Since we first decided to come to Canada, I dreamed of a white Christmas. In Melbourne, Christmas weather ranges from a hot 40ºC to a cool and wet 20ºC. We often have a picnic lunch on the front lawn at home, cooking a roast in an already over-heated house. Christmas this year was very different.
A white Christmas in Vancouver is rare, so we headed up to Manning Park Lodge on the 23rd December for a 4 night stay. Manning Park is about a 3 hour drive in winter.
The scenery around was simply spectacular! The snow was deep – it has been a good season for snow in the north-west. We found this creek on the first day – stunning!
The trees were weighed down with snow.
There is plenty to do at the Lodge. The accommodation itself is basic, but nice enough. The bonus is that you can take your ski gear and toboggan into your room, which you typically cannot at the nicer places. We purchased ourselves a toboggan and headed to the lodge slope. Mikayla was super-brave and went down the first trip all by herself.
And sometimes made up a slope where there was none.
There is also an ice-skating rink on the summer Tennis court. It is a bit rustic, i.e.: quite bumpy, and not quite as romantic as you would have thought (because of the rough surface). You also have to groom the snow off it a lot of the time – or just skate through it.
Other activities at the lodge were swimming in an indoor pool, gym, playground if you were brave, snowshoeing and snow brick making (BYO brick-making tools!). Basketball is more of a summer thing I think…
Cross country skiers can head off from the Lodge…
The downhill slope is about a 15 minute drive away, by free shuttle or car. Chris and I enjoyed our first days skiing together thanks to our baby-sitters (thanks Dot and John!). It was fantastic to be able to go out onto the slopes together and do all but one of the intermediate and beginner runs. Of the two chairlifts, the orange one is by far better.
At the downhill area, there is also a lodge, a tubing area and a toboggan area. And plenty of whisky jack birds. Whisky jack’s are notorious for stealing food.
You can even camp there….
On Christmas Eve, we went up to the downhill ski area for the Christmas celebrations: Hot chocolate, mulled wine, fireworks and Santa skiing down the slope with the lodge staff.
The train pulling into Hope on our way home
We thoroughly enjoyed our time away and our white Christmas. The only way it would have been better, would be to have had all of our family there to enjoy it with us. I suspect we’ll be back up at Manning Park to enjoy some more snow some other time.
Thanks for reading – I hope you had a great Christmas too!