High water washes out trails in Mount Robson Provincial Park

·2 min read

Torrents of fast-moving water have forced closure of three popular hiking trails in Mount Robson Provincial Park.

Hikers will have to wait until at least July 18 before they can set foot on any of the Berg Lake, Mount Fitzwilliam and Moose River trails, "due to extreme flooding" BC Parks says in an online posting.

"Upcoming day-use trail passes and campsite arrivals for the trail will be cancelled and any fees will be fully refunded (no action is required by visitors). Additional details will be posted here as they become known."

The Berg Lake trail was closed Thursday and about 30 people caught behind the high water.

In a posting on the Hiking British Columbia Facebook page, Katherine Roberts said she got off the Berg Lake trail just before it was closed. She had been camping at Emperor Falls where she woke up to a "raging Robson River lapping my now drenched tent pad."

She said the campground on the north side of Kinney Lake was flooded up to the shelter with all the lakeside tent pads underwater.

Robertson waded through water adjacent to the lake to reach the higher ground on the west side. As she looped down to the lakes south end, she found that the bridge across the Robson River was submerged at both ends.

It meant more wading to get across and with about two kilometres to go before reaching the parking lot, the main trail was completely flooded. By that time BC Parks Rangers had cut a trail around the spot.

"People were cutting trails where it was just too deep to navigate," Robertson said. "The trail was incredibly dangerous and BC Park made the right move to close it."

Further down the posting, Robertson posted a video of the Robson cutting through the main trail.

"You can see how fast (it is)," Robertson said over the noise of the torrent. "It's just raging...it's pretty crazy."

Other bridges along the trail have also reportedly been washed out and, beyond the park's boundary, the bridge over Chown River may also have been washed out as the high temperatures last week translated into a rapidly melting snowpack.

The worst appears to be over as the B.C. River Forecast Centre ended on Monday a flood watch for the Upper Fraser, including the Robson Valley and areas from Sinclair Mills upstream to Torpy, Dome Creek, Dore River, McBride and surrounding tributaries.

"With easing temperatures and decreased snowmelt rates, rivers have reached their peak levels and are now receding...Continued recession of river flow is expected today and into next week" it said in a posting.

Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince George Citizen

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