Crypt Lake Trail Loop

MODERATE 103 reviews

Crypt Lake Trail Loop is a 20.6 kilometer moderately trafficked loop trail located near Waterton Park, Alberta, Canada that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
20.6 km
ELEVATION GAIN
914 m
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

cave

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

This hike is a great opportunity to get a good workout and see some beautiful and diverse nature. The first part of the hike goes through a forest and is shaded. The first set of climbs are easy and then the trail levels out. Somewhere around the second waterfall, the hike starts climbing and it is completely exposed, be sure to have water, sunscreen, a hat etc for this part of the hike. Then comes the ledge, the tunnel and the chains. The ledge has enough space to walk comfortably on both sides. Unless you are very terrified of heights you will likely not find this part of the hike too scary! The tunnel is of course fun, and the lake is just a small walk away after this. The route on this map sends you back via the Hell Roaring Falls Trail. This trail can be overgrown and is much less travelled. If you want to get away from the crowds it is a great option, but you can also do the hike as an out and back.

hiking
1 month ago

An absolutely amazing hike. Did this back in July. It requires a ferry ride to get to the trailhead so make sure to stop by and grab a ticket beforehand.

The trail itself winds through the mountain forests before breaking through the tree line. There are a couple very cool waterfalls on the way up, and the last part of the hike is amazing and intense, with a ladder up to a cave and then some cliff side scrambling (with a cable for safety) to get to the valley where the trail’s namesake is located.

Leaving the trail also requires a ferry back. Don’t miss the last one or they’ll leave you and send the park rangers to pick you up later. When we hiked there were two women who got left behind. Know your limits and watch the clock so that this doesn’t happen to you.

2 months ago

Awesome

hiking
5 months ago

Long and tough, but very worth it!!

5 months ago

Great hike! Take a small fishing pole with a spinner for some cutthroats in Crypt!

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike, with spectacular views, took the Hell Roaring Falls trail on the way up, separated us from the boat load of people going up, and able to do this part of the trail while still full of energy.

hiking
6 months ago

Super awesome! Great for beginners that have the cardio for 17 km. Get to the lake first and you will feelthe silence.

hiking
7 months ago

Enjoyed hiking it with friends. The best part is the tunnel and the crystal clear lake. It took us 7hours to complete the loop.

hiking
7 months ago

We did this on long weekend. Started at 830 am from waterton lake and reached crypt lake hike landing by 845 am. Boat ride was good and guide shared some good information about the hike. We were able to reach crypt lake in 2 hr 40 min though we spend some time in taking pictures all the way. Falls were not impressive as we expected. I personally believe the Tunnel and lake are the main focus of this hike. While coming back we went to Hell roar fall but the trail from there to come down is not well maintained and you will see thick foliage. I would prefer to pass this passage with few guys and not alone. Overall it was 20 plus km and decent elevation.

hiking
7 months ago

Nearly all the hikes in Waterton were closed except this, Bertha Lake and Bears Hump. Well, we were relieved this one remained open. So much variety on the hike - and some stunning views. The cave and cable were both frightening yet exhilarating. We had an excellent day. The loop detour near the end was a little lack-lustre but we can say we did it.

7 months ago

My favorite Waterton Hike. I'm scared of heights and I was a bit nervous coming out of the cave and climbing up the side but the cable is very secure and if you don't look down you'll be just fine!! So fun and so worth it.

hiking
7 months ago

Did the hike in late August.

The hike by itself is a decent workout . The first part of the hike goes thru a forest and is shaded. The first set of climb is easy and then it levels out. Some where around the second waterfall, the hike starts climbing and it is completely exposed . Then comes, the ledge , the tunnel and the chains. Truth be told, reading the reviews, I was extremely scared, but once I got to the ledge I realised there was enough space to walk comfortably on both sides! The tunnel is of course fun! The lake is just a small walk away after this .

The lake is a very very pretty lake and it is easy to loose track of time while at the lake. So it is very important to time yourself at the lake.

We saw three bears during the hike - two near the tunnel and far away and one on the trail. While they didn't trouble us, it is always good and recommended to carry bear spray if the need be. We rented ours from Pats - Unless opened can be returned and deposit of 15$ is returned back .

