Needle peak/Flatiron Coquihalla Highway Trail Key: M~2~RT~CC~R~V~KF~DF Length: 13 Km's return Elevation: To lake: 580 meters To peak: 882 meters Pit Toilet: No Dogs: Yes…depending on final location & dog
Directions: Drive north from Hope on Highway 5 (Coquihalla Highway) to exit #217 towards the rest area, turn right as though you're heading towards the nearby highway maintenance shed. Look for a small gravel service road on your right and park alongside it. The trail head is off of the pipeline service road after the small creek you’ll need to cross by foot.
The one thing I love about this hike is there are many options for people. You can make your summit wherever you want as the views are amazing all along and only get better.
After you park walk about 100 meters to a small but deep creek crossing. Make your way across hopefully avoiding getting your feet wet. Right away you’ll see the brown Needle Peak sign on your left. It is here that your adventure starts. In the beginning there are traditional orange markers but once higher up the markers are gone and you must keep your eyes open to find where you are going.
The snaky trail which is often root covered starts its way up hill. The grade is easy at this point. Soon after the trail begins to steadily climb zig zagging its way along. Roots, rocks, trees are nature's way to help assist you on this steep terrain. It’s a nice climb through the forest.
After awhile, the trail opens up lined with wild blueberries. If you’re lucky with timing it can make a nice snack as you keep climbing. The occasional glimpse shows the tip of beauty of what’s to come. The highway is far below and you can’t believe you have climbed thus far. The trail switches from dirt and roots to granite rock and back to dirt and roots.On a dry day it's fine but it would be a little tricky after a rain.
After some time you come to a somewhat steep gully (which was snow covered in late May). Once you past this section it levels out with some ups and downs. After awhile there's another steep up and again the trail levels out.
Soon the trail emerges onto a big rocky outcrop with eye candy vistas. Your destination is in sight. Needle peak is to your left and Flatiron is to your right. Or you can make this your destination. Depending on where you want to go, you have about an 45 minutes to each location. Follow the granite route up through the trees. Soon you’ll come to a branch. Make your decision on what you want to do. going left up to Needle Peak is for more experienced non Scaredy Cat peeps or going right you'll descend to a beautiful alpine lake and finally a short some what sketchy scramble up to Flatiron. Happy & safe trails.