My travelling colleague attempted to do the Crypt Lake Trail. We caught the boat taxi and went across Upper Waterton Lake to start the trail. It was tough - a very steep ascent throughout, over 1000m above sea level...we had reached 3/4 way up and we both decided to turn back and descend. We saw high waterfalls including 600 ft Crypt Falls and had great views of the rugged mountain terrain. I was glad to have reached so far but the steep ascent was a bit beyond me. The trek usually takes 6-8 hours but as we did not go up to the summit it took us 5 hours in total.
Equipment: You need hiking boots, appropriate clothing, suncream and plenty of water.
The Waterton Lakes Lodge has a fitness centre attached to it. Registered guests can use the facility free of charge. Non-guests can access the facilities for $6 CAD a day.
The fitness centre has an indoor salt water pool, hot tub, gym, spa, massage therapy clinic, showers and laundry.
Equipment: There is an open exercise floor in the gym as well as numerous pieces of exercise equipment.
Waterton Lakes National Park boasts 255 kilometers (191 miles) of trails - long and short - easy and difficult. One of those trails, to Crypt Lake, has been named the best hike in all of Canada. We didn't take that one because of time constraints, however, Karen and I did hike a total of about 9 miles of trails in the park and lamented the fact that we didn't have time, or energy, for more.
Our favorite hike, to Lower Bertha Falls, reminded us of a hike we once took along the rugged north coast of Kauai, Hawaii. Canada and Hawaii are vastly different ecosystems, but something about the way the trail slabs the mountain, with a wall of rock and vegetation on one side and a sheer drop to the sparkling blue water on the other, with very stiff winds, were common denominators.
For a listing of some of the most popular trails, along with their length and degree of difficulty, click the link below.
I didn't actually go golfing while in Waterton, but some friends did and they said it was a great golf course. Relaxed, friendly, and situated in the mountains, so the view was fantastic!
Equipment: You can rent clubs, carts, everything you need here.
This is a very popular hike, it departs from the Visitor Centre. However, be forewarned, it is straight uphill for an elevation gain of 200 m. It should take about 30-45mins to get to the top. You'll be huffing and puffing on the way, but the view at the end is well worth it.
You can see both Upper and Lower Waterton Lakes as well as the Prince of Wales Hotel. A photo of this view is on my Intro page. We also encountered many friendly ground squirrels, but please don't feed them.
This is a more challenging hike, you gain 500 m in elevation. It is also a very long hike (11.4 km return), plan to spend the whole day if you can. I couldn't, so I didn't actually make it up to Bertha Lake, but still passed some stunning scenery and Bertha Falls along the way.
This is a very easy walk that the entire family will enjoy. It is less than 1km and passes through some lovely pine forest, and alongside and over Red Rock Canyon. Even die hard hikers should check out the beautiful rock formations.....and they really are red!