Waterton Lakes National Park
Hiking Waterton Lakes National Park
The Carthew Pass Trail in Waterton National Park is all about spectacular mountain scenery. There are majestic lakes, glacier views, waterfalls and wildflowers in season. It is a moderately difficult hike overall from the start at Cameron Lake to the finish at Waterton Village.
Hike to the summit at Cathew Pass (7800 ft-2377 m). The wind swept pass overlooks the stunning Carthew Lakes. A gradual descent meanders past Alderson Lake with a finish through forest and a steep gorge with the dramatic Cameron Waterfall. Yes, Carthew Pass trail has it all!
It is an 11.8 mile (19 km) trail that gains 2,135 ft and drops 3,330 ft! It could easily take 8 hours to complete and it does require a shuttle. The finish point at Waterton Village is, however, a convenient place to hire a shuttle service if needed.
The trail ascends through open forest. After a marked junction where Carthew Pass is to the left, more climbing continues until the forest thins and the real views begin.
The hike follows the contours of a stunning basin.
There are glacial and lake views behind as you ascend.
Each step augments the views as the trail circles round this beautiful basin.
Carthew Pass itself is mostly barren.
It can be extremely windy, but we lucked out with a picture perfect blue sky day.
The views fan out in all directions.
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