One of the (many) bright spots of our motorcycle trip throughout the Okanogan Valley was hiking in E.C. Manning Provincial Park on my birthday!
We had a slight adventure traveling from Penticton to Manning Park—I had several ideas for breakfast stops along the way that all ended up being closed!
Thankfully at the second stop, the Old Grist Mill and Gardens, there was at least someone on the grounds who we could talk to and who directed us to Keremeos for breakfast at a small diner downtown.
He also gave us a heads up that we should just call it ‘Manning Park’ not ‘E.C. Manning Park,’ which was apparently a dead giveaway we were from out of town. Glad to know the local tip!
We arrived at Manning Park around mid-morning and headed to the visitor center to learn a little more about hiking trails we could access on the bikes. We grabbed a map, spoke with one of the rangers, and spent a little time looking at some of the exhibits before hopping back on the bikes and setting off to find Dry Ridge Trail.
Dry Ridge Trail is a short, 3k roundtrip hike that we accessed from the Cascade Lookout viewpoint. It’s possible to drive beyond that lookout to two other parking lots for the Viewpoint Loop Trail or Paintbrush Nature Trail, but the stretch of road beyond the Cascade Lookout is less than ideal for motorcycles.
There were quite a few people at the Cascade Lookout where we parked who got out, looked around, and then continued to drive up to the other parking areas. We took our time, enjoying the views before setting off on our hike.
We ended up hiking to our destination on the trail and then came back via the road for a different view. The walk back via the road wasn’t that interesting—if I were to do it again, I’d go up and back via the trail.
The trail was in fair condition and an easy climb. We didn’t see anyone else and ended up having the overlook entirely to ourselves! The views were amazing!
After returning to our bikes, we decided to take a few more pictures before climbing back into our gear. A family was taking pictures at the far end of the parking lot and the dad, who happened to have a very nice camera on him, offered to take a couple pictures of us.
There were lots of other hikes in Manning Park and we’d love to return and explore more of this lovely area. Beautiful weather, time on the bikes, and hiking with Brian—it was a pretty amazing way to spend my 35th birthday!
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