Dunn Peak

- by John Stolk

Elevation : 8648 feet
Prominence: 5023 feet
Location : 51:26.2 N – 119:57.3 W
Backroads Mapbook: Kamloops/Okanagan (3rd edition), Map 50:G1
Not all roads are shown as Dunn is near the edge of the territory it covers.
There is likely an updated mapbook that covers this area in greater detail.
Climb Duration: Dunn could be climbed in one very long day but we camped two nights
at the valley's head with a short approach/hike out and a day in between for the climb.
The approach took us about 3 hours at a relatively leisurely pace.
Elevation gain : about 4,000 feet
Difficulty: Class 3+ with maybe a few Class 4 moves.
Others in Party: Andrew Strand, Grant Myers. Climbed September 16, 2012.


This relatively unknown gem is located a few hours north of Kamloops B.C. Although a trail leads into the valley, the area does not appear to see a lot of visitors probably due to its distance from any major population center. A surprisingly pleasant and straightforward approach leads through beautiful meadows along the scenic Joseph Creek valley.

Our ascent in mid-September took advantage of a good late season weather window with the added benefit that bugs were almost nonexistent. The lush meadows and ponds suggest the mosquitoes could be a major nuisance here earlier in the season. The scrambling was steep in places but not really technical. Views from the summit include Pukeashun to the southeast, Trophy Mtn and Wells Gray Park to the north and the glaciated peaks of the Monashee Range to the East.

Grant Myers’ beautiful photographs and description are posted on Shutterfly.

Other reports can be found on the ClubTread website - a good resource for southern British Columbia reports. Use the “search” tab on the home page's right hand side to locate trip reports.

Since Grant’s report and photos of the actual climb are quite complete, only a few additional details regarding the drive and hiking approach to camp are included.

Driving Instructions

Starting from the intersection of Highway 5 in downtown Barriere, follow the paved Barriere Lakes Road the pavement's end and the junction with North Barriere Lakes Forest Service Road. Turn left (north) and travel about 10 km on this high speed gravel road to the signed Harper Ck FSR. Turn left and follow this road, which is in fair condition after the first few km of rough spots and water bars, for approximately 17 km.

Here there is a junction. Take the left branch and follow it a short distance to another junction and the signed Dunn Peak FSR. Turn left onto the Dunn Peak road which is narrower and rougher, although a vehicle with moderate clearance will get one within a half kilometer of the trailhead. Only a high-clearance 4WD will make the entire distance of 4 miles due to a particularly rough bit about a quarter mile from the trailhead. A turnaround at the trailhead is quite suitable for camping if desired.


A trail exits the turnaround's left side with a sign posted on a tree about 10 meters in. From here it is about a mile to the signed park boundary. Not far beyond the trail crosses a low wooded saddle before dropping to a swampy meadow. Cross the meadow and find the trail on the far side where it reenters the woods and heads up the Joseph Creek valley, eventually reaching a campsite at the edge of a shallow pond. Although this is a decent site, better camping is available a couple of miles farther up the valley beside the stream with good views of Dunn at about 6000 feet just over 4 miles from the car.


The route continues up-valley wrapping around the peak's north side through boulder fields and talus, eventually reaching the peak's NW ridge/shoulder at 2,320+ meters (~7620 feet). Here the route steepens, generally staying on or near the ridge crest on its south (right-hand) side. Scramble up and over the false summit (2,600+ meters) and descend an obvious gully to a col between the two peaks. Another short steep Class 3 section leads to easier terrain above and the broad flat summit.


0001: grassy turnaround area and start of trail

0003: Dunn Peak provincial park boundary

0005: Meadow crossing, trail resumes in trees on the frame's left edge.

0008: first decent campsite

0013: More meadows in the Joseph Creek valley.

0021: camp at 6000 feet

0025: Dunn Peak from near camp

0032: Looking up to the NW shoulder's 7,600+ foot ridgeline from the upper boulder fields.

0049: summit

0052: view of false summit from below the true summit

0053: Looking up-gully descending from the false summit's top.

0054: a short exposed section on the NW ridgeline

boulder field
Boulder fields and talus looking up to the northwest shoulder's 7,600+ foot ridgeline.