Carthew-Alderson Trail - Waterton Lakes Park - Hiking Alberta

 

Carthew-Alderson is part of the triple crown in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada.

 

 

The Carthew-Alderson Trail is one of Waterton Lakes National Park's Triple Crown.  The world-class hike is listed in the 'My Waterton National Park Visitor Guide' as an 8 hour, 20.1 KM (12½ mile) one way trek with altitude gain of 650 m (2,132 ft) so, not a season opener. 

The hike is between the north end of Cameron Lake, at the end of the Akamina Parkway, and Cameron Falls in Waterton Village.  

Many people make a reservation with Tamarack Outdoor Outfitters, for a spot on the early morning shuttle bus, providing transportation to Cameron Lake at elevation of 1,660 m (5,446 ft).  Waterton Village is at an altitude of 1,280 m (4,200 ft).

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada Early morning sun on Cameron Lake in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

There are 32 hikers and a dog on the shuttle this day.  A short time will be allocated to relax at incredibly beautiful Cameron Lake to avoid the crowd on the trail.  The surface of the lake is steaming in the chill of the morning.  

Carthew-Alderson trail-head is east of the exhibits along a wide, paved path, between the park office/snack shop and the well-equipped boat rental facility, over a sturdy, wooden bridge crossing Cameron Creek and then to a right turn past trail-head signage onto excellent, flat, wide trail.  The trail is named Alderson-Carthew at both ends on each Parks Canada sign.  They should know.  More about this later.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada

Just past exhibits, boat rentals and the park office/snack shop, a bridge over Cameron Creek leads to the Carthew-Alderson trail-head.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada The Parks Canada trail-head sign for the Carthew-Alderson trailhead is named Alderson-Carthew.  More on this later.

 

A portion of the 400 m (¼ mile) trail south, along the east side of Cameron Lake, is partially on wide boardwalk, before an abrupt left turn onto consistent and reasonably graded switchbacks for the ascent through dense forest with occasional glimpses of Cameron Lake below.  The forest is lush, green and cool in the morning as surface shrubbery shares saturated space with old-growth, sub-alpine fir trees.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada A wide boardwalk traverses marshland along the east shore of Cameron Lake and leads to switchbacks.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada

 

There is the constant sound of running water as tiny creeks run under, and occasionally over, the trail, feeding the lush, dense and aromatic forest.  Frequently at trail-side, an alcove resembling a sanctuary for offerings hosts a tiny, trickling waterfall over rocks surrounded by greenery.  Each is unique, beautiful and visually/audibly captivating.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada Tiny alcoves at trail side host waterfalls and resemble places of offerings. Exquisite!

 

The long, sweeping switchbacks through dense forest eventually transition to relatively flat trail in more open forest and meadow.  Easy hiking through copious wildflowers and hints of mountain vista lead to the trail junction at pristine Summit Lake, 4.3 KM (2¾ miles) from the trail-head at Cameron Lake

This hike will continue straight through for a short distance on the Summit Trail to another unique view of delicate Summit Lake.  Curiosity drives the hike a short distance further east towards Boundary Trail, which culminates at Boundary Bay on Upper Waterton Lake in the United States

The reward is an amazing view of Lake Wurdeman nestled below the steep and formidable cliffs of 2,867 m (9,406 ft) Chapman Peak in Glacier National Park, Montana.  Multiple waterfalls drop thousands of feet and soon the hike arrives at an acoustic sweet spot featuring the roar of thousands of tons of falling water amplified by surrounding mountain walls and reverberating toward this special location. 

The main challenging hike demands a return from this short diversion to the Summit Lake junction for the continuation of the Carthew-Alderson hike.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada Summit Lake from the trail junction - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada Summit Lake from Summit Trail - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada Lake Wurdeman, at the bottom of the sheer cliffs of Chapman Peak in Glacier National Park, Montana. Photo taken from the Summit Trail.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada The Carthew-Alderson Trail turns left. The Summit Trail continues straight past Summit Lake.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada

 

The Carthew-Alderson trail gains elevation consistently through forest on good, and periodically, rocky trail.  There are edgy sections with a view to the valley below on the right.  Within a kilometer (⅝ miles), views of the trail ahead, along the slope beneath 2,630 m (8,629 ft) Mount Carthew, begin to open up.  The trail ahead is below a ridge joining the summit of Mount Carthew with an outlying high point called Carthew Summit at an altitude of 2,311 m (7,582 ft). 

