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Zoa Peak 23-08-2009 We spent Saturday evening camped in the vicinity of the Falls Lake parking area after an easy day hike to Needle Peak. The Parking area has a lot to commend it, if youíre looking to do a few things in the Coquihalla Summit Recreation area over the course of a few days. At about 1 km off the highway (exit 221) itís away from traffic noise, seemed relatively infrequently visited and has freshwater from Falls creek running nearby. Unfortunately there are no washrooms, which is a definite shortcoming, as many who do stop there seem to answer natureís call without the benefit of adequate intermediation. If you want to start your day (or overnight) trip in an acceptable and healthy environment I urge you to take a moment to let the highways department know your views on the matter. I have. Itís only a 10-minute walk from the parking area to Falls Lake, a beautiful alpine lake purported to have small trout. There is an undeveloped camping area on its near shore. To me, unless youíre in a camper van, the Lake is a better spot to spend the night than the parking lot. The hike to Zoa takes all of 2 hours and seems to have 3 segments, along the first third you gain a fair bit of elevation along an over grown jeep track, transmission rights of way and moderate trail to get to the sub-alpine ridge. The middle third is easy travelling along Zoaís sub-alpine semi open ridges with good views of the upper Coldwater and proposed Juliet ski areas to the north. The last third is a bit steeper and culminates in a non descript summit area with few discernable outlooks. (The area between the two summits does provide a view south towards Yak) The hike is glowingly described in 103 Hikes. Possibly a good hike if youíre feeling listless driving through the pass on a good day and have a hankering to stretch your legs or walk your dog. Probably not a bad area for an early season jump-start to check out back-country touring gear for the coming season.
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