Looking Up The Amazing Granite Wall
Driving north on the Coquihalla Highway, 9km (5.6 miles) before the old tollbooth area you will notice Yak Peak. Its massive granite wall towers high above the highway to the left. Yak is part of the Anderson River Peaks or the Coquihalla Range. Yak peak is the highest peak along the Zopkios Ridge that also includes Nak and Thar Peaks. Its thought to be possibly climbed first by C.E. Cairnes or George Dawson c. 1906.
Impressive Yak Peak Granite
Yak Peak is 6,693' tall with 1,640' of prominence. There is a trail in the summer to the summit. It is roughly 4 miles rountrip with about 2,755' of elevation gain. You should allow for about 6.5 hours to climb this summit via trail in normal weather. There are also amazing rock climbing routes on this peak including "Yak Check and Yak Crack."
Yak Peak is located in the middle of the Coquihalla Summit Recreation Area. CSRA was established in order to protect the Coast-Cascade Dry belt landscape and provide break opportunities for travellers along the new Coquihalla highway. The Area presents a beautiful setting for wildlife viewing, surrounding vistas and many trail systems.
The hiking route goes up to the Yak-Nak saddle then up the NE ridge to the summit.
Drive north from Hope on Highway 5 (Coquihalla Highway) to the Zopkios Rest Area exit #217, just after the Great Bear Snow Shed. After exiting the highway, turn left to go under the highway and park at the very end of the rest area. This is basically the beginning of the trailhead.
Walk east along the edge of the road. Count power poles starting at the beginning of the concrete road barrier. About 130ft (40m) past the fifth power pole you should see a small rock cairn on your left. This is where you actually start your official ascent. The trail leads downhill, crosses a creek and into a forest. The trail ascends up through a band of trees before it breaks out into a boulder field. You will ascend on a talus slope until you get to the very top of the talus slope and at the base of the granite wall. Watch for climbers above and it might be a good spot to wear a helmet. You will traverse to the right along the wall in a trench. The trail eventually leads away from the wall.
It then goes up through some patches of alder, and comes to the base of a small granite slab. You can either directly climb this slab when the rock is dry, or else, a path exists through small alpine trees to the left of the slab.
Above this area, the route follows an obvious dip until it arrives near the beginning of an open basin. There are several cairns and many ribbons on nearby trees that mark this spot. Traveling through this section can become tricky in low visibilty. Its advised to know your route for the descent down.
Soon you are to the saddle between Yak and Nak Peaks. You can head west for Yak Peak or head east for Nak Peak. Depending on the time of year and snow levels, a snowfield will need to be crossed to gain the summit of Yak Peak. Some people will scramble the steep dirt and rock to the side, and avoid the snow travel. Yak Peak also has a sub summit which also offers some great views. From the true summit you will have amazing views of Needle Peak across the highway.
Zopkios Ridge and Yak Peak
This area can be explored year round. Use the correct gear depending on the season, weather and overall conditions.
There is walk-in camping available at Falls Lake approximately a 2km hike. Rustic camping with no facilities provided. PACK IT IN, PACK IT OUT.
Conditions And Info
Coquihalla Summit Recreation Area-