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Fall Hiking Guide: Pinnacle Lake in the Monashee Mountains

Updated: Oct 22

Autumn hiking isn't complete without a hike to Pinnacle Lake in British Columbia

Looking at Pinnacle Lake in the Okanagan covered in snow during a fall hike
The beauty of Pinnacle Lake, BC

Pinnacle Lake, located in the Monashee Mountains is the perfect fall hike if you're exploring the Okanagan. This hike 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, and through meadows before taking switchbacks up to the lake (and beside a waterfall).



Table of Contents

Quick Glance

Getting to Pinnacle Lake

Pinnacle Lake Trailhead

i. The Last 800m

ii. Pinnacle Lake



Quick Glance: Pinnacle Lake Fall Hike

Snow coming over the mountain tops at Pinnacle Lake, British Columbia in the fall
Snow coming in at Pinnacle Lake

Time: 4-6 hrs

Distance: 6.9km return

Trail: There and back

Difficulty: hard

Elevation: 518m

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

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

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.



 
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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


Girl hiking through a meadow on Pinnacle Lake hike in the Monashee Mountains in the fall
Trekking through a meadow to Pinnacle Lake

This fall hike to Pinnacle Lake is absolutely stunning the entire way! 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!



 
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i. The Last 800m

Railroad Creek on Pinnacle Lake hike
Stunning scenery as you make your way to Pinnacle Lake

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.

Snow covered forest in the fall on Pinnacle Lake hike
Views on Pinnacle Lake Hike

ii. Pinnacle Lake


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


Snow covered evergreens in the Monashee Mountains on Pinnacle Lake Hike
Camping area at Pinnacle Lake
 
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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 the Top 10 Tips for Hiking in Cooler Weather or the Top 10 Tips for Hiking in Hot Weather the next time you explore.



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Fall Hikes IN THE Okanagan: Pinnacle Lake

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