5 Places to Experience Backcountry Skiing and Snowshoeing in BC
Skiing & Snowshoeing
Backcountry skiing and snowshoeing are very popular sports here in Hope BC because of mountain peaks and trails nearby located just off of Highway 5 (also known as the Coquihalla). Consider hitting a local mountain on a weekday or weekend just a short drive from town. Here are a few favourites!
1. Manning Park
Manning Park offers over 30km of groomed nordic trails and many un-groomed nordic and snowshoe trails which you can travel on multi-day trips. The temperatures at Manning Park are colder and the snowfall is more consistent so visitors get untracked powder more often than at other coastal mountain ski parks. If you’re interested in winter camping, Manning Park also offers the only ski-in, ski-out camping in the province with their powered, on-hill RV sites. For alpine downhill skiing, Manning Park has many groomed and un-groomed ski slopes. Go to Manning Park’s website for information about lift tickets.
Lightning Lakes is a snowshoeing trail and the trailhead is a short drive from Manning Park Lodge. It offers multiple loops of varying distances. You’ll be tempted to stop many times to take gorgeous photographs of the frozen lakes backed by snow filled trees.
Other Manning Park Trails
- Beaver Pond Trail – Easy (Marked)
- Similkameen Trail – Easy (Marked)
- Rein Orchid Trail – Easy (Marked)
- West Similkameen Trail – Moderate (Marked)
- Cambie Creek – Easy (Marked)
- Blackwall Peak – Advanced (Marked)
- Poland Lake – Advanced (Not Marked)
- Windy Joe – Advanced (Marked)
2. Needle Peak
Needle Peak has been described as the quintessential south western BC alpine hike. Just a short drive up the Coquihalla Highway from Hope, much of the elevation gain normally gained by slogging through forested slopes is achieved driving up the highway. The trails starts off with a 1.5 hr uphill push through trees on well marked trail, rewarded then with rock slab walking on undulating ridges with massive views of surrounding peaks. More hike info here. Remember to respect the alpine. Leave pets at home and no fires above the tree line.
3. Zoa Peak
Zoa Peak is located just shy of the bathroom pull-out on the Coquihalla Highway 5. Officially it is called a peak, but Zoa is actually a partially forested ridge running along the north side of Falls Lake. This gentle, rolling summit with green meadows in the Coquihalla Recreation Area is known for it’s impressive views of neighbouring peaks. During winter months it is extremely popular for backcountry skiing and snowshoeing.
4. Bombtram Mountain
Along the Coquihalla Highway, just south of the famous Box Canyon you will find Bombtram Mountain. This massive flat-topped, horseshoe summit has short, steep walls on the east side and a long ridge joining it to the south Anderson River divide
5. The Flatiron
An easier alternative to Needle Peak, with great views along the way and a flat open area at the peak. The trail starts at the same location as Needle Peak near the Coquihalla summit.