Berg Lake Trail
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Berg Lake Trail
Canada

The Berg Lake Trail is a stunning hiking route in British Columbia, Canada.

Nestled amongst the Canadian Rocky Mountains, this trail is an out-and-back hike that hugs the base of the highest peak, Mount Robson.

Mount Robson Provincial Park is the starting point for this 42 kilometre trail. With many options to go on day hikes from the trailhead, as well as extra trails to explore from Berg Lake, this is a route that has plenty to offer for any hiking ability.

Highlights
  • Stunning scenery of snow-capped mountain peaks
  • Glaciers, lakes and waterfalls
  • Opportunities to explore side trails
  • Pristine temperate rainforest
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About the route

The Berg Lake trailhead is located near to the visitor’s centre in Mount Robson Provincial Park.

The path follows the course of the Robson River, and lower levels are filled with temperate rainforest and streams. As you climb higher, it changes to rocky terrain and glacial lakes.

Further along the path, you pass Kinney Lake and climb up the Valley of a Thousand Falls.

One of the most awe-inspiring waterfalls is Emperor Falls, where you can brave the mist to get close to this enormous force of nature.

Emperor Falls

The trail levels, and you continue to reach Berg Lake and the base of Mount Robson.

The Berg Glacier flows down the side of Mount Robson and into a Berg Lake. The glacier actively calves huge chunks of ice, so you will spot many icebergs floating in the blue water.

Once you reach Berg Lake campsite, there are options for other treks so you can see more of the Rockies!

  • Travel

The closest town to the trail is Valemount, 33 kilometres away. There is also the town of Jasper, a 90 kilometre distance along highway 16.

If you are flying, the nearest international airport is Prince George, 295 kilometres away. Form there you can rent a vehicle to drive the distance to Valemount.

There is a bus service that runs twice per week between Prince George and Valemount. There is also a train service.

  • Length

The Berg Lake trail is a 42 kilometres out-and back. It takes 21 kilometres to reach Berg Lake itself.

The view is definitely worth the effort.

Berg Glacier and Mount Robson

You can make this hike as long or as short as you wish. It depends on how much of the area you want to see, and your fitness level.

For a full, out-and-back multi-day hike, allow for 3-4 days or more. This way you can spend more than one night at any of the campsites and explore some other trails as side trips.

If you are a fit hiker, it is possible to hike to Berg Lake in a day. You can then spend one night at the campsite and return the next day.

Or, if you prefer, you may walk to just one or two of the campsites before Berg Lake, and then return.

  • Grade and difficulty of the walk

This trail is graded as 3/5.

As with many other hiking routes in Canada, the Berg Lake Trail is well-marked. You do not need any navigational skills, although map reading is beneficial.

Much of the trail has moderate terrain. Some parts are long and steep, and there is an elevation gain of approximately 800 metres throughout. However, with plenty of stopping points and short hiking days, it is manageable for most.

  • Experience

Having previous experience of multi-day hiking is an advantage for the Berg Lake trail, but it is not essential.

As long as you are of good fitness, enough to be able to walk for several hours per day carrying supplies, you will be able to manage this trek.

One important thing to remember when hiking in this region is that there is the possibility of encountering bears.

Usually, most bears will run away to avoid human contact, but you should always carry bear spray with you.

  • Permits

You are required to register at the Mount Robson Visitor’s Centre before you being the Berg Lake Trail.

This is so they can monitor how many people are using the trail as well as it being a safety precaution for those hiking in the wilderness.

  • Guided or Self-Guided

Most hikers choose self-guided along this trail. This is because the campsites are fairly close together, it is well-waymarked and mapped.

There are tour companies that provide guided hikes. This usually includes meals and camping equipment.

best time to walk

The peak season on the trail is from July to September, as this is when the temperatures are warmest and the trail is free from snow, with fewer chances of rain.

If you are a hardy and experienced hiker, it is possible to visit the Berg Lake trail in winter.

Berg Lake Trail in Winter

Expect lots of snow and be prepared to camp in cold temperatures.

You may need snowshoes or crampons.

A typical itinerary would be:

Here is a list of campsites, with distances shown. T

his makes it possible to set an itinerary to suit your preferences.

  • Provincial Park Visitor’s Centre to Trailhead – 2 km
  • Trailhead to Kinney Lake campsite – 7 km
  • Kinney Lake campsite to Whitehorn campsite – 4 km
  • Whitehorn campsite to Emperor Falls campsite – 5 km
  • Emperor Falls campsite to Marmot campsite – 2.8 km
  • Marmot campsite to Berg Lake campsite – 2.2 km

There are also two other campsites. One is Rearguard campsite, 1 km further along from Berg Lake, with only five spots for tents.

There is also the Robson Pass campsite, usually used for large groups.

Accommodation

There are places to stay, such as motels and lodges near to Mount Robson Provincial Park, so you can have a restful night’s sleep before you set off on the trail. There are also campsites close to the visitor’s centre in Provincial Park.

Camping is the only accommodation along the Berg Lake trail. The campsites are basic but do have facilities like running water, bear lockers, toilets and cooking areas. Campsites need to be booked in advance.

There are no huts along the Berg Lake trail, so you will need to bring a tent. There are shelters where you can rest during the day, but sleeping inside overnight is not permitted

What to do

If you camp at Berg Lake, listening to the glacier creaking at night is an experience you won’t forget!

The blue colour of glacial lakes make great photos! Watch for an assortment of wildlife.

From Berg Lake, take a short hike further around Mount Robson to see the Robson Glacier. There’s a sign that shows where the toe of the glacier reached approximately 100 years ago, and it has retreated by a kilometre since then. When you reach the glacier, there is a small lake.

Take a side trek to the summit of Snowbird Pass. This 22 kilometre out-and-back trail begins at Berg Lake. Choose the right time of year though, as this trail is closed in May and June to protect calving caribou.

Another side trek from Berg Lake is Mumm Basin, a 7 kilometre loop trail. This is a steep climb using switchbacks, and there are some sheer drops to be wary of, but there are some great views to reward your efforts.

Published: February 26, 2020 Modified: February 26, 2020

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At a glance
Skills RequiredHiking, Walking
Difficulty 3/5
Starts at Fraser-Fort George H, BC V0E, Canada
Finishes at Fraser-Fort George H, BC V0E, Canada
Length of route 42 Km
Average time to complete 3 - 4 Days
Possible to complete sub-sectionsYes
Highest point 1672 metres
Permit requiredYes
Equipment neededCamping equipment, food supplies, Poles if preferred, Trekking gear, walking boots
Countries visited Canada

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