Some of the claims about the Crypt Lake hike:

  • Voted Canada’s best hike
  • One of the top 10 day hikes in the world by National Geographic
  • One of the most thrilling trails in the world by National Geographic

We better go check this one out!

Quick Stats

If you missed it, click here for part 1:

After an exciting adventure with narrow ledges and a ladder into a tunnel we finally arrive at our destination, Crypt Lake.
Pretty nice as far as lakes go. The far side of the lake is actually in a completely different country, the good old United States! You can walk around the back of the lake, walk up the scree ramp a little bit and you are in the US. Waterton Lakes National Parks is the first international peace park. It cooperates with the US Glacier Park on preservation initiatives.
I had no choice to come all this way and not visit the US. According to the map and my GPS, we are standing a few feet in the US. I also wondered, if you have bought legal weed in Canada and carried it over, you would now be an international drug smuggler, dangerous!
Traditional Summit Selfie!
Behind the scenes, making of the traditional summit selfie.
One last look around and then it is time to start heading down. We have a boat to catch after all.
The route down is just the reverse of the way up. Sian is approaching the narrow ledges.
Because the narrow ledge slopes down, it appears to disappear off the edge. There is a cable you can hang on to for safety’s sake. Note the trail back down can be faintly seen in the top left corner of this picture.
After successfully navigating the narrow ledge, it is back through the tunnel.
There were people still heading up the trail as we emerged from the Cave. You only have 1 chance to catch the return boat in the off season, picking a reasonable turn around time is important… unless you really like swimming.
From the cave you can get a pretty good view of the last narrow ledge we have to cross. It isn’t too bad, but you probably wouldn’t want to slip or fall while crossing it.
We have a bit of a walk ahead of us. Down the valley, then hang a left toward the lake where hopefully, we meet back up with the boat.
Waterton is also famous for the strong winds that stir up this area. Today is no exception. At times the wind was strong enough to stop this waterfall from reach the ground and making it change direction.
On the way down you have a choice to make. Take the same route or swing by Hell Roaring Falls. The side trip adds about 45 min and about 1Km more distance. We decide we have come all this way, might as well check it out. The junction to the falls is well signed and easy to follow. Just remember, you don’t want to miss the boat.
As we leave the Hell Roaring Falls valley, a view of the lake makes an appearance. This is looking south toward the US portion of Waterton Lake.
WAIT! WHAT TIME IS IT?!?! Did we miss our boat? Turns out it was a different tour.
Back in the nice cool forest. After a long day hiking, the trail seems to just keep going and going. But the nice fall colors at least makes for great scenery.
Made it! I had hid some delicious beverages in the forest near the beach. It made waiting for the boat to arrive a very pleasant experience. There is cell service on this beach if you absolutely must update your Instagram account.
The boat arrived to pick us up exactly on time. It did end up waiting for about 10min for a group of late hikers. Pick your turn around time carefully, stick to it, and leave extra time so you can enjoy a hidden refreshment on the beach!

1 Comment

Shawn Bags Crypt Lake Hike – Waterton Lakes National Park – Trip Bagger · January 29, 2022 at 10:24 pm

[…] Shawn Bags Crypt Lake Hike Part 2  – Waterton Lakes National Park […]

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