Established in 1913, the Mount Robson Provincial Park is the second oldest park in British Columbia’s park system. And truly an amazing one. The mountain for which the park is named guards the park’s western entrance. At 3,954 metres, Mount Robson, is not only the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies and towers over the lesser surrounding peaks, it also offers one of the finest views in the Rocky Mountains. No matter if it is winter or summer. This iconic park is also home to amazing wildlife such as mule deer, whitetail deer, black bears, grizzly bears and mountain goats. And its incredibly varied wilderness setting offers plenty of opportunities for essential BC outdoor adventures, including fishing, caving, camping, and hiking.
How to get there?
The main highway to Mount Robson Provincial Park is the Yellowhead (Highway 5), which runs north and south from Kamloops, and Highway 16, which runs east and west from Prince George and Alberta. You can also choose between flying to Kamloops Airport or Prince George International Airport.
Besides being treated to a cloudless view on mighty Mount Robson for four days out of five, we really enjoyed exploring the Berg Lake Trail. This world-renowned backcountry hiking trail traverses three biogeoclimatic zones and lets you gain just under 800 metres in 23 kilometres. Unfortunately the trail was not completely accessible when we spent time at Mount Robson, but we were lucky enough to hike until Kinney Lake. It was a nice 9 km day hike that treated us to some incredible scenery. Especially Kinney Lake itself is amazing. You probably will not believe the color of this lake until you see it with your very own eyes.
How long to stay?
We spent four nights in the area, which gave us plenty of time to explore Mount Robson Provincial Park and its sights. Depending on how much time you have on your hands and what you want to do in the area, we would recommend to at least stay for two nights – this way you can put the Kinney Lake hike on your agenda and still have a little more time to explore the rest of the area. Most tourist busses only stop at the visitor centre for a quick snack and a look at Mount Robson.
Where to stay?
There are two campgrounds right next to the visitor centre – we decided to stay at Robson Meadows. It is a huge campground with good facilities and also a good starting point for some easy hikes and interesting walks. The second campground is Robson River. If you do not mind staying a little further away from the visitor centre the Lucerne Campground is a pretty good option. Located at the east end of Mount Robson Provincial Park on beautiful Yellowhead Lake, you will be treated to some great views of the surrounding mountains. Some sites have lake views too. In case you prefer to stay in a hotel you could choose accommodation in either Jasper, Valemount or Tete Jaune.
Hiking With 202 km of hiking trails ranging from easy strolls to challenging backcountry excursions, hikers and climbers have a wealth of choice in the park. Rearguard Falls and Overlander Falls are relatively short and easy treks. Longer routes, Mount Fitzwilliam Trail and Berg Lake Trail, offer wilderness camping opportunities. Mountain biking Mountain biking is permitted on the first section of the Berg Lake Trail, beginning at the trailhead to the north end of Kinnery Lake. Rearguard Falls A pretty short hike will take you the Rearguard Falls viewpoint. The boardwalk right above the falls provides an excellent opportunity for travelers to witness the end of a long journey by the Chinook, largest of the Pacific salmon. These fish have survived several years at sea to return to the river of their birth, the mighty Fraser. From its estuary in British Columbia’s lower mainland to this point, the Chinook have traveled upstream over 1200 km. Some may be successful battling over these falls to reach the gravel above, but for most, Rearguard Falls marks the end of their journey. Overlander Falls There are two different routes for this gentle hike: The longer trail starts close to the Robson Meadows campground and follows the Fraser River. Along the trail you will be rewarded with several beautiful views of the canyon below. You can also discover the historic Hogan’s Cabin along the way. This hike is a perfect short hike if you are exploring Mount Robson and you have already done Kinney Lake. On the longer trail there are some narrow sections that drop off steeply and would not be good for someone with a severe fear of heights. There is also a parking lot right next to the Yellowhead Highway, the hike from here is pretty short and easy. Jackman Flats The Jackman Flats Provincial Park will surprise you with its extremely dry climate. The area is a product of ice and wind. At the end of the last ice age winds from the main trench of the Fraser River and from, what is now, Kinbasket Lake, deposited vast quantities of sand in the Jackman Flats area. This created an ecosystem considered unique in British Columbia. Rare plant communities and shifting sand dune structures now exist in this rather small park. As one of the Robson Valley’s newest protected areas (Est. June 2000), the park offers excellent opportunities for observation and study of a wide variety of plant life. There are four trails to choose from: Big Dune Trail (6.2 km), Juniper Trail (3.4 km), Pine-tree Trail (1.4 km) and the Lichen Loop (2.3 km). All trails connect and can be combined. General information For more information on Mount Robson Provincial Park, make sure to visit BC Parks.