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Work continues to restore damaged Berg Lake Trail at Mount Robson

The restoration and repair work involves new bridges and some upgrades to the trail as well as camping and picnic sites.
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Valemount mountain construction company Robson Design Build posted a picture of one of its bridge projects on the Berg Lake Trail, calling it one of its most technical projects to date.

The wait continues for work to be fully completed on the Berg Lake Trail in British Columbia’s Mount Robson Provincial Park.

Three years ago, extreme flooding forced the closure of three popular hiking trails at Berg Lake, Mount Fitzwilliam and Moose River.

While the latter have since reopened, the Berg Lake Trail is still a work in progress. It was a total washout as a result of what was then described as a “raging Robson River.”

The extensive damage included some bridges completely covered in rock, some that were swept away, and some that essentially became elevated pathways over dry riverbeds due to the dramatic shift of the river. Some campsites were flooded, facilities were damaged and sections of the trail were badly eroded and slumping.

Trail and infrastructure repairs, however, were expected to be completed last summer.

Work on the Berg Lake Trail trail between Kinney Lake Campground and Whitehorn campground is underway, according to the B.C. Ministry of Environment. 

“The trail between Kinney and Whitehorn and Whitehorn Campground will be open by July 2, 2024 with no access past Whitehorn Campground,” read a statement emailed to the Fitzhugh. 

Reservations will be open on Monday, June 24. People can access the online reservation system for the Kinney Lake campground by visiting camping.bcparks.ca.

The destructive 2022 weather event was the result of a combination of 2021’s heat dome event in B.C. along with rapid snowmelt and excessive precipitation flooded out an extensive area of the trail system.

BC Parks has completed significant work on the Berg Lake Trail since it was damaged in 2021.

The project was split into three phases to help manage the rebuilding effort on the 23-kilometre trail. Phase 1 was a seven-kilometre stretch from the trailhead (and the parking lot) to the Kinney Lake Campground. Late last June, that work was completed, and the trail partially reopened.

Phases 2 then extended four kilometres from the Kinney Lake Campground up to the Whitehorn campground. Work on that section continued into the fall and included replacement of two large bridges that were damaged during the flood.

The first bridge north of Kinney Lake Campground was realigned and reconstructed to be more flood resilient. The second was the suspension bridge leading to Whitehorn Campground. It was replaced with a more fire resilient steel structure. 

“In the summer of 2023, BC Parks also conducted the assessments needed to plan for and design the improvements along the remaining extent of trail to Berg Lake,” the statement read.

“Construction for these improvements are taking place this summer, and the trail is planned to be fully reopened in the 2025 hiking season.”

Phase 3 involves the remaining 12 kilometres from Whitehorn all the way up to Berg Lake.

B.C. Parks has managed to use the opportunity to conduct some upgrades in the midst of the repairs. The Kinney Lake Campgrounds now have new tent pads, new toilets and some new picnic spots. The trailhead bridge was also fully replaced and the parking lot was updated and expanded.

The Berg Lake Trail Reservations website can be at bcparks.ca/reservations/backcountry-camping/berg-lake-trail. Prior to the 2021 event, BC Parks reported more than 30,000 overnight users and hundreds of day hikers on the trail per season.


Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

About the Author: Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Ecology and Environment Reporter at the Fitzhugh Newspaper since July 2022 under Local Journalism Initiative funding provided by News Media Canada.
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