Toboggan Falls-Hargreaves Lake loop: Berg Lake day hike

In my previous post, I wrote about our Berg Lake backpacking trip in British Columbia’s Mount Robson Provincial Park. This post features the Toboggan Falls-Hargreaves Lake loop, a day hike from Berg Lake that packs a huge punch over just 6.3 km (4 mi) and a manageable 348 m (1142 ft) elevation gain. From waterfalls that look like enormous waterslides to glacial lakes, lush forest and top-drawer mountain panoramas, this loop has astonishing variety and beauty. It’s hikeable in two hours but we spent over four hours exploring and photo-taking. I had a smile on my face the whole time.

We started the loop at the Toboggan Lake trailhead, clearly marked just after the bridge at the Berg Lake campground. We enjoyed this counterclockwise direction as it affords the grandest head-on views.

The trail begins steeply on switchbacks through the forest. It doesn’t take long before it starts skirting the edge of Toboggan Falls, a series of cascades that slide down over smooth slab rock. The views open up with Berg Lake and Mount Robson making stunning backdrops for the falls.

Kudos to the folks responsible for the amazing bench about one kilometre up the trail. It is the perfect perch from which to contemplate the views.

At 1.3 km there is a trail intersection: right is to Mumm Basin, which is closed due to damage caused by landslides, and left is our direction—the continuation of the loop toward Hargreaves Lake trail.

Much of the 1.6 km trail that connects the Toboggan Lake trail with the Hargreaves Lake trail undulates through the forest just below the tree line. There are lots of pretty creeks and intermittent mountain views. The trail is flagged and easy to follow despite the large sections of snow that still linger in late June. We see the ravages of nature with trees knocked down and bent sideways from the forces of snow and avalanches.

The landscape changes again as we emerge from the forest, just at the edge of the tree line—above us rubbly slopes and snow-capped peaks, below us majestic Berg Lake.

We soon get to the intersection with the Hargreaves Lake trail that travels down the rocky slope back to the main Berg Lake trail. But before we head down, we take the 0.2 km spur trail leading to the Hargreaves Lake lookout. With snow still covering the steep trail, it’s not easy going, but it’s a worthwhile effort for the stark, dramatic views over Hargreaves Lake and glacier.

The 1.3 km down the Hargreaves Lake trail is my favourite part of the loop. Berg Lake and the Robson Massif are in front of us the entire way down. We even get to see the small, teal-coloured lake fed by the Mist Glacier that is not visible from the Berg Lake trail.

The Hargreaves Lake trail dumps us out at the main Berg Lake trail near Marmot campground. From there, it’s a glorious 1.7 km lakeside walk back to our Berg Lake campsite.

The Toboggan Falls-Hargreaves Lake loop is one of the best, short loop hikes I’ve ever done and makes an awesome add-on hike from Berg Lake, Marmot, Rearguard or Robson Pass campgrounds.The scenery is beyond incredible and it’s a pretty easy hike. I recommend doing the whole loop, but for those short on time, the Hargreaves Lake trail, in my opinion, has the most spectacular views. Then again, Toboggan Falls is very special. Do the whole loop!

For more details about the route stats, refer to the AllTrails map profile.

Categories: British Columbia, Hiking | Tags: , , , | 52 Comments

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52 thoughts on “Toboggan Falls-Hargreaves Lake loop: Berg Lake day hike

  1. Wow, amazingly beautiful – that is certainly the perfect bench. You must have had a fantastic time. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Pingback: Berg Lake Trail: Mount Robson Provincial Park, British Columbia | Writes of Passage

  3. Absolutely gorgeous photos and landscape. I cannot get over the turquoise blue of Berg lake, that is quite spectacular. If we ever make it out your way, this is the hike I would love to do…. I was surprised to see that there is snow on the trail in June!

    Beautiful post Caroline. Seems you guys are happy and doing well.

    Peta

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Peta! Summer of 2021 has shaped up to be another explore B.C. adventure. This province has so much to offer and we’re really pleased that we’ve been “forced” to spend more time here. We’ve done two major backpacking trips with another planned in a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, much of the province is currently struggling with wildfires so plans may change.
      We are doing well–no complaints at all. Cheers to you and Ben.

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  4. You are so right, Caroline – that is the perfect bench. I’m not sure I would want to get up from it. What magnificent scenery!

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    • My jaw dropped when I saw where the bench was positioned. I’m in awe of the park staff who lug chainsaws and other tools up the steep paths so visitors can have an extra special experience.

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  5. Truly amazing water color! Those glacial lakes and streams would keep a smile on my face, too, and I can only imagine how long it would take me to get around this loop given the number of photos I’d be tempted to take!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lexie! We took a ridiculous amount of photos. I’m glad we weren’t under any time constraints. It was really pleasant letting all that scenery sink in at our snail’s pace.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I can easily see why you had a smile on your face the entire time. This hike looks incredible with great photo ops at every turn. The scenery is spectacular. You got waterfalls, rushing rivers, snow capped mountains, and a glacier fed lake. What more could you wish for in a hike!?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Brian Foster

    As usual, no constantly, with your posts, stunning visuals and engaging commentary. The vistas on this one are outstanding. What a country we live in. You take and allow me to experience places I would never venture to without your adventures. Thanks for ‘the ride’. B

    Liked by 1 person

    • Brian Foster

      >

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    • Aww, thanks so much Brian! This hike has such an amazing effort-reward ratio. We absolutely loved it, and managed to get it in before the heat, flooding, wildfires…in B.C. Hope you’re enjoying your cottage!

