After spending three nights in the back country of Mount Robson Provincial Park, it was time to head back out. Unlike the hike-in which was done over two days, the return trek would be done in a day. Despite the 22 kilometer distance being mostly downhill, with the steepest declines over the Valley of a Thousand Falls, we fully expected a strenuous hike back. You can cover a lot of distance in a short period of time, but descending with a heavy backpack can be especially hard on the knees. However, we had plenty of time and made frequent stops along the route.
Unlike the mixed weather we had on the way in, picture perfect conditions prevailed on the hike out. If anything, it was a little bit too warm and sunny on some long stretches without any shade. We retraced our initial route, starting at Rearguard camp and making our way past Berg Lake and into the steep valley. There were a few more hikers on the trail today (it was Canada Day long weekend, after all), most of them heading in to the park. After a brief stop and cool-down at Emperor Falls, we soon reached Whitehorn campsite where we had spent our first night on the trail.
At Kinney Lake camp, we ate the last of our food and had a good rest before taking on the remaining 7 km to the trailhead. I must admit that the last 3 km or so seemed to last forever; I was pretty much a walking zombie by the time we finally saw the trail entrance and parking lot, after a total of 9 hours hiking. There was a real sense of accomplishment knowing that we had survived the backpacking portion of our Canadian Rockies trip, trekking 70km over 4 days – surely everything else that followed would be easy by comparison!