Condition: Graded BC Parks trail. Smooth surface, little deadfall, good drainage. Rock outcrops have been blasted or removed with pick axe. About 1 meter wide. Gradual climb with low angle switchbacks.
How to Find: To get onto the Skyline II trail from the west, follow the Silver-Skagit road south to km 55.3. Here there is a parking lot and large Parks billboard type sign. The sign incorrectly shows the elevation gain to Mowich Camp.
To get onto the Skyline II trail from the east, drive towards the Gibson's Pass ski area in Manning Park. The trailhead is on the south side of the road past lightning lakes and skyline I.
Trail Description: This is a spectacular mountain traverse of Western Manning Park, from Silver Skagit road to Strawberry flats, on high grade parks trails. A large part of the trail is above tree line, with views of distant peaks, deep gorges and hillsides covered with wildflowers. Water can be a problem in late season. The whole traverse is probably best done by dividing into 2 parties, one party starting from each end, and exchanging car keys in the center. An ambitious party can climb Hozameen Mountain from the center point, but for a more relaxing trip, the objective could be the rounded bump on Hozameen Ridge (49:01-120:59.4) just before the climb of Hozameen starts.
The Skyline II trail connects the Silver-Skagit Road with the Gibson Pass area of Manning Park. From Silver-Skagit, it climbs up over Hozameen Ridge, then follows the high ridges above Thunder Lake to connect with the Skyline I trail at Despair Pass.
The trail starts off in old growth Douglas fir forest with a vine maples, wild roses and Pacific Rhodendron in the forest. The trail climbs gradually on long switchbacks till you are above tree line. Once you get above treeline, the trail goes across several spectacular sidehills, with numerous vantage points of Hozameen. In summer, these hillsides are covered with flowers: Blue Flox, giant yellow daisies (Balsam Root), orange Devil's Paintbrush. The trail eventually crosses Hozameen Ridge in wide open meadows and subalpine tree islands.
Once past the junction with the Hozameen Ridge trail (about eleven kilometers from the trailhead), the trail descends through trees to Mowich Camp, in the meadow at the head of Mowich Creek. Mowich Camp consists of a old log lean-to with a mud floor. There is also a relatively new outhouse. Most parties would stay in a tent or sleep outdoors. By late August, Mowich Camp may be one of the few places you can find water. After Mowich Camp, the trail continues east, climbing around the south side of Lone Goat mountain, across Snow Camp Mountain, and down to Despair Pass. The trail ends at a junction with the Skyline 1 trail, about 300 feet above Despair Pass.
Like it on Facebook, +1 on Google, Tweet it or share this track on other bookmarking websites.