Added by Ashika Parsad
Manning Park is located about 2.5 hours east of Vancouver, BC. The Mt. Frosty hike offers stunning alpine meadows with views of Manning Park and the North Cascades. If you visit between October and November, you'll have a chance to witness the famous golden larches.
The larch meadows on the approach to Mt. Frosty are known for 2 things: 1. Wild flowers during the summer and 2. Larches during the autumn.
The trail climbs up the south end of Lightning Lake; it is well groomed and graded all the way up. The steepest section is the climb out of Lightning Lakes – the first three or four switchbacks. The rest of the trail is less steep, until you reach the scree slope just before Frosty’s summit.
After the initial switchbacks, the trail reaches a plateau on the ridge. From the plateau to the Frosty Creek Camp (a little after 6km from the start), the path is nice and flat as it meanders through a sparse forest. The camp itself has a rustic shelter, an outhouse, a bear cache for your food, and plenty of room for tents. Frosty creek is usually running for all your water supply needs.
From the camp, you can continue on to the final set of switchbacks before the larch meadows.
In October, the needles are golden yellow and still in place on the trees. With the blue sky contrasted against the rich coloured larches, the view is spectacular. It’s fascinating to think some of these trees are over a thousand years old. The trail continues through the meadows before ending at the base of Mt. Frosty.
At the base of Mt. Frosty is the start of the scree slope, which gains the eastern ridge of the summit. There is a trail bed etched into the scree slope and you can follow the occasional cairns to the top of the ridge.
The scree itself does not take very long to climb, even with frequent stops for photos. As you top out on the ridge, views of the Manning Park and the north Cascades open up almost drastically. From there, you can follow the gradually ascending ridge to the summit.
Once you've had enough of the views, you can backtrack your way down to the parking lot.
This is one area I will never tire of. The meadows are in surprisingly pristine condition, given the amount of foot traffic it sees throughout the year. I wouldn't be thrilled to see it get trampled down, or to have to wait behind a line of people ascending the final scree slope. I guess that means I shouldn't give it a compelling review. So, with that in mind, don't go to Mt. Frosty. The trail is awful, the views are mediocre, and it smells like moth balls ;).
- Warm layers
- Hiking boots/shoes
- 2L of water
- Trail snacks
- Camera and tripod
- Backpacking gear if staying overnight (tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, stove, food)
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Photography, Running
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