Length: 8.5 km
Waterfall hunters with a half-day to spare should tackle the Lineham Falls trail, accessed via the Akamina Parkway trailhead, about 10 km from Waterton townsite. The route offers views of Mount Custer, Akamina Ridge, Mount Lineham and the park’s tallest peak, Mount Blakiston. A well-marked path winds through fir, lodgepole pine and aspen trees before opening up to alpine meadow and the spectacular falls itself, surrounded by grandiose cliff-faces. For an up-close photo op, you’ll have to trek past the “official” trail terminus for a challenging half-kilometre. Total elevation gain is 350 metres; return the way you came in.
Length: 18 km
Part of Waterton Lakes National Park’s “Triple Crown,” Alderson-Carthew is a sweat-soaked one-way route that takes intrepid day-hikers through barren alpine environments, dense evergreens and rocky crags — with lake and mountain panoramas throughout. Two cars or a shuttle service is required; hikers start at the Cameron Lake trailhead and finish back at the townsite. The trail begins as switchbacks through conifers, emerging into alpine meadow then topping out on rugged Carthew Ridge. Have lunch atop Carthew Lakes, at 2,300 metres in elevation, and then start the 10 km downhill trek back to town. (Shuttle service is $13.50; departs at 8:30 a.m.)
Length: 32 km
This is the premier multi-day hike in Waterton — it's particularly popular in autumn, as the Tamarack tree, otherwise known as the larch, is in full-fall blaze during that time and is abundant throughout the route. To access, take the Tamarack Hikers Shuttle to the Red Rock Canyon trailhead; the route is one-way. From the trailhead, this route takes you through vibrant larch trees and evergreens, over sprawling alpine meadows, through rockbound peaks — this is Waterton’s highest-elevation trail — and back to the townsite. There are three campsites along the route; backcountry permits are required ($9.80 per person).
* Check “Important Bulletins” at pc.gc.ca/waterton for today’s information.