The Berg Lake Trail of Mount Robson is located minutes from the Mountain River Lodge, this is one of the classic Rocky Mountain trails. The trail follows the Robson river from the south face to the north face of the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies Mt. Robson. The views are spectacular and the trail ascends through some very unique terrain for the Rockies.
The trail begins in an interior temperate rain forest. Giant western red cedars tower towards the sky in this magnificent old growth forest that appears completely out of place with the rest of the Rockies. With such a massive peak nearby, prevailing air masses are lifted over Robson, condense and rain with the frequency and intensity of a coastal climate. The result is this unique plant community.
It is an easy walk through the forest to Kinney lake. Along the way avalanche paths crossing the trail are rich in blue berries that makes for good bear habitat, and berry picking. One avalanche path down the great coulour on Mt. Robson ran all the way to Kinney lake. The terrain near the lake caused the avalanche to become airborne and many of the great cedars are shattered like toothpicks ten metres above the ground. Today new growth hides most of the old scars and the frightening display of power is all but hidden. ( There is no risk of avalanche activity on the trail in summer.) Past the lake, the trail follows a broad open valley with a braided stream.
Travel is relatively easy across the valley and up a moderate switch backs. It is not until passing the Whitehorn campground that the trail becomes more challenging. From here a large headwall is ascended through the valley of a thousand falls. The trail is well maintained and the views during the ascent are very impressive, especially in late June or after a rain storm. From the top of the headwall the trail follows the shoreline of Berg lake. Travel is again moderate and the magnificent view of Mt. Robson’s north face comes into view. From the Berg lake campground there are some good day hikes to explore the area further.
More sights and activities around Mount Robson
Mount Robson Park provides representation of all the North Continental Range landscapes. The park protects multiple complex ecosystems, represented by four bio-geo-climatic zones. These ecosystems are called Interior Cedar Hemlock (ICH), located in the valley bottoms, Sub-boreal Spruce (SBS), Englemann Spruce-subalpine Fir (ESSF) and finally up slope to the Alpine Tundra (AT) zone. The vegetation communities change as the elevation increases.
As the vegetation changes, so does the wildlife. The diversity of species inside the park is a product of the diverse elevations. 182 species of birds are present in the park. Predator and prey relationships remain undisturbed by human interference in 80% of the park-zoned wilderness area. In fact, vast areas are zoned for wilderness conservation, meaning human use is not encouraged in any way – not even through the development of trails.
The beauty of Mount Robson wilderness is preserved for generations to come.
The park believes (and rightly so) the most important “customers” in these large wilderness areas are the wide variety of flora and fauna that depend on an undisturbed, intact wilderness.
In addition to protecting the largest peak in the entire Canadian Rockies, Mount Robson also protects beautiful, expansive alpine areas, clear rivers, lakes and highly valued wetland habitat. While towering mountains and imposing rock formations inspire and awe we humans, the main feature of the park, from a conservation perspective, is the headwaters of the Fraser River.
The Fraser River is of one of the world’s great rivers. Within the park, however, it is no more than a small, crystal clear creek. Believe it or not, this is the same river that empties into the Pacific Ocean, over 1,200 kilometers away in Vancouver. The very source of the great river lies in the south east corner of the park in Fraser Pass. Imagine drinking water from the very of start of one of the great rivers on this planet. Future generations will no doubt be grateful we protected over 100 kilometres of the Fraser River’s headwaters within Mount Robson Park.
Celebrate the Natural Wonder of Mount Robson at Mountain River Lodge
There is little we love more than this glorious landscape and all the wildlife that finds sustenance here. That is why we started our bed and breakfast in the shadow of Mount Robson, minutes from the Berg Lake trail. We also have stand alone cabins. We hope to see you finding solace here this spring.
“Every aspect of this peak will inspire even the most veteran alpinist to stare at her for a few minutes, in order to feel her power, her beauty and her enticement. The pure intimidation of Mount Robson can send shivers up your spine.” – William Marler
As the tallest peak in the Canadian Rockies, Mount Robson, which stands at an impressive 12,944ft/3,945m, is a long-standing mountaineering objective for Canadian and International climbers. It is a mountain so big that it creates its own weather patterns and micro-climates not seen in other parts of the Canadian Rockies. This big climb, unquestionably one of the classic mountaineering routes in North America, attracts accomplished climbers from around the world.
