GlacierWaterton NP – the fantastic Crypt Lake hike

This was the highlight for me, hiking what has been called the best hike in Canada:    Crypt Lake.   


From the Wiki: “After continuing over the alpine creek adjacent to the campground you follow the trail towards the ledge and tunnel. The ledge is about 50cm wide, and continues over to a steel ladder and access to the tunnel. For nearly 100ft you crawl through a natural mountain tunnel before arriving at the cable traverse. This section of the hike involves a scramble along a sheer cliff, with the assistance of a steel cable. After the scramble you make your way through a shaded forest before arriving at Crypt Lake. The hike is a total of 17.2 km round trip, with a gradual 2,300 feet elevation gain.”  


I lobbied hard for this, with promises of “we will take our time, it will be easier than you think” (it wasn’t).  And Anna agreed (yippee).      The trailhead was reached by the 9am boat shuttle.  



We immediately set out, as 6 or 7 hours is normal for this hike.    


You climb thru the woods relentlessly, switchback over switchback.     Then you flatten out for a few miles, heading thru the deep woods.   I spent  fair amount of time talking, or singing,  or…. Even reciting Monty Python.    Anything to keep the bears away, right?

After the “stroll thru the woods”, it is time to climb.   Switchback after switchback, relentless, until you reach a former backcountry campsite.   And then it is “go time”.       The ledge, the tunnel, the cables.   Outstanding…  




After that, you stroll thru a forest trail until you reach the payoff… a spectacular alpine lake.     Surrounded on 3 sides by huge cliffs.   With the far shoreline in the USA… great stuff.





And then…. Time for the long walk back.   Cables, tunnel, cliffs.    And trying to make the 4pm boat back.   We missed by 10 minutes.   Sigh…




It was time for the “after picture”….   Well… we were toast…   but I can safely say this was one of the greatest hikes we ever took!





About dmahler99

not all who wander are lost...
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