Dry Ridge Trail – Manning Park

Dry Ridge Trail – Manning Park

Pretty views through the mist on Manning Park's Dry Ridge TrailThe Dry Ridge Trail is one of the super easy mini walks you can do in Manning Park, Canada. It’d be a great place to stop if you are just driving through. We couldn’t see anything down in the valley, but although the clouds were thick when we arrived at the Cascade Lookout, by the time we left the trail we had seem some lovely peek-a-boo views of the mountains in Manning Park as well as plenty of wild critters.

We popped up here after our hike along the Lightning lakes Chain Trail as Marc and I still had a little energy before dinner. For this trip, we were travelling with Marc’s brother Tom, and his girlfriend Andreia. They were both a little tired after our 20km hike in the rain, so Marc and I went alone for this one. I wish we had badgered them to join us; This was easy, pretty aaaand we got to see bears!

The Dry Ridge Trail Map

The Dry Ridge Trail – The basics

Distance: 3km 
Elevation gain
: 50m
Highest Point: 1700m (ish)
Time: 45 mins
What to bring:
Camera. You don’t need much it’s a short walk.
Not much. There is a car park at the cascade viewpoint. No loos.
Yes, on a lead.
How hard is it?
Easy. It may get your heart pumping, but it’s not hard.
You can grab a free map from Manning Park Resort. We used the fantastic Manning Park Map from Clark Geomatics.

Cascade Lookout

You can drive all the way up to Cascade Lookout to see the amazing mountain views at the center of Manning Park. Or, you may not be able to see anything at all! We drove up and couldn’t see a single thing! Ah well. If you visit on a better day, you can use the sign below to learn all the names of the mountains.

Dry Ridge Trail – Getting Started

Once you’ve made it up to the Cascade Lookout it is pretty easy to find the Dry Ridge Trail. You can find the path to the left of the road. There is a sign, so you can’t miss it.

Alpine Flowers on the trail

There are soooo many alpine flowers on this trail! We saw a few large patches of glacier lilies but there were plenty of other things blooming in the springtime. Be careful to stay on the path so that you don’t trample anything.

Views through the clouds

I love mountain views, so although I was happy to see the flowers, I was even more happy when the clouds started to lift to give us glimpses of the surrounding scenery.

I think atmospheric views like this can be even more beautiful that mountains lit up by bright sunshine. Marc took quite a few photos, so at some point I might be able to add some of his to this post.

The Dry Ridge Trail Views

This is one of the fantastic views from the highpoint of the Dry Ridge Trail. Beautiful isn’t it?

The views were slowly improving, but we had to drive back down into the clouds to get back to the Manning Park lodge for dinner.

Bears of Manning Park

We saw soooo much wildlife on the short drive back to the lodge. There was a chipmunk next to our car, grouses running over the road, an even bears. Be careful not to drive to quickly there are quite a few switch backs along Blackwall road. We came around the bend just in time to see a mummy bear guide her two cubs across the road. I didn’t have my zoom lens out, but you can just about see them in the mist…

If you’d like to see all these epic views in the sunshine, my friend Shannon also wrote a post about this the Dry Ridge trail on her website, Must Hike Must Eat.

Pretty views through the mist on Manning Park's Dry Ridge Trail The gorgeous Dry Ridge Trail in Manning Park

30 thoughts on “Dry Ridge Trail – Manning Park

  1. Wow – cool! And baby bears!?! What’s better than that?

    I love the cloud cover in these photos. Give a mysterious quality to the photos.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    1. I know right!? It did make me feel bad that Tom and Andreia didn’t join us! They really wanted to see bears too!

    1. I love seeing bears (when they are far away and safe)

      I am slowly getting more Canadian with my bear sightings! I’ve seen 14 bears now in the wild! Or 16 if you count the grizzlies on Grouse Mountain. 😉

    1. Maybe you can stop next time!? I think there are a couple of other super short trails that’d be good when you’re in a rush!

  2. It’s too bad about the fog but that just means another visit is in order, right?! I love finding easy trails like these that have so much to offer. It’s a nice break from the bigger treks!

    1. I totally agree – plus you can fit mini walks like this in between the bigger hikes, or before dinner – snack-sized exploring. 😉

  3. Wow it sounds like you got to see so much wildlife! And those bears walking through the mist, so cute. It’s too bad you had cloud cover but it looks like the breaks in the clouds gave you lots of photo opportunities. I really need to make my way out to Squamish, there are so many hikes to do!

    1. Thanks Brianna. Yeah, we got sooo lucky with the wildlife that day! As well as the bears, chipmunks and grouse, we saw a deer, pikas and ground squirrels earlier that day.

      Manning Park is like a wonderland for seeing critters!

    1. Thanks Eleanor!

      I think we were lucky with the bears, but I get the impression that it’s pretty easy to see wildlife in Manning park. It is a little more wild (well, far away from cities) than the other hikes near Vancouver.

  4. This looks like my kind of trail. I like hiking, but I prefer mini-hikes like this! I bet it was amazing to see the bears – I always love seeing wildlife on hikes!

    1. Yay for mini trails! 😀

      There were a couple of other mini walks nearby as well. If you ever visit manning park, I think you’ll love it.

    1. I love those moments when you can peek through clouds to see the views. Thanks for the lovely comment, I’m chuffed that you like the photos.

  5. I appreciate that its an easy hike! I always come across these awesome sounding trails and then find out it’s basically a level 15 stairmaster expert edition ughhh. But I can actually do this one! Thanks!!

    1. Haha, yeah me too! I quite like the giant stairmaster-like walks as well…but i appreciate the mini hikes, especially when the effort-to-view ratio is this good.

  6. Oh wow that’s right just across the border for me! Thanks for including a hike for relatively new hikers! BC is PACKED with super hard ones!

    1. Oooh yay that you are super close! There are quite a few easy hikes too (I mean, as well as the epic ones!) Let me know next time you head this way, I cane give you lots ideas for easy ones.

  7. We love to hike while on holiday. But, I have never seen anything like this. So beautiful. And easy! Did the altitude effect you at all? I guess it’s not super high, only a little. And bears, I may have been a little nervous about that.

    1. Thanks Jenny. Nope this wasn’t very high at all so you don’t have to worry about the altitude. I think my ears did pop on the drive up the mountain though. 😉

  8. This hike looks so pretty! I like when there are options to reach a beautiful spot without having a hard time to get there. It makes it possible for everyone!
    And I love your photos! The clouds make the place look magical!

    1. It’s great to find these mini (but gorgeous) spots isn’t it!? We did a longer hike earlier that day, but this was my favourite spot for views.

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