Moose River Route in its entirety (about 40 miles) goes from a trailhead about 40 miles east of the Berg Lake Trail
trailhead, on the Yellowhead Highway (Hwy 16), to Berg Lake Trail
at the British Columbia/Alberta border. However, this trail description is only about the Moose River Route section from the end of Berg Lake Trail
to the Smoky River crossing. A great out-and-back day hike from any of the Berg Lake area trail camps, is to hike down Berg Lake Trail
and Moose River Route to the Smoky River, and back.
Moose River Route begins where Berg Lake Trail
ends at Robson Pass on the Continental Divide and Alberta/British Columbia border. This point is well marked with a big trail sign and boundary marker.
Upon entering Alberta, Moose River Route continues through the beautiful, open countryside of the Berg Lake Valley. However, it is now really the Adolphus Lake Valley. The trail is flat here. High peaks rise to the left of the trail, and across the valley to the right of the trail. Blue/green Adolphus Lake is soon reached about 0.3 miles from the trail start. The trail follows the lake's shore for a short ways and then leaves the shoreline.
Soon, in the distance, the Calumet Ridge can be seen. At the outlet of Adolphus Lake, the outlet creek is the start of Smoky River, whose waters will eventually reach the Arctic Ocean. Leaving Adolphus Lake behind, the trail continues through the flat valley, with the Smoky River meandering across the meadows, to the right of the trail.
After about 2.7 miles, Moose River Route begins to slowly descend. A trail junction with Jasper National Park's North Boundary Trail is reached about 3.3 miles from the Moose River Route trailhead. Watch for a sign that marks this junction and go right to follow Moose River Route. Moose River Route descends to arrive at the Smoky River, now much larger, having collected waters of the glacial Yates Torrent. This can be a daunting place to cross the Smoky River (see Note below), although Moose River Route continues on the other side of the Smoky River as described by Moose River Route: Smoky River Crossing to Moose Pass
Note: The Yates Torrent bridge over the Smoky River is out. There is a flagged hikers crossing along Moose River Route: Smoky River Crossing to Moose Pass
. Additionally, the water level is lower a short ways downstream where the river is more spread out on the gravel flats, making for an easier ford as described in Moose River Route: Smoky River Crossing Alternate