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Yak Peak

Coquihalla Summit Recreation Area

Central Okanagan-Similkameen Area, British Columbia

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Yak Peak

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  • View from the alpine basin.- Yak Peak
  • View of Markhor Peak.- Yak Peak
  • The south summit of Yak.- Yak Peak
  • Steep ascent to the ridge.- Yak Peak
  • The Coquihalla has deep snow early in the season.- Yak Peak
  • The way is easy to find above treeline.- Yak Peak
  • View of Nak Peak, the next peak to the west- Yak Peak
  • The true summit finally within sight.- Yak Peak
  • View of Markhor, Needle and Flatiron (from left to right) from the summit of Yak.- Yak Peak
  • The col between the south peak and the main peak.- Yak Peak
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Fantastic views. Short mileage. Solitude.
Cons: 
Steep approach.
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Region:
Central Okanagan-Similkameen Area, BC
Access: 
Vehicle
Climbing:
Snow / glacier / ice route
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Site characteristics: Drinking water: 
Snowmelt
Recommended Equipment:
Helmets, Ice axe / crampons
Highest point: 
2,039.00 m (6,689.63 ft)
Alpine climbing NCCS rating: 
Grade I
Net Elevation Gain: 
819.00 m (2,687.01 ft)
Year round: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
None
Permit required: 
No
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall, Winter
Primary aspect: 
South facing
Total Distance: 
8.00 km (4.97 mi)
Total elevation gain: 
850.00 m (2,788.71 ft)
Trailhead Elevation: 
1,220.00 m (4,002.62 ft)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Pro Contributor

Yak Peak (2,039 meters) is very recognizable from the highway with its two distinct steep summits that are reminiscent of rabbit ears. The distance to the summit is short, but the effort required to reach it is big. This punishingly steep outing will reward visitors with an epic adventure that will offer some stunning views of the isolated Coquihalla Area.

The path starts at a rest area on BC-5 southbound, directly south of Yak Peak, at an elevation of around 1,200 meters. After following the highway for 800 meters, the trail enters the forest and ascends steeply. The climber’s trail is marked with occasional orange flagging tape, but visitors should be comfortable with off-trail navigation.

The alpine basin is reached about 1 kilometer into the hike and at around 1,500 meters in elevation. At this point you will not be completely above treeline, but there will be unobstructed views to the south for the rest of the outing. From this point there are occasional cairns marking the way.

The next 3 kilometers are spent ascending the basin on open rocks along (west or left) the trees, which can be helpful when there is snow or the rock is slippery. At the col between Yak and Nak peaks (elevation of 1,925 meters), the path flattens and the summit is within sight. You will then realize that what you might have thought was the summit is actually not the highest point. The true summit is north and about 50 meters higher.

From the top of Yak there are unobstructed and truly fantastic views of the area north of Coquihalla Summit Recreation Area and to the area south of BC-5, notably of Needle Peak, another ascent that’s well worth the effort.

The descent is via the same path and will likely be much easier and faster than the steep ascent. In summer, Yak Peak attracts climbers who come for the excellent granite, but rockfall is a hazard. This peak is reached year round and is a popular destination for those who enjoy scrambling.

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Nearby Adventures

(3 within a 30 mile radius)

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