Located on the Skagit River, Skagit Valley Provincial Park is a 69,100-acre wilderness area that was carved by retreating glaciers. The park is bordered by E.C. Manning Provincial Park in Canada and two popular recreation areas in Washington, the Ross Lake National Recreation Area and North Cascades National Park.
Tucked in the Skagit Range, a subrange of the renowned Cascade Range, Skagit Valley contains just eight named mountains. Skagit Range summits are characteristically craggy and rugged, both geographically and topographically, and this set of summits is no exception. The tallest peak in the park, Silvertip Mountain, reaches an impressive 8, 517 feet and is one of the top fifty most prominent peaks in Canada. Nearby, Whitworth Peak, Mount Brice, and Finlayson Peak all tower to over 7,000 feet.
Skagit Valley is relatively accessible and sits just 87 miles from Vancouver. However, the road into the park is unpaved and requires a certain degree of caution. Those willing to venture off the beaten path can take advantage of roughly 30 miles of scenic hiking trails, river fishing, horseback riding, and picnicking.
Often overshadowed by nearby parks and recreation areas, Skagit Valley is an excellent option for those seeking solitude in the mountains. The park not only supports a wide variety of wildlife and vegetation, but also protects over two hundred species of birds, including blue birds, owls, and eagles.
This 9-mile, intermediate footpath meanders along the Skagit River, following the contours of the river into Manning Provincial Park. Though the Skagit River trail doesn’t offer sweeping views of the nearby mountains, it remains snow-free for most of the year and is teeming with natural beauty.
Those seeking out sweeping views of Skagit Valley summits will want to tackle the Skyline II trail. This challenging trek begins near Whitworth meadow and traverses the Cascade Mountains into Manning Provincial Park. Along the way, hikers will climb over 4,200 feet, but will be rewarded with panoramic views of the Cascades, including Snow Camp Mountain, Loan Goat Mountain, Ross Lake, and Hozomeen Mountain.
Just 2 hours from Skagit Valley Provincial Park, Bellingham is known for its year-round hiking, biking, and exploring potential, as well as its proximity to epic outdoor recreation opportunities. In addition to Bellingham’s extensive system of hiking trails and pristine parks, visitors can trek hundreds of miles of trails in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and nearby North Cascades National Park. There are plenty of accommodations, restaurants, and facilities available in this quaint coastal town including Hotel Bellwether, a luxurious Bellingham hotel that offers incredible views of Mount Baker and access to the world-famous San Juan islands.
The closest major Canadian metropolitan city to Skagit Valley is Vancouver, which offers an abundance of outdoor recreation potential and serves as an excellent starting point for any adventure in B.C. The city itself is surrounded by mountains and is known for its thriving art, theater, and music scenes. Vancouver is walkable and offers several scenic vistas and parks, as well as plenty of accommodations and eateries. If you’re not quite sure where to stay, or you’re hoping to visit several surrounding wilderness areas, Vancouver is a great basecamp for your adventure.
Hope is a quaint mountain community tucked within the confluence of the Fraser and Coquihalla Rivers, where the Fraser Valley and Fraser Canyon meet. Visitors to Hope can easily access a number of incredible wilderness areas and attractions, including the Othello-Quintette Tunnels, the Fraser Canyon, the 168-year-old HBC trail, and Skagit Valley. After a day of exploration, visitors can book a night at The Rockwell Harrison Guest Lodge, Harrison Hot Springs Resort, or a variety of other accommodations nearby.