If you’re going to do one hike in Waterton Lakes, make it the Crypt Lake Trail. It’s a full-day trek past towering waterfalls and through a skinny natural tunnel to one of the prettiest alpine lakes imaginable.
For the past four summers, Kristopher Orr has been a bartender at the Prince of Wales Hotel in Waterton Lakes National Park. He's also a professional photographer. Kristopher grew up in the Waterton area. Last summer, his mom joined him for a hike on the classic Crypt Lake Trail, which has been voted Canada's best hike.
Usually, hikers get to the trailhead via a 15-minute boat ride across Upper Waterton Lake. It's a full-day hike that covers 17.2 km return. Expect it to take 6 to 8 hours. Full trailhead details are below.
Here, Kristopher shares some photos from the hike:
Time: 6-8 Hours
Distance: 17.2 km (10.7 miles) round-trip.
Elevation: 675 meters (2,214 ft)
Access: Trailhead is at Crypt Landing on the east side of Upper Waterton Lake. Most hikers take a 15-minute boat ride across Upper Waterton Lake to access the trailhead. Boats depart starting at 8:30 AM in the summer and the pickup at Crypt Landing is at 4 PM and 5:30 PM. Hikers should book their tickets ahead of time to ensure availability.
About the photographer: Kristopher Orr is a full-time photographer who has spent many years divided between Waterton Lakes National Park, where he worked as a bartender in the iconic Prince of Wales Hotel, and Europe. During the summer he can be found hiking in the surrounding mountains. During his winters, he's off somewhere (usually Paris) shooting fashion and eating good food. Follow him on Instagram at @kristopherorr.