Zoa Ridge Coquihalla Highway. This little hike is a great quick foray into what the Coquihalla area can offer. If you are driving to the interior and need a break of a few hours to either discipline recalcitrant children or to take breath of the alpine this hike will likely be fine.
Drive toward the summit of the Coquihalla Highway and take the Falls Lake Exit just west of the toll booth. Travel under the highway and follow the paved road left and uphill. At its end, in about a kilometre, park. Cross Falls Creek (ignore the trail to Falls Lake; that trail I think is better for smaller recalcitrant kids) and travel the road for about 100 metres and follow the trail into the bush. The trail climbs steeply for a short distance before it joins the Trans-mountain pipeline access. Follow this uphill for less the a kilometre to almost the height of land, to a rock cairn and look for a bluffy scramble start to the Zoa Ridge Trail proper. The pipeline portion of the trail is regularly brushed out and the path is quite evident and easy to follow.
Gain elevation for about and hour through open forest and interior grassland before reaching the alpine. Heather and stunted firs soon appear in a landscape that becomes predominately granitic. Views open to all the peaks in the area. The north face of Yak is quite dominant to the south and rounded peaks of the east side of Anderson River group are noticed to the west.
In roughly 2 hours you can be on the high point of the ridge at over 1700 metres. This is a nice hike to do in the fall when all the foliage has turned red and a dusting of snow has covered the ground.
The summit of Coquihalla Highway is about 2 hours from Vancouver and the hike is roughly 3 to 4 hours return.
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Posted By: happyhopers
- Thu Jul 25 22:11:02 UTC 2013
UpsideShort, meadows in full bloom the whole way up, great views and we had the hike to ourselves. DownsideA bit buggy but not bad enough that we couldn't sit down and enjoy lunch after using some deep woods. CommentWe had planned to hike Yak but it is so hot and the dogs would have had to stay home so we chose this one and we loved it. We walked a little further down the pipeline road to find a geocache and then backtracked on a different road to reach the trail head which was very well marked - although I don't know if we would have hiked up the service road just past the cattle guard - I think the geocache may have saved us from missing turn off because we spotted it but weren't sure if that was the first TH. We walked through many different types of wildflowers all the way up, enjoyed the view from the little valley of scree and had a nice lunch above the lake. The lake is a large puddle and will be dried up soon and there were a few snow patches left for the dogs to cool off on. We couldn't believe that no one else was enjoying this hike today, the conditions were perfect. I would recommend this one to anyone wishing to enjoy a nice quiet hike that won't take all day.
Posted By: brancher
- Thu Aug 19 09:30:35 UTC 2010
UpsideOne of the most awesome hikes we've ever done. The views in all directions are amazing! DownsideNo downside. CommentHere's a short cut. Turn off at exit 221 and head onto Falls Lake Rd. for 1 km to the parking area. Walk across the creek ahead and to your right. Ignore the retaining wall trail, which goes to Falls Lake. Instead, continue along the road for a short distance to a rock cairn and flagging tape. Climb for about 5 minutes until you come to the pipeline clearing. Continue climbing for 20 minutes until you see rock cairns with flagging tape on your left. The path from here is quite easy to follow.
Posted By: Henry Wang
- Fri Jan 15 09:37:59 UTC 2010
CommentAlpine toured up this weekend of Jan 10/10. Plenty of snow but quality was poor. Would not do this again until it turns colder. Terrain is easy for showshoers and novice skiers alike.
As you head up the main access road, after parking. The first little trail heading in to the trees (notable by the wood retaining wall as part of the trail) is to Falls Lake. If you are heading up to Zoa Ridge, continue on the road you are on for another 1.4-ish KM. There will be a prominent "by pass" on the left. After you come out of the "by pass", you will be back on the main access road. Climb for a while before looking for a yellow ribboned wrapped marker on the left heading in to the trees.
Posted By: cdrewitz
- Fri Aug 28 16:30:35 UTC 2009
UpsideBeautiful views, great hike, well marked and worn...would be very difficult to get lost here! DownsideWe hiked on Aug 28 and were going according to posts on the hike and a book review stating there would be a pond as a source of water into the fall. There is NO WATER, NO SNOW. Everything has dried up and ALL water needs to be carried in!
Posted By: Hopehiker
- Mon Aug 13 01:32:51 UTC 2007
UpsideThe trailhead off the pipeline is located at 10U 0639934 ... 5498302 at several rock cairns. Someone has nicely put rock cairns on the trail where it goes over rock, to find the way. DownsideBugs were using backwoods off like gravy to potatoes. Water was a bit of an issue in Aug, but a bit of snow provided a small creek about 2 hours up the trail. CommentWe met a few hikers that said there was no water ahead but a big snow bank(they didn''t see the creek not 15m downhill????? strange.