Pinnacle Lake is at the head of the north fork of Railroad Creek, itself the south tributary of Monashee Creek. The lake is right up against the spine of the Pinnacles, that southern extension of the Monashees. The lake is set in a vast amphitheatre, a cirque of rock walls.
Location: Pinnacle Group of the Whatshan Range.
Elevation gain: 450m
Time: 2 hours one-way
Access: good clearance cars.
Season: June through October
Drive: From the west: Kelowna 3.5 hour drive. From Vernon, on Highway 6 through Lumby and up the hill past Cherryville. Pass the Gold Pan Cafe, continue down the hill making the U-turn across Heckman Creek – 22.5 km (14 miles) east of Lumby (and 0.8 km east of Heckman Creek, marked, turn left (north) on a logging road marked “Pinnacle Hiking Area” and “Monashee Lake, Pinnacle Lake, Vista Pass” or South Fork FSR. Good clearance cars for most of its distance.
From the east (Lower Arrow Lake) via the Needles-Fauquier Ferry south of Nakusp, this road is 2.7 km (1.7 miles) west of Monashee Creek (marked) west of Monashee Pass.
For Monashee Lake (at head of Monashee Creek, just south of Mount Severide)
0.0 Start on logging road.
2.5km 1.6mi Stay right. 2.7km 1.7 Stay left.
6.4km 4.0 Stay right. 13.0km 8.1 Stay left.
15.0km 9.3 Go right and cross Monashee Creek. 16km go left.
18.5km Cross bridge
19km Keep left and turn onto N fork of Railroad Creek toward Pinnacle Lake.
22.5km Park in the log landing area.
Trail: Walk east towards the peaks through trees up a narrow valley, cross some slides and a creek. Climb up to a waterfall and then steeply into the subalpine to the lake.
The South Pinnacle (2350m) is close on the spine of the range.