Driving from Hope, I turned off the exit at the Zopkios Rest Area and proceeded to the back of the gravel shed on the south side of the highway. Although I began the trip just behind the shed as described by both Bryceland and Gunn, there is actually a new trailhead with designated parking a bit further west (the turnoff is just before the gravel shed area). Oblivious to the new access, I crossed the creek behind the shed and thrashed along an overgrown trail until I intersected the good trail coming from the new trailhead. I turned left and headed into the forest. Though steep in a few places, the trail is well-maintained and easy to follow. It was not long before I was out of the forest and hiking south along a semi-open ridge toward the west end of Needle Peak. I lost the trail at one point when I wandered a bit too far from the crest of the ridge, but it was simple enough to get back on track.
Upon reaching a broad plateau, I left the
main trail and began climbing up the west ridge of Needle Peak. I
soon came upon a short and mildly exposed rock band guarding the ridge.
Surmounting this rock band is not overly difficult, but it is awkward
enough to discourage some casual hikers. Above the rock band, I
hiked along a level stretch before reaching the base of Needle Peak's
summit block. Though it looks intimidating from a distance, the
summit block is actually relatively easy to climb with minimal exposure.
I really enjoyed the scrambling here, and my only regret is that it was
so short-lived. After a leisurely summit stay, I returned the same
way and had no problems descending any of the scrambling sections.
However, my hike out was slowed by an abundance of huckleberries along
the main trail. It is just too hard to pass up free food! The view to the west includes The Flatiron (left) and The
Old Settler (on left horizon with snow patch).
Big raspberries can be found near the
trailhead in August.
Needle Peak comes into view along the
Sonny continues up the trail beside a
small sub-alpine meadow.
Yak Peak stands out to the northeast.
The route of ascent follows the right
The western outlier (unofficially
named The Flatiron) of Needle Peak invites further exploration.
A bee goes about its business among
pink mountain heather.
A faint trail leaves the main trail at
this point and heads up the rocky ridge.
A group of women scramble just below
the rock band guarding the ridge.
A few people can be seen on top of
Needle Peak's summit block.
The scramble route follows the main
crack up the middle.
easiest route goes up to the right of the boulder blocking the ridge.
This is looking back along the west
ridge of Needle Peak from partway up the summit block.
Sonny looks to the sky on the 2090-metre
summit of Needle Peak.
Yak Peak and Nak Peak can be seen in
the distance beyond Needle Peak's northeastern outlier (unofficially
named Markhor Peak).
To the north are (L to R) Alpaca Peak,
Vicuna Peak and Guanaco Peak.
Peaks of the Anderson River Group can
be seen to the northwest.
A couple of hikers descend the lower
The cirque below the end of Needle
Peak's west ridge deserves some attention.
Here is another big raspberry near the
Huckleberries are everywhere along
much of the route up Needle Peak.
Boston Bar Creek flows over these twin
cascades near the trailhead.
Distance: 10.1 kilometres
Round-Trip Time: 6 hours
Net Elevation Gain: 876 metres
The view to the west includes The Flatiron (left) and The Old Settler (on left horizon with snow patch).