• Melanie Adair

Fall Hiking Guide for Pinnacle Lake in Monashee Mountains, British Columbia

Updated: Oct 21, 2021

Looking at Pinnacle Lake covered in snow
The beauty of Pinnacle Lake

Pinnacle Lake located in the Monashee Mountains will test your hiking preparedness, with mother nature throwing all types of random weather your way. Travel along a logging road where you will hike over creeks, through meadows before taking switchbacks up to the lake (and beside a waterfall).

Quick Glance

Time: 4-6 hrs

Distance: 6.9km return

Trail: There and back

Difficulty: hard

What to bring: water, snacks, winter/waterproof hiking clothes, microspikes, and hiking poles.

Road conditions: Logging road for 23km. All vehicle types can drive up until just after the 20km mark where there are ruts along the road.

Other information: It is on an active logging road and caution is needed. There is limited internet as soon as you turn onto the logging road.

Getting to Pinnacle Lake

Take HWY 6 towards Cherryville and keep going until you pass Gold Panner Campground. It is your first left after Monashee Creek Road, there will be a sign saying South Fork FSR. The road is well marked with signs pointing you in the correct direction. Keep following the ones for Pinnacle Lake. The parking lot is around the 23km mark. For low riding vehicles, as you turn to go to Pinnacle Lake (just after the 20 km mark), there are numerous ruts in the road. I would suggest parking your car and walking the extra 2-3km each way. From the highway to the parking lot, it will take about 45 minutes.

Signs for trails on the logging road
Trail signs along the logging road

Pinnacle Lake Trailhead

There are no amenities or cell service at the parking lot (which can fit a few vehicles). Take the trailhead at the end of the parking lot, to your right. You will need to cross a creek, waterproof shoes are highly recommended. The trail is well marked, keep looking for the ribbon in the trees.

Parking lot and the first creek you need to cross

The whole hike is stunning! It is a relatively easy hike, walking through meadows and crossing over numerous streams (and trekking through mud) with the mountains as your backdrop. Of course, there has to be a challenging part for it to be classified as 'hard'. Welcome to the last 800m!

Girl hiking through a meadow on Pinnacle Lake hike
Trekking through a meadow

The Last 800m

This section has tight switchbacks in addition to climbing over fallen trees while trying to maintain your balance through the narrow sections (hence where hiking poles come to the rescue). Don't give up on this section! There are some jaw-dropping views as you inch your way closer to the lake. AND there is a waterfall you can walk beside (with caution) or continue with the switchback.

Railroad Creek on Pinnacle Lake hike
Railroad Creek

Pinnacle Lake

Once you reach Pinnacle Lake, it opens up for you to enjoy your lunch or do an overnight camping trip. It is free to camp but there are no amenities.

Open area before Pinnacle Lake where you can camp
Open area at Pinnacle Lake for camping or enjoying your lunch

Hiking in the alpine during fall does have a higher chance of snow happening. Please be prepared for winter hiking and always check the weather before you go. If you're looking for more tips on hiking in different weather, check out Top 10 Tips for Hiking in Cooler Weather or Top 10 Tips for Hiking in Hot Weather the next time you explore.