Berg Lake Trail
Looming more than 3000 m (9840 ft) above where you'll begin hiking the Berg Lake trail is 3954-m (12,970-ft) Mt. Robson, loftiest peak in the Canadian Rockies. Its gleaming white, glacier-laden immensity is a jaw-dropping spectacle from Hwy 16, just south of the trailhead.
Yet it's the scenery from the Berg Lake trail—west and north of Mt. Robson, where the summit is not visible—that inspires many hikers to return religiously. It's nonstop extraordinary. As a result, the Berg Lake trail is the most heavily traveled in the Canadian Rockies.
Because the Berg Lake trail is widely known, think of it as a time for stimulating encounters. We've met trekkers here from Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and Auckland. Thanks in part to the large, enclosed cooking shelter at Berg Lake campground, we've sparked friendships here with people we've since hiked with many times.
It's warmer and wetter in Robson Park than in Jasper or Banff, so the Berg Lake trail can be hikeable by mid-June, up to a month earlier than most backpack trips in the range. Before mid-July, however, expect the Snowbird Pass trail to be snowbound.
It's possible for very strong hikers to flash the Berg Lake trail one-way in six or seven hours. After mid-July, include a day in your itinerary for the demanding excursion from Berg Lake to Snowbird Pass. Too vigourous? Devote that extra day to the Hargreaves-Mumm sidetrip; though easier, the vistas are comparably striking.
So, if you're a swift strider, plan at least three days and ideally four days for the Berg Lake round trip. Amblers, requiring two days to hike to Berg Lake, and another two days to hike out, will need at least five days for the round trip.
Keen to hike the Berg Lake trail? You'll find all the information and inspiration you need in a unique guidebook: Don't Waste Your Time in the Canadian Rockies, The Opinionated Hiking Guide. Reading it will ensure you devote your limited hiking time to the most scenically rewarding trails in the Canadian Rockies, one of which is certainly the Berg Lake trail.
Go to http://www.hikingcamping.com/hike-rockies.php to learn more about Don't Waste Your Time in the Canadian Rockies, The Opinionated Hiking Guide.