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6-day hike in Mt. Robson Provincial Park?

Washington, DC
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6-day hike in Mt. Robson Provincial Park?

I'm interested in doing a 6-day hike in Mt. Robson Provincial Park in late-August. The Berg Lake Trail sounds amazing, but it seems like only a 4-5 day adventure.

Day 1: Trailhead to Berg Lake (21km)

Day 2: Dayhike Hargreaves Glacier / Toboggan Falls / Mumm Basin Loop (12km)

Day 3: Dayhike to Snowbird Pass (21.2km)

Day 4: Berg Lake back to trailhead (21km)

Any suggestions for how to fill 2 more days? I would prefer not to leave the trail at all during this 6 day stretch. I know Day 2, at Robson Pass, brings me to the border with Jasper National Park. Is it worth hiking over the Pass and spending 2 days in Jasper, before returning to finish the last 2 days seeing Snowbird Pass and hiking back to the trailhead? And if so, what are the highlights reachable by foot in that part of Jasper?

Thanks!

Jasper, Canada
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1. Re: 6-day hike in Mt. Robson Provincial Park?

This is a great trip ... I did it a couple of years ago, in late August, with some friends. In our case, we hiked only to Emperor Falls CG on day 1 (16 km) - there is substantial elevation gain up to there, and that was enough for us for one day. You ascend gradually from the trailhead to Whitehorn CG, but then there is a headwall between there and Emperor CG.

We then hiked on day 2 to Rearguard CG, set up camp, and then did the Mumm Basin and Toboggan Falls trails. Day 3 was Snowbird Pass, and Day 4 we hiked out 23 km from Rearguard CG to the trailhead.

On other trips in to Berg Lake, I have hiked over Robson Pass and gone to Adolphus Lake in Jasper NP, but not beyond. You don't actually have to hike "over" Robson Pass - it pretty flat all the way from Emperor Falls CG to Adolphus Lake, although obviously, there is an actual high spot that is the pass and continental divide itself (marked with a boundary marker, as it's not only the border between the two parks, but also between Alberta and BC).

I would suggest using whichever day has the best weather for Snowbird Pass - there are sections of the trail when you are returning and descending the lateral moraine of the Robson glacier that are quite steep and gravelly - almost like little ball bearings, making for a slippery descent at times. We had perfect weather that day (rare in the Robson area); I would not have wanted to be hiking those dicier spots in wet conditions. There is also one section where you have to traverse a cliff on a narrow ledge, and there are chains bolted into the rock to hold on to.

Washington, DC
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2. Re: 6-day hike in Mt. Robson Provincial Park?

Thank you! How would you (or anyone else reading this) describe Adolphus Lake? Was it worth the stop?

What about Rearguard campground? I hear it's less crowded, which sounds great to me. But I wonder how the views compare with the Berg Lake campground.

Do you have any thoughts on Robson Pass campground?

Here's a longer itinerary I'd love to hear comments on:

Day 1: Trailhead to Berg Lake (21km)

Day 2: Hargreaves Glacier / Toboggan Falls / Mumm Basin Loop, and camp at Adolphus Lake (13.7km)

Day 3: Hike to Calumet Campground, set up camp, and dayhike to Moose Pass and back (16.4km)

Day 4: Hike to Robson Pass campground (10.6km)

Day 5: Dayhike to Snowbird Pass, then camp at Berg Lake campground (20.4km)

Day 6: Back to the trailhead (21km)

Jasper, Canada
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3. Re: 6-day hike in Mt. Robson Provincial Park?

Hi again - I'm not sure how I missed this thread yesterday, so thanks for the PM that made me go looking for it. I think I'll answer here rather than by PM, for the possible benefit of others.

I have never camped at Berg Lake CG, always either Rearguard or Robson Pass (and that was many years ago). I am making plans to go in again with friends this summer (maybe I'll see you because we are also looking at late August ... we will be a group of three or four Jasperites), and we are thinking about Rearguard again.

One thing I recall from our last stay at Rearguard, and I have also heard of this happening at Berg Lake CG ... one of my friends had her hiking boots chewed on while she slept; she had left them in her tent vestibule. So put those babies *inside* your tent at night!

I have never had this experience, but have been told that sometimes, when Mt. Robson is in condition for climbing, there are all sorts of climbers who camp on the flats rights near Rearguard ('cause it's the CG closest to access to the glacier & climbing route (I think they use the Snowbird Pass trail to start) ... and would be using the facilties there & making it much more busy/crowded. The campground is actually just in the trees, and the climber's overflow is in the open, on the gravel flats.

I have only hiked once to Adolphus and it was after a long day of hiking in really miserable weather and with lots of mosquitoes, so my recollection of it is not that favourable. ;-) If I recall correctly, it's quite non-descript as a lake, at least compared to Berg (muddy bottom, no turquoise water, no tumbling glaciers and icebergs, and the surrounding peaks are much less dramatic).

Regarding Moose Pass - I have never done this route, but hiked last summer with someone who has. From what I understand, there is a fair bit of route-finding and river crossings involved with the Moose River route (on the other side of the pass); it is not a well-used trail, possibly not maintained any more. But I don't know what the Calumet Creek side of the pass is like. I would suggest contacting the Jasper National Park trail office for more info (contact info on JNP website:

www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/ab/jasper/contact.aspx Or, you might try the forum at www.clubtread.com - much more likely to be someone there who can give you details (maybe there's even a trip report with photos) ... I had a quick peek and didn't see anything, but there was one thread that talked about the Calumet Creek/upper Smoky River valley being prime grizzly bear habitat.

Regarding your itinerary, on day 4, I would suggest hiking to Rearguard BC, then on day 5, I would suggest doing Snowbird Pass as a day hike, returning to your camp at Rearguard. (One less day you'll have to take down and set up your camp). Then on day six, hike all the way out - it's basically level from Rearguard to Berg Lake, so just a bit of extra distance that day, no extra hills.

Hope this helps, and that you'll come back and post a trip report.... I'd especially love to know how the Moose Pass part is.

4. Re: 6-day hike in Mt. Robson Provincial Park?

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