Flatiron Peak

Length: 11.4 km

Elevation Gain: 864 m

Difficulty Level: Intermediate in the Summer, Hard in the Winter (due to the snow)

Flatiron Peak hiking trail is in the Coquihalla Summit Recreation Area. Exit to the trail head parking is not marked on the highway therefore you need to google the trail head location. The trail head is next to a construction site when I hiked the trail in the Winter of 2023. Parking is along the side road.

If you only look at the length and the elevation gain of this trail, you would think this is not a hard trail. It may not be in the Summer. But in the Winter, with the snow and the terrain of this trail, it is a hard trail, at least to me. If you hike this trail in the Winter or early spring, you may want to bring both microspikes and snowshoes, and gaiters. The reason is as below.

First section of the trail, about 1 km or so, is very steep, in a forest, and sometime with exposed rocks because of melting snow. Therefore it may be better to wear microspikes and gaiters in this section.

After 1.1 km, the steepness eases of a bit, but the snow starts to become deep. I changed to snowshoes from that point. There are some rewards at roughly this point, because trees also thin out a bit and you can see some surrounding mountains, like Zopkiosk.

Around 1.6 km, the trail re-enters the forest, and the steepness reduces. At about 2.6 km, you are hiking on a steep bolder field. If you are hiking on snowshoes, you may watch out where you put down your feet.

At 3.8 km, a sign marks the split for Needle Peak or Flatiron. Pick your poison and match toward the destination. I chose Flatiron on that day. You should be aware that from now on, trail markers are almost non-existent. You might want to download an offline map, even though I had cell signal throughout the trail.

After the split, you actually descend a bit before reaching a small lake (will be frozen in the Winter).

The final 500 m or so ascending to the Flatiron peak is very steep again (what’s new). This section also comes with some exposed boulders. At this point, depending on your comfort level, you may want to change to microspikes again for the final push to the finish line.

Once you are up there, the first thing you will notice is a green, giant cylinder on a vast and open field. The peak is relatively flat. That may be where the peak gets its name, Flat Iron. If the weather is good, you should have 360 degree views of the mountains and land around you.

Once you’ve soaked in the views and rest, retrace the same trail back to the parking area.

A panorama video from the top