Steve on Needle Peak:
“Of the hikes outlined in “103 Hikes” I think Needle Peak broke my Top 10. On a perfect day, I went with 4 well-matched Wanderung companions to a Coquihalla trail I thought was outside of my dayhike driving range and expected to get back late. The drive time really was not that bad because none of it was not highway (no logging road). We had dinner on the road and still made it home by 8 pm. More importantly it was well worth the effort.
Unlike many trails where 90% of the journey is a slog for a 10% payoff, this trail is 30% nice forest, and the other 70% is scenic ridge walking (with a few short scrambles thrown in). Every direction from Needle Peak is photo worthy, and though the “scrambles” did make my sphincter pucker for a few tense moments, they really were not that bad and the exposure was minimal. On this date, no bugs, and no snow except a few small patches. We encountered a large hiking group that included well know Wanderunger Grace, and in the parking lot met with Larry who was doing Yak peak who joined us for dinner at the Wildcat.
The only thing I can compare this hike with is one of my favourites: the Rim Trail at Cathedral Lakes. I give it a solid 2 thumbs up. Add this one to your list of trips this Summer (or even do it now as many other great destination are still under snow).”