The Berg Lake Trail in Mount Robson Provincial Park starts from the Mount Robson visitor center and leads up to Berg Lake which is located right at Mount Robson’s base. Although you won’t be climbing Mount Robson – which is the tallest mountain in the Canadian Rockies and a World Heritage Site – you’ll get some amazing views of it.
The trail to Berg Lake is approximately eight hours drive from Vancouver. It is well known for being one of British Columbia’s most beautiful trails, which makes it a well-liked one as well.
Before starting your hike, I’d advise finding a place to stay the night nearby. The towns of Valemount (30 minutes drive) and Jasper in Alberta (1 hour’s drive) are the ones that are closest to the trailhead for Berg Lake.
The Robson Meadows and Robson River campgrounds at Mount Robson Provincial Park also allow reservations and offer both: tents and serviced campervan sites.
Accommodation for Berg Lake Trail
In order to have a place to sleep, we advise booking your site three months before your arrival date. Along the Berg Lake Trail, there are 7 different campgrounds, each with between 5 and 23 camping spaces.
Reservations for the Berg Lake trail for the upcoming season begin on October 1. The reservations for the campsites are done via BCParks.ca. According to the website, camping fees are $6 (plus tax) per tent pad per night plus an additional $10 per person per night. There is an additional $5 call center fee for each reservation made over the phone.
You can check the current fees and make reservations directly with BC Parks Discover Camping Website.
All hikers, whether day or multi-day hikers, must obtain a permit from the visitors’ center, and this will be verified before you can drive the 2 km up the road to the Berg Lake trailhead.
If you’re passing through the region and want to hike the trail but don’t have a permit or reservation for the Berg Lake campground, it’s worth stopping by the visitor center to see if there have been any cancellations. You might be in luck as people frequently cancel or don’t show up.
Here’s some more information on what to anticipate if you’re wondering what camping at Berg Lake is like.
No luxuries are provided when camping along the Berg Lake trail. You must bring your own toilet paper to each of the campgrounds, which all have pit toilets (the larger campgrounds have several).
There are shelters available at a few of the busier campsites, including Kinney, Whitehorn, and Berg Lake, where you can take refuge from the rain. At Kinney and Whitehorn, these open-air shelters have a roof but no walls. The shelter at Berg Lake is more akin to a simple cabin and has some cards left over from previous hikers.
Washing and wastewater
It’s important to only wash your clothes at the designated washing stations. Usually, there is a sink area with a bucket that you can fill from a water source close by. The wastewater must then be dumped on the ground by the wastewater sign. Please abide by the rules regarding this to preserve the area’s beauty.
The bear lockers
You are hiking through bear country on the Berg Lake trail. Although we didn’t spot any, you must store all food, cooking utensils, and toiletries in a storage locker. At every campsite, lockers are available. The simplest way to accomplish this is to store all of your food in a dry bag that you can simply store in the locker and take out as needed.
Berg Lake Trail map
Berg Lake Weather
The elevation of Berg Lake is 1640 meters (5410 feet). The highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies, Mount Robson, is right next to it. Due to its height, Mount Robson creates its own weather. As a result, Berg Lake frequently experiences heavier rainfall than other Rockies locations. Additionally, the mountains are situated high enough for snow to fall throughout the year.
Your experience on the Berg Lake Trail will vary greatly depending on the month you choose.
Snow on the route is almost a guarantee from December through March. For the best chances of clear skies along the trail, camping on the Berg Lake Trail is best done between July and September. Regardless of the season, though, always be ready for any type of weather. Even though the forecast calls for sun, it’s possible that you will encounter rain more than once throughout the day. One day may be hot and the next may be stormy.
Even though it was August, we encountered rain three different times during our hike. We were fortunate to have our rain jackets and a sturdy, waterproof tent with us. Always pack gear appropriate for all weather conditions when going camping in Canada. Bring your rain gear even if the weather report calls for sun!
When is the best time to hike the Berg Lake Trail?
From July through late September is the ideal time to hike the Berg Lake trail. The trail won’t be covered in snow, there will be plenty of daylight, and the weather will probably be better.
The best months to visit Berg Lake, according to many, are July and August, but those months are also the busiest. July and August have the most consistent weather.
Snowfall in early July or in September is also not unusual.
Water availability on the Berg Lake Trail
You’re never too far from a stream, river, or lake on the Berg Lake trail. It is advised that you top off your water at kilometer 11, just as you start the ascent to Emperor Falls, because the next 4 km won’t allow you to do so.
