- Difficulty Difficult
- Time 8 hours
- Round-Trip 22km
- Elevation Gain 1160 meters
- Season July - September
- Camping Yes
- From Vancouver 3 hours
- Public Transit No
- Dog Friendly On-Leash
Frosty Mountain in Manning Provincial Park is a challenging hike that takes you into the alpine to a viewpoint on the first peak that provides a spectacular view of surrounding Coastal Mountain ranges. The trail steadily ascends and some scrambling over loose rocks is required before reaching the top but the views on a clear day are some of the best in the park.
The trail begins from the Lightning Lake day-use area. From the parking lot, walk to the east end of Lightning Lake and follow the trail for about 100 meters until you see a small wooden sign for Frosty Mountain. The trail enters the forest and immediately veers right, climbing steadily. You will catch glimpses of the Lightning Lake between the trees and continue to hear people at the beach as you make your way uphill through the steep switchbacks.
As you gain more elevation, there are a couple of clearings where you can see the beautiful colours of Lightning Lake and Flash Lake. Just before a switchback, there is a small, red marker on a tree with the 4km mark. Just after this point, the trail begins to level and even slightly descend in a few areas as you pick up the pace and begin to quickly gain some distance.
Walk past a wooden "Camp" sign and, within a few minutes, you arrive at the Frosty Creek Campsite. There is an outhouse, tenting areas, and a small wooden structure that can be used as a shelter. Step over Frosty Creek and follow the trail as you leave the campsite and the route begins to climb again through another series of switch backs.
Eventually, the trail begins to open up and leave the tree cover and view of Mount Frosty can be seen up ahead. After passing through a fairly flat section of trail in a meadow, the trail begins to climb quickly, offering spectacular views on both sides of the route.
The trail reaches the section where there is plenty of loose rock and requires some route finding and scrambling. The trail is not marked through this section so care must be taken to follow the worn path over the loose rock and to watch your footing as you do so. The route climbs steeply, zig-zagging slightly until you reach the top of the ridge at a wooden sign post marking the junction with the Windy Joe route. Note this junction as you will need to return to this point.
Continue to the right, walking along the ridge, watching where you step as you take in the views. Make your way up the final ascent onto Frosty where a wooden post marks the elevation at 2,408 meters. The view from the top is incredible as you can see all the peaks in Manning, including the Three Brothers in the distance to the north. The view looking south is probably the most spectacular as all the mountains to the south are located in the United States portion of the Cascade Range.
After enjoying the views, begin your descent back down by following the worn trail over the rocks. Be careful to stay on track and aim for the ridge that you walked up earlier as there are no markers to guide you. Follow the ridge back towards the wooden sign at the junction to the Windy Joe route but go left, following the same route back down the rocks in which you came from. Be careful descending this section as the rocks are loose and slippery.
Once the rocky section ends, follow the trail back downhill as you quickly descend and make your way through the meadows. The views disappear behind you and you follow the trail through the forest returning to Frosty Creek Campsite. Continue following the route as it passes along a flat section, before reaching the tiny, red marker with the 4km distance. Begin the descent back down the switchbacks as you begin to see views of Lightning Lake and return to where you began you hike.