Jen K. on Zoa Peak Trail
Beautiful day! We had the entire mtn. to ourselves. The trail was fresh and fluffy with new snow. It was partially paved till nearing the top when we had to rely on gps and maps. We also lost our view nearing the top as we ended up in the clouds...make sure you are prepared with the right tools.
July 1, 2016 - Perfect Canada Day! This hike was incredible! Loved it and will definitely do it again! Took 1.5 hours of driving from Abbotsford. The hike starts in the trees for about 45 minutes. We started out with cloudy weather. You will hit a steep incline about 10 minutes in. Switch backs for a bit and then it's just steep. Poles were quite helpful both up and down for this section. After about 45 minutes, you will be out of the denser trees and will get a bit of a look out / view. The steep section is done! Continue on the trail, more out in the open now but still trees and brush around. After awhile your path will turn into snow... Maybe depending on how warm the spring was, we followed the snow path a ways - again, poles were helpful. I would guess that this section takes 30 - 45 minutes. You reach the section where you can choose to go to the lake - more to the right - or to the peak - left. Some people had camped overnight in this area, might be more sheltered from the wind, but the snow was kicking off some chill. The trail is marked well up until this point. As we began our ascent up towards the gorgeous peak with incredible views all around us we noticed there weren't really any markers anymore. It was still easy to follow the path to the first and toughest scramble section. Packed our poles into our back packs for the remainder of the hike. We found it difficult to find the correct path at this point. Do not go to the far right side of the mountain. It may appear to be a path and a good option, but it's not! It will get sketch and steep. Go up the middle. Climb over boulders and pick your path, but stick to the middle as you climb. The boulders are not smooth, they are rough which gives you good grip, but also sharp which was hard on the hands and bare legs. Next time I will wear pants rather then capris. There will also be a tough section where have to wedge yourself in between these steep rock sections and kinda shimmy up. Don't think too much just go for it. The momentum helps, trust me. On the bright side, it's actually much easier going down! There was a group going up about the same time as us and their dog had a pretty tough time getting up and a very difficult time getting down this section!! I would not recommend taking a dog. In the end, a couple of them had to stay back just short of the summit with the dog. Once you pass this scramble section, breath easier and enjoy the incredible scenery as you make your way on to the peak. Huge boulders form a couple cave like shelters, there is a little pond. We added our layers at this point as it was getting windy and would recommend this, it's windy and chilly at the top. Then you arrive at the final ascent. Do not go to the left. Stick to the middle-right side and start climbing! It's pretty fun, working to get up and around those boulders. I am not quite 5"4 so I would imagine steep sections may not be as daunting for a taller person. Pull yourself up over the last rock and you have reached the summit! We were fortunate to have decent weather, the clouds lifted a bit, we could see all the spectacular mountains and the sun even came out for a bit!! The wind and temperature were not bad but it can get crazy windy so bring layers! We sat up at the top and just soaked it all in! Incredible, beautiful 360 views of Gods gorgeous creation! I did not want to go back down, just loved it!! Took us 2 hours and 45 minutes going up. We went at a good pace, but we also took short breaks to enjoy the views along the way. Heading down the scrambles were easier then going up, but still took cautious steps. I didn't realize how steep the section in the trees was until we were descending - poles were helpful. 2 hours down, we soaked our feet in the little creek at the trail head before heading home. What a gorgeous day!!
Beautiful hike on February 8, 2016. Family day, but when we arrived there were only 3 other cars there! Beautiful hike up probably took is about 2.5 hours up; there are some points of breaking out in a good sweat but nothing over the top strenuous. Good variety of incline and flatter areas. First bit is walking on the road that is not accessible by car, then you will notice a path to your right or you head straight up on incline. Take the incline... It goes on for a ways, about 30-40 minutes? Once it breaks into a more gentle incline and wide, even path keep you eyes open for a wooden sign on your left marked Zoa Peak... Heading into the trees. Watch for orange flagging and head through here for about 40 minutes? Then the trail has variety of open areas, inclines, etc. I suggest reading a couple other reviews if you want more precise details. ;) Relaxed at the top for about an hour as we had lunch, enjoyed the views and made hot chocolate. And added layers! Around 1 hour down, relaxing and took our time as it was a gorgeous sunny day and we didn't want to leave! So warm in the sunshine I enjoyed hiking in my tank top about half the time! Make sure you bring layers though as it was cold at the top. By top I mean false summit. That is as far as we went as we heard the real summit views don't compare to the false summit views - which were spectacular! Enjoy Gods creation on dazzling display up there!
My time frames are pretty rough, I didn't pay much attention to the time. :)
Keep in mind there are no bathrooms.