Pinnacles Lake Hike

Hiking Trail Information

Use of this information is entirely at your own risk and the VOC accepts no liability whatsoever for your use of any trail information on this website.   VOC clears and flags trails to facilitate group hikes lead by a VOC member.   Hazards may exist on the trails and route finding skills and navigation aids such as a GPS and/or map and compass may be required.   You must assess your own ability and readiness to hike any trail mentioned on this website.

Pinnacles Lake Hike Description

© Vernon Outdoors Club 2021

Statistics

Hike distance                     11.4 km round trip                           Altitude gain                      597 m

Hiking time                         5  hrs round trip                                Max altitude                      1900 m

Govt of Canada topo map  82 L/1                                              Difficulty                              Difficult

The Pinnacles Lake trail ascends quite steeply alongside a creek which includes some great waterfalls.  Pinnacles Lake itself is a beautiful alpine lake right up at the base of the ridge of The Pinnacles, which are a series of peaks towards the south end of the Monashee Mountain range.

Be prepared!   This trail can be a bit overgrown and conditions can be wet and muddy as the south end of the Monashee Range gets more precipitation than further north.  Consider bringing along long pants, gaiters and rain gear even if the weather appears fine. The first thing leaving the parking area is to cross a stream. There is no designated crossing and often the water can be over your boots. Consider bringing beach-shoes for this crossing and put on your hiking boots once across the stream.

The trail heads north east out of the parking area and the base of the trail can be swampy.  Boards and logs may be on the trail, placed there by other hikers to keep out of the mud.   Prior to entering the large slide track, you come through an old growth Western Redcedar stand of trees, some of which are quite a sight. Once in the slide track that is full of slide alder and annual herbaceous vegetation, the trail can be muddy. Hiking poles will help you balance.  The trail crosses Railroad Creek multiple times so a pair of water shoes is an excellent idea for the crossing.  The ascent follows the creek with zig-zags and multiple creek crossings.   Some sections are quite steep and the grade levels out as you approach the lake. The best time to hike this trail is the second half of August or early September when water levels are lowest. 

Pinnacles Lake is a beautiful mountain lake enclosed by steep ridges behind the lake.   You can circle the lake with care, using some logs to your left to cross the creek as it exits the lake without getting your feet wet.    There are several scramble routes up to the ridge visible, but these should be attempted by experienced scramblers only who are comfortable going up and down very steep slopes with loose rock in places. There are good camping spots at the lake. Return the way you came.

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Driving Directions – Pinnacles Lake.  Last updated August 2020.

© Vernon Outdoors Club 2020

 

  • Drive east from downtown Vernon on highway 6
  • Continue eastbound until you reach Cherryville.  A good landmark is Frank’s General Store and Gas Station at the intersection of Highway 6 and Sugar Lake Road, approx. 50km from the centre of Vernon.  Franks is your last chance for food & drink, gas or a flush toilet!
  • Drive another 7.1km east on highway 6 and you will pass the Goldpanner Café & Campground on your left, keep going on Highway 6 east
  • After another approx. 2.3km you will reach the South Fork FSR on your left.  Turn onto the South Fork Road.  Set your trip odometer to zero.
    • At 2.5km bear right
    • At 2.7 km bear left
    • At 6.4km bear right
    • At 13km keep left
    • At 15km keep right and cross Monashee Creek
    • At 18.5 km cross bridge
    • At 19 km keep left and turn to the north fork of Railroad Creek
    • At 22.5 km you will reach a parking area in an old log landing.   The Pinnacles ridge will be visible to the east.

 

Road conditions are subject to change once you are off the highway.  A portion of the drive is on unmaintained Forest Service Roads.   A high clearance SUV or truck with 4WD capability and tires suitable for off-road use is recommended.

 

Use of these driving directions is entirely at your own risk.

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