Crypt Lake - Ride a Boat and Go for a Hike to One of the "World’s 20 Most Thrilling Trails"
Ladders, chains, caves, waterfalls and lakes. the most entertaining hike I have ever done!
Time: 6 hours
We ventured down south of Alberta to the town of Waterton on September long weekend. Crypt Lake has been up on our radar and it was a good time to check out this trail.
Most of the hikes that I’ve done consists of switchbacks, scramble and summit. Plain and simple. The journey to Crypt Lake however had something more special to offer. Check out my blog to inspire you on your next hiking trip!
The town of Waterton is approximately 2 hours and 45 mins away from Calgary. Head south to Highway 2 (towards Lethbridge). You can click on the address provided below and follow the directions in your Google Maps.
Lex Go Hike Experience
To access the trailhead for Crypt Lake, you have to take the boat to Crypt Lake landing. There are different departure schedules in the morning and pick-up time in the afternoon. We booked our tickets they day before at the marina for a 9:00 am departure.
Click the link for ticket prices and schedules. http://www.watertoncruise.com/crypt-lake.php
It was a nice sunny morning and there were about 50 people in our boat. The crew were very friendly. They gave some some helpful tips about the hike and news on bear sightings around the park. They also advised that we have to be back in the landing before the last boat leaves or else we will camp the night in the forest.
The hike starts with easy switchbacks on a long gradual slope. You will see a glimpse of Upper Waterton Lake as you traverse up the mountain. It is a well marked trail and you will not get lost. The further you go into forest, you will see diverse vegetation. I feel like the hike on the southern part of Alberta is less rocky making it easier on your feet.
We took a short pause to admire the view of the first set of waterfalls in the forested area called Twin Falls. The second set of falls after climbing up a rocky terrain is Burnt Rocks Falls. The view in this opening is breathtaking. I felt like I was on the set of Westworld with all the rock formation in the mountains. Some people were resting and having some snacks while enjoying the view.
From the seconds falls, the climb gets steeper and open. We could see the view of the tunnel with people walking towards it moving like ants. It was a pretty cool view to look at and it got us excited even more knowing that’s where were heading. To the right you will see Crypt Falls falling like a white lace into the forest. So spectacular to see.
The path towards the tunnel was rocky and only wide enough to allow trekkers to walk a single file. We took turn climbing the ladder to the mouth of the tunnel. The tunnel is not for the claustrophobic as portions of it must have been less than 5 ft high. One way traffic inside the tunnel is mandatory so make sure you signal your intent to enter. Be creative or yell frantically, it’s up to you. As we exited the tunnel, the vertical exposure and wide open view got me anxious. I carefully walked into the ledge and grabbed the guide chain to climb up to safety. After this short technical part we were less than 10 minutes away from Crypt Lake.
We had lunch at the lake and enjoyed the view with other hikers. You can hike around the lake at your own leisure. We were told that the south side of the lake is actually on the other side of the US border. So technically doing this hike takes you to another country.
We really enjoyed this hike because of the cool things we got to do along the way.
I encourage everyone to do this hike. It is a well marked trail with lots of people and fun doable obstacles. Take your adventure spirit and Lex Go Hike!
Watch to check the time
Booking for the Boat: http://www.watertoncruise.com/crypt-lake.php
Other Hiking Reviews: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/canada/alberta/crypt-lake-trail-loop