Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bertha Falls and Bertha Lake
Waterton Lakes National Park
Alberta, Canada
Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Wildflowers at Bertha Lake

The Village of Waterton is the perfect place for Amy and I.  There are plenty of little shops to keep Amy entertained for hours and there are many miles of hiking trails that start right at the edge of town.  Our plan was that I would find a nice solo hike while Amy would spend a few hours hitting the shops!

At the visitors center earlier in the day, the Bertha Lake trail came highly recommend so that is the one I decided to do.
Hike Route (highlighted in Yellow)

The trailhead parking area is located a short distance down the main road from Cameron Falls.  The trail starts out with a gradual climb and offers up some nice views of Upper Waterton Lake and back towards Waterton Village.

View of Waterton Village from the Bertha Lake Trail 

view of Upper Waterton Lake from the Bertha Lake Trail

At about the halfway point, the trail arrives at the base of Lower Bertha Falls.  This is actually a long series of cascades and sliding waterfalls.  If you followed the creek upstream, I am sure you would come across many other significant drops. 
Lower Bertha Falls

I stuck with the trail that begins a series of switchbacks up the mountain as it gains approximately 1,500 feet over the next 2 miles.  There are a few nice viewpoints, but it is mostly just a grunt of a climb!

view from the Bertha Lake Trail

Towards the end of the climb, Upper Bertha Falls can be seen through the trees.  I did not find any safe spot to make my way to any better views than this one from the trail:

Upper Bertha Falls

It was a relief to reach the crest of the trail and catch my first glimpse of Bertha Lake.  The last section of trail descends about 100 feet to a camping area along the shore of Lake Bertha.

The first view of Bertha Lake

I thought about continuing on and hiking all the way around Bertha lake, but I don't think I could have done that and made it back to the trailhead in time to meet back with Amy when I said I would.  So instead, I just hiked a short ways alongside the lake until I found an area that was full of Wildflowers!  Here are a few more shots of Bertha Lake.

Bertha Lake

Bertha Lake

Bertha Creek Flowing out of Bertha Lake

I returned back the way I came, making much quicker time on the way down.

View of Waterton from the Bertha Lake Trail

The complete set of photos from Day 4 of our trip is posted here:

Coming Up Tomorrow:
More Waterton Lakes National Park
Jack and Amy hike the Cameron Lakeshore Trail


HemlockMan said...

Wow! I wonder how much higher you'd have had to climb to hit one of those peaks around the lake?

I'm still waiting for a photo of a grizzly bear!

Jack said...

The peaks are a good 2,000-3,000 feet above the lake. There are not a whole lot of trails in the park that actually go to any of the peaks. We did not see any bears close enough to get any good photos. Especially since my zoom lens died on me!