This Stunning Alberta Hike Will Lead You Up A Ladder & Through A Cave To A Hidden Lake

You'll also pass four gorgeous waterfalls. 😍

Someone on the Crypt Lake hike. Right: Someone swimming in Crypt Lake.

Someone on the Crypt Lake hike. Right: Someone swimming in Crypt Lake.

If you're bored of going on the same old hikes in Banff and you're looking for a challenge this summer, look no further. On this Alberta hike, you'll need to walk along ledges, climb a ladder, and crawl through a cave before eventually reaching a stunning blue lake.

Crypt Lake Trail can be found in Waterton Lakes National Park and it really is bucket-list worthy — it has all the views and is also action-packed from the beginning. In fact, the just over 17-kilometre trail was named one of the "Most Thrilling Trails" in the world by National Geographic.

The trail is a unique adventure and it takes between five and eight hours so be prepared. To start, you'll need to catch a 15-minute ferry from Waterton town to reach the trailhead so do this early so you have plenty of time to catch a return ferry.

Once you arrive at the trailhead, you'll be hiking uphill through a forest and as you climb, you begin to get incredible views of the surrounding mountains. As the trail continues you'll pass four stunning waterfalls: Hell Roaring Falls, Twin Falls, Burnt Rock Falls and Crypt Falls.

The really exciting parts of the trail begin when you reach the cliffside ledges that take you deeper into the mountains, and you'll come across the enormous Crypt Falls with water cascading down around 200-metres.

Hikers will then need to climb a three-metre steel ladder up the cliff, before crawling through a 20-metre natural tunnel, which are features the hike is famous for.

After one final ledge walk, you'll arrive at the crystal clear waters of Crypt Lake where you can cool off and dig into your picnic lunch. You should also pack a swimsuit so you float in the water before making the return journey.

To get back to Waterton town, you'll need to return the way you came so leave plenty of time so you don't miss the ferry.

It's a huge adventure, but the Crypt Lake Trail is definitely worth the incredible journey, and one to add to your summer 2023 bucketlist!

Crypt Lake Trail

Price: Shuttle Ferry costs $31 per person.

Address: 101 Waterton Ave, Waterton Park, AB.

Why You Should Go: If you're hungry for adventure, this Alberta hike has it all from boat rides, walking along cliff ledges, climbing ladders and crawling through tunnels. You'll also see the most gorgeous scenery including four different waterfalls and a crystal clear lake.


Charlie Hart
Charlie Hart was a Travel Creator for Narcity Media focused on Canadian and global travel and is based in Calgary, Alberta.