10 December 2013

The trail to Crypt Lake

Posted by Callan Bentley

Today, I’d like to share some images with you from Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta, Canada. This is the Crypt Lake hike, a popular (but grueling) hike in the park. It starts at the Waterton Marina, across Emerald Bay from the Prince of Wales Hotel. Mount Crandell and the Bear’s Hump are visible in the distance. This image can be made much bigger if you click on it.

Waterton_marina_pano-smClick to enlarge

Cruising across the lake…


Looking south toward Montana and Glacier National Park…


A representative shot looking west along the Crypt Lake trail. Fairly representative of the scenery thereabouts…


Crypt Lake itself, a rather unremarkable tarn with cold water and a sense of accomplishment…


Walking back, I noticed a bunch of en echelon veins cutting through the limestone in one spot where the trail crossed a snow melt stream. (Shadow hand for scale)


Pretty sweet waterfall there, too – looks to me to be a Niagara-like case of differential erosion. The tough limestone holds up the lip of the falls, while the underlying shale is scoured away into a vast amphitheater-like bowl…



The vegetation you see in the bottom of this last image is typical of the lower half or two-fifths of the hike – fairly dense forest and undergrowth. It’s an epic hike – long and hard, but so great… and tomorrow, I’ll show you something really cool you can see along this hike.