The Berg Lake Trail is one of the best backpacking destinations in the Canadian Rockies as it circles around Mount Robson while following the Robson River and passes by beautiful lakes, waterfalls, and glaciers. Difficulties encountered on the hike include being prepared for cold and rainy weather, climbing a steep mountain section to reach Emperor Falls, and dealing with possible bear encounters along the trail. Route maps and GPS coordinates are not provided because this is an official trail which is maintained by BC Parks. All hikers should obtain backpacking permits along with complete information on the hike and current conditions from the above entity.
As part of our August 2013 trip to the Canadian Rockies, we spent two days hiking the Berg Lake Trail in Mount Robson Provincial Park. For the benefit of my readers who are unfamiliar with the area, here is a little bit of background information. Mount Robson is the highest point in the Canadian Rockies at 12,972 feet in elevation. Three massive glaciers flow down the mountain to the northwest -- Mist Glacier, Berg Glacier, and Robson Glacier. A visit to Mount Robson starts at the Visitor Centre just off Hwy 16. At the Visitor Centre, there is an imposing view of Mount Robson (weather permitting). This is also the spot to pick up overnight permits, trail maps, watch the mandatory video (for backpacking), and enjoy a nice meal at the nearby cafe. One aspect of Mount Robson is that the mountain creates its own weather. Because of this, clear views of the summit are very hard to come by. We visited Mount Robson twice, one week apart. During our first visit, we had perfect views of Mount Robson, as you will see in our first few pictures down below. During our second visit, which was our backpacking trip, the summit was shrouded in clouds most of the time. However, the clouds did entirely clear one time on Day 1 and partially clear on Day 2 during our backpacking trip. Mount Robson Provincial Park is operated by BC Parks and is located within the boundaries of British Columbia. But it borders Jasper National Park and is very close to the boundaries of Alberta. The entire hiking trail and campground system at Mount Robson is pretty much the best I have ever seen anywhere. BC Parks has done an excellent job and it makes the entire experience of visiting Mount Robson exceptional.
Of course, the most exceptional part of Mount Robson is the amazing beauty on display in the form of pristine lakes, raging rivers, stunning waterfalls, breathtaking glaciers, and awe-inspiring mountains. Prior to the summer of 2013, it makes me sad to say that I had never even heard of Mount Robson. I stumbled across it because I was researching interesting destinations in between Jasper and Prince George. Once I found out about it and had done extensive research, our backpacking trip at Mount Robson became the hiking centerpiece of our entire trip. I'm going to explain more about the beautiful sights along the way below within the captions for my pictures. But let me just say, we had a wonderful time backpacking the Berg Lake Trail. This was one of the best backpacking trips of my life, with world class scenery from beginning to end. The only drawback was that I didn't really have enough time to fully explore all of the areas that interested me. Mount Robson cannot really be explored as a dayhike. It is pretty much impossible, as the distances are too great. For instance, hiking from the parking lot to Emperor Falls is 10 miles one-way with an elevation gain of 2,500 feet. That is barely manageable as a dayhike. Reaching the southern shore of Berg Lake would require another 2 miles. Realizing this, we decided to backpack in and stay overnight at Emperor Falls. Along the way, we passed by spectacular scenery with Kinney Lake, the Valley of a Thousand Falls, White Falls, Falls of the Pool, and Emperor Falls. The campground at Emperor Falls turned out to probably be the best one in the park. All of the other ones that we passed by were located in large group areas, mostly by lakes, some with a large group social hut. But our campground was private and located next to the Robson River, which provided a nice sound to fall asleep to. The next morning, I woke up and hiked up to Berg Lake. The morning fog lifted just in time for me to see a complete view of Berg Lake and Berg Glacier. On a future visit, I hope to visit Hargreaves Glacier, Toboggan Falls, and Snowbird Pass. Those destinations just take a lot more time, something that was limited on this trip to 2 days in this amazing place. Our hike took place on August 17 and 18, 2013.
Many more photographs taken during our visit are available for viewing for this destination. To see all of them, choose one of the two options presented below. The two options are Slideshow viewing and Trip Report viewing. The Slideshow option allows for viewing larger images with an autoplay option and a full screen option (available on most browsers). This option works very well for large computer screens and tablets. The Trip Report option allows for viewing smaller pictures in a standard scroll-down format and enlarging of any panoramic photos taken during our visit. Click on the option of your choice to view all of our photos from this destination. The Slideshow format opens in a new browser window and the Trip Report format uses the same browser window for viewing.
TRIP REPORT FORMAT