Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
Loop
Distance
7.00 mi (11.27 km)
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Close to the Waterton Park Townsite in Waterton Lakes National Park, the accessible and popular Bertha Falls and Bertha Lake make for a great day hike with fantastic views along the way. There is ample parking on Evergreen Street near the trailhead, or you can hike from the Townsite to Cameron Falls and start there. As a popular hike for locals, it gets particularly crowded on weekends. The horse trail follows the hiking trail at times before splitting off.

The hike starts off with a gentle grade that follows the western edge of Waterton Lake. Evergreens, aspens, and wild berry bushes are plentiful in this part of the trail, and when the trail is muddier, various animal tracks are noticeable, especially black bear tracks. As the trail climbs you'll encounter overviews and benches along the way that provide views of both the town and Waterton Lake. At the junction, go right to continue to Bertha Falls, otherwise you'll end up hiking 7 miles to the U.S. border (Goat Haunt in Glacier National Park). Less than a mile after the junction is a footbridge that overlooks Lower Bertha Falls, a cascading waterfall. Most hikers turn around at this point; continue on to see Upper Bertha Falls and, 1.8 miles later, Bertha Lake.

Immediately after Lower Bertha Falls the trail steepens as the switchbacks start. Bertha Lake is in a high alpine cirque, and it opens up to sweeping views of Mount Alderson straight ahead, Bertha Peak to the right, and Mount Richardson to the left. Bertha Lake Campground is about a tenth of a mile past the foot of the lake to the right. Bertha Lake tends to be frozen until June, and snow can make the upper part of the hike more interesting. Be careful and pay attention to avalanche conditions if you are hiking in the winter.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Parks Canada Daily Pass

Pros

Sweeping views. Waterfalls. Gorgeous fall color. Animals along the trail.

Cons

Occasionally congested. Can get muddy. Sudden steep switchbacks.

Trailhead Elevation

4,101.00 ft (1,249.98 m)

Net Elevation Gain

1,990.00 ft (606.55 m)

Features

Backcountry camping
Waterfalls
Wildlife
Wildlife
Bird watching
Big Game Watching
Big vistas
Wildflowers
Fishing
ADA accessible
Big Game Watching

Suitable for

Horseback

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

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