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.