The Mountain of the Spiral Road

There’s a pullout on this stretch of Hwy 16 for a very good reason – Mt Robson simply towers above this part of the Fraser Valley

The first time we visited Mt Robson back in 2007, we were driving east along Highway 16 and rounded a bend to be faced by this stunning view of the mountain. Thankfully, there was a large, wide pullout that we could more or less drift into, and we parked up to get out and take in the scale of the scene before us. We made use of that pullout again a year later on a trip with family from the UK. But in 2011 when we were touring the Rockies with my parents, we were driving *west* along the highway, heading back to Vancouver at the end of our trip. We’d already stopped at the Mt Robson visitor centre for souvenirs, the view, and breakfast at the cafe, so Mum and Dad had seen the mountain, but I really wanted to give them the full Robson effect. Plus, I’d seen someone else’s version of this photo and wanted to recreate it for myself.

We drove west with Mt Robson filling the rear-view mirror, and then turned around at a point where the road was quiet. I pulled off onto the shoulder (still a bit too close to the truck traffic for comfort really) so we could admire the view, and Dad and I waited for a gap in the traffic to dash across the road to get this shot. Our timing was perfect as the traffic died down to almost nothing so we had this glorious empty road leading straight to the tallest mountain in the Canadian Rockies.

For a peak with the traditional name “the mountain of the spiral road”, the road leading to its base is about as un-spiral as you can get. It’s almost as if the Romans had got here first…

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