You've seen the photos, you've heard the stories and now you want a piece of the action for yourself. And who wouldn't!
Canada's Berg Lake Trail is arguably one of the most sought-after back country camping permits available for Canada's summer months, and spots sell out quickly!
The trail begins near the Mount Robson Visitors centre and climbs steadily to the glacial fed Berg Lake. Along the way you'll be surrounded by mountains, cruise past waterfalls, hike over suspension bridges, have lunch staring at glaciers and see lakes bluer than anything we saw in Canada, and if you know anything about lakes in Canada you'll know that that is really saying something!
Fun Fact: The view of Mount Robson from the Visitors Centre is absolutely breathtaking on a clear day, and totally worth a stop on your road trip if you don't have time to fit hiking any of the trail in.
The trail is 23km in length and rises from 853m (2800ft) elevation at the trail head to 1649m (5410ft) at Robson Pass, a total elevation gain of almost 800m (2600 ft). Along the way there are 7 reservable campsites.
We ran in and out in a day as a training run, it was a lot of fun but a very big day! Unless you're into running or hiking very long distances in a single day we'd definitely recommend taking a few nights along the trail to really enjoy it. We think it's be preferable to get to Berg Lake and have a night or 2 there to explore the trails surrounding the area.
The 7 reservable camp sites along the Berg Lake Trail (marked by the green stars on the map above):
Sites are reservable at the Discover Camping website and reservations are can be made as early as October 1st each year for the following season.
For example: To book a spot for July 2020 you will want to be ready to book on October 1st 2019. It can seem like a bit of a hassle having to book that far in advance, but oh boy is it worth it
I'll break the hike up into 3 bite sized pieces.
Berg Lake Trail Head to Lake Kinney:
In A Nutshell (From The Trailhead): 7km, 131m (800ft) elevation gain
Nice and easy. This portion of the trail winds through forest track along the shore of the Robson River with some small but very manageable rises in elevation. You'll be rewarded handsomely with your first glimpses of Kinney lake and Mount Robson, and I promise you will be happy you've made it this far.
* For those who are not interested in doing a huge multiway (or very long single day) hike we really recommend Kinney lake! It's easily achievable for hikers of all abilities and the lake itself is extremely beautiful!
Kinney Lake to Emperor Falls
In A Nutshell (From The Trailhead): 16km, 762m (2500ft) elevation gain
From Kinney Lake on to Whitehorn Campground you will continues to hike up hill slowly, from the trailhead to Whitehorn you will have travelled 11km and gained only 250m (800ft) in elevation. A modest gain in elevation.
However the next portion of the trail is where it starts to get a little trickier. From Whitehorn to Emperor falls it is only 5km, but in that 5km you will gain 518m (1700ft), more than double the climbing you've already done in half the distance!
AS stated, this next part is steep, but there are plenty of stops and viewpoints along the way to rest. Don't forget to check out the falls and give yourself a pat on the back, the hard part is done!
Emperor Falls to Berg Lake (& The Various Campgrounds around it)
In A Nutshell (From The Trailhead): To Marmort Campground 19km, 792m, To Berg Lake Campground 21km, 788m, To Rearguard Campground 22km, 793m, To Robson Pass Campground 23km, 796m
The next section from Emperor Falls to Berg Lake is relatively flat with only 30m in elevation gain over the final 7km of the hike. You will first get to Marmot campground on the shores of Berg Lake first. You'll get your first glimpses of the incredible glacier feeding the lake and if you're lucky views of the peak of Mount Robson looming over you.
From Marmot Campground it is another 2km along the lake shore on to Berg Lake Campground and then both Rearguard and Robson Campgrounds are only a few kilometres further.
Berg Lake Trail was our favourite stop in all of BC and Alberta on our 3 week road trip. We absolutely loved it, and highly recommend anyone doing as such or as little of it as appeals to them.
Okay.. So we know that you really don't need a reason to go on a road trip.. ever. Especially not one in a place as jaw-droppingly-gob-smackingly-beautiful as Canada.
But if you are for some reason holding back on getting out there and seeing what Canada has to offer, here are 8 amazing reasons you need to go explore it now. Right now.
As usual, these are not listed in order of best to still-awesome-but-not-the-best. The order is random and every single reason to visit Canada is great and totally dependant on the person visiting.
We explored all of these goodies whilst on a 3 week road trip through BC & The Rockies. Check out our itinerary suggestions here.
1. Outdoor Activities
This includes, but is certainly not limited to:
Lions and tiger and bears Oh My!
Okay so there aren’t lions.. or tigers... unless you count mountain lions; they’re elusive, however they are there... But, there are bears! And there is a huge array of other wildlife visible throughout BC & The Rockies. Caribou, Eagles, Big Horn Sheep, Bald Eagles, Squirrels and so much more are all visible just hanging out on the side of the roads!
3. Roadside Scenery
There is nothing quite like rounding a blind corner in your van and seeing the whole skyline in front of you open up, filled with peaks of different heights and colours. Throw in animals all over the place and driving pretty much anywhere in BC is a treat for the senses.
