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Crandell Lake is a scenic trail walk that can be enjoyed by hikers of all abilities. The lake can be approached from either Red Rock Parkway or Akamina Parkway and is a great spot to enjoy an outdoor picnic. The route recommended in this guide begins on Red Rock Parkway and is a 2km hike with minimal elevation gain.
Time Required: 1-2 hours
Location: 13 km northwest of the town of Waterton on Red Rock Canyon Rd
Distance: 4km round trip
Elevation Gain: 130m
Difficulty: 2/10 – Easy to follow trail with minimal elevation gain
Season: June to mid-October
Additional Requirements: N/A
From Waterton: Take Hwy 5 east approximately 4 km and turn left onto Red Rock Parkway (Range Rd 300A). Follow this north 7km and take a left turn onto the Crandell Mountain Campground access road across from Coppermine Creek. Cross the bridge over Blakiston Creek and park in the designated trailhead lot.
WHAT TO BRING
- Comfortable Footwear: Hiking shoes or a good pair of sneakers. This hiking trail is short and can be done in basic footwear.
- Water: Even though this is a short hike a bottle of water is always a good idea.
- Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy at Crandell Lake. Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
- Weather appropriate clothing: Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
- Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
- Insect Repellent: Insect repellent can greatly improve your hiking experience.
- Bear Spray: You are in bear country. Always hike with bear spray that is easily accessible.
- Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
- This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike
Wildlife: You will be hiking in bear country. It is always advisable to check in at the local Visitor Information Center to learn of any trail closures due to wildlife. Carry bear spray in an easily accessible location. Travel in groups of multiple hikers and make lots of noise to avoid an unexpected encounter.
Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:
- Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
- Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
- Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
- Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
- Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
- Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.
To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca
Summary: From the trailhead near Crandell Mountain Campground this is a straightforward 2km hike along a maintained trail.
The path to Crandell Lake is a 2 km, gradually ascending trail that is well maintained and easy to follow. Be on the lookout for mountain bikers as this is a popular biking trail. The trailhead (Route marker #1 on the map) is well marked with a large sign showing an overview of the area. Begin following the path into the forest watching your footing. Although the trail is well maintained there are rock ledges and tree roots protruding from the ground.
The trail cuts through lush forest, slowly gaining in elevation with some rocky sections. Just prior to arriving at the lake there is one fork in the trail. Stay to the left and shortly you will emerge from the forest at the lake (Route marker #2 on the map). At Crandell Lake there is a picnic shelter and bench to take a break at and enjoy the scenery.
Once you have enjoyed the lake return to the parking lot the same way you came. If, after this relaxing hike, you are feeling up for something more adventurous, the mountain directly in front of you (Mount Galwey) is one of the best scrambles in the Waterton area. If interested check out our video and guide on hiking Mount Galwey.
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Have fun out there!