We did it! This past June we hiked and camped along the world-renowned Berg Lake Trail!
Located in Mount Robson Provincial Park in east, central British Columbia, just west of the British Columbia/Alberta border. The trail takes you through some of the most amazing scenery that you’ll ever lay your eyes one.
This is the final blog post in our Mt. Robson – Berg Lake Trail series and in it will share some of the pictures and video from the trip.
If you haven’t read through our past Berg Lake Trail posts you can check them all out here.
What is The Berg Lake Trail?
The 23km (One-Way) Berg Lake Trail traverses three biogeoclimatic zones and connects seven campgrounds along the way. We spend a total of 4 nights between the Trailhead and Berg Lake.
Day 1 – Berk Lake Trailhead to Robson River Campground
This campground was our first nights stop after driving up to Mt. Robson Provincial Park from Vancouver in the morning. The drive took us about 7 1/2 hours before checking into our campsite we went to the Mt. Robson visitors centre to register for our trip along the Berg Lake trail which started the next morning.
When you register at the visitor’s centre you are reminded about the rules of the trail, given your trail pass which confirms your camping spots along the way and then head downstairs to watch a 15 minute orientation video.
After we checked in we headed back down the road to the Robson River Campground and setup our tent for the night. We had a nice campfire for the night, made dinner and went to bed early for the big day ahead.
Day 2 – Berg Lake Trailhead to Emperor Falls Campground
We decided to split the hike-in into 2 sections – this first section from the trailhead to the Emperor Falls campsite is 16km with a total elevation gain of about 762m, This was a long day of hiking!
We packed up in the morning and were at the trailhead by about 7am. We headed off on the first stretch of our journey to Kinney Lake.
The hike to Kinney Lake is 7km from the trailhead and when you first come out of the forest the view is breathtaking and just a taste of what is going to come along the trail!
There was no wind when we approached the lake and the reflections on the water were amazing! We circled around the lake and stopped at the shelter there to make some breakfast before heading off on our next section of the hike.
After Kinney Lake the Whitehorn campground is 4km away and so far the trail has been a relatively flat trek but we knew the big climb was coming up.
We took another rest at the Whitehorn shelter and got ready for the next 5km which would turn out to be the most gruelling 5km we’ve ever done. The trip from Whitehorn to Emporer Falls has the most uphill gain of all the Berg Lake Trail and you climb roughly 518 metres (1700ft) in the last 4km of the section.
What makes this section especially tough isn’t that you have already hiked 11km with heavy packs on your backs but that there is no water along for the last 4km or so of this section. There is a sign just after you cross the river for the last time which warns you, STEEP CLIMB AHEAD NO WATER FOR 4KM. So we filled up our water bottles and trudged up through the Valley of 1000 falls towards Emperor Falls campground and our resting spot for the night.
We didn’t take many pictures over the next section of the hike. We were mostly sweating like crazy and just wanted to get to Emperor Falls campground without passing out! (Yes, this section of the Berg Lake Trail is THAT steep)
When you are almost at Emperor Falls campground there is a fork in the trail that leads down to Emperor Falls itself, and you can drop your packs before heading on the final bit up to the campground to go down to the falls or carry on up to the campground and plan to check it out on the way down. That’s what we did and it was pretty cool how close you could get to the waterfall.
The reward of a long first day’s hike was worth it! We got to setup our tent on the edge of the Robson River and gaze up at Mt. Robson in the distance!
As we ate dinner we were glad we got most of the uphill out of the way and only had a shorter 5km hike in the morning to Berg Lake and best of all only about 85m total elevation gain to the Berg Lake campsite.
Having a shorter hike on the second day gave us more time to explore around the lake and also save some up some energy for the hike back to Kinney Lake on the 3rd day.
Day 3 – Emperor Falls Campground to Berg Lake Campground
The next morning we were packed an on the trail by around 7am. As we headed out from Emperor Falls there were already people on their way down from Berg Lake so we knew we’d be able to find a good spot to camp.
The hike from Emperor Falls to Berg Lake is a piece of cake compared to getting up to Emperor Falls so we had a nice easy trek in the morning. As you head towards Berg Lake just after the Emperor Falls campground you traverse a long section of shale which is pretty cool. (Here’s a video we took of it on the way back down)
After the traverse you come up to Marmot Campground on the edge of Berg Lake. We carried on the final 2km to Berg Lake and setup our tent before heading out to explore the area around the lake.
After setting up our camp we decided to go check out Rearguard campground and also hike up to Toboggan Falls. Toboggan falls is a short hike up to a viewpoint and waterfall above the Berg Lake campsite and is definitely worth making the trip up to see the view.
When we got back to the lake we grabbed our books and spend the rest of the day relaxing by the shore of Berg Lake.
Day 4 – Berg Lake to Kinney Lake
The next morning we headed back on our way down to Kinney Lake. We had a 14km hike ahead of us but thankfully it was all down hill. We took our time heading back and stopped at Emperor Falls and then had breakfast at Whitehorn campground. The steep climb up was definitely way easier going down than it was coming up.
We arrive at Kinney Lake and since it was a weekday was barely anyone there so we had a spot right on the lakeside.
We spent some time exploring the lake and got ready to make dinner. About this time the dark clouds began to roll in and we could tell there was rain on the way. We had lucked out so far and had perfect weather on the trip. We were right however and we sealed up our tent and covered everything up and made our way to the shelter just before the thunder, lightning and rain started.
We were luck enough for it to pass by fairly quickly but we did have periods of showers for the rest of the night along with the loudest thunder we’ve ever heard. The lightning even lit up the tent in the middle of the night a few times.
We went to bed early since we wanted to get up early for the final 7km hike out and because we had a long drive back to Vancouver the next day as well. We woke up before 6am, made a coffee to get us going and we had the trail to ourselves for the 7km hike out to the trailhead.
The sore muscles and 6 months of planning ended up being a pretty amazing trip!
Thanks to Jason for contributing the photos on this post & putting together the Berg Lake Trail video on the top of this page and our YouTube Channel. He’s got a ton of additional pictures of the trip on Instagram if you want to check them out.
And now to plan the next one……..