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 kilometres 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. Dogs are allowed on a leash.
If you’re feeling very energetic you could continue hiking another 10 kilometres past the Kicking Horse Campground and camp at Nicomen Lake. From there you can in fact pick up the 19.5 kilometre Grainger Peak Trail so you don’t have to return the same way. But you’ll need a 40 kilometre 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 kilometres total – versus 46 kilometers. All told the Heather Trail was of the best wildflower hikes we’ve ever done.