If alpine climbing is not your hobby, check our page about the Berg Lake hike – it is a great one for the outdoor lover. But if mountain climbing is your interest, read on.
Alpine Climbing on Mount Robson has long attracted mountaineers because it is the largest peak in the Canadian Rockies and its varied, challenging climbing faces.
Mount Robson offers numerous routes. The classic Kain Face, by which Conrad Kain made the first ascent of the mountain in 1913, has a 250 meter ice face. It requires over 700 chopped steps.
For those looking for the most hardcore of experiences, the Emperor Face rises 2500 meters from Berg Lake, offering 1500 meters of difficult climbing. If you want a route with a more attainable difficulty level, there is the huge North Face route or the exposure of the Emperor Ridge.
CAUTION: There is NO non-technical route on this mountain. Unless you are a trained climber, do not attempt. Some local adventure travel groups offer guided summit expeditions, like Berg International Adventures. However, even if traveling with a guide, you need to have experience traversing glaciers, competent alpine ice climbing techniques and experience climbing on mixed terrain with heavy packs. You will need to be in excellent physical condition.
If this peak is on your “to-do” list, consider Mountain River Lodge as your Mt. Robson lodging choice for the nights pre-and-post expedition.
Mount Robson Park is home to the largest mountain in the Canadian Rockies.
Its namesake, Mount Robson, rises majestically to 3954 metres, dwarfing its neighboring peaks. This is one of British Columbia’s oldest and largest parks, established to preserve its scenic mountains, waterfalls, lakes and rivers. It is next to Jasper National Park on the B.C./Alberta border. Declared a World Heritage Site in 1990 to preserve it for all the people of earth, it is home to many species of wildlife. Moose, black bear, grizzly bear, caribou, mule deer and mountain goat all call this area home. Over 170 species of birds have been sighted here, with the Rufous Hummingbird one of our most entertaining summer residents. As the headwaters for the Fraser River, a historic trade route, the easy access into the beautiful mountain terrain has long made this park an excellent destination for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Bird watching has reached new heights at the Starratt Wildlife Sanctuary.
Get a bird’s eye view from the 30 metre viewing towers overlooking the expansive marsh, home to many species of migratory birds and waterfowl. Created as a protected area in 1985 by the conservation group Ducks Unlimited, is now enjoyed by enthusiastic local and bird watchers from around the world.
An interpretive trail, maintained by a local hiking and trail club, explains the many plants and animals found here, as it winds through and around the marshlands.
To get really up close and personal with the muskrats, beavers, ducks and geese, glide silently through the maze of reeds and channels in a canoe.
A knowledgeable guide will steer you through the marsh and point out hidden nests of goslings, beaver lodges built of sticks and mud, and show you a world unseen by many.
Truly one of nature’s greatest shows of strength and determination, the annual salmon migration in the mighty Fraser River is a sight to behold. Beginning early August in the Mount Robson area, and lasting for about 4 weeks, this stretch of local water is the end of the salmon migration. It is the longest in the world, and we feel very honored that they come all the way up here. From our lodge 5 minutes by car in either direction are waterfalls. To the west you will find Rearguard waterfalls, and Overlander waterfalls are located east. This is the last stretch of the Fraser River that the salmon are able to navigate. Having already swam upstream for over 1200 kilometers, only the strongest of the strong make it up the Rearguard Falls, only to find that Overlander Falls is not an option. Watch as the determined salmon try time and again to jump up the falls. Without having stopped once to eat or rest, the fish arrive here physically exhausted and abused. They recognize the waters of their birthplace, and return after 7 years to complete their life cycle in a dramatic ending. Finding a mate, the females lay eggs and protect this nest until their last gasping breath. This dance of life and death in the waters of the mighty Fraser River can best be witnessed by joining the salmon in their own environment. An interpretive float trip in a large raft along the quiet waters of the river allow you to see the salmon mating and protecting their nest of precious eggs, dug by her tail fin in a sandy part of the riverbed. Watch golden eagle soar overhead, as they seek out the remains of this rich protein source. Bear also like to feast on the salmon and can be seen on the river banks. An experienced guide will explain how and why the salmon migration happens, and the other animals that benefit from this. Learn about the colorful local history, with its past of fur traders and native Indians that left their mark in the history books.