Crypt Lake 8-31-13

The AHG Hike Investigation Team pushed northward to check out the Crypt Lake trail in Waterton National Park in British Columbia, just north of Glacier National Park in the U.S.

This hike was voted Canada's Number 1 day hike, which means it wont be just you and the bears sharing the trail.

Access to the TH is via a 48 person water taxi (CAN$20 round trip). The trail starts out in a Doug Fir forest and quickly climbs via a series of switchbacks affording views of Twin Falls and Burnt Rock Falls as you work your way up. As you near tree-line you begin to get wide views of the glacier scoured valleys.

Above tree line you continue switchbacking up, eventually reaching a rather narrow trail across a steep scree field which brings you to a 10' ladder bolted to the rock face. Up the ladder and through an 80' tunnel blasted through the rock (3' to 4' in diameter) to a similar narrow ledge on the other side, but with a cable tied into the rock to offer some comfort for the 200' transit to safer footing.

From there it is a short hike up past the lake outflow / waterfall to Crypt Lake itself. Hemmed in on 3 sides by steep cliffs, there is a trail around the lake which takes you into the U.S. on the south side. No border patrol here, however.

On the way down, there is an option to take the Hellroaring Canyon trail which runs steeply beside a roaring creek in a steep rock cut with many cascades. This trail then rejoins the Crypt Lake trail below and it is back to the dock to wait for the water taxi.

Ashland Hiking Home

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