Panoramic views from the Bertha Lake and Falls hike in Waterton Lakes National Park, Canada
Panoramic views from the Bertha Lake and Falls hike in Waterton Lakes National Park, Canada

Bertha Lake and Bertha Falls Hike

Waterton Lakes National Park
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Bear grass on the Bertha Lake and Falls Hike in Waterton Lakes National Park, CanadaWaterton Lake on the Bertha Lake and Falls Hike in Waterton Lakes National Park, CanadaViews of the Bertha Lake and Falls Hike in Waterton Lakes National Park, CanadaBertha Lake and Falls trail in Waterton Lakes National Park has amazing viewsBeautiful views from the Bertha Lake and Falls Hike in Waterton Lakes National Park, CanadaMountain views on the Bertha Lake and Falls Hike in Waterton Lakes National Park, CanadaTrail of the Bertha Lake and Falls Hike in Waterton Lakes National Park, CanadaUpper Bertha Falls on the Bertha Lake and Falls Hike in Waterton Lakes National Park, CanadaLower Bertha Falls on the Bertha Lake and Falls Hike in Waterton Lakes National Park, CanadaBertha Peak on the Bertha Lake and Falls Hike in Waterton Lakes National Park, CanadaMt. Richards on the Bertha Lake and Falls Hike in Waterton Lakes National Park, CanadaBertha Peak on the Bertha Lake and Falls Hike in Waterton Lakes National Park, CanadaWaterton Lake from the Bertha Lake and Falls Hike in Waterton Lakes National Park, Canada

Bertha Lake and Bertha Falls Hike

Distance: 7.0mi
Elevation: 1,545ft
Time: 3.5-4.5h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
9.7 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty

This Waterton classic hike boasts waterfalls, sweeping vistas, and an alpine lake, making the trail to Bertha Lake and Bertha Falls a stunning hike. The benches and minimal elevation gain to Lower Bertha Falls make the first half of the hike an excellent family option. However, the second half is where the elevation kicks in.

Bertha Lake and Bertha Falls Hike Map

Getting there

The Bertha Lake Trailhead begins at the Southwest side of Waterton Townsite. Travel south on Evergreen Aveenue, less than 1640ft after Cameron Falls and turn right into the parking lot. A trail map marks the beginning of the hike.

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About

When to do

July to September

Backcountry Campsites

At Bertha Lake

Toilets

At backcountry campground at lake

Family friendly

No

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

Moderate

Route Type

Out and back


Bertha Lake and Bertha Falls Hike
Elevation Graph


Bertha Lake and Bertha Falls Trail Report

The Bertha Lake and Bertha Falls Trail begins in the trees and climbs gradually, with occasional glimpses back to Waterton Lake and the townsite. If you’re only going as far as the Lower Bertha Falls, the gentle grade and well-placed benches make it a great hike for people of all ages.

At the fork at 0.9mi, bear left for a viewpoint. The sweeping vista includes Upper Waterton Lake and the surrounding peaks to the East, including Vimy Peak and Mount Boswell. To the South you can see the International Boundary Line with views into Waterton’s American counterpart, Glacier National Park in Montana. Back on the main trail, the path briefly dips and forks again. Stay right for Bertha Falls and Lake.

Bear grass is abundant in this area of the trail, but it dwindles once you reach Lower Bertha Falls at 1.7mi. This is a beautiful place to stop for a snack on one of the benches, as you enjoy the tumbling water running over the argillite rock bed.

To continue to Bertha Lake, cross the wooden bridge over Bertha Creek. The trail quickly becomes more challenging, and the grade will stay steep for the next 1.4mi. Switchbacks help the ascent, but benches no longer appear, making the section from Lower Bertha Falls to Bertha Lake more challenging than the jaunt to the falls. However, the breaks in the trees with views of the surrounding area continue to tease and propel you forward with promises of what’s to come.

You begin to hear rushing water at 2.7mi, as you get your first glimpse of Upper Bertha Falls. This portion of the falls is especially impressive early in the season when the volume of water is high. Just a few hundred meters further, views of Upper and Middle Waterton Lakes appear. After 984ft, the trail levels as it approaches Bertha Lake.

You’ll reach a fork in the trail at 3.4mi; straight ahead will take you to an overlook of Bertha Lake, while the right fork drops down to the lake.

At the lakeshore, you’ll have a beautiful view of the surrounding peaks. Mount Richards sits to the left while Mount Alderson frames the back of the lake and Bertha Peak dominates your view, as you look right.

You can now choose to go left or right. A short distance to the left will take you to a red-gravel beach, an inviting spot to enjoy your lunch. Continue along to do a complete 2.5mi loop of the Lake. Or, go right, stepping over a wood bridge to find a backcountry campground with tent sites and a pit toilet (take your own toilet paper). A little further down the trail you’ll find a picnic and cooking area along the lakeshore. Return to the trailhead the way you came.

Hiking trail highlights

Bertha Lake

Bertha Lake is a stunning, aqua blue lake nestled amongst the mountains and trees that make up the Bertha Lake Trail. It is a wonderful place to stop and enjoy a picnic on the rocks and take in the captivating views that surround you

Lower and Upper Bertha Falls

Lower and Upper Bertha Falls also known as the “Bridal Veil” Falls is one of the most breathtaking falls around that rushes down the side of the rock formations and runs down into a creek. This is a great area to cool off after the hike through Berta Lake Trail.

Find more amazing hikes in Waterton Lakes National Park such as:
Crypt Lake Hike
Cameron Lake Hike
Red Rock Canyon Hike and Blakiston Falls

Insider Hints

  • Accessibility, good views, and a moderate difficulty means this is a busy trail. To avoid crowds, hike the trail early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

  • Bertha Falls is one of the earliest snow-free trails in the park, making it a good shoulder season destination.

  • Horse access is restricted in July and August; in all the other months, be prepared to step around horse droppings on the trail.

Comments

ddelaloye 2 years ago

Amazing hike...has it all!

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
6h 15m Time Taken
Fitzgerald Hikes 2 years ago

First half would be great for anyone, second half is nice if you want a bit more of an actual hike. Really fantastic views and we got lucky with perfect weather

Allanhoward 2 years ago

The elevation on the second half was easier than I expected. We actually enjoyed it1

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
4h 15m Time Taken
Giedre 2 years ago

Did this hike on the long weekend this summer, all the way up to the lake. The route was very busy (as expected on such day), but a bit quieter once you take the turn towards the lake. The first half of the route was crazy hot due to no shade and the bushes holding the heat, but once you get to the second part, the route gets nice and shady, but that's where the elevation gain start. The lake itself is lovely with plenty of nice spots to picnic and enjoy the water.

9.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
4h 00m Time Taken
CamilaP. 2 years ago

The hike is fairly easy, at the beginning and gets progressively steeper after the lower falls. Lake and surrounding mountains are beautiful

9.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Sammy Rickson 2 years ago

Classic hike with gentle trails. It was relatively easy, but it goes with few challenges. The lake and the falls were so beautiful Glad I did this hike.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Agfa P. 2 years ago

Lots of gorgeous spots to stop for a snack. I really enjoyed the tumbling water running over the argillite rock bed. Memorable hiking experience.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Mildred G. 2 years ago

It has nice views, and I would classify it as a moderate trail. The first half of the trail was easy, but the second half was quite challenging. Overall, I enjoyed the hike.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
JMC 2 years ago

Not too much of a climb, but very pretty. Just take your time looking at the lake on your left and beautiful wildflowers on the path to the falls.

9.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
John Savage 2 years ago

It was a bit challenging but worth the views.

9.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
22 Comments Show all

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