Distance: 8 km
Elevation gain: 750 mView mapDownload GPS track
Coyote Hills are a series of hills, one considerably larger than the others, to the southwest of Highwood Junction. While the views from the lower hills are only acceptable, the panorama from the larger hill is very nice indeed.
The trailhead is the same as for Baril Creek, 3.3 km south on Highway 941 from the intersection with Highway 40/541. A small parking area is plowed at this point and the trail ascends the north side of the small clearing. While the initial 100 m of trail is a bit confusing, just follow snowshoe tracks or head roughly west-northwest until you intersect an old road. Follow this old road west for a little more than 500 m, then turn right (north) onto another old road heading down to Baril Creek. Cross the creek (should be frozen) and head upstream, gradually gaining elevation. Within minutes some of the smaller Coyote Hills appear; your initial goal is the bump farthest west, so keep heading in that direction (west).
A flagged trail leads you along for a while, but this disappears before the top of the first hill is reached. As you are in trees navigation can be a bit difficult, but if you keep heading up you are bound to reach the open top of the hill (or at worst, a nearby one) and be able to get your bearings. A GPS does help at this point. From the top of the smaller hill the largest of the Coyote Hills appears to the west. The summit is the northernmost point visible from the top of the smaller hill. To ascend it, head north on the smaller hill, descend to the west (60 m loss), then ascend along the treed rib just to the right (north) of the large grassy area. You can ascend the grassy area as well, but use caution as it is avalanche terrain.
Cresting the ridge affords a surprisingly nice view to the west with a high wow factor for such a relatively small peak. The summit is visible to the north, just a few hundred meters further and not much higher, and grants a 360 degree panorama. Definitely push onward if you've made it this far!