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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
On the return hike to Waterton Village, there are many opportunities to photograph waterfalls along Bertha Creek.
On the final approach there are excellent views of the Town of Waterton.
On the way out of Waterton Lakes National Park, there is an opportunity to make a final stop to photograph beautiful Cameron Falls.
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.