If you like the idea of an easy, pretty trail that doesn’t get too hot in the summertime, then the first part of the Skagit River trail is a fantastic option near EC Manning Provincial Park. If you have plenty of time, you can hike the entire 15km. Or, if you only want a quick peek, just walk along the first 1.75km to visit a waterfall next to an abandoned mine. We turned around at the pleasant Delacy campground which was perfect for a mini adventure.
We found this hike in the fantastic new book Backpacking in Southwestern British Columbia by the lovely Taryn Eyton. If you like the idea of camping near Vancouver, you should totally pick up this guide! We didn’t actually camp this time (we just wanted a shady walk as it was such a hot day!)
Skagit River trail map
This is the map of the small section we did. You can keep going for 15km (or 30km return)
Skagit River trail – the basics
Distance: 15 km one way (the section we did was just 5km, so 10km return)
Elevation Gain: 340 m
Time: 2.5 hours to Delacy campground and back
What to bring:
The 10 essentials, plus bug spray and bear spray
If you want to camp, you’ll want camping gear
Facilities: There are loos and multiple campgrounds along the trail.
Dogs: Yep, dog friendly but keep them on a leash
How hard is it? Easy for the section we did to Delacy Camp
Extra notes: If you continue down the trail you’ll reach a burned out section. Be very careful if you venture into that area as the burned trees might fall, especially in high winds.
Skagit River trail – Getting started
You can start this trail from either direction! We chose to start from the Sumallo Grove parking area in Manning Park. However, if you follow the Silver Skagit road further along from Silver Lake and Eaton Lake (our previous hike). The southern end of this trail goes through a part of the forest that burned in a wildfire in 2018. If you start from Sumallo Grove, follow the signs along the Skagit river, and cross a pretty bridge (with gorgeous views) to find the main trail.
This trail is perfect for hot days! The bridge is in the sunshine, but most of the trail is covered by forest alongside the Skagit river. The shade and cooling breeze from the water mean it’s less sweltering than other more exposed walks.
Silverdaisy creek Falls
Quite near the start (1.7km in) watch out for a small side trail that leads up to an abandoned truck. Behind that truck you’ll find an abandoned mine next to a really gorgeous waterfall – Silverdaisy Creek Falls. Like everything I’ve posted recently, there was a lot of meltwater, so the waterfall was really impressive! It might be less splashy later in the summer.
The mine to the left of the waterfall was all dug out by a single man in the 1960s, looking for gold. The shaft could collapse at any time (it’s unsupported) so please don’t venture inside. There is a pile of wood behind the truck where the miner’s cabin used to stand.
It is a pretty nice spot for a mine as he would have had a waterfall right next door for when he needed a drink.
Once you’ve seen the waterfall, head back to the main trail where there is a small bridge to help you cross the creek.
Next you will stumble upon an old slide area. You can see just how much force must have been involved in this landslide! Some of the trees have their bark ripped off completely for about 2m above the trail! The mud splatters are well above my head and you can see the massive rocks that managed to flow down the mountain as if they were marbles.
I knew that part of this trail was burned out, so I have to admit, I was not really prepared for how lush and green it all is. As we only hiked down the first 5km, we didn’t get anywhere near the burned out area so it was just a relaxing walk with forest bathing.
There are a few points where the trail climbs up above the river, but mostly you’ll walk alongside the raging Skagit River.
We stopped at Delacy Campground for lunch. The edge of the campground looked like it must recently have flooded, washing away lots of the soil from the roots of nearby trees. Still, the tent pads where most people sleep are a little higher up, so those were undamaged.
Facilities-wise, we found two tent pads above the main campground area (with fantastic views of the Skagit river and surrounding scenery.) Other than that, there are picnic benches and a bear cache down low, as well as a throne-like loo a bit deeper into the forest.
How perfect is this for a final view for a fun, easy walk along the Skagit River trail. Now I’ve had a taste for this pretty area, I’d love to come back and camp here.
The Skagit River trail is a great walk from Manning Provincial Park. You can click on the pins below to save them. Or, if you’d like other ideas for harder hikes near here, have a peek at the map on my Canada page.