Hikers, mountain bikers, ATVers and horseback riders share a wealth of scenery accessible on Princeton area backroads and trails. Follow the Trans Canada Trail through tunnels, over trestles, into deep canyons, across grasslands and into the forested highlands. Move on to explore historic trails and climb to panoramic lookouts with views of the snow-capped Cascade Mountains. These are just some of the few things that can be accoplished thanks to some sort of accesibility by motorized vehicle. This makes getting to that backcountry lake or hidden trailhead that much easier.
The Trans Canada Trail in the Princeton area is entirely on the Kettle Valley Railway. The area encompasses the communities of Brookmere, Tulameen and Coalmont to the west of the town of Princeton, and climbs into the grassy highlands on its way to Osprey Lake - home to Bankeir and its many seasonal cabins and camp sites.
The scenery is quite unique along the trail, a particular treat for those traveling along the KVR from the Fraser Canyon - while the coast is shrouded in fog and rain, the interior is often warm and dry. Ponderosa pines and grass grow under the blazing sun and blue sky. There is a wide variety of amenities and services including world class B&B accommodations and miles of backwoods trails to explore.
Remember the days when sharing, friending and liking took place in person, with other people? Well at China Ridge Trails it still does! Just off of BC Highways 3 or 5A at Princeton's backdoor, you'll discover a big, wide playground of grassy slopes and reforested areas. Folks have been playing at “the Ridge” for years, getting their fill of chills and thrills cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, horseback riding, mountain biking and hiking trails that go on forever.
There are 45 kilometers of well-maintained hiking, skiing and riding trails winding through the Ridge and 19 un-groomed trails; making for some of the most extensive and easily accessible trails in the Similkameen Valley. Ride, slide, glide or hike our un-crowded trails and rekindle your love of the outdoors, just by playing around in our woods.
Explore our extensive network of China Ridge Trails while mountain biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, nature viewing and horseback riding. Located only 8 km from downtown Princeton, access is via Bridge Street, left onto Tulameen Avenue and right Onto West China Creek Road, For Winter enthusiasts we have over 40 km of professionally tracked cross-country ski trails, 15 km of snowshoe trails, 20 km of managed trails that allow you to ski with your dog, and endless avalanche free back country skiing opportunities. In Summer China Ridge is a horseback rider's dream of unlimited easily accessed trails for all ability of riders. Princeton Visitor's Guide In 2009, working with professional trail builder Duncan MacKenzie, China Ridge built .15km of single track mountain bike trail to Whistler standards. With the existing 55km China Ridge Trail Network, these new trails allow various loop options including riding the KVR and visiting the beautiful white sands beach located on the Tulameen River. Come ride The Ridge and see what all the excitement is about.
From a leisurely stroll to a challenging hike, it's possible you could spend days hiking China Ridge without encountering another soul, but the fun of China Ridge is sharing it with others. Come alone or with a group, but head out in the early morning, when the valley is still shrouded in fog, and you'll likely hear the lonesome bugle of elk calling their mate. Hike the Ridge and discover life above the clouds where the sun is shining and the sky is so big you can see clear to the Coquihalla Range.
Who knew getting dirty could be so much fun? For those that prefer two wheels to two feet, there are 10 kilometers of phat tire nirvana just waiting for you here. Forget going to the spa, out here, ladies like to grab their suspension bikes and hit the rails for a mountain-size workout, getting down and dirty riding the Ridge. Come along for the ride and cool off at the summit with ice-cold bevies and savory treats before going home tired, dirty and happy, riding where four wheels would never allow you to go.
Beautiful in summer, China Ridge dazzles in winter. Bluebird sky days and dry, powdery snow create the perfect setting for family-friendly winter fun. We like to say we're anti-spandex here, so just bundle up for the elements and grab your skinny skis; we'll see you on the trails! Die-hard romantics delight in a winter picnic deep in the woods with a moonlit ski out, following fresh laid tracks of rabbit and the occasional wandering moose.
Daytime or night time, under the bright winter sun or the light of a silvery moon, nothing beats skiing fresh tracks on new-fallen snow, except maybe sharing the experience with man's best friend. We have 20 kilometers of K-9 trails, so bring Fido along to frolic in the snow.
