Kinney Lake, July 2017

After over a month of planning, writing lists, food prep and waves of nervous excitement, our backpacking trip finally arrived.

I started packing a week in advance, checking off my lists carefully.  Following a hearty breakfast, we loaded the car up and hit the road. In a couple of hours we were registered for the trail, unloading the car, loading up the deluxe chariot a friend lent us, and strapping on our packs.

Only a few minutes down the trail, Miss S had a spill. She had a cry, then was back on her feet ready to trudge on. We were hiking the Berg Lake trail, under the colossal Mt. Robson. We had a 7 km hike into the back-country campsite on the shore of Kinney Lake. The trail is a wide, even path with only one big hill and one section of switchbacks leading up the side of a mountain to get around a bay on the lake. The only unexpected issues were a giant puddle that soaked the bottom of the chariot, and a fallen tree we had to lift the chariot over.

One of the things I love about these trips is the sense of wonder and excitement that the kids radiate, and it is infectious. They were bubbling with joy as they discovered many tiny pebbly creeks with banks of moss and shadowed by ferns. They chatted excitedly about fairy homes and fairy lakes and fairy streams, naming each and every one. The forest was magical, even I felt it.

Arriving at the campsite, we were ready to set up our base camp and eat some supper. The girls had fun playing along the lake and helping set up. While Miss A and I slept in the tent, the older girls slept out “under the stars” with Ben. He had set up a tarp in case of rain. Unfortunately no stars could be seen through the haze from BC forest fires.

Early in the morning Ben took the older girls to fill up the water containers to start making breakfast, finding rabbits hopping along the trails. What a fun surprise! We had a relaxing morning and then headed further up the trail on a day hike. The next section rose up high onto the mountain, where the girls climbed over gigantic boulders covered in moss. Then the trail went down again to the river bed. We crossed tiny bridges over thundering white water. On the other side of the valley we spent some time relaxing in the shadow of the trees. My heart felt so full watching my family laughing, playing, connecting.  It was truly a gift to be together with no distractions. Out there I felt a soothing peace, and a quiet calm within. Despite these trips being so much work, for me, they are so worth it. I feel renewed and refreshed.

Making our way back to camp, we took the lower trail across the Kinney Lake flats where the rushing river spreads out over the rocks in to many little streams.  What a wonder to watch our girls. Miss S was like a wild pony racing across the flats, leaping over the streams. Miss B scrambled up every large boulder to stand triumphantly on top, hands on her hips.


Wild. Free. It was refreshing.

The next day we slowly packed up our camp, lingering in the cool morning stillness. The sun came out as we started down the trail.

The hike back we tried to focus on the trail in front of us, the thundering river beside us, the towering cedars beside us, and on the wonderful experience we had. We pushed thoughts of the week to come and to-do list out of our heads, wanting to soak up the present.

It was a stunning retreat. Out family was renewed and strengthened. I am so proud of our strong mountain girls who hiked a total of 18km over the 3 days, all on their own, carrying their own water and snacks most of the time. One girl asked if we could return every year, to which the other excitedly exclaimed, “Or next weekend!”

5 thoughts on “Kinney Lake, July 2017

  1. You and your family are so inspiring!
    I would love to hear about the planning and prepping part of your adventure! Another blog post?!?


  2. Hello, great article.

    We are planning to spend one night at the lake with our 2 and 3 yr olds next week and wondering if it would be fine to pull out double Chariot with bikes on the trail to Kinney Lake. Is the trail generally wide enough and not too bumpy?



    • Many people bike to the lake, and it is wide enough for the chariot. However there would be some tricky and bumpy spots. There are two big uphill sections that could be difficult to walk the bike up with the weight of a chariot. One is a big hill, and the other section is a series of switchbacks. My husband did all the grunt work of pushing the chariot, and I know he relied on the hand brake for the downhills quite a bit, which are extra bumpy. I carried our 9 month old during these sections. So depending on the weight of your chariot and biking skills, it could be doable, however I would guess you’ll be walking the bikes quite a bit. And walking a bike with a heavy chariot up and down the switchbacks will be difficult. Also, there was a tree down that we had to lift the chariot over, but I’m guessing that should be removed by now. Also to give you an idea, most people take about 2 hrs to the lake campsite, but our family took 5 hrs with the 6 and 4 yr old hiking the whole way and taking lots of breaks. Hope this helps! Let me know how your trip goes. Have a great time!


      • Thanks for detailed description! The potential trail inclines and weather outlook helped me changed my decision to go. Last minute I instead biked out to Big Bend backcountry campsite from Sunwapta Falls. However it was way too bumpy and rocky for biking with a chariot. Was a tough go including Creek crossings with planks not wide enough for a chariot. The campsite was beautiful but though this trail does say it is an old fire road, it is not good for chariots even being pushed. Way too bumpy!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s