Carthew Summit will be the maximum elevation achieved on the Carthew-Alderson hike.  The initial views of the scree based trail are both intimidating and awe-inspiring.  The anticipation of spectacular mountain views is overwhelming.  This section of the route is going to be one impressive event.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada The Carthew-Alderson trail above Summit Lake transitions from forest to a view of the sweeping trail beneath Mount Carthew. Wow!

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada Mountain views open up and progressively develop to my right. Awesome!

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada Wildflowers border the trail leading to Carthew Summit.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada The first lunch spot.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada A small portion of the view from the lunch spot.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada A switchback on the scree slope leading to the ridge top for access to Carthew Summit.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada The view from the top of the ridge to the lakes and glaciated surrounding mountains in the bowl to the southwest.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada The view to the east from the top of the ridge before a ridge top hike to Carthew Summit south of current position.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada Carthew Summit directly ahead at an altitude of 2,311 m (7,582 ft). Farther than it initially appears.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada The view west from the top of the ridge on the final approach to Carthew Summit in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada The final approach to Carthew Summit in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada The view west from the top of Carthew Summit.

 

There are a few people resting on the dual pinnacles at the top of Carthew Summit.  To capture the all around view, two short videos are taken.  The first is south, to predominantly west, and ending to the north towards Mount Carthew's summit.

 


Click here to view the video of the view West from Carthew Summit.


 

The second video requires a minor change of location for a sweep from north, to east, to south.  It is the best that can be done under the crowded circumstances while standing on an exposed and relatively small piece of real estate.

 


Click here to view the video of the East view from Carthew Summit.  It is windy.


 

On the retreat from Carthew Summit, there is an opportunity to conceal a summit stone in a crevice close to trail-side for another wanderer to discover and potentially appreciate.

From Carthew Summit the hike returns north on the ridge top towards the summit of Mount Carthew.  Massive vistas on either side provide starkly different and spectacular views while a slight breeze takes the edge off the hot, humid day.  More people are justifiably loitering in this area, perhaps to rest, but more likely to absorb the incredible ambiance. 

The hike continues on the ridge top past the main trail descent to admire the tenacity of unique and beautiful plant life, struggling to survive in the arid, windswept, scree terrain.  Some of these fragile plants may require more than twenty, brief, growing seasons to issue first bloom.  Where feet land is closely monitored.  They will never touch a plant in this incredibly challenging terrain. 

The chain of Carthew Lakes begins to peek through the valley to the right (east).  On the approach to the summit of Mount Carthew, the trail branches right and descends the slope steeply as Carthew Lakes begin to command full view.  Wow!

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada Trail across the ridge top from Carthew Summit towards the true summit of Mount Carthew in the far distance.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada The valley to the right contains the route to Waterton Village.  Carthew Lakes begin to peek through the view at the 'V'.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada The view of Carthew Lakes from the top of Carthew Ridge past the main trail. Vibrant,unique plant life occupies surrounding desert-like terrain. This is a spectacular, full-vision experience.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada

 

The hike continues down a steep scree, alternative trail to rejoin the main trail.  Carthew Lakes stretch out directly ahead.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada Remaining snow fields may not completely dissipate prior to new snow arrival. Carthew Lakes are adorned with abundant fields of wildflowers.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada At the edge of the steep bank of the west wall of Upper Carthew Lake, the trail turns sharply left.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada Hiking around the lake edge, a massive snow plain consumes vision to the left and the snow field just below the top of the ridge is clearly visible.

 

At the northwest corner of Upper Carthew Lake, a very brief and easy scramble traverses a rocky, cascading waterfall where melt, from the large snow field above, drains under and through a snow bridge into the lake.  The curl right to the southwest shore is achieved on tenuous footing over another snow field which leads to a wildflower emblazoned trail, at the edge of the shoreline, all the way around to the north shore, where the trail enters a brief section of low forest hosting the rise over rock to open ground before dropping on steeper trail to a magnificent, pristine waterfall.  It is here water bottles will be reloaded using the Katadyne filter.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada The snow field below as the hike proceeds above the southwest end of Upper Carthew Lake.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada The other side of traversing water rushing through a crevice, from melt above, and under the snow bridge into Upper Carthew Lake.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada Hiking descent trail to cross the snow field at the southwest corner of Upper Carthew Lake.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada Looking back at the fields of snow just traversed at the southwest end of Upper Carthew Lake.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada Wildflowers along the trail at the shoreline of Upper Carthew Lake.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada The view of the stream and rapids which cascade from the outlet of Upper Carthew Lake into Lower Carthew Lake.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada The view from the rock outcropping at the end of Upper Carthew Lake, looking over Lower Carthew Lake and the tops of mountains beyond.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada Trail along the stream and twisting back and forth, then over the edge on the descent to Lower Carthew Lake.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada A spectacular waterfall in the stream between Upper and Lower Carthew Lakes.  Notice the crystal-clear clarity of the water.

