Trip 149 - September 4, 2018 (Tuesday)

Zoa Peak Trail Hike

Coquihalla Summit Recreation Area near Hope, British Columbia, Canada.


Distance from Vancouver:
About 200 kilometers via Highway 1 East, and Highway 5 North.

Liked: Easy trailhead access, fairly easy trail, mountain views, valley views, wildflowers, no bugs.

Of Note: Limited parking space, highway noise for much of the trail, several tricky stretches - hiking poles and boots are highly recommended.

Vancouver, Coast & Mountains BC Backroad Mapbook (2nd edition) Coordinates: Page 16 (Coquihalla Summit) E1. The latest edition of Backroad Mapbook for this and other regions, as well as GPS maps, are available for purchase at BackroadMapbooks.com.

Other Trips in Hope Area: HBC Heritage Trail Hike, Sowaqua Creek FSR Trip, Skagit River Trail, Skyline II Trail Hike, Silver Skagit Road (Skagit Valley Provincial Park), Mount Outram Trail Hike, Othello Tunnels, Eaton Lake Trail Hike, Mount Hope Lookout Trail Hike, Town of Hope Visit.

Zoa Peak trail is located in Coquihalla Summit Recreation Area, and is the easiest of the nearby trails, from what we have read. Indeed, Zoa Peak is a fairly easy trail, though it does have a few tricky sections. Zoa Peak trail is also relatively short, with about 3.5 hours round trip time. However, the trail starts at the elevation of over 1,200 meters, so thinner air would make you tired faster than at sea level under the same conditions.  The views, while not overwhelming, are quite decent, and could be even better, provided the sun is shining in the right direction. An added bonus is that the parking lot for Zoa Peak trail is shared with Falls Lake, so you can do both hiking and fishing on the same day without having to move your vehicle.

1. To get to Zoa Peak trailhead, take Highway 5 (Coquihalla Highway). Here we are Eastbound on Highway 1 by Exit 170 (Hope), and are following the sign to Highway 5 North.


BC Highway 1 East near Hope BC Canada

2. Just over 50 kilometers later, take Exit 221 - Falls Lake.


BC Highway 5 North (Coquihalla Highway) near Exit 221 Falls Lake

3. Upon taking Exit 221, follow the signs to Falls Lake. You would make a left turn to go under the highway.


The road to Falls Lake / Zoa Peak Trail parking lot off Exit 221 of BC Highway 5

4. Here is the tunnel under Highway 5.


The tunnel under BC Highway 5 by exit 221 Falls Lake

5. Upon driving through the tunnel, turn left, and then right.


The road to Zoa Peak Trail and Falls Lake parking lot off Exit 221 of BC Highway 5 (Coquihalla Highway)

6. Just over a kilometer later, arrive at the Falls Lake parking lot. There is enough space for about 15 vehicles. There are also several pullouts along the 1 km-long access road, which can accommodate 5-6 vehicles each. The trailhead for both Falls Lake and Zoa Peak trail is seen in the upper middle of the photo below. Coordinates: N 49'36'742 W 121'03'874. Elevation: 1,231 meters.


Falls Lake and Zoa Peak Trail parking lot off Exit 221 of BC Highway 5

7. Within a minute, Falls Lake trail makes a left turn, and the lake is about 900 meters away from there. And this is Zoa Peak trail after that split.


Zoa Peak Trail near Hope BC Canada

8. Less that 400 meters from the start of the trail, turn left at the split seen below.


Zoa Peak Trail in the vicinity of Hope British Columbia Canada

9. It gets a bit rough after the turn.


Zoa Peak Trail off BC Highway 5 (Coquihalla Highway)

10. But, by and large, this is not a difficult trail, and it gets easier very shortly. Beautiful wildflowers too.


Zoa Peak Trail in Coquihalla Summit Recreation Area

11. About 1.4 km after the start of the trail, make another left turn. Coordinates: N 49'37'268 W 121'03'753. Elevation: 1,478 meters. There are currently signs at all the splits so far.


Hiking on Hope BC area - Zoa Peak Trail

12. View of the trail from the road.


Zoa Peak Hiking Trail British Columbia Canada

13. If gets tricky here, if for a very short stretch.


British Columbia Hiking - Zoa Peak Trail near Hope BC Canada

14. You then walk through a forest, until this neat rock outcropping.


Zoa Peak Trail near Hope BC - hiking in British Columbia Canada

15. Then it's back into the forest.


Coquihalla Summit Recreation Area - Zoa Peak Trail near Hope British Columbia

16. The trail then enters into a fairly open sub-alpine area, and the views start getting better and better.


Photo of Zoa Peak Trail

17. The valley below looks quite good.


View from Zoa Peak Trail in Coquihalla Summit Recreation Area near Hope BC Canada

18. Mountain views are very fine as well.


Views from Zoa Peak Trail near Hope British Columbia

19. The combination of white stones, green vegetation and blue sky is hard to beat.


Zoa Peak Trail near Hope BC - British Columbia Hiking

20. Closer to the end of the trail, there is a short side trail on the left side. Coordinates: N 49'37'602 W 121'05'081. Elevation: 1,769 meters.


Hiking in BC - Zoa Peak Trail by Hope British Columbia Canada

21. The sun was shining right at us, thus all the haze, but it's quite an impressive mountain out there.


Zoa Peak Trail - side trail for a mountain view

22. You can get closer, but some stone-hopping would be required.


Coquihalla Summit Recreation Area near Hope British Columbia Canada

23. Zooming in.


Zoomed view of a mountain near Zoa Peak Trail - hiking in British Columbia Canada

24. We are back on the main trail, with another neat view straight ahead.


View from Zoa Peak Trail near Hope BC Canada

25. Just over two hours after the start, we are at the peak of Zoa mountain. Coordinates: N 49'37'637 W 121'05'457. Elevation: 1,848 meters (617 meters elevation gain from the start of the trail). Total distance traveled: 4.73 km. The rather slow average moving speed of 2.9 km/h (despite a fairly easy trail) has much to do with high elevation at the start of the trail.


Stats for Zoa Peak Trail Hike near Hope British Columbia Canada

26. Here is the view from the top (where a cairn is located).


View from the top of Zoa Peak Trail

27. It is possible to walk around for a better view of the mountain seen on the photo above. Here is that better view (slightly zoomed). Coordinates: N 49'37'682 W 121'05'440.


Coquihalla Summit Recreation Area near Hope British Columbia Canada

Here is Our Video of the Views From This Location:

28. There is another good view on the opposite side of Zoa Peak. It's starting to be blocked by the trees, but it's a fine view nonetheless. Coordinates: N 49'37'563 W 121'05'503. That's Falls Lake down below on the left side.


View from Zoa Mountain near Hope BC Canada

The trail is rather easy, the views are rather good, and Zoa Peak trail is, therefore, rather recommended.


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