Mount Outram – a hiking trail starting in Manning Park near Hope, British Columbia
Closest City: Hope
Park: Manning Park (partly)
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Camping Allowed: Yes
4 X 4 Needed: No
Class: Full Day
Round Trip Trail Distance in KM: 20.5
Hiking Time in HR: 8-12
Average Grade %: ?
Elevation Gain in M: 1,798
Highest Point in M: 2,414
Map and Elevation Profile
Click the bars icon on the right to see details and to download gpx track (desktop) or the orange title button at bottom (mobile devices)
Mount Outram is the highest Cascade summit north of Highway 3. It is located in the Manson Range, just past Hope, British Columbia.
The trailhead is in E. C. Manning Park at the very west end, but the rest of the trail is not (it’s on crown land, I believe). The trail is accessible by any motor vehicle as the trail’s parking lot is just off a paved highway (Crowsnest/Highway 3). The trailhead is located at approximately 49°15’03.5″N 121°11’08.0″W.
Look for the big Manning Park marmot sign. That’s the parking lot – a really, big gravel lot. There is an outhouse just across the creek.
Just behind the parking lot, you have to cross a tiny creek to access the path. There will be a wooden sign post indicating the Mount Outram trail.
Learn to love the forest as you will be spending the next few hours travelling up through it.
There are small orange trail markers through the forest, but the trail is very obvious.
There is only one major junction. Going straight through it is the Ghost Pass trail. As the sign indicates, turn left to follow the Mount Outram trail.
At approximately 6 km, you will emerge from the forest into an open trail with stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
In early July when I hiked it, the gorgeous sub-alpine flowers were just starting to bloom.
Enjoy the views for a kilometre or two and then you will come upon the tarn (small mountain lake). This is a great spot to stop for lunch. Take a long break here as the more difficult climb to the summit starts here. Bring a filter or water purification tabs so you can fill water from the tarn or nearby stream. This is where most people camp. There is no designated campsite, it’s a really fragile ecosystem, and it’s near one of the few water sources in the area, so if you camp, minimize your impact by implementing all Leave No Trace principles.
Beyond here, the trail gets harder and harder to follow. Follow the path as much as possible to avoid damaging the sensitive plant life whereever possible. The path is marked by red paint on rocks in some places, and then cairns (small rock piles) higher up. DO NOT BUILD CAIRNS unless they are along the route. Lots of people think they’re fun to just build in random places to mark their presence and get a photo with it, but it is very dangerous. Hikers rely on these to find the route. Do not throw them off track.
Don’t forget to turn around every so often to take in the spectacular views.
Keep trekking. It’s about 600 metres gain in just 2 km so it feels like it goes on forever but don’t worry, you’ll get there. And you’ll be rewarded with oh-so-spectacular views. The trail starts off with about a km of scree (loose, small rocks), and then another km or so up a talus slope (larger, more stable rocks).
Just before the false summit, you will reach this viewpoint off to your right.
The false summit has some spectacular views but don’t stop here.
Looking back from the false summit:
Carry on past the false summit for just a few hundred metres along the slope and you will reach the south summit. This is where I stopped as the north summit just beyond is only 2 metres higher. It’s technically a class 2 scramble to go from the south summit to the north summit but the exposure is deadly, and just wasn’t worth the risk for a scaredy cat of heights like me.
Me and friends on top of the south summit:
Panoramic view from the south summit:
View of the true north summit as seen from the south summit:
Top of the north summit:
More views from the south summit:
Looking back at the false summit:
Mount Outram is an out-and-back trail. To return to the start, follow the same track back. While climbing up some of the scree sections, I got a bit worried about how much harder and sketchier it would be going down but somehow it seemed a lot easier going down. Go figure. The cairns are much easier to see too.
This is a pure backcountry hike up a very steep trail that is a constant climb. There are no amenities anywhere nearby except an outhouse at the trailhead. As with every hike, make sure you are prepared. Leave a trip plan and be sure to have all 10 essentials with you! The weather can change on a dime, so be sure to have warm and waterproof gear (learn more about how to stay dry while hiking in this blog post).
Before you head out, downloading an offline trail app like Gaia GPS is a really good idea too (see more awesome hiking apps here).
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