While hiking, there are signs to serve as a reminder. Despite the water’s apparent clarity, it is advised that you filter, boil, or otherwise treat it before drinking.
What to know before hiking the Berg Lake Trail
The Berg Lake region is protected by a few laws and rules. So that people can continue to enjoy them for many years to come, it is crucial to respect these.
- Don’t forget to follow “Leave No Trace” rule.
- You can bring your dog but they cannot stay there overnight.
- The trail does not allow hammocks anywhere.
- Except for the emergency shelters at Whitehorn or Berg Lake, where firewood is available, no fires are allowed anywhere along the trail. To cook, you’ll need a camp stove.
- You can bike the 7 km of the trail up until Kinney where you will find a bike rack.
Part 1: The trailhead to Kinney Lake campground
The first 7 km of the trail up to Kinney Lake are fairly simple. There are a couple of brief, manageable uphill stretches, but nothing too challenging. You can actually ride your mountain bike along this section of the trail and lock it up at the bike racks by the campsite at Kinney Lake. On the way back, it will definitely quicken things up!
While Kinney Lake is breathtaking, I don’t think it’s far enough away to really maximize your experience.
Take a break by the lake, grab a bite to eat and get going! You’ve just started!
Part 2: Kinney Lake to Emperor Falls via Whitehorn campground
Leaving the lake behind, you starting heading onto the valley bottom. It’s breathtaking to hike between two enormous peaks on either side, and you’re probably thinking to yourself, “Wow, this hike was so simple. I should go on more hikes like this.”.
As soon as you pass the second campsite at Whitehorn, you will start climbing the mountain and entering the Valley of a Thousand Falls. Up until now, you’ve traveled 11 kilometers and gained 350m of elevation. You’re about to gain more than 500 m of elevation in 5 km. This may sound doable to day hikers, but keep in mind that you’ll be carrying a large backpack.
If you want to take it easy or if you want to continue the trailhead later, you can hike to Whitehorn campsite, spend the night there, and then tackle the more difficult part early the next day when you’re rested.
On the other hand, if you are reasonably fit and intend to finish the hike sooner, you shouldn’t have any trouble continuing. Just keep in mind that your campsites are reserved in advance, so if you hadn’t intended to camp here, you must continue.
Take a well-earned break at the Emperor Falls Campground following a strenuous 5-kilometer uphill run. Congratulate yourself for completing the difficult part. I hope you took a moment to visit all the lovely waterfalls, especially the imposing Emperor Falls.
Part 3: Emperor Falls to Marmot Campground
As soon as you pass the Emperor Falls, the trail will level off. Three more kilometers and you will arrive at Berg Lake’s shore where you will catch your first glimpse of Mount Robson’s glaciers.
Stay the first night at the Marmot campground and choose a location near the lake to catch the last light illuminating Mount Robson’s summit.
The Mist glacier and Mount Robson can be seen from Marmot campground. The sound of enormous chunks of ice calving off nearby glaciers and falling onto the mountainside and into the lake can be heard at night.
Part 4: Marmot to Berg Lake Campground
It is a short distance of 2 km from Marmot to Berg Lake, where you will follow a trail that is mostly in the trees and a few meters above the lakeshore. There are occasionally some vantage points that provide views of Berg Lake, Mist Glacier, and the lake itself.
There are a few spots hidden among the trees on your left, but if you’re going further or want to see the other tent pads, stay on the main trail.
The largest campsite along the trail is at Berg Lake, where you can set up your tent on one or more pads before reaching the shelter and a few more after crossing a bridge.
The campgrounds at Rearguard and Robson Pass are the next two campsites after Berg Lake. Marmot or Rearguard are excellent substitutes for the Berg Lake campsite if you’re looking for somewhere quieter while still being close to Berg Lake.
What to Bring on the Berg Lake Trail?
- You will need a full 2-3 L of water or a filter to fill up along the trail. As well as meals and snacks to get you through the day. Bring a packable jacket and windbreaker as the weather is quite unpredictable.
- If you’re planning a multi-day hike, be sure to bring only lightweight equipment. Over 42 kilometers and about 800 meters of elevation, you’ll be traveling with everything you brought.
- Although lighter equipment is almost always more expensive, I always think it’s worth it because it lasts so long.
- In order to go backpacking, a hiking backpack is the most essential item on your list. A good hiking pack should be able to support the weight of your load and accommodate all of your outdoor gear.
- As always, bear spray is a must when hiking in the Rockies.