Lower Bertha Falls - Waterton - Hiking Alberta

 

Lower Bertha Falls is part of a hike to Bertha Lake in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada.

 

 

On the final day in Waterton Lakes National Park, we begin the day with a hearty breakfast at Zum's Eatery before checking out at the Bear Mountain Motel which has provided more than adequate, fundamental accommodation at a reasonable rate.

 

Lower Bertha Falls - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada Waiting on Waterton Avenue for Zum's Eatery to open for breakfast on our final day.

 

Lower Bertha Falls - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada Breakfast at Zum's Eatery - Consistently good food, friendly service and an interesting ambiance.

 

Prior to leaving Waterton Lakes National Park, there will be time to hike on Bertha Peak to Lower Bertha Falls.  The trail continues on to Upper Bertha Falls and a loop around Bertha Lake at much higher elevation. 

The trail-head begins at the southwest corner of the Town of Waterton on Evergreen Drive, a short distance south of Cameron Falls.  The trail to Lower Bertha Falls is a round trip of 5.2 KM (3¼ miles) with a consistent elevation gain on good trail of 175 m (574 ft).

 

Lower Bertha Falls - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada The trailhead to Bertha Lake and the Lakeshore Trail in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Lower Bertha Falls - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

At 1.5 KMs (1 mile), the trail to Lower Bertha Falls branches left to a viewpoint overlooking Upper Waterton Lake with an excellent view south.

 

Lower Bertha Falls - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada Mount Richards at 2,416 m (7,926 ft) dominates the view to the south from the viewpoint.

 

Back on the Bertha Lake Trail, and 50 meters (164 ft) past the viewpoint, the 10.9 KM (6⅞ mile) Lakeshore Trail branches south to cross the international border between Canada and the United States terminating at the Goat Haunt Ranger Station in Glacier National Park, Montana.  The Waterton Lakeshore Trail cannot be fully negotiated in either direction without approvals.  

The hike continues on the Bertha Lakes trail which is beautifully aromatic and lush along excellent trail adjacent to cascading Bertha Creek between Bertha Peak and Mount Richards looming to the left.

 

Lower Bertha Falls - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada A very nice view from the Bertha Lake trail viewpoint.

 

Lower Bertha Falls - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada The Bertha Lake trail passes the junction to the Waterton Lakeshore trail.

 

Lower Bertha Falls - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada Another nice view of Upper Waterton Lake as the Bertha Lake trail gains elevation.

 

Lower Bertha Falls - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada Mount Richards looms to the left on the hike through the valley parallel to cascading Bertha Creek.

 

Lower Bertha Falls - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada Climbing on good trail near Bertha Creek to Lower Bertha Falls.

 

Lower Bertha Falls - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada One of many minor, cascading waterfalls along beautiful Bertha Creek.

 

Lower Bertha Falls - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada Arrival at a wooden bridge over Bertha Creek near Lower Bertha Falls.

 

The hike arrives at the wooden bridge over Bertha Creek.  This will be the final destination for today but time is taken to explore the area surrounding this gorgeous 'bridal veil' waterfall.  In close proximity the sight, sound and cooling mist is magical.  Wet rocks are slippery and require cautious footing.  Negative ionization is plentiful.

 

Lower Bertha Falls - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada Looking back at the wooden bridge from the base of Lower Bertha Falls.

 

Lower Bertha Falls - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada Lower Bertha Falls with Cows Parsnip in the foreground.

 

Lower Bertha Falls - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada Lower Bertha Falls - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Lower Bertha Falls - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada Lower Bertha Falls - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Downstream from Lower Bertha Falls are a series of slanted rock formations channeling white water towards Upper Waterton Lake.  Accompanying boulders make interesting photographic subjects as the return hike begins by the same route taken in.

 

Lower Bertha Falls - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada Interesting rock formations downstream of Lower Bertha Falls and the wooden bridge.

 

Lower Bertha Falls - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada Looking upstream towards the wooden bridge that continues on to Bertha Lake.

 

On the return hike to Waterton Village, there are many opportunities to photograph waterfalls along Bertha Creek.

 

Lower Bertha Falls - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada A beautiful twin waterfall along Bertha Creek.

 

Lower Bertha Falls - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

On the final approach there are excellent views of the Town of Waterton.

 

Lower Bertha Falls - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada

Lower Bertha Falls - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada The Prince of Wales Hotel stands unique and prominent over Waterton Village and Emerald Bay.

 

Lower Bertha Falls - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada Lower Bertha Falls - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

On the way out of Waterton Lakes National Park, there is an opportunity to make a final stop to photograph beautiful Cameron Falls.

 

Lower Bertha Falls - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

For those who have the time and choose to continue the hike to Bertha Lake, it is a substantially more aggressive adventure with an excellent reward/effort ratio.  

From the trail-head, the hike to Bertha Lake consumes a round trip time of about 5 hours with return distance of 10.4 KM (6½ miles) and an elevation gain of 460 m (1,509 ft).  After the wooden bridge, the trail steepens to moderately strenuous, however good trail over switchbacks eases the more aggressive elevation gains. 

Upper Bertha Falls is along the route and Bertha Lake is surrounded by Bertha Peak, Mount Alderson and Mount Richards.  Bertha Lake is an excellent place to fish for rainbow trout and there are campgrounds at each end of the lake.

 

 

 

 

Categories: 

Tags: 

Comments

You are correct. The trail to Bertha Lake branches to the long Waterton Lakeshore Trail travering Canada and the United States through Boundary Bay. There is a lot of hiking I would like to do in the north of Glacier Nation Park near Goat Haunt. Checked out your website. Looks very interesting and I shall return to read in the near term. Thanks for your comment.

Waterton is one of our favorite places on the planet. This summer we did the Glacier / Waterton Peace Park hike (which I believe is a continuation of this hike). Next year, we are going to try to make it a several day back-country thing. Great site!

Thank you for your comment, John. It is always a pleasure to receive some positive reinforcement.

Kick ass web site. Thanks for sharing. John

We hiked Bertha Lake on Oct 22. My wife and I hiked to the Falls in July. It was a little windy in the Park, but was nice on the trail. Quite challenging for a reformed ex-smoker, but I did it. Best part about October is hardly any people. You have the park to yourself. I really really like Waterton, and look forward to doing the other hikes there.

Add new comment