A few years ago John and I spent a weekend hiking the Heather Trail in Manning Provincial Park. We made it as far as the Kicking Horse Campground, 13.5 kilometers in from the parking lot. It’s one of the best trails in southwestern British Columbia for outstanding mountain views and colourful meadows packed with wildflowers. The Heather Trail is notoriously busy, but don’t let that put you off. You lose the crowds after just a few kilometers.
Here are some photos from that trip – and yes dogs are allowed on a leash.
If you’re feeling very energetic you could continue hiking another 10 kilometers past the Kicking Horse Campground and camp at Nicomen Lake. From there you can in fact pick up the 19.5 kilometer Grainger Peak Trail so you don’t have to return the same way. But you’ll need a 40 kilometer car shuttle back to the Blackwell Parking lot – and that’s enough of a logistical problem to put most people off.
We weren’t feeling nearly that energetic and were very happy with backpacking 27 kilometers total – versus 46 kilometers. All told it’s one of the best wildflower hikes I’ve ever done.
Do you have a favourite wildflower hike?