You’ve heard of Jasper, Alberta and you’ve heard of Banff. Maybe Valemount is not on your radar and that’s why we’re gonna talk about it. Turquoise lakes and rivers? Well marked trails? Follow along, because we’re about to give you all the links and inspiration you need in this outdoor guide to Valemount, BC.
- Rocky Mountain hikes for all levels
- Downhill mountain biking scene
The Canadian Rockies are no stranger to hosting visitors who love the outdoors. Valemount sets itself apart by being slightly off the Banff – Jasper circuit while still having fantastic hiking and outdoor sports options. If you want to get big mountain views and stupidly beautiful camp spots, you can find them here.
Where is it?
- 1.5 hours from Jasper, Alberta 123 km / 76 miles via Rt. 16
- 3 hours from Prince George, BC 292 km / 181 miles via Rt. 16
- 5 hours from Edmonton, Alberta 487 km/ 302 miles via Rt. 16
Out of Town: Hike or Run to Berg Lake
Mt. Robson is the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies but it isn’t in a national park. The Berg Lake trail travels along the bottom of a valley, through the Valley of a Thousand Falls (lives up to its name) and ends at Berg Lake, complete with views of Mt. Robson and a glacier. All local hiking trails are listed at this site maintained by the local tourism board. Bring the trail info with you on your phone with the AllTrails app. For more inspiration and specific campground recommendation, these photos and hiking guide from In a Faraway Land are helpful as well as the responses to the comments. Check with BC Sites and Trails for COVID closure info.
There’s an annual race in September along the Berg Lake Trail with distances from 5k to ultra. If you like your scenery with a hefty dose of endurance, sign up for the Mt. Robson Marathon
In town: Walk Cranberry Marsh Loop
Here’s a mellow 6km / 3.7 mile gravel path with boardwalk sections around a marsh in the Starrat Wildlife Management Area. Park in the designated lot at the Best Western just south of town. This trail is stroller and bike-friendly with a max 20º slope. Into birds? Yellow-Headed Blackbird, Sara, and Northern Harrier are at large.
In town: Ride the Bike Park
For yet another great bike destination in BC, check out the bike park. Here’s a link to Trail Descriptions from Ride Valemount and you’re also gonna want to visit Valemount Bike Park on Trailforks. Not yet convinced? This trail POV will help. Or how about this article in Bike Magazine.
Check local trail authority VARDA for COVID-19 closures RideValemount.com/news
Cycle the Yellowhead Highway East
While there is truck traffic, cycling the Yellowhead Highway (Rt. 16) east from Valemount to Mt. Robson is 😝 good. There are some pull-offs to get closer to the Fraser River so make sure to stop and soak them in. Head all the way to Jasper, then down the Icefields Parkway, for the full Canadian Rockies epic. There’s a small store and the Cafe Mt. Robson near the welcome center to Mt. Robson Provincial Park with good vegan options.
Bike to Camp at Kinney Lake
Kinney Lake in Robson Provincial Park if you can. Bikes are allowed up the dirt trail and mountain bikes are recommended. Reservations through BC Provincial Parks website or try more camping options closer to town.
Local Gear Shops + Info:
Bikes N’ Bites Bike Shop, including rentals. Check hours off-season.
Valemount Visitor’s Centre Hours vary by season, free wifi.
When to Visit + Weather
Most summer services, including BC parks and trails, are open between Victoria Day long weekend (mid/end of May) and Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend (mid-October). July is the warmest month with an average temp of 16ºC / 60ºF. September and May have an average temp of around 10ºC / 50ºF.
Local Tip: Many local rivers are protected salmon spawning grounds, which is great to watch but may also limit your access to some rivers during the fall.