Lightning Lake Loop

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Very Easy
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
8.5 km
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
206 m
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Directions to Trailhead
Lightning Lake Loop

The Lightning Lake Loop is a scenic woodland hike in E.C. Manning Provincial Park that takes a waterside route to some nice viewpoints over the lake. This 8.5 km loop trail has some easy terrain and small changes in elevation, making it a great day hike option for families to get out and enjoy nature. This trail is the perfect way to take in the beauty of the park without tackling one of its tougher climbs.

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Route Description for Lightning Lake Loop

The Lightning Lake Loop is a popular destination for people visiting E.C. Manning Provincial Park and as a result, it can become fairly busy with hikers or those looking to utilize the route for snowshoeing in the winter. Make sure to arrive at a decent time to avoid crowds, or make use of the nearby campgrounds to stay for the weekend. While the route has minimal changes in elevation, we still recommend you wear proper footwear as the trail does contain some stretches with rocks/roots.

This hiking route is the perfect spot to take the family out for an intermediate length hike along a beautiful lakeside trail. The easy terrain and forested trails make the hike a pleasant one, and the scenic views of the peaceful lake with its wooded backdrop offer a relaxing escape from the grind of everyday life. If you are searching for a calming waterside hike within the majestic E.C. Manning Provincial Park, then look no further than the trails that make up the Lightning Lake Loop.

Setting out on the trail from the roundabout, follow the path to the west to reach the water’s edge, where it will turn north and follow along the shores of the lake. You will soon pass by both the Lone Duck and Lightning Lake campgrounds on your right as the route turns south toward the narrow stretch of water that separates the two halves of the lake. Shortly after crossing the Little Muddy Creek, you will arrive at Rainbow Bridge, which spans the short distance over the water to the eastern shore of the lake. Don’t cross over the bridge. Instead, continue south to reach a junction to the left with an optional trail that overlooks the lake for some nice views. Back on the main trail, make your way along the route towards Creek Bridge at the southern tip of the lake.

Crossing over the bridge, head east along the trail towards another smaller wooden bridge spanning a creek. Make your way over the bridge and continue along the forested trail as it hugs tightly to the water’s edge. As you hike its eastern shore, you will catch glimpses of the picturesque lake through the forest cover, once again passing by Rainbow Bridge on your left. Continue north along the trail to eventually cross over Lightning Lake Dam and arrive back at the trailhead. From here, you can head back to the parking lot or spend some time hanging out at the beach while admiring the scenic views out over Lightning Lake.

Insider Hints for Lightning Lake Loop

  • Bring bug spray.
  • Wear proper hiking footwear.
  • Arrive early to beat crowds onto the trail.
  • Make use of the camping facilities and enjoy a weekend in the park.

Getting to the Lightning Lake Loop Trailhead

To get to the Lightning Lake Loop trailhead from Hope, make your way east on BC-3 E for 60.0 km and turn right onto Gibson Pass Road. Keep on it for 2.9 km, making a slight left when you reach the fork in the road. You will arrive at the parking area next to the lake after 700 m.

Route Information

  • When to do


  • Backcountry Campsites

    Lightning Lake Campground, Lone Duck Group Campground

  • Pets allowed


  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type


Lightning Lake Loop Elevation Graph

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