During our Richards family camp out, the two teenage boys Dylan and Joey mentioned how they would like to do an overnight hike. I jumped on the opportunity and made plans to hike and go backcountry camping at Boundary Bay.
The boys borrowed 70s era backpacks from their grandpa that were much lighter than my fancy Mountain Hardware bag. In fact, when we got to the campground we compared weight and my pack was much heavier than both of theirs!
A Beautiful Hike
Boundary Bay is about 5 miles long, starting at the Bertha Falls/Lake trailhead and merging into the Goat Haunt trail. It was a gorgeous sunny day and the wildflowers were out like crazy!
Once you hit the first scenic viewpoint, the trail splits in two and you head down the side of the mountain to Bertha Bay. The water was insanely turquoise. There are backcountry campgrounds at Bertha Bay too and a boat dock.
I was huffing and puffing trying to keep up with these fit teenage boys. Particularly just after Bertha Bay when you head uphill through this beautiful cut in the mountain rock.
Goat Haunt is probably my favourite moderate hike in Waterton park. It’s a long one but has very little climbing as it follows the lake down to Montana. Besides Boundary Bay, you will hike past three other beaches, otherwise you’re winding through the trees with constant glimpses of shimmering blue shining in the distance.
When we finally made it to the bay, the boys thought the cutline was pretty cool. It’s an amazing sight to see; a huge line cut through the trees going up the mountains. It’s very well kept and easy to see.
I wanted to take them all the way to Goat Haunt Ranger Station and across the suspension bridge I love so much, but the trail was blocked. There was a rope across the trail and a note clearly stating not to cross. The boys wanted to go anyway but I’m not a rule breaker and I told them we would have to try again next year.
Boundary Bay Camping
There are only three tent sites at Boundary Bay and I didn’t book ahead of time. I was lucky to get the one remaining open spot. We also were the first ones there and had our pick so we chose the spot closest to the fire pit.
That’s another awesome thing about this particular campsite. They have a metal fire ring and you’re permitted to collect deadfall to burn. It also has a large picnic table and backcountry toilets.
While there is a fire pit, you’re not permitted to cook food on the fire so I grabbed two little tins of backcountry methanol instead. I’d never used it before because I always had a little propane stove. I figured since we were only going for a night and I packed VERY simple food (cup of noodles and canned beans/Spaghetti-os) that I didn’t need the weight of a stove.
Our food cooking system was VERY sophisticated looking. Ha ha!
Hanging with the Boys
Once our tent was set up it was time to chill and enjoy nature. We went out to the dock and jumped into the lake to cool off after the hike.
We hung out, skipped rocks, and made the dumbest jokes. That’s the best part about hanging out with teens, I pretended I was a teen myself and our conversations were silly and fun!
The only downside was the bugs! The mosquitoes and horseflies were relentless, no matter how much bug spray we had on.
The views from the bay kept getting prettier as the sun went down and the moon came up. We stayed out on the beach until it was almost dark.
I like how cool I look when camping and today was no different. My outfit was certainly not a styled one.
This was my first night away from Logan and I was ready to make the most of it. I was in bed at 10 p.m. and slept like the dead. In fact, I didn’t wake up until 9am! Yowza I was tired!
We didn’t hang out too long that morning as the boys wanted to get into town and eat some real food. I offered them more canned beans for breakfast but they weren’t that interested.
Coming up the trail from Bertha Bay is the hardest part of this hike and I knew once we hit the top it was literally all downhill from there.
I couldn’t keep up with the boys as they were going so fast with those long legs of theirs to get food.
They weren’t disappointed because we went crazy at Wiener’s of Waterton eating hot dogs, deep fried pickles, and sweet potato fries.
Influencing Future Hikers
This was the first time these boys have ever done anything like this and I was so happy that they enjoyed it. In fact, we were discussing doing a fall camp at Bertha Lake so we can fish too.
I loved the time away in nature, a break from the babies, and time to pretend I was a teenager again. I just wish we could have done more than one night, but that’s a good way to ease the kids into it.
Do you like backcountry camping? I’ve found it hard to find people who are down for it.