Needle Peak, Coquihalla Summit, BC

This is one of my favourite hikes in BC. It has a ton of bang for your buck. Although initially very steep, the trail quickly takes you up above the tree line where wicked awesome views blow your head off. To me it’s like a miniature Yosemite National Park, with impressive smoothly sculpted granite peaks but without the permits and lineups. Once you pop out on the first ridge, you will see the handsome Needle Peak looming nearby. Getting to the top is mostly hiking but with some easy scrambling with little exposure. There are wild camping spots if you veer right at the pass and head up to a little lake, instead of veering left to go up Needle Peak.

The trailhead is right on the Coquihalla Summit, near the Zopkios Rest Area at the Coquihalla Summit Recreation Area. There is a gravel parking area on the south side of the highway. The trail is a little ways down the trail at the west end of the parking area, just past a little creek. There is some flagging marking where the trail enters the forest. From there, it’s easy to follow and climbs up through the forest, sometimes steeply, until it pops you out onto a ridge where the views open up. From here, you’ll see Needle Peak ahead of you. Continue following the trail, then veer left to climb up the slope leading up to the summit. There are several diverging trails going up Needle Peak; make sure to stay more to the middle of the ridge. If you follow one of the trails leading to the right, you will end up near a cliff with some sketchy exposed sections and will have to make a tough scramble to get back up to the ridge (better to just retrace your steps back and find the trail going up the middle of the ridge). The final section up to the summit involves a bit of easy scrambling with minimal exposure.

Needle Peak, from the first ridge. If you want to camp, turn right at the pass on the far right side of the photo and head to the lake.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The lake is in the bowl in the middle left side of the photo. This view is looking down from on ascent to Needle Peak. There are wild camping spots near the lake.

 

 

 

 

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