After one of the first major environmental battles in B.C., Hope became the gateway to a 27,948-hectare park.
The story dates back to 1906, when Seattle City Light began planning to dam the Skagit River on the U.S. side. Curly Chittenden was a B.C. logger clearing the valley for Seattle City Light in preparation for flooding. He and some co-workers recognized their task would destroy wildlife, unique flora and fauna, great fishing and recreational opportunities. He quit his job and joined the cause to save the Skagit Valley.
Visit Chittenden Meadow and follow the self-guiding interpretive trail, which meanders through prairie grasses and majestic Ponderosa Pine, indicative of a dry ecosystem. Only kilometers away, hike along Skagit River Trail’s lush coastal old-growth and spectacular groves of wild Pacific rhododendrons (blooming in June).
The Skyline II Trail traverses the Cascade Mountains from Skagit Valley into Manning Provincial Park. The trail is best-suited for hearty hikers, with an elevation change of 1,310 metres.
Whitworth Horse Camp provides horse lovers with campsites equipped with individual corrals and hitching rails. There are also two other campgrounds within the wilderness park: Ross Lake campground and Silver Tip campground, offering various levels of services and activities. There is a sandy beach at Ross Lake, where swimming, canoeing and kayaking are permitted. However, there is no roped-off swimming area or lifeguards on duty.
Skagit Valley Provincial Park is located three kilometres west of downtown Hope along Flood-Hope Road. Turn south at Silver Skagit Bridge and follow Silver Skagit Road another 36 kilometres to the entrance.