I was a bit concerned about running into snow. It was early June when I did the hike, but a few weeks ago I had been in the park to hike to Poland Lake and found about three feet of snow in places. I knew I would run into snow, I was just hoping it would be a ways into the trail.
The trail was fairly wide, clearly an old road. I could tell that it was more of a horseback riding or mountain biking trail than a hiking one. Still, I wanted to try hiking in an area of Manning Park that I had not tried before.
After crossing a few bridges, the trail began climbing through a pine beetle infested forest. This area was a little sad to be in. It was reminiscent of hiking through chunks of the park that had suffered forest fires.
The trail continued climbing steadily. It occurred to me that while this would be a fun trail to bike down, I would not ever want to bike up it. It wasn't so much that is was steep as it was really, really long.
As I was hiking fairly early in the season, I encountered numerous windfalls. This was more of an issue in the first few kilometers, though I would run into them throughout the whole day. I definitely got more than a frustrating amount of tree sap on my nice new hiking clothing.
I also ran into what appeared to be a landslide that had sent a chunk of trail down the bank. The footing was really loose and the ground seemed very unstable, so it was a little scary to cross, but it wasn't like it was next to a big drop off or something.
A little while later I encountered a bridge washout. I saw the bridge down stream before I got to where the crossing was, so I knew in advance that I was probably a little screwed. The water wasn't necessarily as high as it could have been, but it still went past my knees in places. I made a make shift crossing by moving a couple of small rocks into the river, though all that really accomplished was making it go from knee deep to shin deep. Not being a particularly bright person in the morning (or at any time of day), I neglected to remove my hiking boots before crossing, so I got to hike in wet boots for the next few hours. It is embarrassing to admit it, but I also forgot to take them off on the way back down. I don't think I will be applying for MENSA any time soon.
After the washout I began encountering patches of snow. It wasn't too bad for most of the way, but once I got to the last two or three kilometers it was solid snow. This was kind of unfortunate, as I hit these kilometers just as my boots were drying.
On the last kilometer, where the trail more or less went straight up a series of plateaus, I probably would have been a little lost if I wouldn't have had someone else's tracks to follow. Based on what looked like evidence of postholing, I can conclude that someone else hiked this trail early in the year, without snowshoes (which would have been pretty handy). I wondered how much snow they would have encountered. A week or two can make a huge difference for snow levels in Manning Park. I had visions of trudging up the whole 16 kilometers in deep snow, without snowshoes.
|The Canadian lookout towards the front and the American lookout in the back|
|Monument 83 (duh)|
You can read more about the hike here.