsites:
Youth group camping charges per night are $1/person (6+), with a $50 minimum and $150 maximum.
Regular group camping charges per night are the base rate for the site, which is $70.00/group site/night, plus $4/adult (16+, minimum charge for 15 adults), plus $1/child (6-15).
Group Winter Camping: Two areas are set aside for winter camping and are open throughout the winter from October to March:
Cambie Creek Group Campsite: This area is available for reservations and consists of pit toilets, parking lot and a large walk-in camping area to set up your tents or dig-in. NO FIRES allowed, no water and there are no picnic tables available.
Lone Duck II Group campsite: This area is available for reservations and consists of a shelter complete with picnic tables, wood stove; a fire pit, no fire wood, pit toilets, parking lot and a large walk-in camping area to set up your tents or dig-in.
Cambie Creek Group Campsite:
Youth group camping charges per night are $1/person (6+), with a $50 minimum and $150 maximum.
Regular group camping charges per night are the base rate for the site, which is $20.00/group site/night, plus $4/adult (16+, minimum charge for 15 adults), plus $1/child (6-15).
Pit or Flush Toilets
Vehicle Accessible Camping
Other Services: Just outside the east entrance to the park (16 km east of the Visitor Centre) is a service station, convenience store, restaurant, liquor outlet, postal service and Greyhound bus service.
Coldspring, Hampton and Mule Deer campgrounds
Lightning Lake campground
Buckhorn wilderness site located at 5 km on the Heather Trail, consists of 10 tent pads, bear cache and outhouses. This wilderness camp is situated in the sub-alpine meadows. NO OPEN FIRES ARE ALLOWED. It’s a 5 km (1 - 1.5 hour) hike from the trailhead, which makes it a very popular spot. During the peak alpine bloom (usually late July early August) and on long weekends this site is very busy.
Frosty Mountain wilderness camp is at the 1850 m elevation on the Frosty Mountain Trail. The hike to the camp is a strenuous 7 km from the Lightning Lake day-use area. This 2 or 3 tent camp consists of pit toilet, fire ring and a shelter. During inclement weather this could be a welcome sight but come prepared as it may already be in use. A small creek runs through the campsite; when moving on be sure to fill your water bottles here. Approximately .5 km further along the trail the larch grove starts and continues on for about 1.5 km. and 5 km from camp brings you to the peak of Frosty Mountain.
Grainger Creek wilderness/horse camp is on the Hope Pass Trail just past the junction of the Hope Pass/Grainger Creek trail or 6 km from Cayuse Flats and 11.5 km from Nicomen Lake camp. The camp has space for 3 tents and consists of a fire pit, pit toilet and a good water source from Grainger Creek.
Kicking Horse wilderness site’s located at 13.5 km on the Heather Trail consists of 8 tent pads and an outhouse. This wilderness camp is situated in sub-alpine meadows. NO FIRES ARE ALLOWED. During the peak alpine bloom (usually late July early August) and on long weekends this site is very busy.
Mowich wilderness site is located on the Skyline II Trail, 12.5 km from Strawberry Flats or 6.5 km from the Skyline I and Skyline II junction. It is at the 1600 m elevation, has a wilderness shelter, pit toilet, bear cache and a camping area for 4 tents. During a hot and/or dry summer the water is not always readily visible and often drops to a trickle by late summer. Mowich is an Indian word meaning deer and there is almost always deer to be seen at this site. This is also a common place to see Black Bears.
Nicomen Lake wilderness site located at 23 km on the Heather Trail or 17.5 km from Cayuse Flats consists of an open 6 tent camping area near the lake, shelter and outhouse. The lake is a cold alpine lake that is a very good fishing lake for those who choose to carry the extra weight of fishing gear. This lake freezes over in the winter and does not usually thaw until early July.
Pacific Crest wilderness camp is located on the Pacific Crest Trail, less than 1/2 km from the Pacific Crest Trail/Frosty Mountain Trail junction or 6.3 km from the PCT/Windy Joe/Frosty Mountain trailhead parking lot. While this camp does not have a shelter, there is a pit toilet, fire ring, space for 4 tents and a good stream for water. Fill up here if necessary as there will be few opportunities until Castle Creek to the south or the Windy Joe trail.
Poland Lake wilderness site is located at the north/west end of Poland Lake. After hiking a fairly strenuous 8 km from Strawberry Flats you arrive at a pristine mountain lake which is very cold but a refreshing site after the hike. Poland Lake freezes over in the winter and does not thaw until early July. The site consists of a camping area for 6 tents, bear cache, wilderness shelter, pit toilets and a creek which flows into the lake. The spring flower bloom often occurs later here than up in the sub-alpine meadows so it is an opportunity to see spring flowers that are often otherwise missed. This is also a popular destination for winter back country skiing and camping. Black bears are often seen on the trail that crosses the ski hill area.
Strike Lake wilderness site is nestled in a protective grove of tall Engelmann Spruce trees at the western end of Strike Lake. Strike Lake is the third of four lakes on the Lightning Lakes Chain Trail. It is relatively easy to hike to the camp in 1 - 1.5 hours. The camp consists of pit toilets, bear cache and a camping area for 8 tents. As this site is one of the easiest hikes and the first site to be free of snow it is very popular throughout the season.
Lightning Lake Day-use: Self-contained units can camp in the Lightning Lake day-use area parking lot that is located 3.7 km off of Highway 3 on the Gibson Pass ski hill road. The pit toilets are open, NO FIRES allowed, no water and there are no picnic tables available.
Lone Duck 1: Walk–in winter camping parties can camp at the Lone Duck winter camping area which is located 4 km off Highway 3 on the Gibson Pass ski hill road. The area consists of a shelter complete with picnic tables, wood stove; a fire pit, no fire wood, pit toilets, parking lot and a large walk-in camping area to set up your tent or dig-in.
Winter Vehicle Accessible Camping Fee: $11.00 per party / night