Ever walked through a forest that’s been buried in ice for 3 millennia? You will on this trek to the northern flank of 12,972-foot Mt. Robson, the highest and one of the most formidable peaks in the Canadian Rockies. Ice levels peaked here in 1840. Since then, Robson Glacier has melted, exposing the stumps and fossils from forests that thrived 3,000 years ago. Think about the bragging rights you can claim: You’ll be among the first creatures to disturb the soil since beavers the size of black bears wreaked havoc on the local vegetation.
The 14-mile trail from Berg Lake trailhead to Robson Pass is the Canadian Rockies’ best-maintained trail. Expect company on the first 4.5 miles to Kinney Lake. Beyond Berg Lake Ranger Station (12.5 miles), you pass into rarely visited wilderness and things quiet down considerably. There, you’ll turn southeast toward Snowbird Pass, traveling cross-country over marmot-filled meadows and cairned moraines to reach Robson Glacier’s toe. Check at the Ranger Station for conditions and specific directions. Stunning views of Mt. Robson (weather permitting) make it a must-do. You’ll want advance campsite reservations (800-689-9025; $5 per person, per night).
Contact: Mt. Robson Provincial Park, (250) 566-4325; www.bcadventure.com/adventure/explore/high_country/parks/robson.htm