With the Berg Lake trail closed throughout 2022 and with closures to parts of the trail likely for the foreseeable future due to the flooding of 2021, you may be looking for an alternative hike to Berg Lake.
The good news is that there are lots of alternatives!
The Berg Lake Trail, BC is super close to the Rockies where you’re pretty much in hiking heaven. With Jasper National Park, Yoho National Park and Banff National Park all in close proximity as well as the Kananaskis area, the hard part won’t be finding a trail to hike, it’ll be deciding which one to hike!
If the question on your mind right now is: what to hike instead of Berg Lake trail, here is your answer.
Alternatives to the Berg Lake Trail
These hikes are in a similar area to the Berg Lake trail and range from shorter day hikes to other epic multi-day hikes similar to the Berg Lake trail.
1. Skyline Trail, Jasper National Park
The Skyline Trail in Jasper National Park is one of the closest alternatives to the Berg Lake trail. It’s a 50km point-to-point trail and is popular amongst backpackers in the summer months.
Despite being popular, you can still find moments of solitude along the way.
This trail gets its name due to the fact that half the trail is above the treeline. This means you get to enjoy the views rather than being in amongst the trees. Over the course of the trail, you’ll cross three mountain passes. You’ll be able to see meadows, ridges and potentially bears, birds and other wildlife in the distance.
You’ll need to make a reservation for the Skyline Trail through Parks Canada, or you can try and snag some last-minute cancellations.
2. Mt Assiniboine Provincial Park
Mt Assiniboine is situated in eastern British Columbia, pretty close to the Alberta/BC border. The jewel of the park is Mt Assiniboine which is often referred to as the Matterhorn of the Rockies. The park is also part of the Rocky Mountains UNESCO World Heritage Site!
You can do Mt Assiniboine as an out and back trail from two different starting points, or as a point-to-point trail through the park. We hiked to Mt Assiniboine from Mt Shark via Wonder Pass. Alternatively, you can go from Mt Shark via Assiniboine Pass, or from Sunshine Village via Og Lake.
The hike to Mt Assiniboine is only part of the fun, you’ll want to climb up to the Niblet/Nub to soak up the real-good views!
3. The Rockwall Trail, Kootenay National Park
The Rockwall Trail in Kootenay National Park is a multi-day backpacking trip in BC that is considered one of the best multi-day treks in Canada. It’s 56km long and takes you past an unbroken wall of limestone cliffs that is huuuuge!
Though I haven’t done the whole trail, I did get a reservation for Floe Lake which is usually the start or end of peoples’ hikes on the Rockwall Trail.
Getting reservations can be difficult as it’s a popular trail that’s only increased in popularity since the Berg Lake trail closures. You’ll also need to factor in having a car at both ends of the trails as it can be difficult to get from one to the other at the end.
4. Tonquin Valley, Jasper
The Tonquin Valley trail is a 45km point to point trail that’s considered challenging. As a backpacker on the Tonquin Valley trail you’ll be treated to beautiful alpine vistas, views of lakes including Amethyst Lake and potentially wildlife spotting too! Maccarib Pass is often considered a highlight of the Tonquin Valley trail.
The trail is known for being muddy and in the summer you may find you’re swarmed by mosquitoes, so pack plenty of bug spray, mosquito coils and appropriate footwear!
5. The Brazeau Loop, Jasper National Park
The little talked about Brazeau Loop is an 82km loop trail near Improvement District No. 9, Alberta. Parks Canada refers to it as a ‘grand tour’ of the southern mountain ranges in the area. The loop trail is home to one of Jasper National Park’s largest backcountry lakes, and you’ll traverse beautiful alpine terrain, see wildflowers in early summer and spot glaciated peaks.
This is one of the longer alternative hikes to Berg Lake and takes most people 5 days of backpacking to complete.
6. The Sawback Trail
Near Lake Louise is the 70km, point-to-point Sawback trail. There are three spectacular mountain passes.
After starting from Mt. Norquay ski area or the Fish Creek trailhead near the Lake Louise ski area, you’ll pass through Banff National Park. There are various routes you can take along this trail with one of the common ones taking 7-days to complete.
There’s also the Skoki Loop which covers a shorter distance in a similar area if you don’t have 7 days!
7. Kananaskis Day Hikes
The Kananaskis area outside of Canmore is absolutely beautiful. It’s grown massively in popularity so expect hikes to be busy at the weekends, but this won’t distract from the beauty!
You’ll also need a Kananaskis Conservation area permit to go hiking in this area which can be bought online.
Some of the best hikes include Tent Ridge, Rawson Lake and Sarrail Ridge.
8. Twin Falls and the Whaleback Hike, Yoho National Park
Yoho National Park is often overlooked by visitors who are exploring Banff National Park or Jasper National Park. Honestly, they’re missing out! The Whaleback hike takes hikers from the Takakkaw Falls parking lot into the backcountry towards Twin Falls giving you views from above and below.
Over the 21km of hiking, you’ll also pass the Twin Falls Chalet which is a cute backcountry cabin. This trail leads to Twin Falls backcountry campground.
9. Banff National Park Day Hikes
Banff National Park is full of awesome day hikes. Prime hiking season runs July through mid-September. Before then, many passes are still snow-bound and may be subject to avalanche hazards.
The hikes in Banff National Park can be split into a few different areas. There are the Johnstone Canyon hikes, Lake Louise trails and Icefields Parkway hikes as well as those around Banff town itself.
10. Jasper National Park Hikes
Hiking in Jasper is the best way to escape the crowds. I read some crazy statistics before our visit that showed just how few people went 30 minutes away from their car.
Whether you’re strolling along the shores of Maligne Lake or hiking all day in the alpine, the following information will help you plan a trip that is right for you.