 

The trail approaches Lower Carthew Lake at only one short section which is not particularly photogenic due to close proximity.  Lower Carthew Lake altitude is 2,160 m (7,087 ft).  The trail past the lower lake passes delicate waterfalls cascading through broken rock before beginning an impressive, edgy and steep descent on rugged trail beneath massive snow fields clinging to the upper walls of 2,409 m (7,903 ft) Buchanan Peak

Surrounding mountains define the borders of the impressive bowl.  The view, as the hike proceeds over a wide variety of terrain, is breathtaking.  Several off-trail opportunities are taken for photographs.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada Water falls through broken rock from the outlet of Lower Carthew Lake.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada Rugged trail descents on steep, edgy terrain beneath fields of snow clinging to the upper slopes of Buchanan Peak.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada

 

The trail winds it way down into the impressive bowl as surrounding mountains gain increasing presence.  To the right, a tall waterfall tumbles down a steep rock face, fed by water from Carthew Lakes, now far above and behind. 

A steep scree descent on switchbacks presents new views of Alderson Lake below and an off trail jaunt is executed, for better angle of the tiers of waterfalls leading from Carthew Lakes above into pristine, mesmerizing and emerald Alderson Lake, now a short hike through forest below.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada The trail drops into lush forest leading to Alderson Lake.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada There are offtrail photo opportunities as scree trail leads to the void containing Alderson Lake.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada A view back to the snow fields on the steep walls of Buchanan Peak.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada Cascading waterfalls from Carthew Lakes far above deliver water to Alderson Lake below.

 

Alderson Lake appears below at the bottom of the bowl.  The emerald lake is mountain bound by the steep cliffs of 2,692 m (8,832 ft) Mount Alderson.  The camera lens is not wide enough to take in the entire scene.  Standing here for a bit and taking in this incredible view is recommended.  The lake is overwhelmingly beautiful. 

The emerald color of shallow water in Alderson Lake is complemented by the vibrant royal blue of deep sections.  The lake is stocked with fish and Alderson Lake Campground rests on the north shore, a 6.5 KM (4⅛ mile) hike from Waterton Village.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada Alderson Lake appears in the distance.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada Steep scree descents lead to forest access into Alderson Lake below.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada A photograph, taken off trail, directly above Alderson Lake in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada An offtrail photo looking back at the incredible path travelled between Carthew Lakes and Alderson Lake.

 

From the open, rock landscape of the bowl, the hike plunges into descent through dense forest for arrival at the trail junction to Alderson Lake Campground.  It is only 300 m (¼ miles) into the wilderness campground and curiosity wins the debate over tiring feet and it is time for refreshment anyway.  Entry to the campground is greeted by an excellent outhouse.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada The trail junction on the Carthew-Alderson Trail which branches to the Alderson Lake Campground.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada The excellent Alderson Lake Campground pit toilet is at the entry to the wilderness campground.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada A typical tent pad at well-maintained Alderson Lake Campground

 

Tent pads are well maintained and one is chosen to enjoy nourishment.  Nutrition, for this long day hike, on a hot day, comes primarily from  in the form of Electrolyte and Chomps, Honey Stinger Bars, Clif Bars and Boost.  These products make it easy to carry a lot of nutrition in a small space without risk from spoilage or contamination.  From past experience hiking in the desert, this works well.  It is a short walk to the beauty of Alderson Lake where water is replenished and mixed up with electrolyte using Nuun tablets for the final stage of the hike.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada The shoreline at Alderson Lake near Alderson Lake Campground.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada A view from the shore of Alderson Lake to territory navigated to arrive at this beautiful place.

