Waterton Lakes National Park Hikes

Hiking in Waterton Lakes National Park is one of the gems of the Canadian Rockies. We’ve found the best hikes in Waterton, and these include family-friendly walks to full-day hikes. Waterton is directly above Montana’s Glacier National Park and a hiking holiday visiting both parks is a must on any adventurers list. Sadly, 2017 the Kenow Fire damaged a large portion of the forest surrounding Waterton Townsite. The intrepid and brave work of the firefighters, as well as the snow and cold that came at the start of October 2017, were able to stop any further spread, but some areas are still closed. Please check the Kenow Fire website for information on the areas of closure.

Click ‘+MORE INFO’ below for a list of the 10 Best Hiking Trails in Waterton Lakes National Park.

THE TOP 10 HIKES IN WATERTON LAKES NATIONAL PARK

Waterton has so many different landscapes, so it’s only fitting we offer so many different types of hikes. This list has one-way hikes. It has a hike with a tunnel and cliffside chain traverse. One trailhead can only be reached by ferry. Some hikes have next to no elevation and some hikes take you up to some beautiful mountain views. This is a great park to hike in for any skill level.

#1. Carthew-Alderson (20.1km, 651m, 6-8h): The beautiful Carthew-Alderson hike provides epic and vastly varied views. You’ll see mountain peaks, rocky red slopes, and alpine lakes. It’s a one-way hike, requiring shuttling, so you’ll never see the same view twice. Carthew-Alderson is one of Waterton’s Triple Crown hikes.

#2. Lineham Ridge (17.2km, 960m, 6-8h): On this epic hike you’ll travel from a creek-side, to the forest, and through meadows. Then, you’ll curve along the sweeping expanse of the towering headwall with superb views. Finally, top out on Lineham Ridge with incredible panoramic views of Rowe Valley, Rowe Lakes, and Lineham Lakes.

#3. Crypt Lake (17.4km, 690m, 5-7h): The Crypt Lake hike is a spectacular hike that has it all. It begins with a boat ride to the trailhead, passing four waterfalls en-route. There’s a ladder, a tunnel, and a chain you cling to as you traverse a cliff. This is a must-do, adventure route and one of the Triple Crown hikes in Waterton.

#4. Bertha Lake and Falls (10.4km, 471m, 3.5-5h): Waterfalls, sweeping vistas, and an alpine lake make the trail to Bertha Lake a stunning hike. The benches and minimal elevation gain to Lower Bertha Falls make the first half of the hike an excellent family option. The second half is where the elevation kicks in.

#5. Lineham Falls (8.4km, 340m, 2.5h-4h): A hike along this sublime wooded trail is an awesome Waterton activity. The trail passes along a bubbling creak and offers sweeping mountain views. This hike courses through an avalanche path and culminates in a beautiful waterfall view. The best part of the hike is the real possibility that you may have the trail to yourself.

#6. Wall Lake (10.4km, 122m, 2.5-4h): We love the hike to Wall Lake. This beautiful alpine lake has incredible towering headwalls that are so high you’ll cramp your neck to see the top. A trail runs along the shore and offers many peaceful lunch spots where you can enjoy the view or try some fishing.

#7. Red Rock Canyon/Blakiston Falls (2.7km, 20m, 1-1.5h): Spectacular layered red canyon walls, flowing water, and surrounding mountain views make this a stunning area to hike in. Explore the canyon. Wet your feet in the water. Bask in the beauty of the impressive Blakiston Falls. This is the best way to be introduced to Waterton Park at a leisurely pace.

#8. Bear’s Hump (2.8km, 225m, 1-1.5h): Bear’s Hump is a short but challenging hike. It offers an incredible sweeping view of Waterton Lakes and townsite. Although the trail is steep, young children will generally have no trouble dispatching it quickly, while parents will likely struggle to catch up. The effort required makes the views even more rewarding. Don’t miss this one!

#9. Crandell Lake (3.2km, 75m, 1-2h): Crandell Lake, a beautiful emerald green lake, can be accessed by several different trails. It offers an inviting place to climb, play, hike, or picnic. You can loop around the entire lake, spend time climbing the rocky crags, sunbathe on the smooth shoreline boulders, or prepare a picnic under the shelter at the beach. This is a wonderful destination for the family.

#10. Cameron Lakeshore (3.5km, 0m, 1-2h): For a scenic stroll on a warm summer day, nothing beats a hike around Cameron Lakeshore. With constant views of the lake, beach, and Mount Custer at nearly every point of this beautiful, easy shoreline walk, this is pure nirvana.

01. CARTHEW-ALDERSON

01. CARTHEW-ALDERSON

  • Difficulty
  • 20.1km
  • 651m
  • 6-8h

02. LINEHAM RIDGE

02. LINEHAM RIDGE

  • Difficulty
  • 17.2km
  • 960m
  • 6-8h

03. CRYPT LAKE

03. CRYPT LAKE

  • Difficulty
  • 17.4km
  • 690m
  • 5-7h

04. BERTHA LAKE AND FALLS

04. BERTHA LAKE AND FALLS

  • Difficulty
  • 10.4km
  • 471m
  • 3.5-5h

05. LINEHAM FALLS

05. LINEHAM FALLS

  • Difficulty
  • 8.4km
  • 340m
  • 2.5-4h

06. WALL LAKE

06. WALL LAKE

  • Difficulty
  • 10.4km
  • 122m
  • 2.5-4h

07. RED ROCK CANYON / BLAKISTON FALLS

07. RED ROCK CANYON / BLAKISTON FALLS

  • Difficulty
  • 2.7km
  • 20m
  • 1-1.5h

08. BEAR’S HUMP

08. BEAR’S HUMP

  • Difficulty
  • 2.8km
  • 225m
  • 1-1.5h

09. CRANDELL LAKE

09. CRANDELL LAKE

  • Difficulty
  • 3.2km
  • 75m
  • 1-2h

10. CAMERON LAKESHORE

10. CAMERON LAKESHORE

  • Difficulty
  • 3.5km
  • 0m
  • 1-2h

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity”

– John Muir