We also took the Hell Roaring Canyon on the way back - will not really recommend. The trail is steeper in sections and the very very hot day did not make it easier.

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

First time doing a hike for me and I loved it. Second set of switchbacks were rough, but Crypt Lake was worth it. Definitely a mental challenge as the physical part wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Saw a few families with kids under 12 and older people as well. Most fun parts were the tunnel and the cable walk. Most difficult part was the rocky switchbacks. It was hot and I brought 2 litres of water and ran out on the way back, so bring lots of water, a hat, and sunscreen. I also brought Tylenol and a knee brace and it helped quite a bit for the way down. I recommend 100%. We had lots of time with the 8:30 drop off and 5:30 pick up. You can buy your tickets the day before.

8 months ago

Easy to see what makes it one of the top hikes in Canada, take time for a swim.

8 months ago

Unspeakable beauty to be seen

hiking
8 months ago

Absolutely a must do if you want a spectacular challenging hike. The two switchbacks to reach the lake are tough but beautiful. We liked walking through the tunnel and the ledge walk. The lake is pristine. I would not recommend hells canyon Falls addition. It was a rough trail when you are tired. We had plenty of time for the 8:30 drop and the 5:30 pick up even with the added mileage of around the lake and the canyon trail. Buy your boat tickets the day before.

hiking
8 months ago

One of the coolest hikes hands down. So much variety when it comes to a day hike! Cool tunnel to crawl through and this trail keeps you on your toes with a crawl up a rockface holding onto chains. Amazing lake at the end with a massive waterfall makes this hike very rewarding! Id do it again in a heart beat!

8 months ago

Probably my favourite hike to date. Loved every minute of it.

hiking
8 months ago

Loved this hike! A scary part walking against the mountain and holding on to some wire but it was worth it as after there is a beautiful lake. The views are amazing:)

9 months ago

pretty steep right off the begininng. the caves were fun, and the wall with the chain (Maybe not if you're scared of heights) should have brought a change of socks, got a little soggy new the caves walking through the water that was on the path.
made for a full day event.

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike, tough, but rewarding!

hiking
9 months ago

Great day! We hiked (family of three with a teenage son) to Crypt Lake which was a moderate climb with a challenging cliff hanger experience after the cave. It was a incredible time! On the way back we took the Hell roaring creek loop which was steep decline with not a lot to see. We went because we had some extra time. Worth the day trip!

9 months ago

Pretty incredible!

hiking
9 months ago

28 June 2017
Sunny day in late June. Perfect 70s day. With several stops on the way up to take photos and give legs a rest (series of exposed switchbacks were a grind) we made it in 2.45hrs. Our 15yr old did it in 2.15. Lots of little drainage draws to wet your face. Views are spectacular.
Boat drops off at 11.15 and pics up at 5.30. Plenty of time to hike up, have a leisurely lunch and take photos all the way down. Ledges, ladder & tunnel were narrow, but all doable. More a mental test than physical. A must do!

9 months ago

best hike I've done

9 months ago

It's a long hike, but quite easy at the same time! Took us only 6hrs including 30min break at the lake and walking some extra kilometres to Hell Roaring Canyon

10 months ago

Great! Moderate except for the part there is a wire u have to use to get from one area to the next. Still fun would do it again. Beautiful views too!

10 months ago

amazing hike, beautiful mountain. look out for the cougar!

hiking
10 months ago

Just hiked this trail yesterday. We were able to make it the whole way. Still a good amount of melting snow for the last hour of the hike. Lake is still frozen over but melting fast. This was one of the most amazing hikes I have done. Challenging but totally worth the experience. We encountered a very young mountain lion on the hells fall trail so just a heads up there. Not sure if there is a mother or not. We didn't see her if she is around.

hiking
10 months ago

Unbelievable views, difficult, and totally worth the work. Bring a lot of water, the switchbacks toward the end are above the tree line and that sun can be absolutely relentless.
Best Memories: Climbing through a cave, cliff walks, stunning views.

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