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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Crypt Lake, AB

8 1 0
Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AB > Alberta
5 of 5 by 1
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 5.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,160 feet
Elevation Gain 2,333 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,805 feet
Avg Time One Way 5-6 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 14.85
Interest Perennial Waterfall & Perennial Creek
Backpack No
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
8  2017-07-11 friendofThunderg
Author friendofThundergod
author avatar Guides 18
Routes 278
Photos 7,651
Trips 711 map ( 8,339 miles )
Age 37 Male Gender
Location AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jun, Sep, Jul, Aug
Seasons   Late Spring to Late Summer
Sun  6:13am - 6:47pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Trails to the Crypt
by friendofThundergod

Likely In-Season!
Crypt Lake is an iconic hike and destination in Waterton Lakes National Park. The trail to this unique alpine lake is famous for its ladder, tunnel and cable section that add a little adventure to this otherwise pretty straightforward hike. However, these fun little trail extras are by no means the highlight of this hike, as Crypt Lake remains the real attraction. Crypt Lake is an especially scenic and very unique alpine lake, as it lacks a real above ground outlet stream, however, it still feeds a very robust waterfall that drops several hundred feet from the cirque that houses Crypt Lake. This waterfall is perhaps as scenic and unique as the lake itself and is fed through an underground spring that gets its supply of water from somewhere below the surface of Crypt Lake.

Getting There
The trailhead for Crypt Lake and the trail that shares its name is called Crypt Landing. It is most conveniently reached via a water taxi that operates out of Waterton Village. At the time of the writing of this description it was $25.00. There are two trips to the trailhead in the morning and two pick ups in the afternoon. Therefore, you will be on a bit of a schedule when doing this hike. Camping at the lake is not permitted. Inquire at the visitor center for more information and verification of prices and times.

As mentioned in the overview, the hike to Crypt Lake is pretty straightforward, apart from the trail extras. The trail starts immediately with a pretty good uphill climb, however, it is made considerably more bearable by a series of several switchbacks. After about a mile, the steepness subsides some and you don't really start climbing again until about 3.5 miles in. This stretch of trail is no longer under the trees and finally offers some nice views of the rugged canyon and surrounding mountains. Eventually, you will start to see the majestic falls that spill 500 feet down the sheer cliff and cirque that hold Crypt Lake. At about 4.5 miles you will reach a ladder that climbs to a tunnel only tall enough to crouch in. After navigating the tunnel, you will find yourself with a great view of Crypt Falls and along a cliff with a somewhat narrow tread. There is a cable in place here and one should use as needed to complete the short section. After the cable, the trail continues its steady climb to Crypt Lake, where it ends in a wooded section along its shore. Return the way you came, or make a small loop near the end of your hike with the steep Hellsroaring Canyon Trail.

Check out the Official Route and Triplog.

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2017-07-31 friendofThundergod

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Review
    Crypt Lake
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    This hike was certainly one of the highlights of my month spent in the northern Rockies. The destination was awe-inspiring and the trail fun with its ladder, tunnel and cable section. The hike is one of the favorites in Waterton, however, the crowds stay manageable on this one, as a $25.00 boat ride is required to reach the trailhead and only two boats go to the trailhead a day.

    The trail is a little bit of a climb and it takes a few miles for the views to really start, but they only get better, as you near the iconic lake. The second and most prominent waterfall you encounter is the one fed by Crypt Lake, it is unique in the fact that it is not fed by an outlet stream like nearly all other Alpine Lakes in the region. The origins of this waterfall are a subterranean stream/underground spring that spews from a nearby cave and is fed by the draining of the lake somewhere below the surface, hence the name, "Crypt" Lake. The lake was pretty on par for most alpine lakes in the area, but the semi-adventurous trail (I heard several people compare it to Angel's Landing for a frame of reference) and series of waterfalls on the way to the lake make up for that.

    The hike down is quick. I took the Hells Roaring Canyon Trail on the way back to add a little mileage and kill some time while waiting for the boat to arrive.

    Hike Alberta it rocks!

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Glacier National Park, Waterton Lakes National Park can be reached by taking the Chief Customs Highway north to Canada.
    page created by HAZ_Hikebot on Jul 31 2017 9:51 pm
    1 TB Flash Drive... $40
    help comment issue

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