Needle Peak

January 26, 2014

During winter, access is across the maintenance yard at Exit 217.

Before going into the forest, on the north side you can have views of Yak Peak, a granite slab face that is the highest peak on Zopkios Ridge.

Yak Peak (2039 m)

After leaving the maintenance yard and crossing a small creek, you start a short but steep climb into the forest. 

The climb eventually becomes an easy mountain meadow walk during the summer, and a fun snowshoe trip during the winter.  

After one hour and half, you start a scramble over rocks. From there you have closer views of Markhor and Needle Peaks.

Markhor Peak (far left), Needle Peak and Flat Iron (far right)

It is possible to reach Markhor without a rope but it requires a fair amount of expertise. I read reports of people doing round trips in approximately 8.5 hours

Markhor Peak

Needle Peak sits at 2105 metres and is a popular year-round destination. Like Yak is a granitic summit with the rock being granular and crumbly in places.

Needle Peak Approach

Not being much of a climber, this time the trip ended at the end of the ridge from where it is only 45 minutes to Flatiron.

The Flatiron is a flattopped, gentle summit with a steep northern cirque. The summit is adorned with a large black missile-like communications tower.

The Flatiron (1898 m)

Kw'ikw'iya:la (Coquihalla) in the Halq'emeylem language of the Stó:lō, is a place name meaning "stingy container".

It refers specifically to a fishing rock near the mouth of what is now known as the Coquihalla River. This rock is a good platform for spearing salmon.

Alpaca, Vicuna, Guanaco, Llama, Zupjok and Yak Peaks

Alpaca Peak is a granitic peak with a lot of clean slabs (up to ~400m high) on the north and east side. The southeast through west flanks are easy hiking terrain.

Alpaca (2083 m) and Vicuna (2126 m) Peaks

Vicuna Peak is one of the highest peaks in the Anderson River Group. The first recorded ascent was in 1974.

Zupjok and Yak Peaks

This area saw some mining activity in the past (Carolin, Emancipation, Aurum, Pipestem and the Ward mine) as well as at least 25 minor gold occurrences.

Total production from the belt was 1473 kilograms of gold from just over 800,000 tonnes of ore mined, although over 90 per cent of this came from the Carolin mine.

Hiking Trip Statistics

1. N 49.5946 W 121.1241 Elev: 1233 m Maintenance yard and Trailhead
2. N 49.5693 W 121.1376 Elev: 1776 m Base of Neddle Peak

Roundtrip length: 7.6 km (4.75 miles) 
Time: 3 hours 
Elevation gain: 543 m (1781 ft)

Download route in GTM format software available for free at

How to Get There

To reach the trailhead take exit 217 on the Coquihalla Highway. 

Driving distance from Vancouver: 190 km
Driving time from Vancouver: Approx. 2.5 hours