Coldspring is one of 4 campgrounds located within EC Manning Provincial Park. The most popular campground is Lightning Lakes followed by Coldspring, Mule Deer and Hampton. There are also 3 group campgrounds within Manning Park. Coldspring is a very large campground but only offers basic amenities; pit toilets, well water and a self check in gate which are consistent with the less expensive Provincial Parks. We could not get a site at Lightning Lake on the long weekend so we settled with one at Coldspring. As we approached we could see several campsites from the highway so we were concerned. The large loop of the campground is very exposed to the highway and the sites offer limited trees to provide privacy. Most of the sites are a good size though and upon further review there were many that would work great. We went for a walk and found several sites along the creek which sat well below the highway providing a private, quiet camping experience.
What this park offers is great hiking. There are endless trails in this area that range from easy short hikes to more experienced overnight camping trails. We were camping with another couple who were staying at Lightning Lakes so we planned to spend a lot of time up there. They had printed off 8 pages of hiking trails in the area, so deciding on which one was the challenging part. Upon arrival the weather was rainy and cold with a nighttime low of -2 degrees being called for. That forecast worked in our favour because Saturday morning we were able to move to a site at Lightning Lakes due to a cancellation. Turned out the weather was nice and sunny all weekend so our trip was great.
Note that there is no cellphone reception within EC Manning Park. You can access Wifi at the resort if needed.
Our thoughts in the Coldspring Campground
We stayed in site 13. It was large with a lot of space between us and our neighbors although quite open and we could see and hear the highway traffic.
In the main loop, I would only recommend sites along the creek. They are well treed, backed onto the creek which helped mute the traffic and offered good privacy. Site 26 would be our top choice.
The lower road offers the best sites (sites 27-47). The road runs well below the highway so traffic noise was well muted. I would suggest only sites on the creek side because most of the roadside sites were very narrow and open to the road.
Site 28 & 32 were very nice pull through style sites.
Site 37 was the last site on the road and was very private. Great for dogs because they would have more freedom.
If staying on the lower road we noticed the noise started to disappear at site 42 and past.
Creekside sites on lower roads are very private.
Many double sites to choose from
Several first come first serve sites
Short walking trail that leads to Lightning Lakes Park.
Campground access to several local hikes
Proximity to highway. Some site are fully exposed to the road
Limited large trees on center sites
No cell service at all
Things to do
Hiking is the main attraction for campers in the area
August 2014 and BC was having a record hot summer, the teachers were on strike and we wanted to make our vacation last a little longer! Problem, trying to find a camp site on the labour day long weekend along with everyone else who were thinking the same way. I must have called 15 different places only to find various problems. Either they didn’t have room, they were very expensive or they wanted us to pay for our kids’ tent. A friend then recommended Coquihalla Campground. We emailed and, lucky for us, they had a double site but no hook- ups. It was only a long weekend trip so we figured we could do it. We were camping with another family so we had 4 adults and 4 teenagers on a double site. The weather forecast was for rain so, if you know Hope, you understand that if the lower mainland is getting rain then Hope is getting soaked. We had a list of things we wanted to do: Othello tunnels, golf, bike riding, a run and dinner out. Seemed like we had a lot to fit into 4 days!
We were booked into site 32 & 33. The site was good; big enough for 2 trailers as well as a large tent for the kids. The set up felt very much like a Provincial Campground as there was a lot of privacy at each site and they were spaced a nice distance apart. The campground is located on the river, in August it is very low, so we were able to hike the river bed. With the forecast calling for rain we decided to set up tarps. This is something we need to get much better at but the good news was the fire ban was off so we could have campfires. The campground has a BBQ shelter so once the rain started we just walked over to the shelter and enjoyed our bottle of wine while staying dry and playing games, loved this feature. Saturday our husbands went golfing at the local course while my friend and I went for a run into town. Coquihalla Campground is right in Hope but feels like you are out in the woods. After a run into and through town we ended with a latte at amazing coffee shop.
Sunday was to be the best weather day so all 8 of us headed to Othello tunnels. It took us about 30 minutes to walk from the campground to the start of the trail. That part is a long hill so if this is an issue then driving to the start of the tunnel trail is recommended, there is plenty of parking. Once on the trail, it is beautiful. Being an old railway route it is almost flat and it’s wide enough to walk as a group. Two of us had bikes and found it an easy and enjoyable ride. The tunnels are being repaired right now so you can go through most of them but the last bridge is under construction so access is blocked off from our direction and you just turn around and walk back. Well worth the trip. The two of us on bikes returned on the bike trail off the main road. It was a very enjoyable ride and mostly on a downhill slope back.
There is no doubt we will return to Coquihalla campground. The layout and site set up is great, the managers were friendly and welcoming, and the rules were enforced but not to the point of taking away from anyone’s experience. Now we just need to plan around better weather.
Here is my advise for this campground.
Recommended sites: If you are looking for a double site with hookups I would suggest 81/82, 83/84, 85/86 or 72/73. Any sites in the center area are good and if you are camping as a group they have easy access to each other. If you are looking for a single site try 18, 61 or 80. They all have privacy and are a good size. If you don’t need hook ups, any double on the back row is good or single sites 19, 66 or 71. If you want a river front site, I would recommend trying to get 102-108. These looked like the best choices. Sites to avoid: don’t book a site on the east side that backs onto 7th ave. The houses behind you can see right into your site and it is like camping in your back yard. Sites 89, 90 and 91 are all right at the entrance and have a lot of traffic going by, also at night headlights will come right into 89 and 90. Sites 42-48 are really an open field so if you are camping as a group they would work but I prefer more privacy, this is the same for river sites 97-100. All sites on Kawkawa Lake Road will have increased traffic noise so keep that in mind when booking. Finally the river sites 109 – 114 look good on the map but there is a security camera in that corner and based on other campers reviews it appears this area may have a bit of crime. There is access at that back corner to the local hospital so that ability to exit might contribute to that feeling. At no time did we experience any unsafe situations but it was in some of the review I read and after visiting there I can see why people said that.
Overall campground layout was great, it felt like a provincial campground.
Full, partial or no hook-ups. Great options for everyone and even a flat easy to access sani dump.
Clean, new, big washrooms with individual shower rooms great from families with young kids.
Walking distance to town and other activities
Located on the river.
Bike trails right from the campground
Grassy area for games
If you get one of the sites on the east side you may be backing onto someones back yard
The trail access to the washrooms from different sites is not great. We felt like we were trespassing into other sites each time we had to go to the washroom. This could be easily fixed.