Waterton National Park – A Last Minute Change of Plans

We had planned a trip to Canmore for some hiking but were having second thoughts due to a bad weather forecast and lots of bear activity in the area.  For these reasons we changed our plans at the last minute and headed south to Waterton National Park.  Equipped with two hammocks, a few blankets and an array of snacks, we were ready for an adventure. The change of itinerary would turn out to be a fantastic decision.Hammock

Through some research on the drive down we determined Crypt Lake and Akamina Ridge were must do hikes.  We had a few other hike ideas but decided not to plan our weekend too much and go with the flow.

We arrived in Waterton late on Wednesday night. After a very windy first night in our hammocks we woke up and headed for the marina to catch a ferry to the Crypt Lake trailhead. Lucky for us there were only a few other hikers on the ferry. Once the boat docked we quickly got ahead of our fellow adventurers and started the climb to Crypt Lake.
Crypt LakeThe scenery was spectacular and completely different than what we were used to in Canmore. On the way to the lake we passed twin falls and Burnt Rock falls. The waterfalls were both spectacular yet completely different from each other. Twin falls was surrounded by lush forest while Burnt Rock Falls was rocky and barren. The highlight of the hike to Crypt Lake was climbing through a 60-foot natural tunnel barely big enough to squeeze through one at a time.    It was so small I had to remove my backpack to fit.  We arrived at the lake and had trailmix and beef jerky for lunch while taking in the view.  Once we had eaten our fill we began the return journey to the ferry. We beat the ferry back to the dock and took the extra time to go for a refreshing swim and get cleaned off. The glacial water felt good after a tough hike.

Red Rock CanyonOnce we were back in Waterton we jumped in Anderson’s car and headed to Red Rock Canyon. I was thankful to have bear spray after passing a full grown grizzly on the drive. The hike around Red Rock Canyon is very scenic but fairly tame.   It wasn’t until we ventured down into the canyon and started up the creek that the real fun began. It was hard to believe we were still in Alberta as we waded through crystal clear water surrounded by the bright red walls of the canyon.    After we had our fill of exploring the canyon we headed to Crandell Lake for a quick trail walk before heading back to town for dinner.


Crandell Lake

Check out the videos from our trip on the Waterton Adventures Page

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