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  8. The colors of these Canadian lakes are unbelievable! Beautiful recap.

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  9. Josy A

    Oooh great to know! The Toboggan Falls-Hargreaves Lake loop looks pretty amazing! We may have to copy you and add this on for our adventure too. 🙂

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    • You guys heading to Berg Lake? It’s amazing. If you can, leave time for a few day hikes. This one was great. I’d like to return and also do Snowbird Pass.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Josy A

        I would looove to do snowbird pass too. I’m not sure if we’ll have time this time (I could only get 2 nights on the trail.) I’m super excited though!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. love a good, short hike and this looks fantastic. the colour of alpine lakes, the blue, is so beautiful!

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    • It was totally awesome and our timing was lucky before the extreme heat wave and floods. Crazy what’s happening these days with climate change.

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  11. Wow, what a place, Caroline! Could you imagine going for a dip on a warm summers day under the impressive Mount Robson and all the glaciers? Finding those ever-increasingly beautiful views of Berg Lake as well as the two glaciers and the moraine that separates them must have been an amazing experience. Thanks for sharing, brightening up my day and taking me to faraway places without the need to leave my home. With a sharp and steady increase in new COVID cases, we won’t be able to leave Ireland and see the world for another few months if not more. Have a nice day, I hope all is well 🙂 Aiva xxx

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    • Thanks Aiva. I’m glad I could take you on a trip. Believe it or not, some people did take dips in icy Berg Lake. I stuck my hands and feet in, and that was enough for me. There were pieces of ice from the glacier floating around in the lake.
      Sorry to hear about your surge in COVID cases. It’s happening in many places and it’s scary that this pandemic seems far from over. We have high vaccination rates here in Canada and our cases are low but it’s so important to remember the fragility of the situation. For now we are content to do more outdoor travel in British Columbia. Take care!

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  12. Awesome views!! Gorgeous lake and the Breg Glacier looks stunning!!

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  13. Spectacular. I can see why you had a smile on your face the whole time.
    Alison

    Liked by 1 person

  14. That is just simply awesome. You are so lucky to enjoy such spectacular scenery. Mel

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Absolutely stunning! Wow! I can’t even decide which view I like best because they’re all so beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. This is probably one of the best side treks around. Specacular views, and you had amazing skies. The view from the Hargreaves Lake trail of Berg Lake and the glacier tarn is spectacular. I love how these big massifs always form their own clouds giving you brief glimpses of their peak. Maybe next year we’ll get there. Maggie

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    • We knew we wouldn’t be able to hike the signature Snowbird Pass trail due to caribou calving season and we were a bit bummed that the rain/fog had has abandoning the Mumm Basin viewpoint, but this little loop completely exceeded our expectations. Getting those brief glimpses of the top of Robson between the clouds was almost more beautiful than the completely clear day we had on the hike up. Hope you make it there and time it so that Snowbird Pass is open.

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  17. I think I’ve never seen such a beautiful glacier lake. The colour, the landscape is just wow!
    The view from that bench is definitely worth millions 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s right up there for me too, Len, and I’ve seen lots of stunning glacier lakes. This trail is really the whole package for beauty and variety (and the bench puts it over the top).

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Wowow… Caroline, its amazing! Hope we will visit one day 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. One of the great things about Canada is that vast areas are undeveloped or minimally developed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Our national and provincial parks are treasures for sure. Some of them are a bit too loved these days. But as you say, we do have huge areas that are undeveloped…just a bugger to get to (that’s a good thing).

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Uncool Cycling Club

    Stunning scenery 😍

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Absolutely stunning! The colour of the lake and the waterfalls that looks indeed like waterslides are just breathtaking beautiful! And that bench … oh, you will struggle to get me away from there 😉. My question though: Since I’m not familiar with hiking in snow covered areas … I thought it would be cold, but I see a short and t-shirt as hiking attire 👀.
    Beautiful photo’s and colours – I really enjoyed your post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your lovely comments. Good question about the snow. Many of our mountain ranges in western Canada get so much snow in the winter that some trails remain snow covered well into our summer. Even with warm/hot temperatures it doesn’t all melt. The temp that day was about 23 C (73 F). The hiking window for higher elevation hikes is often quite short (July-Sept). It was fun traipsing through snow for a short bit, but it slows you down.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Wow, what an amazing location Caroline!

    Berg Lake and Mount Robson look really amazing. I wish I could hike in that area. Really!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hopefully you’ll get there one of these days. You’ll just have to compete with all the Canadians trying to get reservations! Worth the effort though.

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  23. That is indeed the perfect bench! If I were there, I think I could spend hours (well, maybe around half an hour) just sitting there and marveling at the incredibly beautiful view. I love those different colors in your photos, Caroline, and the hike itself sounds quite pleasant too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think we spent a good 15 minutes on that bench and we’d only hiked about a kilometre. It was just too beautiful to pass by. If we had timed it differently it would have made a great lunch spot. I can’t get over the colours either. Nature is amazing. That little teal-coloured lake reminds me of the colours I saw at Kelimutu on Flores, though the topography is completely different.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ah yes, Kelimutu, although you also need a little bit of luck to see all the three lakes in different colors.

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  24. Looks spectacular! Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

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