Open year-round, there's always something happening at China Ridge Trails. Check out their events for a guaranteed good time.
Manning Park's hiking and walking opportunities are unique and varied depending on one's interest and ability – from a 15 minute walk to a 5 or 6 day hike. This 70,884-hectare park is comprised of rugged mountains, vast forests, sub-alpine meadows, sun-dappled lakes, and white water torrents.
For information on EC Manning Provincial Park please visit the
BC Parks website, where you will find full details on campgrounds, trails and fees.Pdf Trail ReportMap of Manning Park
Lightning Lake Loop: 9km return / 2.5 hours. Begins at Lightning Lake Day Use Area or at the Spruce Bay parking lot.
Lightning Lake Chain: 12 km one way / 3.5-4.5 hours. Begins at Day Use Area; or 10 km one way / 3-3.5 hours. Begins at Spruce Bay.
Rhododendron Flats: 0.5km / 15 minutes. Begins on Hwy 3, approximately 9 km east of the west portal.
Castle Creek/Monument 78: 12km one way / 3.5hours / elevation change: 200m. Begins at Monument 78/83 parking lot. Winter nordic or snowshoe trail only.
Dewdney Trail: 36km one way / 14-16 hours / elevation change: 1131m. Begins at the Cascade Recreation Area parking lot and ends at Dick's Cabin in the Cascade Recreation Area.
Heather Trail: 21km one way to Nicomen Ridge / 8-10 hours / elevation change: 292m. Begins at Blackwall parking lot.
Hope Pass Trail: easy-moderate 23.5km one way / 10 hours / elevation change: 1000m. Begins at Cayuse Flats.
Bonnevier: 25km one way / 8-10 hours / elevation change: 950m. Begins at Blackwall Peak parking lot.
Frosty Mountain Trail: 29.3km or 27.7km depending on route / 9-11 hours / elevation change: 1150m. Begins just past dam on eastern end of Lightning Lake.
Grainger Trail: 17.5km one way (includes 6km along Hope Pass Trail) / 5-7 hours / elevation change: 952m. Begins 25km west of the Visitor Centre at Cayuse Flats.
Monument 83: 16km one way / 5 hours / elevation change: 850m. Begins at Monument 78/83 parking lot.
Pacific Crest Trail: 13km one way / 4 hours / elevation change: 450m. Begins at Windy Joe/Pacific Crest parking lot on the Gibson Pass Road.
Poland Lake Trail: 8km one way / 2.5-3 hours / elevation change: 435m. Begins at Strawberry Flats parking lot.
Skyline I: 20.4km loop / 7-9 hours / elevation change: 775m. Begins at Spruce Bay parking lot or Strawberry Flats.
Skyline II Trail: 12.5km to Mowich Camp / 5 hours / elevation change: 469m. Begins at Strawberry Flats.
Whatcom: 13km one way / 6-7 hours / elevation change: 1082m. Begins at the Cascade Recreation Area parking lot.
Windy Joe Mountain: 16km return / 4.5-5.5 hours / elevation change: 525m. Begins at Windy Joe / Pacific Crest parking lot on the Gibson Pass Road.
Great views, good climbs and quick descents sum up mountain biking in Manning Park. Many of the biking trails are on fire roads so they are fairly wide. Mountain bikers are asked to yield to hikers and horses.
Backcountry trails permitting use of mountain bikes:
Monument 83, Windy Joe, Poland Lake, East Similkameen, West Similkameen, Lone Duck, North Gibson and South Gibson.
Mountain bikes are permitted on all roadways throughout the park.HORSEBACK RIDING
Horse riding is another fantastic way to enjoy some of the scenic backcountry trails in Manning Park.
Please be advised that Manning Park Resort does not have horses for rent.
Trails permitting horses are: Monument 83; Dewdney; Windy Joe; Skagit Bluffs, Similkameen East and West, North Gibson and Little Muddy. Horse Camping is available at the Headwaters Corral located near the Resort Lodge and back country horse camps are available on the Dewdney and Hope Pass trails.
