The Mount Robson Park Visitor Centre is located at the park's western entrance, a must stop.
From the centre, there is a wonderful view of Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies,..........We had a look, then headed into the Visitor Centre for some more information on what to see & do.
The centre has all this information, plus more.
We found of interest, a measure of the height of a Moose where we could stand alongside, and see just how big a Moose can grow. It is HUGE!..... Way bigger than we ever thought!
The only services within the park are a gas station complex at the Viewpoint where you can buy a cup of coffee.
From May to September, the visitor centre is open...........
May 7 to June 18 - 8am to 5pm
June 19 to Sept 6 - 8am to 7pm
Sept 7 to 30 - 8am to 5pm
Oct 1 to 12 - 9am to 4pm
For those of you who are not aware of who Terry Fox was, here is some info........
"Terry Fox lost a leg to bone cancer, but undertook to run across Canada to raise funds for cancer research. He completed 5,375 km before illness forced him to end his run. His valiant effort against incredible odds touched the hearts of all Canadians and people around the world. Terry died on June 28, 1981. The mountain that bears his name will serve forever as an enduring and fitting memorial to a young Canadian's determination, selflessness, and courage."
The park was officially dedicated September 22, 1981 by the family of Terry Fox and the people of British Columbia.
A Highway 16 viewpoint 7 km west of Mt. Robson west gate provides a view of the mountain, has some gardens and strong binoculars.
The Rearguard Falls are not very high falls. They wouldn't want to be, because this is where the Chinook [Pacific Salmon] end their long journey. These fish have survived several years at sea, then return to the Fraser river where they were born. The Chinook have traveled upstream over 1200 km.
What an amazing journey!.....And if you are here at the right time, you can witness them at the Falls viewpoint.
The time to be here is from the 3rd week in August to Mid September, with the peak being in the 1st week of September.
No fishing is allowed.
The day before i arrived to Jasper at noon after an amazing road from Lake Louise... my sole intention in that town was attempt to hike to Berg Lake. i didnt take a look to Medicine lake or others... i went to Jasper youth hostels located in the outskirts and after lunch i bought some stuff and some food.. this picture was taken during my scouting ride to the base camp. it was a long journey.. i didnt imagne it... distance was about 1h one way (54 miles) from Jasper trespassing Albera and British Columbia border. The road drives along a fascinating lake called Moose lake surrounded by mountains and lush trees and forests.. the road bend down before arriving in a long and straight down road .. and its just there...looking at east you can see the rocky.. a huge mole of rock and snow with cloud at the top ... was terrific... a ranger station welcomes you...(closed at this season) and a gas station ..also closed
Once in the ranger station i took the tiny road that leaded to the trail parking lot ..driving along a lush and wet forest i arrived to the end of this where I met two french canadian guys who explained me how was the trail and the chances to achieve my goal ...sounded scary cos they did in two days and i wanted to do it in just one....
I was reading and checking by internet all sort of information of this trail and the typical warnings and advises and i knew that i would have to wake so early in the morning .. the summary was 23kms one way with 900m grade among the parking lot and the cottage in Berg lake, with some diferent grade of elevation from plains paths around Berg lake and hard and stenous slopes like in the waterfalls gap.
here you can see a picture that i took from the information summary point just crossing the bridge over the river that will guide you all this hike from the parking to Berg lake.. on red the trail to follow passing by the first lake and several campgrounds
I woke up in Jasper YH at 4.30 am that morning under still dark and snowy dawn. Temperature was -6 degrees... sounded like a nice and shiny day perfect for hiking (lol)
So i took my frozen car towards Jasper junction and turned left towards Tete Jaune Cache (BC). the snow was stronger and my thoughts of hiking that day even worse.. but just passed Moose lake... and arriving to rangers station stopped snowing.. was like a miracle... I arrived to the parking lot at 6am and i took my little backpack with the essencial to spend a say in the mountain.. a torchlight, 1.5 litre of water, some energetic food, raincoat (so useful), camera, and some dry socks. I was ready for the worst (snow, frozen paths, rain) and i started to walk alone amidst a huge forest .. so so beautiful.. it was dawn so almost there wasnt any light and just some hidden sounds of wildlife. I was so eager to listen sounds of animals in front of me like bears.. i was so awake to avoid it because its hard to be alone in front of a bear.. i can figure out how could it be !! .. the path gains elevation during the 6 first kilometers where u find Mount Robson west face in front of you... the path runs along the river with smooth bends and some parts open to the air and others hidden beneath huge forest. This first part finishes on the first lake (Kinney Lake ).. At Kinney Lake, some 6km into the trail, there is a primitive campground, and a rest area. This is a nice destination for those out for a day hike.
After 6km that dont demand so much effort you reach the primitive campground and Kinney lake... this is the second stage.. the easiest one. The path runs along the lake in a loop way...the first part of the lake shore climbs the slope during some time gaining height and at the other end run down swiftly..all that with stunning views to the high peaks ahead, white and plenty of snow and shinned by the morning sun. this gap its for 4 km (from 6th to 9th)..looks shorter but it get some time reach the other end... there's also a campsite at km 7 just in front of the river with no facilities and nobody was there when i passed by.. Almost at the end of the lake the path raises up over the lake with some inner small lakes on the right side... before to lay down to a peeble streams that die into the lake... some metallic bridges will help u to pass over that streams in a beautifull landmark. At this point you are crossing the head of the lake from east to west to reach this merge of the river and keep on going gaining height ...
