“On every side the snowy heads of mighty hills crowded round, whilst, immediately behind us, a giant among giants, and immeasurably supreme, rose Robson’s Peak.” – Milton and Cheadle, 1865
Established in 1913, Mount Robson Provincial Park is the second provincial protected area in the province. The Texqakallt First Nations called the peak Yuh-hai-has-kun, “The Mountain of the Spiral Road” owing to the mountain’s ringed appearance. Mount Robson was first climbed to the summit in 1913, which with 3000 m of pure ascent, is an impressive feat. Roy Fredrick Hargreaves settled in the area in the late 1800s and built some cabins near the foot of the mountain. During his settlement he developed the Berg Lake Trail.
As you might expect, the park’s landscape is quite mountainous, although there are some low flat marshlands around Moose Lake. The portion of the park most seen by travellers follows a long narrow valley from Tete Jaune Cache up to the headwaters of the Fraser River and beyond to Jasper. You will likely not recognize the Fraser River if your first impression is of the large, slow, lumbering waterway that flows into the Strait of Georgia in Vancouver. In this area the Fraser is a fast moving glacier fed river in its infancy, just beginning its 1,400 km (870 mi) journey which drains 220,000 km² of British Columbia.
A brief survey of mammals native to this area include grizzly and black bears, caribou, wolverines, mule deer, whitetail deer, moose, elk, wolf, and coyote. There are also over 182 species of bird and waterfowl, 4 amphibians and one reptile native to the area.
- Vehicle accessible camping fee: $19 per party/night at Robson Meadows and Robson River, Lucerne is $15 per person/night.
- Backcountry camping fee: $10 per person/night
- Berg Lake is an azure jewel tucked snugly to the base of Mount Robson. It is named for the huge chunks of ice that break off (calve) from the Berg Glacier that flows directly into the lake. If you are truly brave, feel free to take a dip in the most refreshing water you can imagine. Berg Lake is a 21-km hike from the trailhead.
Mount Robson Provincial Park offers everything from short day hikes to week long backcountry expeditions that meet up with Jasper National Parks trail system.
- Robson Meadows and Robson River campsites have several short trails suitable for day hiking.
- Kinney Lake Trail is a 4.5-km (one way) hike that departs from the Berg Lake Trailhead.
- Berg Lake Trail gains 800 m in 23 km, and is the entryway to several other trails at or near Berg Lake. You must register at the information centre if you plan to camp along this trail, or further backcountry. There are seven separate sites with tent pads along this trail. Bicycles are not allowed past Kinney Lake at the 7-km mark. There are many waterfalls along this trail along the Robson River.
- Hargreaves Lake Route is a half day hike that climbs from Marmot campsite (along Berg Lake Trail) to Hargreaves Lake and glacier. After the viewpoint this trail intersects with the Toboggan Falls trail and becomes Mumm Basin Route, which is another steep alpine trail which heads to Robson Pass. It is a half-day return to Berg Lake.
- Toboggan Falls Route is a two-hour return route that climbs to Toboggan Falls and alpine meadows. If you continue on for 45 minutes past the falls you will find some caves.
- Snowbird Pass Route is a full-day hike from Berg Lake past the impressive Robson Glacier and the backside of Mount Robson. This trail is closed in May and June so as not to disturb the caribou calving that takes place in this area.
- Moose River Route should only be attempted by experienced, well-equipped backcountry hikers. This is a several day hike that crosses Robson Pass into Jasper National Park before cutting back across Moose Pass. It is 66km from Berg Lake Trailhead to Highway 16 at Moose River.
- Yellowhead Mountain Trail. The trailhead is 52.8 km east of the Mount Robson Park Visitor Centre at Yellowhead Mountain. This trail gains 800 m in elevation in only 8 km, so should only be attempted by those in good physical condition. Culminates in sub-alpine meadows with astounding views of the mountains and lakes of the park. There are no facilities along this trail, and it is recommended for day hikes only.
- Mount Fitzwilliam Trail trailhead is 54 km east of the visitor centre. This trail which heads south from Highway 16 travels 13.5 km up and around Mount Fitzwilliam to a sub alpine lake.