Crypt Lake Trail, Waterton Lakes National Park

4.8
#1 of 6 in Trails in Waterton Lakes National Park
At Crypt Lake Trail, embark on one of the nation's great outdoor experiences. Said by many to be Canada’s best hike, the trail offers both a great escape from urban life and memorable views of a range of scenery and vegetation. Take the ferry that transports hikers to the beginning of the trail and choose one of the two routes for your ascent. If you take the longer one, you'll get to see the famous Hellroaring Falls. Cross the mountain streams and marvel at the dramatic Crypt Falls, as they plunge beneath into Crypt Lake. Take a dip in the refreshing waters of the lake, then hike back to catch your ferry. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes, and bring lots of water. Make Crypt Lake Trail a centerpiece of your Waterton Lakes National Park vacation itinerary, and find what else is worth visiting using our Waterton Lakes National Park trip itinerary maker site .
Create an itinerary including Crypt Lake Trail
map
Crypt Lake Trail Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
225 reviews
Google
5.0
TripAdvisor
  • If there is one hike to do, this is the one. The beauty of this scenic hike is unmatched. The variety in this hike is awesome, from a boat ride across the Waterton Lakes to a crawl thru a short tunnel...  more »
  • This trail had long been on my bucket list and finally did it this summer. Absolutely spectacular and glad I did it before the fires.  more »
  • I call this my one and done hike. It was so invigorating, fun, hard and scary! This was our third 10+ mile hike in the same amount of days, so we weren't sure how exhausted we would be, but we even be...  more »
Google
  • One of the 20 most exciting hikes according to Lonely Planet, this is the hike serious hikers should not miss out on when visiting Waterton Lakes National Park! Getting there requires taking a ferry boat from the village (return ticket $25, leaves early in the morning!). At the site there are little to no facilities, so start prepared with enough water, lunch, sunscreen, insect repellent and a bag to take your garbage out. The hike is about 17 km return journey and gains about 700 m. While walking hikers enjoy some nice waterfalls and beautiful overviews of the valley. We were a little concerned about the final part of the trail which contains narrow ledges and steep cliffs. All in all there was no reason to be worried: this part of the hike can be a little scary, but if you watch your step we found this part certainly doable, and we are not very experienced hikers. This part of the trail only comes at the very end, is rather short (less than 300m I think), the slope is less frightening in reality compared to pictures going around on the internet and the ledges are between 20 and 50 cm (and mostly 50 cm): at narrow parts there is a steel cord attached to the mountain to aid hikers along the way. If you are in reasonable shape this is an exciting and rewarding hike! Tip: take the first boat to make sure you have enough time to complete the hike in order to catch the boat back and to enjoy some extra cool shadow the first 200 m climb. Should there be any snow on the 'scary' part at the narrow ledges, I don't know if I would hike there, inform yourself before you leave.

Plan your trip to Waterton Lakes National Park

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Waterton Lakes National Park

You can't stay in the heart of Waterton Lakes National Park, so your best bet is to base yourself in the township of Waterton and head on day trips from there. This can be difficult if you're on a budget, as the majority of accommodations in Waterton are resorts, hotels, and suites catering to a luxury-seeking clientele. If you're prepared to battle it out against nature, you can make your trip more affordable by pitching a tent at a local campsite. Make your reservations well in advance if visiting between May and September.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Waterton Lakes National Park by other users

60 days in Canada BY A USER FROM CANADA May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 31 days in Canadian Rockies BY A USER FROM ISRAEL February, outdoors, romantic, popular PREFERENCES: February, outdoors, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 35 days in Alberta BY A USER FROM CANADA May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 52 days in Canada BY A USER FROM CANADA June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 52 days in Canada BY A USER FROM CANADA June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 43 days in Canada, Glacier National Park & Pacific Northwest BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in Canada BY A USER FROM GERMANY October, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 60 days in Canada BY A USER FROM MEXICO May, outdoors, hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 13 days in Canadian Rockies BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 13 days in Idaho Falls & Canada BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 60 days in Canada BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM May, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in Canada BY A USER FROM CANADA June, outdoors, relaxing, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: June, outdoors, relaxing, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans