Almost all of the Manning Park mountain bike trails are really easy. Windy Joe might make you grunt a couple of times.....but my favourite is Monument 83. It starts out nice and easy, then slowly gets a little steeper, until the last couple of KM's has me sweating pretty good. 16 KM's later, BINGO.....you are on top with great views, and you are looking right the "Monument 83" on the Canada/US border. Explore the US fire lookout tower, and don't forget to look for Pasayten Pete's grave
E. C. Manning Provincial Park
Monument 83 Trail
Length: 16 km one way
Elevation Change: 859 m
Time: 5 hours
Start of Trail: Monument 78/83 parking lot.
After leaving the parking lot the fire access road remains level for the first 3 km. After crossing the first bridge, which spans the Similkameen River, a short side trip can be made to Boyd's Meadow by taking the left fork. Keeping to your right and shortly after crossing the Similkameen River the trail crosses the Chuwanten River. From this point one should keep to the left at all branches.
As you will immediately see the trail starts to climb as soon as you cross over the bridge. The ascent is moderately strenuous and climbs steadily over the next 12 km. At 14 km the Centennial Trail which goes to Cathedral Lakes cuts off to the left.
The last kilometre is definitely strenuous and will have you hoping the summit is reached shortly. A number of times you will believe you have reached the top only to find it is merely a plateau. However, once you are there, it is enjoyable and a nice spot for lunch on a sunny day.
The summit of Monument 83 stands above the timberline at 1980 m and is the location of an old 1920's B.C. Forest Service fire lookout station. This old lookout is open and offers shelter when the weather is poor. There is also a more recent fire lookout on the American side of the border built by the U.S. Forest Service in the 1960's. This is seldom used now as most fire spotting is through aerial surveillance.
One unusual feature of this area is the presence of a rock-covered grave. The carved wooden headstone bears the inscription: "Pasayten Pete, shot by L.E. Lael, 26.8.61". Mystery surrounds the grave: does it contain the body of a loyal horse, a drunken rum runner, or a two-faced prospector? Nobody knows for sure!
From Monument 83 the trail leaves the park, crosses the international border and enters the Pasayten Wilderness Area of the United States. One can either return the way they came or continue on and hike the Cascade Loop Trail which brings the hiker back up to Canada through the Monument 78 border crossing. From there one can choose to return via the PCT and Similkameen East Trail to the Monument 83 parking lot or return via the Castle Creek/Monument 78 trail to the original trailhead at Monument 83.