The trail up Mount Roberts starts easy and gets tough. But it also gets incredibly scenic! With big views of the Columbia River Valley and Seven Summits Range, it’s worth the effort to reach the summit and enjoy the panorama from the bench up there.
Trailhead: Old Rossland Cascade Hwy
Distance, round trip: 7.64km
Max elevation: 1984 m
Min elevation: 1089 m
Total climbing: 895 m
Total descent: -827 m
Trailhead & Driving Directions
Just past the junction of Highway 22 and Highway 3B in Rossland, turn onto the Old Rossland Cascade Highway and drive for 1.7km. The trail will start on the right side of the road and can be easy to miss – it’s an overgrown road, heading up the mountain, with a small trail marker “Mt Roberts” near the ground.
The access road widens in several spots for parking.
Hiking Up the Old Road
As you start hiking up the old road, you’ll pass several spurs and trails that criss-cross the route. Watch for trail markers and pink flagging tape at these junctions to keep on the main road.
The road starts winding into a series of switchbacks, with views of the valley below sneaking through the trees.
At 2.1km, reach a junction where the road ahead has been blocked off by trees and the trail starts up on the right.
Black Diamond Trail
Once the proper trail starts, it is surprisingly steep! It’s a black diamond mountain bike trail and hiking it that feels a lot like climbing endless uneven stairs with rough footing.
As you ascend, the forest starts to break away and you can look back to see that you’re already getting higher than Red Mountain to the east.
The trail crosses over rocky bluffs and can be harder to find across the rocks. Watch for cairns, pink flagging tape, and markers on trees. New hikers who aren’t comfortable with route-finding might want to stop at this point and enjoy the views of Rossland and the Columbia River Valley far below.
The distant Canada flag comes into view as you near the summit. The trail continues straight up the ridge, but steepens over blocks of rocks and feels more like a scramble at the end.
Mount Roberts Summit
The summit is reached after 3.8km of hiking and a mighty +985m ascent. It took us two hours of slow but steady hiking to sit on the bench.
We explored a little bit of the ridge, before hunkering down to eat lunch out of the wind. The fall colours were beautiful at the end of September and we could see many familiar landmarks and rolling mountains.
Right below were Red Mountain and Rossland, and we could look up and down the Seven Summits range to see Record Ridge, Granite Mountain and Old Glory. To the east, the Columbia River wove a blue ribbon in the valley far below with the city of Trail along distant shores. Looking north, the distant peaks in Kokanee Glacier Peak shone white with snow.
The hike down is very scenic as you get to enjoy the full view of the valley as you descend.