Outing: Manning Park 2

As you may recall from an earlier post, I’ve been spotting places in Manning Park that I want to go back to explore and  photograph. My first return trip was a partial bust – I got some nice snow pictures but I wasn’t able to get up the mountain road I wanted to explore because it was closed.

Now I’ve gone back a second time. The snow was gone, and the road was open. Here’s part of my GPS log showing just what road I mean:

[gmap width=’90%’ file=’http://www.soleillapierre.ca/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/alpine_meadows.kmz’ zoom=’12’]

The first 5 miles of the road, leading up to the viewpoint are paved but narrow, with no guard rails. It was a little tense going up and down this road for someone like me who gets vertigo on dropoffs and is afraid of falling off.

The viewpoint was nice but nothing special relative to other mountain viewpoints; you could still see a lot of buildings and hear the road below.

Continuing on to the end of the road, another four miles on a rough, washboarded gravel road, brings you to the Alpine Meadows recreation area. There are lots of open meadows at the top of the mountain here, with delicate wildflowers that bloom in the summer. There are easy hiking trails all around, as well as longer trails heading off into the wilderness for overnight hikers.

I arrived too late in the season for most of the flowers though there were still some left. The meadows were still quite nice as were the views. I found a bench to sit on and eat the picnic lunch I had brought. I had a great view to the east with only miles of empty air in front of me, no signs of human presence, and a profound silence. The breeze would occasionally sigh through the trees, but when it was still it was the quietest place I’ve ever been. Not even the rural area in Manitoba where I once lived ever got this quiet.

You can’t get true silence in the city. It’s amazingly relaxing when you do find it. I must make a point of seeking it out more often.

Photo gallery here.

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