Bear's Hump overlooks Waterton Village and Lakes in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta.
Mount Crandell was originally called Bear Medicine Mountain by the Blackfoot Pikuni tribe. Bear's Hump is a prominent feature, resembling the hump on the back of a Grizzly Bear, which looms over Waterton Village on the southwest face of 2,738 m (7,802 ft) Mount Crandell.
This moderately strenuous, short hike to the overlook at the top of Bear's Hump is a round trip of 2.8 KM (1⅞ miles) and an elevation gain of 225 m (738 ft) to a maximum elevation of 1,525 m (5,000 ft) on a sustained, fairly steep ascent over predominantly rocky trail supplemented by short switchbacks and large, wooden beam steps.
This hike is the first activity of the day. Bear's Hump is arguably the most populated hike in Waterton Lakes National Park and an early start may avoid the crowds. There is no-one else on the trail and cool air is well-balanced by physical exertion and the yellow-orange glow of the rising sun.
The decision to hike very early provides the opportunity to look forward to a well-earned and hearty breakfast. Within less than an hour arrival at the top of Bear's Hump reveals the incredible surrounding views.
From the uppermost point of the rock outcropping, there is a phenomenal view over the top of the Prince of Wales Hotel above Emerald Bay and the narrows separating Upper Waterton Lake from Middle Waterton Lake.
Tiny Linnet Lake peeks out near the boat launch area on Middle Waterton Lake as the rising sun creates an ethereal glow through morning mist. The obligatory photos of triumph are taken from the top of Bear's Hump.
Vistas from the edge of the Bear's Hump cliff face are awe-inspiring and enhanced by early morning sun. Time is taken to thoroughly enjoy the experience.
The return hike from Bear's Hump begins on the same route used for ascent.
On departure from Bear's Hump, a couple with their dog take our place and on the way down less than a dozen people are hiking to the top. By noon the trail will be very busy in both directions. Bear's Hump overlook will be crowded throughout the afternoon and evening in spite of the heat on the rock.
A relaxed and excellent breakfast at Zum's Eatery on Waterton Avenue is thoroughly enjoyable before driving to Cameron Lake at the end of the Akamina Parkway, otherwise known as Cameron Lake Road.