About the Crypt Lake trail

The Crypt Lake trail is going to be in your memory for a long time! This trail was voted for one of the 20 most thrilling hikes of the world by national geographic – and it deserves this description 🙂 You will walk and jump over waterfalls, climb a leather, crumble trhough a small tunnel and enjoy breathtaking views, while the trail is heading close to the edge. It´s an amazing hike of approximately 20 kilometers roundtrip.


To get to the Crypt Lake trailhead you will have to take a shuttle boat (24 CAD per person – make sure you check the times of departure here!). You will be on the trail only with those people boarding the board with you!

When we were sitting in the boat shuttle the boatsmen told us, to only hike in a group of 4 people or more and to have bear spray with you.

My adventure

Well, the adventure started on the boat. After the boatsmen told us about the group size and the bear spray, my boyfriend and I sat there like… “Whaaat?”. The boatsmen informed us, that there was a grizzly bear seen on the trail a few days ago. What about us? We didn´t have any bear spray with us, because I actually thought it would be forbidden in Canada. And our group just consisted of my boyfriend and me ;-). As there were around 20 people with us on the boat, we thought that there would always be someone around on the trail, and if we would stay in the middle, we would be safe. And we were 🙂

The boat shuttle was taking circa 20 minutes to get us to the trailhead. We started walking several switchbacks up the hill – I had a cold from a few days back, so this was the toughest part for me. After those switchbacks the forest cleared up and gave us a nice view over the Upper Waterton Lake.


After those switchbacks the trail was easy to handle – it was going up and down and over serveral waterfalls. The scenery was beautiful: You were deeply in the forest and the waterfalls were getting all over the trail, so you had to jump over them – so much fun 🙂

One smaller waterfall to cross

One smaller waterfall to cross

The sun was shining nicely, though it was getting colder the higher we got. The colours of the autumn were looking incredibly beautiful.


We actually saw some fresh grizzly bear poop in this area – we talked loudly and made our way fast out of this foresty part of the trail 😉


The trail got steep again, but this time you were actually walking without any shade – we were getting into trouble with our closing – it was just too cold to take the jacket of, but were starting to sweat from walking up hill. I stayed in my layers, because I didn´t want to give my cold any more cause to get worse 😉



That view is insane!

That view is insane!

I would always choose autumn again for this hike - those colours...

I would always choose autumn again for this hike – look at those colours…

After enjoying this view we had to climb a ladder to get into a tunnel. Quite adventurous!

Ladder from on the way back down...

Going down the ladder

Getting through the tunnel :-)

Getting through the tunnel 🙂

I honestly have to say: I am not afraid of small places, so I was totally okay – but I wouldn´t really advise you to do this trail, if you are claustrophobic! The tunnel is pretty tiny and it is the only way – so you will need to get through this tunnel.

After the tunnel came the best part of the trail! You have to hike on the rocks and you will have a rope on the side to hold yourself. You really should hold the rope – otherwise one wrong step might means the end. Be careful on this part and just enjoy the thrill 🙂

The trail after the tunnel!

The trail after the tunnel!

Hold that rope...

Hold that rope and the trail is no problem 🙂

After you managed this part of the trail you will walk a few more meters and then reach the Crypt Lake. We were so excited and happy – it looks just amazing. The water of the Crypt Lake is just crystal clear and a mixture of green and blue… The best part: There are no people! You have the whole Crypt Lake just for yourself (and of course those people, you came on the boat with). But it will all spread out, so you wont actually see anybody around 🙂

The end of the trail!

The end of the trail!

One tip: don´t just stay there at the end of the trailhead. Go a little bit further! Walk along the lake! I advise you to take it to the left hand side, because there are just some incredible places were you can just sit down and have your lunch! If you are just asking yourself: Can those colours be for real!? Yes they can! There is no filter on this pictures – it is really the colour of the lake. Isn´t this just unbelievable beautiful?

The view from the place, where we ate our lunch!

The view from the place, where we ate our lunch!

After our lunch, we had some time left. So we walked around the lake and enjoyed the view.


Afterwards we made our way back to catch our boat. The way back was actually harder, because walking down the hill, was hurting pretty much that day. So we were really happy to be back at the boat after this amazing day! 😉