September 1, 2013
Crypt Falls is one hike in the Canadian Rockies I would love to do over, and over again. This hike starts off with a ferry ride across an amazing lake (Upper Waterton Lake), then docks in some thick wooded forested area which will go on for over three kilometers. After passing higher and higher in elevation, you will clear the woods and enter an opening with rock walls all around you. After being amazed by the minerals and rock formations you will need to scale alongside a mountain's edge and climb up and pass through a tunnel. Finally on the other end of the tunnel will be the view atop the mountains and Crypt Lake.
The length of the Hike is 8.6 Km (one way), and gains 665 Meters (2,220ft) ending at 1,946 Meters. I would safely plan for a 3 hour hike on the way in, and since you have 7 hours before your return ferry you will have lots of time to spend at the lake on on the trails.
This is the last third of the trails I've previously described in Twin Falls and Burnt Rock Falls. Suffice to say, this was the most adventurous part of the hike as well. As described in the opening paragraph you are required to crawl through a tunnel and scale along a mountain side. As a result this isn't a good trail for claustrophobic people. As on my return trip we experienced a bit of a back log at the tunnel, due to people coming in while we were leaving. I also noticed that having a taller backpack was a disadvantage in the tunnel, as it caused me to crawl and duck lower.
The truth is you won't need a larger bag in order to complete the trail. The recommended water supply would be around 3L per person. Though you gain in elevation, and at times it seems like a lot, it truly isn't much to be overexerting yourself on. As far as day hikes go this one is a bit more expert, however not to the point that it will take an experienced hiker by any means. So long as you come prepared to face a narrow tunnel and aren't afraid of heights you will be fine to hike the trail in the summer.
This waterfall is truly massive, and you will see it on your hike, always off in the distance as a guiding mark. You will start near the base of the waterfall, off far in the distance, and eventually you will be standing on top of Crypt Falls, looking down as it does, on the valley below.
Due to this hike actually being pretty popular I never managed to get much in terms of documenting done on my video. However I did manage to get most of the hike in, and made sure to give you a great view of the tunnel and mountain scaling. As I was tremendously excited to complete a hike that travels so many different spectrum in one short 8.6 Km duration, I'm very glad to say, the Crypt Lake Hike lived up to it's expectations on all accounts. I can't wait to make a return hike in the future.