Once you crossed the streams that end at kinney lake you will find a forest on the left merge of the river..the path raises up abruptly in a two or three switchbacks ...its so steep and require a heavy effort. the path keep on going amidst the forest with the river growning and growling hundred meters down there... this strenous part end in a tibetan bridge over the river where you can take a look to the small ranger station, in front of that there's other campsite with a saw to get wood and a nice shelter with tables and so on... there's a map of situation at any campsite.. so u can see where you are .. what is coming and the elevation gained and ahead.
the first and third pictures are on this area looking backwards...after passing the campsite and going ahead
the second one was taken from the middle of the tibetan bridge looking ahead
Beyond Whitehorn campground, a short flat section of trail leads to yet a third bridge across the river and the start of the hardest part of the hike. For 2 miles the trail climbs steeply, gaining more than half of the 2600 foot elevation gain to Berg Lake in a single push
This part of the hike offers spectacular scenario over the white falls with the risky chance to arrive to the bottom of the fall but its just a rest because the switchback path requires an extra effort for quite a long time and distance.. Its the hardest part and there's also an area where u have to go faster due to rock falling from the wall.. so it doesnt help to be safe and take your time..luckily its just 100 meters and two bends
A little bit upwards you will find another sign called Fall of the pools.. its a loop path to the right of the main trail. its forbidden but its possible to climb down a little bit to take better pictures but be aware of the slippery mood land if its wet.. At this part the path becomes smoother despite a last effort with a rocky steps tremendous steep .. its a hard part but the last one before meet Emperor's fall. the final and more amazing fall ..the big one
Few meters after the open campsite you find this river bend where you get a great panorama overview beneath Mount Robson.. cloudy and foogy looked scary but in a sunny day will be glorious and impressive. On this part of the trail you are feeling anxious to get to the lake and behold the views that you watched before by Tv or Goggle Earth.. but there's a last effort to do ... the berg lake meadows
These pictures were taken amidst km 18-21 ..first and second are taken looking backwards walking by a heavy rocky slope by the snow over the flat valley. Strolling alone i didnt hear anything, no noises, no wildlife..just your breath ... was absolutelly terrific and amazing, such a quietness. Going ahead after take that bend i talked before you can see the glacier falling down from Robson Mt. and just in front of you a long and wide valley where the path leads jumping the tiny stream that leads u to the plain valley
And here it is .. after just 5h hiking up we reach the west end Berg Lake. The flat but long valley that we thread before is such an amazing scenario...mountain to the left and to the right and the chilly wind blowing and cutting your face.. luckily that day wasnt so cold but has to be extremmelly hard with the frozen wind blowing on your face.. to dont lose your track there are piles of rocks every 200 meters, the snow hide the path and its hard to follow it properly.. after 400 or 500 meters you reach the forest rim where some wooden bridges brings you to the last campground.. more equipped but empty on that time.. just in front, nodding your head you can behold the turquoise Berg Lake waters and the glacier falling down.. impressive one with the helmet on your left and Mount Robson over it.. you feel such a liitle thing amidst all impressive landmark.. and i felt proud of myself to be there in less time that i could imagine. Reach that place that i was pipe-dreaming for long time before get there... so i decided to go ahead and explore the east end
The path that follows the lake shore is fascinating and the views of the glacier are impressive.. despite cold snow and chilly wind...the lenght aprox 1km deserves the effort ..besides i could see lot of wildlife marks on the snow.. i guess bears indeed, goats and others...totally alone there was a little bit scary and thrilling at the same time..
An isolated wooden hut is placed on the east end of Berg Lake with a straight sight to the glacier... there are a heater and some benchs and tables inside... there is enough space for sleep there despite no bunk beds.. but a sleeping bad is right .. i reckon it as the best place to spend the night before some hikes around Mt Robson before to get there in one day from the visitors center
I met two couples of young canadians there who were practising snowing and hiking in the are for a week or something like that.. they climbed in two days and were so surprised that i did in just 5h 30 ' but its my way of enjoty the mountains. I spend 30 min chating, eating of my supplies when i took a glimpse to the sky.. was time to get out and hurry away .. the sky gots a lead-coloured that makes me go away ,...snow was starting to falling after some sun glimpses.. so i came back thinking in coming back next year (2008) and spend the night just there and check more trails from there.
The way back was so stenous.. snow falling for quite a long time and the last kilometers from kinney lake to parking lot under a heavy shower when my right knee and ankle hurted me so much !! such a great effort ..
And a last curiosity.. 500m before the parking lot i crossed by some japanese girls who were hiking up.. it was 6.30pm (almost dark) and raining enough to stop and come back.. i didnt understand where they're going in that weather conditions but they were japanese so could be a kinney lake attempt to stopover in the primitive campsite..