Crypt Lake Trail

The Crypt Lake Hike while challenging, is one of the most rewarding hikes in Waterton Lakes National Park. The hike is accessed via the local ferry service, and begins with a gradual climb through shaded forests. As you progress into the hanging valley, the forest begins to thin out, and you begin the strenuous section of the hike. Immediately after Burnt Rock Falls, the hike steadily climbs up onto the open alpine mountain side. During this section of the hike, you will be rewarded with striking views of the Crypt Valley as well as that of the cascading Crypt Falls.


After continuing over the alpine creek adjacent to the campground you follow the trail towards the ledge and tunnel. The ledge is about 50 cm wide, and continues over to a steel ladder and access to the tunnel. For nearly 100 ft you crawl through a natural mountain tunnel before arriving at the cable transverse.


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 slopes along the Crypt Lake Trail serve as primary bear country. Both Grizzly Bear and Black Bear can be seen on this trail. It is important to check with the visitor information centre and/or ferry service regarding recent bear sightings on the trail. Other large mammal species that call the Crypt Valley home include; Bighorn Sheep, Moose, Mountain Goat, Mule Deer, and White-Tailed Deer. The hike is a total of 17.2 km round trip, with a gradual 2,300-foot elevation gain.

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