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“Worthwhile hike!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Crypt Lake Trail

Crypt Lake Trail
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
74 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Worthwhile hike!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

The ferry ($21 roundtrip) drops you off and off you go. Depending on the size of your group, you'll quickly get annoyed with the single-file jammed up pace, so turn right at the first fork in the trail to go to Hell Roaring Falls and escape that. It's a 1km sidetrip that will link you back up to the group, but they'll be a little bit ahead. You'll likely reach a bottleneck at the tunnel (not a crawl, more a hunched walk) and then again at the cable. Be patient. The etiquette of yielding to people coming uphill isn't really followed here.

We took the 10AM ferry. It took us four hours to get to Crypt Lake and we burned down the trail, getting back in under two hours. Keep in mind if you do that, you might end up having to wait for the 5:30PM ferry as people with 4:00PM tickets get priority.

Overall, the hike is a steady incline, you gain quite a lot in elevation but it's not overly challenging. Great views, very rewarding hike.

Visited July 2014
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5 Thank theseoldroads
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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163 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Level Contributor
35 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Most famous Waterton hike, for good reason”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

I have hiked this trail 3 times over the last 10 years. It's not for the faint of heart, or the unfit, or anyone under 12. The hike is up and down hill both ways, and there's the tunnel, ledge, and ladder that have been mentioned.

That said, its THE hike to do in the park. Take the early boat over for sure. That gives you better timing on the more exposed areas so that you are not climbing in the hot sun. Make sure you leave the lake by one pm. Wear the right footwear, and take a first aid kit. Take at least 2 liters of water.

If you are not sure you can do this, or you want some similar length hikes that are not as tough, here's some options. Carthew Summit can be reached from Cameron Lake parking lot. You can hike to the Summit and back. it's spectacular, and there's a bailout option of summit lake which is only 8 km round trip or the option to hike right to the townsite. My favourite is Lineham Ridge, which is reached from Rowe Meadow on the Tamarack trail. Access to the trailhead is on the Akamina parkway. Again, there are some good bailout options at the Lower Lake or the Meadow.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank trvllrwteenz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
90 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
“Challenging but worth it”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2014

I am an average hiker... Like the going up, do not enjoy the coming down when it is steep... My boyfriend took me to Crypt Lake and I did it... Need to say that it was challenging... walking along the cliff holding a cable... I was scared but so happy I did it... It is a great hike.... Scenery is breathtaking. Just be aware that you have to take a boat to get to the beginning of the trail and that it is not cheap, $21 per person...

Visited July 2014
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3 Thank Lau1967
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brandon, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Challenging but rewarding climb”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014

We hiked Crypt Lake in early July. The boat ride over was fine, although I'd suggest taking the later boat. We took the 9:00 trip, which was nearly full. As a result, the first 5 km were basically a group hike, with a long train of people climbing in a row. Not exactly what I had in mind, but as you go higher, fitness and picture breaks separate the group fairly well.

The climb was moderately challenging, with numerous switchbacks to make the ascent a bit easier. You're exposed for much of the trail, so water is highly recommended, particularly on hot days. The ladder, tunnel, and cable were definite highlights, and the views at Crypt Lake were beautiful.

The guide on the boat had recommended doing the side trip to the falls on the way down. While I wasn't blown away by the falls, if you do want to see them, the way down is the time. The trail was challenging enough on the way down; I wouldn't have wanted to do it going up, knowing I had the majority of the ascent still to come.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
5 Thank WanderingNomad2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Ran up crawled down LOL”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2014

This is a great hike, if it is a clear day have a hat because you are in the SUN all the way up. Crypt Lake is worth the effort to see and the falls are exciting.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
5 Thank Vitaquosus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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