Mount Outram

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Mount Outram Region Fraser Valley-Manning
Mount Outram.jpg
The dominant Mount Outram from the north under early winter conditions
Elevation 2461 m (8074 ft)
Quick Info This is a high summit which dominates the Manning Park area of the Cascades. Composed of generally mediocre rock, Outram looms above the west gates of Manning. Outram is the highest Cascade summit north of Highway 3.
View to the South from the Mount Outram trail.

Mount Outram is a long but technically easy hike located at the western boundary of Manning Provincial Park (although most of the trail is actually outside of the park.) The trail works its way through low forests, subalpine meadows, and finally scree slopes. After emerging from the trees the trail offers spectacular views of the mountains to the south. The trail is definitely a slog with about 1800 vertical meters, and the scree slope at the top is (like most scree slopes) quite unpleasant, but this is a good, challenging trail for the non-technically-inclined hiker. The hike can be done in a full day.

Route Info

Information on this hike can be found in Scrambles in SW BC (page 290) or in 103 Hikes in SW BC, both of which can be found in the clubroom library.

Mt. Outram summit elevation: 2,461 meters
Trail elevation gain: 1,811 meters
Trail length: 9 km one way
Time to complete: ~8 hours
Difficulty: moderate ~ hard
Technical difficulty: easy; scree slope near summit; possibility of snow in early season

Getting There

From Vancouver get on Highway 1 going east. As you approach Hope follow the signs for Highway 3 east, towards Manning Park and Princeton. You will need to exit right to get on Highway 3; do NOT get on Highway 5 (the Coquihalla). Keep your eyes peeled for the giant marmot that marks the west entrance to Manning Park, which is roughly 25km past Hope; the trailhead is in the parking lot directly behind the marmot. Keep in mind that the marmot is roughly 40km before the Manning Park Lodge, so if you get that far then you've gone much, much too far. There is no gas station on this route past Hope so plan accordingly. The trailhead has outhouses.

Trail Description

Shortly after leaving the parking lot the trail meets the engineers road. After a short stint on this the trail leaves to the left, at which point it also leaves Manning Park. Almost immediately the trail begins climbing on switchbacks through pleasant forest. Not long after crossing Seventeen Mile Creek (about 2 hours from the parking lot) the trail begins criss-crossing subalpine meadows and eventually reaches a small pond. There are good camping spots at and just before the pond. It is possible to encounter snow at this point.

Until the meadows the trail is very easy to follow. Once past the pond, however, it becomes slightly more difficult. After ascending the ridge next to the pond the trail begins to traverse a massive scree slope. Here hikers must follow paint marks and cairns (if they want to stay on the trail - it's probably possible to just follow "uphill" at this point and eventually reach the summit). It can sometimes be difficult to spot the next marker, so keep in mind that the trail does not switchback anymore at this point. Take care in low visibility conditions (especially going down, when re-finding the right ridge is pretty important) because the terrain on the scree slope is very featureless.

To reach the summit, marked by a large cairn, hikers must walk a short distance on a fairly narrow ridge. Retrace the same route down the mountain.