For more information about bringing your horses to Manning Provincial Park please visit the Back Country Horseman of British Columbia website.
Located 48 km southeast of Princeton off Hwy 3, The park offers three campgrounds in its core area: Quiniscoe Lane, Pyramid, and Lake of the Woods. Fires are allowed only at Quiniscoe Lake, and private vehicles aren’t permitted in the core area of Cathedral, so you must hike in or arrange transportation with Cathedral Lakes Lodge.
There are several well-defined hiking trails in this park. Hikers will require at least a full day to hike one-way into the core area.Climbing:
Grimface, the Matriarch and Macabre Tower offer mountaineering opportunities for experienced climbers.
The Vermilion Trail Society, a non-profit volunteer driven organization, was created in 1998 to steward the portion of the now abandoned Kettle Valley Railway right-of-way between Osprey Lake to the East of Princeton and Brookmere, to the West. The railway abandoned it's operation in 1989 and it took the provincial government approximately five years to declare the property as Crown Land. Impetus was initiated to create a lineal recreation corridor and to this end, the people of Princeton applied for and in 1998 received the charter to steward approximately 114 knas. The main driving force behind this move was the committee of Kelley Cook, Spencer Smith and Ernie Willis. In 1999 an agreement was concluded with the Trans Canada Trail Foundation to include the rightsofeway into the national trail system. Throughout the following years, the focus and resolve of the Vermilion Trail Society has guided progress and development of this valuable community asset. In particular, the vision and energy of Jim Stolth has been an anchor for maintenance and improvement of the facility. With the countless hours, care and concern spent by dedicated volunteers the trail will continue to be a point of interest in the plans of the local citizens and vacationers long into the future.
Tulameen Falls: Moderate grade. 1 km trail into spectacular waterfall. Allow 1 hour for the 2 km return trip from 30.2 km. Short hike for a hot day. Swim in the crystal clear river pools or shower in the fall's cool mist. CAUTION: Two main water crossings, hike in low water season only.
Vuich Historic Trail: Easy grade. 1 km return trip from Jacobson Lake Recreation Site (45.8 km). Short section of the original Tulameen Valley pack horse trail; Intersects with the Hudson Bay Company Trail and the Rice Historic Trail at the south end of Jacobson Lake.
Rice Historic Trail: Moderate grade. 4 km return trip, allow 2 hours. Follow the old trail used by prospectors and trappers into lush grassy meadows dotted with tiny ponds. Starts from the Vuich Trail junction south of Jacobson Lake.
Hudson Bay Co. Heritage Trail West: Moderate grade. Discover the route used by the fur brigades from 1849-1860. From the Vuich Trail junction - 7.5 km return trip. Allow 2 hours to reach the pristine "Palmer Pond" at 1805 meters. Venture further and stand on the "Cascade Divide" at 1850 meters elevation.
Hudson Bay Co. Heritage Trail East: Advanced Hiking. Challenge yourself to a backcountry camping experience. From the Vuich Trail junction, follow this heritage route over the Tulameen River, crossing at Horse-guard Camp. Pass through the majestic mountain defiles and up onto the Tulameen Plateau where you join the Whatcom Trail heading to Lodestone Lake. Be prepared for over 20 km. (one way) of remote backcountry. No trace camping policy applies. Make sure to have topographical maps, compass and other tools necessary for wilderness hiking. Weather and trail conditions are ever changing. Be cautious of wild animals and store food and supplies safely.
Grant Pond Trail: Moderate grade. Explore the hunting grounds of legendary native hunter "Blackeyes". Trail forks off of the Hudson Bay Company Trail "West" at 2.5 km. 4 km return trip hike through sub alpine meadows along the base of Mt. Davis.
Trans Canada Trail: The Trans Canada Trail is a shared-use recreation trail that winds its way through every Province and Territory forming the longest trail of its kind in the world, spanning approximately 17, 898 kilometres. It will accommodate five core activities: walking, cycling, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling (where possible/desired). It follows the Kettle Valley Railway line past Otter Lake on its way from Princeton to Merritt.
