Backpacking Berg Lake
The Berg Lake Trail is a backcountry trail in Mount Robson Provincial Park in British Columbia. It is not an overly difficult trail, gaining less than 1000 meters in around 23kms. There are seven campgrounds along the trail at kms 7, 11, 16, 19, 21, 22, 23. These make great spots to plan a night on the trail for those not wishing to hike the full 22kms to Berg Lake.
One thing to be aware of is that the majority of the elevation gain happens between the Whitehorn and Emperor Falls campgrounds – which are the 11km and 16km campgrounds. There is some minor gain between 7 and 11km. After Emperor Falls campground at 16km there is no noticeable gain to Berg Lake.
The trailhead is just past the Mount Robson visitor center, which is about 80kms west of Jasper and 40kms northeast of Valemount.
Berg Lake Trail Campgrounds
There are seven campgrounds along the trail. Each campground has a cluster of tent pads; each tent pad will hold a single tent up to 10’ x 10’ and 1 to 6 people (all ages) per pad. The seven campgrounds along the trail are (in order):
- Kinney Lake
- Emperor Falls
- Berg Lake
- Robson Pass
There are very few facilities along the trail.
All campgrounds have bear proof food storage lockers, pit toilets, washbasins and grey-water pits. There are no showers, no flush toilets and no fires allowed. Camp stoves are mandatory for cooking.
To book your reservation on the Berg Lake Trail for the 2016 season please visit www.discovercamping.ca and please note starting on October 1, 2016 you can start booking your Berg Lake Trail adventure for the 2017 season!
Registration & Permits
For hikers that wish to hike over Robson Pass from Jasper National Park, ending at the Berg Lake trailhead, you will need to register at the Mount Robson Visitor Centre prior to commencing your hike if you plan to camp.
You may register and obtain your camping permit for the Berg Lake Trail from noon to closing time one day prior at the Mount Robson Visitor Centre.
When hikers register at the Mount Robson Visitor Centre, the staff will explain details (including a video) about the park, trail, etc.
All hikers must check in at the Mount Robson Visitor Centre during the following normal operating hours:
May 10 to June 14 – 8am to 5pm
June 15 to a day after Labour Day – 8am to 7pm
A day after Labour Day to September 30 – 8am to 5pm
October 1 to a day after Thanksgiving Day – 9am to 4pm
Helicopter landings are permitted at Robson Pass on Mondays and Fridays. Hikers who wish to fly in must obtain a camping permit prior to commencing their hike if you plan to camp.
Any trail updates will be posted under the “Attention Visitors – Important Notice” alert on the main page for Mount Robson.
Hammocks are not allowed for use on the Berg Lake Trail. Maximum group size for the Berg Lake Trail is 12.
There is no charge to day hike on the trail but there is a trail fee charged for those that hike/camp overnight.
Children 5 and under camp for FREE but must be accompanied by an adult (16 years of age or older).
For overnight trips, dogs are not permitted on the trail. Dogs are permitted on the trail for day hikes only but must be on a leash.
Bicycles are allowed on the trail but only as far as the Kinney Lake campground (7 km).
Additional Hiking Routes along or from Berg Lake Trail
- Kinney Lake Trail (2.5 hours, return): From the Berg Lake Trail parking lot, the trail winds through old-growth cedar/hemlock forest as it follows the Robson River to Kinney Lake. This gentle 4.5 km (one way) hike offers incredible scenery and wildlife viewing opportunities.
- Hargreaves Lake Route (1/2 day): From Marmot campsite near Berg Lake, this route climbs to Hargreaves Lake and Glacier. From the viewpoint, the trail continues and crosses the Toboggan Falls Route on course to the Mumm Basin.
- Toboggan Falls Route (2 hours, return): From the trailhead at the Toboggan Creek bridge near Berg Lake campsite, the trail climbs to Toboggan Falls and the surrounding alpine basin. This route intersects the Hargreaves Lake and Mumm Basin routes. Continue up beyond this junction for an extra 45 minutes and you will reach a small cave.
- Mumm Basin Route (1/2 day): A steep alpine trail leads to views of the alpine lakes, mountains and glaciers. The trail can start or end in Robson Pass or Berg Lake campsites.
- Snowbird Pass Route (1 day): Snowbird Pass is closed May and June due to caribou calving. A challenging route marked by rock cairns (caution required), it provides spectacular views of the back of Mount Robson. From berg Lake campsite the trip is 22 km, return. Start north of Rearguard campsite, follow Robson River then travel up to Robson Glacier’s moraine. Hike up to an alpine meadow, beyond which is Snowbird Pass.
- Moose River Route (7 days): This route should be attempted only by well-equipped, experienced hikers as river crossings and route finding are required. This 105 km route can be accessed via Berg Lake, through Robson Pass onto Adolphus Lake continuing on the Jasper National Park trail system. The route takes you over Moose Pass back into Mount Robson Park and down the Moose River to Hwy 16 near its confluence with the Fraser River. For day hikers, trips along this trail offer view of Adolphus Lake (7 km return, to Berg Lake) or Coleman Valley (26 km, return, to Berg Lake).
- There are other extensive hiking routes throughout Mount Robson Provincial Park.
This is a big mountain with big hazards. Only the very experienced should consider climbing Mount Robson. Unexpected changes in weather and snow conditions, heavy snowfalls, avalanches, icefall and rockfall can persist throughout the climbing season. Only properly equipped climbers, prepared and skilled in all facets of alpine mountaineering should attempt climbing Mount Robson. We encourage all climbers to use the voluntary self-registration shelter located at the Berg Lake Trailhead.
Climbers from around the world come to the park to tackle this most imposing peak. At 3,954 m (12,972 ft) Mount Robson is by no means the highest peak in Canada or the USA, it does however have other attributes. Few mountains anywhere in the world can claim to offer almost 3,000m (10,000 ft) of pure ascent.
Backpacking Berg Lake requires pre-booking at one of 7 campgrounds along the 23km trail. The trail is EXTREMELY busy so you must book your sites well in advance. We booked in February for our hike in July and still did not get our first picks of campgrounds.
The reason we love to backpack is because it gets us away. It gets us away from the city, away from the crowds and away from campgrounds full of trailers & RVs with their satellite TVs, outdoor speakers, generators and noise.