The larch meadows are on the way up to Frosty Mountain, in Manning Provincial Park, BC, 2.5 hr drive east of Vancouver. Return hike to the larches meadows is approx 5 hours (800 m up, 16 kms return), to Frosty Mtn peak is 7 hrs (1150 m up, 20 kms return)
Larches are deciduous conifers. As their needles are not waxed, they turn gold in the fall, just like leafy trees. They grow only at approx 2000 m elevation, and are very old (see sign photo with info). They are generally found in the Rocky Mountains and Manning PP in south western BC is their farthest point west. Some are estimated to be 2000 years old.
Early fall is the best time to see them. At this time, they look glorious, with their black trunks and gold colour. On a clear day with blue skies, they look even better (see photo).
Start at the Lightning Lakes parking lot, N49* 03.774 W120* 49.562, 1250 m elevation ($3 parking fee). The trail heads out at the east end of the lake. It's well marked and well groomed. It's 8 kms and 800 m up to the larches meadow, but only of moderate difficulty because of the good condition of the trail. At approx 6.5 kms, you'll come to the Frosty Creek Wilderness camp site, 1900 m elev, N49* 01.865 W120* 49.806, complete with camping sites, an outhouse and a cabin (you probably want to avoid going into the cabin. I would fear deer mites).
At this time of year, the snow starts just beyond the camp site. However, on Oct 8, 2005, the snow was just a sprinkling on the surface (see photos) and there was no problem walking in hiking boots. The larch meadow is at approx 2050 m elevation.
The summit of Frosty Mtn is at 2410 m, and on a clear dry day, can be reached approx 1 hr after the larch meadows. It is a treacherous hike up, so unless properly equipped and experienced, don't attempt this if there is snow on the ground. Also, on the way up to the summit, you can meet the trail up from Windy Joe. If you have 2 cars available, you can do a circuit hike
Note: Please also see the other posting in called " Mount Frosty
" on trailpeak, with pictures, comments, and, an alternate description.
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Posted By: badadim
- Sat Aug 14 07:35:37 UTC 2010
Commentwe had our 3 and 6 years old, took us a full day; kids want to come back!
Posted By: Hopehiker
- Sat Sep 19 16:40:28 UTC 2009
UpsideGreat views from the top. We went with the Hope Mountain school, all 21 kids,, and 10 adults Downsidesore feet onthe way down Commentno polution or smoke to block the view.
Posted By: limegirl
- Wed Aug 12 01:49:42 UTC 2009
UpsideStunning views once out of forest and at summit DownsideTrek through forest without views is long Extremely humid though forest on a sunny day CommentI did this hike the first time on Oct 5/08...it started to snow as we emerged from the forest. It was just enough snow to cover the land and trees, but not enough to stop our hike. It was enough to stop us climbing the boulders to the ridge however, but we were rewarded with complete solitude (everyone else had left the trail) and the most spectacular view of the mountains dusted with snow. The second time we did the hike was on July 22/09. The weather was extremely hot (approx 35-37 degrees) and the slog through the lower forested areas were almost unbearable. It was akin to hiking through a sauna for 7 km. Once we emerged from the forest, the hike was wonderful. The views were amazing and we were able to climb to the ridge and cross to the summit, where the 360 degree views were undeniably worth it. Personally I would recommend a clear sunny fall day for this hike, after the larches have changed colour...the hike is not the same with them green...
Posted By: vpigeon
- Sun Oct 07 17:53:19 UTC 2007
CommentRedid this hike on Sat Oct 6, 2007. No snow at parking lot, very little snow for first 2 k, then the snow starts. By the time you reach the larch meadows, probably 60 cm of snow on the ground. Bring your snowshoes.