Kentucky - Alleyne Provincial Park:
A four km walking trail circling Kentucky Lake provides viewing and access to the lakeshore where the swimming is great. The trail is well-defined, 2-3 foot wide hardpacked dirt. It is an easy walk with minimal elevation change that takes one hour. It follows the lakeshore through large Douglas fir and Ponderosa pine trees. At the south end of the lake, a spur trail leads 20m to another small quiet pond. The other trails in the park serve only to link the various camping loops.Allison Lake:
A trail loops around the lake and is maintained by the Allison Lake communityMascot Gold Mine Tour:
Perched on the side of Nickleplate Mountain, high above the village of Hedley, this is more of a historic tour than a hike, although walking the 500 steps provide a good workout and a great way to be educated about the local history. The mine originally opened in 1897 and closed in 1949. The site eventually re-opened in 2004 as a tourist attraction. Starting in Hedley, visitors must take a long winding bus ride up the mountain and then walk down the long stairs down to the mine site. The tour can take 3 hours and features impressive views of the valley. Check out more information at: www.MascotGoldMineTour.com
Pacific Crest Trail: The Ultimate Hike: The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington and ends at Manning Provincial Park.
- Climbs nearly 60 major mountain passes
- Descends into 19 major canyons and
- Ambles past more than 1,000 lakes and tarns.
- You may also know that the PCT traverses…
- 3 national monuments
- 7 national parks
- 24 national forests and
- 33 federally mandated wildernesses.
But did you know that…
- It was recently pointed out that fewer people have thru-hiked the PCT than have climbed Mt. Everest! Could it be that a thru-hike is tougher than climbing the tallest mountain on Earth?
- The trail doesn’t actually end at the Canadian border but continues for another 9 miles into Manning Provincial Park, British Columbia.
- In spring 2003, the Travel Channel chose the Seiad Valley Cafe (in Seiad Valley, near Calif./Ore. border) as the third best location in the world to “pig out.” They were referring, of course, to the cafe’s great “pancake challenge” which tempts hungry thru-hikers to finish a mammoth stack of pancakes in one sitting. Few have succeeded. The Seiad Valley Cafe appeared on the Travel Channel’s “Gross Outs: The World’s Best Places to Pig Out” program.
- The PCT crosses the world-famous San Andreas Fault three times!
- As the crow flies the distance between Mexico and Canada is just over 1,000 miles. The PCT is two and a half times that.
- The PCT passes the three deepest lakes in the nation; Lake Tahoe (1,645 feet), Crater Lake (1,932 feet) and Lake Chelan (1,149 feet)
- Clinton C. Clarke, popularly known as “the father” of the California PCT was an avid Boy Scout, a graduate of Harvard University (with a degree in literature) and a successful oilman.
- Eric Ryback, popularly known as the first person to hike the length of the PCT, carried an 80-pound pack on his 1970 thru-hike. He had only five resupply packages on the entire trip, and was loaded with 40 pounds of food at the start of each leg. He often ran out of food and foraged or went hungry.
- Brian Robinson hiked the PCT, the Appalachian Trail and the Continental Divide Trail in 2001 (the first person to complete a calendar-year Triple Crown). His pack weight averaged 19 pounds in winter conditions and less than 13 pounds in warmer conditions, plus food. He resupplied almost every four days
- In California, hikers and riders on the PCT often must cover 20 to 30 miles of trail between water sources. The longest waterless stretch on the trail is 35.5 miles, north of Tehachapi.
- Some geologists argue that the highest point in the contiguous lower 48 states is not Mt. Whitney, but White Mountain Peak, just to the east across the Owens Valley.
- Susie Burns and her Father Frank McCubbins (age 72) hiked the Oregon PCT without ever shouldering packs. They hiked the 486 miles in four segments, with four different kinds of animals. First llamas, then pack goats, then a giant Bactrain camel (two humps), then finally mules. All the animals did well but the goats were the favorites. Although with the camel, it was great fun hearing the PCT hikers behind them wondering what in the world was making those strange tracks down the trail. Pacific Crest Trail Video