Check these roads out for all the good stuff:
Too many breweries, too little time. Almost every single town has a brewery and as far as we can tell so far almost all of their beers are great. There are also plenty of “tallboy” cans of quality suds to be found for enjoyment in some more remote locations on the road.
Our favourite Brewery:
The Okanagan Valley is also very well known for its wine. We didn’t get to suss out any vineyards but a day riding bikes around and drinking wine is always fun right?
Fun Fact #2: You can buy wine in a can. You're welcome.
5. Picnic Spots
Food with a view. Is there any better way to enjoy a meal?
Plenty of road side pit-stops and loads of well-deserved-end-of-hike vantage points. There are infinite possibilities!
Lakes in every shade of blue you can imagine.
Trails lined with wildflowers, running along the shores of lakes, over the summits of mountains, across suspension bridges and leading to waterfalls, what more could you ask for.
Trails long or short, taking days or minutes, it's up to you and there is something for absolutely everybody.
There is so much land to explore, and what better way to do it than on your own 2 feet?
Last but certainly not least. There is not much to write about this point, it’s pretty self explanatory; they’re everywhere, they’re beautiful, they’re hike-able, they’re climb-able and some are even gondola-accessible.
I count this as one of the 5 reasons to visit BC mostly just because they’re absolutely-breathtakingly and it’s a really special feeling you get when looking down from the top of a peak, somehow it manages to put the whole world into perspective, if only for a minute.
So what are you waiting for? Book those flights, and reserve that Jucy van ASAP. You will not regret it, I pinky promise.
10 PHOTO LOCATIONS YOU HAVE TO VISIT ON YOUR ROAD TRIP THROUGH BRITISH COLUMBIA & THE CANADIAN ROCKIES
We all love a good road trip. And nowadays we all love getting a good photo (or 10) to show off the magnificent places we’ve been visiting. British Columbia and the Rockies make this easy because, well.. Canada is just way too beautiful. Seriously.
And although photos never truly capture the absolute magic of seeing these places in person, they’re pretty damn good at giving the person viewing the photo a taste of the incredible place being portrayed.
And without further delay, here are our Top 10 Photo Locations in BC & The Canadian Rockies
Note: These are not numbered 1 to 10 in rank of most beautiful or anything like that, they’re actually ranked in the order we viewed them on our road trip, the itinerary of which can be found here.
1. The Sea to Sky Highway
This is a 2 hour stretch of road leading from Vancouver to Whistler via the resort town of Squamish. There are LOADS of spots along this road worth photographing (and just seeing with your eyeballs).
2. Duffey Lake Road
Road leading North from Pemberton to Lillioet. Jaw dropping mountains around every corner. And the opportunity to maybe see wildlife. How good!
3. Wells Grey Provincial Park
Forget what TLC taught you. This is the perfect place to chase waterfalls. Hike in or easy drive-right-up-to viewpoints, Wells Grey will not disappointment your thirst for waterfalls.
4. Mount Robson Provincial Park
Mount Robson is quite possibly the most beautiful mountain I’ve ever seen. And you can see it right from the visitors centre, or from the road in on a clear day. No walking required. However for the more adventurous we can't recommend enough trekking up to Berg Lake.
5. Berg Lake Trail
A 23km one-way trail leaving from very close to Mount Robson Visitors Centre. This is doable as a long trail run or multi-day (camping at night) hiking trip. This was our favourite place in Canada. The first campground is only 6km in (12k return hike) and is situated on the bluest lake I’ve ever seen. Go deeper into the hike to be rewarded with more mountains, waterfalls, glaciers, wildlife and more. I honestly don’t know if there is anything not to like about this hike.
6. Jasper National Park
Mountains, bears, hikes, viewpoints, eagles, sheep, waterfalls, lakes and much more.Seriously, nearly all of the wildlife that comes to mind when you think of Canada is here. Too many places and trails to name but beauty around every corner.
7. The Icefields Parkway
With lots of stops along the way, this stretch of road will keep you busy getting shots plenty of shots. Give yourself a day to fit in a few hikes and all the sites
8. Banff National Park
Lake Louise, Lake Moraine, Johnson Canyon, mountains, bears and more. Lots and lots of nature and that’s what you’re coming to Canada for (we assume anyway).
9. Yoho National Park & Lake O'Hara
Emerald Lake & Takkakaw Falls are both easily accessible. Lake O'Hara not so much, but boy is it worth the hassle. See more about getting to Lake O'Hara here.
This list is by no means exhaustive and can easily be added to with a little time exploring. I’m sure you’ll find a million spectacular locations just like these. Happy snapping!
As you can probably tell we have teamed up with Jucy again for our Canadian road trip. They rent vans out of Point Roberts just outside of Vancouver (It's actually part of the United States so remember that if you need a visa, or visa waiver of any form). We have found this size van great for us as you can park anywhere a normal car can in towns with the bonus of a few extra creature comforts a camper van provides over just a rental car. If you're interested, check out their site here.
G'day I'm Bec
I'm an Aussie who loves travelling, hiking, trail running and pretty much any activity you can do outdoors.
This blog may contain several affiliate links to products and services that I use and love. By clicking on these links, I might get a teeny tiny contribution towards my travel fund, at no extra cost to you!
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