Trip Reports: Mount Robson & Berg Lake, BC, Canada - September 2016
The trek to Berg Lake and Mount Robson is one of the most famous backpacking treks in the Canadian Rockies, and one that was high on our backpacking wish list. But when we drove through Jasper on our way north in July, we were disappointed to discover that the backcountry permits there were 100% reserved. Later in September after our trek in the Tombstone Range in the Yukon, we checked again online and were stoked to finally be able to reserve some available permits to backpack to Mount Robson. So after five days straight driving down from Dawson in the Yukon, we found ourselves back in the town of Jasper again, this time ready and able to go backpacking!
At 3954m / 12,972 ft., Mount Robson is the tallest peak in the Canadian Rockies. The mountain is massive, rising abruptly over 10,000 vertical feet from the trailhead, and over 7,500 vertical feet directly above Berg Lake. Robson and some its neighboring peaks are so huge, rugged, and glaciated that they wouldn't be out of place in the Himalaya! We spent four nights out there below Robson -- the first night at Emperor Falls campsite, then three nights at the Berg Lake campsite. From our "basecamp" at Berg Lake we did some awesome day hikes to Hargreaves Lake, Robson Glacier, and Snowbird Pass.
One our last day we walked the entire 21km (13 miles) back to the trailhead, but had a little surprise when we got back to our truck. When I opened the back window the first thing I saw was a nest on our mattress! The second thing I saw was mouse poops all over the place. While we were out in the mountains for five days, a mouse was living large in the back of our truck, helping itself to our food and shredding paper towels to make a fluffy nest! Of course the clever little mouse was still in there, until I kicked him out. So at sunset, hungry and tired after a full day of hiking we had to empty out the whole back of the truck, clean everything off, toss out a bunch of food, and vacuum the truck. I bet that mouse had the time of its life!
But we did too. After spending five days around Mount Robson, it's obvious why this trek is such a classic.