Emperor Falls Trail – Best Canadian Rockies Day Hikes

#2 – Canadian Rockies Day Hikes: Emperor Falls Trail

Emperor Falls Trail
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  • Location: Mount Robson Provincial Park 
  • Trailhead: Berg Lake Trail
  • Type: Out-n-Back
  • Rating: Strenuous
  • Total Distance: 19.8 miles
  • Trailhead Elevation: 2,736′
  • Total Elevation Gain: 2,715′
  • Recommended Time: Full-day
  • Recommended Season: Mid-June to Early-October

The Emperor Falls Trail

Beyond Kinney Lake
The trail climbs steeply up the ridge beyond Kinney Lake.

While Kinney Lake, the Valley of a Thousand Falls, & Emperor Falls are a part of the longer Berg Lake Trail and a great backpacking journey, we realize that backpacking isn’t for everyone. Camping at Berg Lake can also be a hard permit to acquire as it takes planning the journey nearly a year in advance. However, Mount Robson Provincial Park is a place that should be explored by everyone seeking the most beautiful hikes in the Canadian Rockies. The Emperor Falls Trail, which is a short spur off of the much longer Berg Lake Trail, might be the best destination for a day hike in this gorgeous wilderness.

Valley of a Thousand Falls
The Valley of a Thousand Falls in the Autumn is especially beautiful with the changing colors.

Emperor Falls

Shrouded Falls of the Pool Waterfall
The Falls of the Pool Waterfall looks haunting through the thick fog. This is only one of the many waterfalls found when hiking to Emperor Falls.

For many, the nearly 20-mile adventure on the Berg Lake / Emperor Falls Trail will be a bit much. But every inch of this trail is well worth the effort making any spot a great one to turn back. You can also take on the first 4.5-miles via bicycle and then finish the remainder on foot. (A bike rack is provided by the park service.) While the elevation and distance is tough the true challenge on a hike to Emperor Falls would be in deciding when to turn back. For full details on all this amazing trail has to offer, check out our Berg Lake Trail post.

Emperor Falls
Jennifer stands next to the raging Emperor Falls.

Berg Lake In A Day

Mount Robson Reflection at Berg Lake
The 12,972′ tall Mount Robson is reflected in the still waters on the edge of Berg Lake. Sunsets like this are just one of the reasons to consider backpacking to Berg Lake.

It should be noted that Berg Lake can be completed as a marathon day hike of 26-miles or as a heli-hike which makes it a more manageable 14-mile descent. (Helicopters land at Robson Pass which is a mile beyond Berg Lake.) But due to the distance or cost involved, we highly recommend this journey as a backpacking trip. Also, Snowbird Pass and the Hargreaves & Toboggan Falls Loop are two trails that should be explored and these are only able to be done as day hikes when camping at one of the Berg Lake area campsites.

Bridge near Emperor Falls
The trail to Emperor Falls is steep but well-established. This bridge crosses over a small gorge as the path nears the intersection for the Emperor Falls Trail.

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