 

After a satisfying rest, meal and water replenishment at Alderson Lake, the hike continues the short distance back to the Carthew-Alderson trail junction to begin the final 6.5 KM (4⅛ mile) trek to official trail ending at Cameron Falls in Waterton Village

This final section is predominantly on excellent trail through forest on a gradual decline with an occasional switchback to buffer the steeper descents.  The forest opens up into small meadows periodically to provide outstanding views of surrounding mountains.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada Typical trail between Alderson Lake and Cameron Falls. Stepping stones provide surface in wet conditions.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada Looking back at Mount Alderson when forest opens briefly into wildflower meadow.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada On the approach the Akamina Parkway on the opposite side of the valley, meadow breaks in forest trail provide spectacular views of mountains on the far side.

 

There are large and fascinating features along the trail.  The view, first of the Akamina Parkway on the opposite side of the deep valley, and then of Vimy Peak rising above Waterton Lake is a welcome sight that signifies nearing the end of the trail, and the end of a long, spectacular hiking day.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada Deep draws give evidence to powerful spring runoff, now reduced to conservative summer water flow.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada Trail maintenance crews fortify sections of trail on steep drops along the mountain side.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada There is a large log here, at trail side, to sit and absorb the amazing view of Vimy Peak behind Waterton Lakes and Waterton Village.

 

The fenced section of trail, above rushing Cameron Creek below, reveals the concrete remains of retaining walls, lumber guards and derelict, concrete structures with large rusty hatches which were once used to provide Waterton Village with their water supply. 

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada Approaching the end of trail, a fence reduces the risk of falling over the steep edge into Cameron Creek below.

 

The hike ends officially at Cameron Falls.  There is another kilometer (⅝ mile) to hike to the Bear Mountain Motel which coincidentally is adjacent to Tamarack Outdoor Outfitters where this Carthew-Alderson experience began nearly 10 hours earlier.  The shower looks good and the ginger-glazed salmon steak dinner at Zum's Eatery looks better.  Tired.  Straight to bed.  Exciting plans for tomorrow.

 

Carthew-Alderson - Waterton Lakes National Park - Alberta, Canada Infamous Cameron Falls on the west side of Waterton Village in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada.

 

The official, and correct name, of the hike is arguably the Alderson-Carthew Trail.  There is evidence the one-way hike is called Carthew-Alderson when executed from Cameron Lake to Cameron Falls, and Alderson-Carthew when the one-way hike is done from Cameron Falls in Waterton Village to completion at Cameron Lake

Parks Canada calls it Alderson-CarthewGem Trek Maps names it Carthew-Alderson.  Hiking guides do not agree.  There seems to be great confusion.  The only important measurement is the nature of the amazing hike.  Elevation statistics differ between reference sources and this could be attributed to variance between net and gross elevation. 

If you draw a large check mark (√) on a piece of paper, then rotate the paper 180 degrees so the check mark is upside down, it will be similar to the profile of the Carthew-Alderson hike where the short stroke represents the steeper profile of the Cameron Lake to Carthew Summit ascent component, and the longer stroke of the check mark represents the more gentle descent from Carthew Summit to Cameron Falls

Altitudes are as follows: Cameron Lake - 1,660 m (5,446 ft)  Carthew Summit - 2,311 m (7,582 ft) Waterton Village - 1,280 m ( 4,200 ft), so net elevation gain is 651 m (2,136 ft) and net elevation loss is 1,031 m (3,382 ft).  

Net elevation is nearly the same as gross elevation.  The trail is predominantly all up, or all down, with little variance.  Estimated gross elevation is no greater than 2% of net.  The hike profile would indicate the ascent from Cameron Falls would be longer, larger and more gentle, with a steeper and shorter descent to Cameron Lake, so the easiest way to do the hike may be from Cameron Lake to Cameron Waterfall in Waterton Village.

Whatever way you look at it, the Carthew-Alderson hike is one spectacular experience.  This hike can be added to Crypt Lake which leaves only one hike remaining to complete the Triple Crown.  Not all local residents agree on the three hikes which make up the Waterton Lakes National Park Triple Crown.  At least one, very knowledgeable person suggests Lineham Ridge is a more than worthy candidate.  This will soon be discovered.

The Alderson-Carthew Trail is a world class hike and one of the Triple Crown in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada.

