Usually low avalanche risk. Better weather and fluffier snow than the coast. No stupidly steep climbs. Gorgeous mountain views. And TONS of trails ranging from super flat beginner routes to all-day epics in the backcountry that climb mountains. Plus you can rent snowshoes there too. I mean, what else do you need? In this guide I’ll give you all the details you need to choose the right trail for snowshoeing in Manning Park, plus tips to keep you safe on the trail.
Make a Trip Plan
Snowshoeing in BC is no joke. While these trails may be steps from a busy highway, they access serious wilderness. Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back. Check out the great trip planning tools over at Adventure Smart. Keep in mind that snowshoeing is tougher than hiking and it will take you longer to snowshoe a trail than to hike it. Plan to start early so you don’t get caught out in the dark.
Check the Weather, Trail Conditions and Avalanche Forecast
Snow conditions and the weather can play a big factor in the success of your snowshoeing trip. Be sure to check trail conditions online before you go. If you are snowshoeing in Manning Park, you should also check the avalanche forecast for the South Coast Inland zone. Unless you have taken an avalanche safety course, you probably shouldn’t go out unless the forecast is rated “Low” or “Moderate”.
Wear Winter Clothing and Pack the Essentials
Make sure you wear proper winter clothing and footwear. Check out my post about what to wear snowshoeing to get you started. I’ve also got a post with tips for winter hiking and snowshoeing that will give you a good overview of what safety gear to pack and how to stay warm. I always pack a headlamp or flashlight on every snowshoe trip in case I get stuck coming back in the dark.
Where to Rent Snowshoes in Manning Park
If you’re looking for advice on how to choose snowshoes, check out this great article from MEC. I like to wear MSR snowshoes which are better for steep and icy trails. If you want to save some money, rent your snowshoes in town before you arrive in Manning Park. Sunny weekends and holidays can be really busy for rentals, so try to reserve a pair ahead of time if possible. (Note that prices below are current as of January 2018.)
You can rent snowshoes in Surrey at Skyview Outdoors for only $10 a day. They have MSR Evo snowshoes, which are great for steep and icy backcountry terrain.
In Langley head to MEC where you can rent basic snowshoes for $15/day or fancier ones for $18.
Mount Waddington’s Outdoors in Chilliwack has snowshoe rentals for $19 day.
If you didn’t pick up snowshoes before getting to the park, don’t worry: Manning Park Resort rents snowshoes. The rental price includes a pass to the resort trails and is $24/day. There are also cheaper rental options if you only want to go snowshoeing for a few hours.
How to Get to Manning Park
Manning Park is an easy 2.5 hour drive from Vancouver via highway 1 and then highway 3. It’s a mountain road so in the winter you need snow tires and maybe chains. You can definitely make a day trip to the park, but since there are so many good snowshoe trails in the area, it’s better to plan an overnight trip. There are winter camping options in the park at Lone Duck Campground and the Lightning Lake Day Use area, but if that sounds too chilly, you can also stay at the Manning Park Resort. They have both cabins and lodge rooms and you can go snowshoeing right from your front door. There are also cute cabins just outside the park that you can book on AirBnb.
Source: Happiest Ourdoors