Manning Park 31/07/10

Michelle on the Skyline and Silverdaisy trails:
“No rest for the wicked! Three early mornings allowed us to maximize the mileage on this 500 something cumulative km trek spanning two provincial parks. Skyline as a cross over hike was a fun and unique experience with 5 hikers from Skagit and 4 hikers from Manning enjoying more sunshine than drizzle (and just a flash of lightning) before meeting up at Mowich for an enjoyable evening together. West of Mowich, Skyline does offer fine views of Ross Lake and the North Cascades. However continual views of Hozameen, endless peaks, valleys and the Lightning Lakes chain, kilometres of wildflower meadows, access to ascend Lone Goat and Snow Camp Mountain (a fine lunch spot enjoyed by both groups) is afforded by Skyline east of Mowich. Both groups also tackled a portion of the Hozameen Ridge trail 900 m west of Mowich (a spectacular ridge walk on a clear day). Reunited in Manning a dip in the river, some grub at the East Gate Diner, some refreshments from the General Store and cards at the Hamptons rejuvenated our band.

Of note – still some water trickling at Mowich, but I was glad I packed in all my water. Bugs (particularly flies) are better than last year in Manning, but were enough of a nuisance (as proved by my swollen eyelid bite). The snow is ALL gone and flower season should hit full bloom in the next few weeks.

The Silverdaisy trail is in fine shape, though easy to get side tracked and wander off in the beautiful meadows up top (pay attention and look sharp for the flagging). Silverdaisy makes you work for it, but the payoff of alpine meadows with a panorama of mountain views made for a very satisfied group. Mental or GPS breadcrumbs are useful for descent from the summit (easy to loose the route you travelled in on with little or no meadow footbed). The through and through hike may have shaved some time but navigation to Cayuse took effort and required GPS (lots of roads, lots of choices, little or no distinguishment on screen between active roads and now tree choked roads). An enjoyable adventure, but best (and more scenic) to just return via Sumallo Grove.

Summary: Nine enthusiastic hikers – check! Two cars + two phenomenally dedicated drivers – check! Two through and through hikes completed- check! Several frosty shakes and slices of pie consumed. Nine content hikers.

PS It’s a small world – 4 out of 8 groups on Skyline knew each other by 0–1 degree of separation, 2 groups of which were fellow Wanderungers.”

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