 

 

 

 

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Comments

Just hiked the Carthew-Alderson Trail for the 3rd. time. Each time is better than the last. Your pictures are beautiful and I loved reading your commentary on the hike, brings back great memories.

Carthew-Alderson is a full day hike worth the time and effort. It is one of the Waterton Lakes Triple Crown. None of them are cake walks. A wide range of hikers participate and the factor which determines fitness and experience is usually measured by the number of days required to recover. I have checked out your website and I was impressed on a number of fronts. I have no expertise in your area whatsoever, and our focus is quite different, but I know several people who would enjoy your content and I would like them to have that opportunity. I see and photograph a lot of incredible plants growing at higher altitudes and I have always been in awe of their ability to survive, let alone bloom. I simply enjoy their beauty. I have no idea what they are called.

Wow! What an amazing experience! I've been to Waterton a few times but have never hiked this trail (it's a tad above my ability!). Such gorgeous scenery, beautifully captured.

That is excellent. Best wishes. Enjoy! Stay safe. There is far more to experience than I could put in my post. You and John are in for a real treat. I wish you fair weather and I look forward to your blog post. Thanks for your comment, Leigh. You are embarking on one of those hikes which will become lifetime memorable. If you are considering Crypt Lake and Carthew-Alderson within a three day stretch, you may want to consider a casual day in the middle. Each is fairly physically aggressive, by my standards. Personally, I decided to stretch the Triple Crown over three separate visits so I could appreciate each experience fully and had a reason to go back. Only one left now - Altamira Ridge, which I scoped out on the Wall Lake, Forum Lake hikes.

I am planning to hike this trail next weekend - as John and I finally get our chance for three days of hiking in Waterton. I did not know about the shuttle so I'm booking that right now. I so look forward to this hike.

It is a full day hike, worthy of the effort. Overall, with several off trail endeavors, I would estimate I hiked around 25 KM and consumed nearly 10 hours. I have heard it can be done in 6 hours. I am sure there are trail runners who can do it in less than four but, from my perspective, the hike deserves to be appreciated. Take the time to sit, relax, dine and absorb the incredible surrounding beauty. The sight, sound and smell create an outstanding experience. It can be split into two days with an overnight at Alderson Lake Campground with extra gear. The forest section from Alderson Lake, back to Waterton Village, was beginning to get a bit tedious for me but it was towards the end of the day and I was looking forward to getting off my feet. Yes, Bill, I would highly recommend this hiking experience. For me, it was an excellent hike. I hope you have the opportunity to get it done. Thank you for your comment.

Very awe inspiring hike. The amount of visual stimulation you present is overwhelming. I find it very interesting how the upper landscape can look so arid with snow present. This will definitely be on the hit list when we have the oppotunity to return to Waterton. Beautiful pictures and vivid detail to your hike are greatly appreciated. I feel like hopping on a plane right now to get over there. Unfortunately, work gets in the way. It is good to know the mountains are not going anywhere. Another day, we will be there.

To be honest, my expectations for the hike were high and my expectations were exceeded. The photographs cannot do justice to this hike. The expansive sweeping views are complemented by the aromas of forest and flowers, the sound of flowing and falling water and the calls of birds and wildlife. It is truly one of the great memorable experiences of my life. It is a moderate hike, mainly due to length and variety of terrain. Preparing this post was a challenge. With more than two hundred photographs to choose from, many great pictures landed on the cutting room floor to make way for less inspiring shots which help tell the story. For several decades, Waterton Lakes National Park in the southwest corner of Alberta has been one of my very favorite National Parks. Another is Yoho. The Carthew-Alderson Trail has only enhanced my opinion. Each year I return, the park is a little busier. Reservations should be made several months in advance. This magnificent park contains spectacular trails and features. Its close proximity to Glacier National Park in Montana, with connecting roads, is entertaining more visitors who wish to experience the diversity of this International Peace Park. Thank you for your comment, Helen. One day I hope I will be able to visit National Parks in Australia. For many decades I have wanted to visit Ayers Rock. Always good to hear from you. Thanks for staying in touch.

Wow! Wow! Wow! This hike is amazing. Clear skies, unbelievable panoramas, awe inspiring geology (loved the angle of the rock in the waterfall) wildflowers etc. I'd had a wonderful day in one of our National Parks yesterday and came home on a high but Australia just can't compete with the majesty of the Rockies. So glad I discovered your blog.

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