Carthew-Alderson Trail (Waterton)

26 July 2015

Possibly the best trail ever.  Ben Gadd recommended this one to me for its ancient rocks and vibrant colours.

It begins with a shuttle bus ride provided by Tamarack Outdoor Outfitters in town which takes you along the Akamina Parkway to Cameron Lake (10/10). Then you enter the fern encrusted forest for a long switchback slog leading you to meadows laden with boggy wildflowers on your way to Summit lake.  Summit Lake is a gem as you gaze towards the peaks of Montana’s Glacier National Park.

Today was a hot one, 33 degrees C down at the Waterton Lakes, and high twenties where we were.  Summit lake is a great place to cool off before the ascent to Carthew summit and the ridge.

The views that unfold are impossible to describe.  Ones mind expands with each step to heights unknown and the panorama south into Montana is branded into your memory when ever you think of the high rockies or of true peace and wonder.  Aka mina Ridge is off in the distant and the hulking giants of As you turn around, Chief Mountain observes from silent eastern corner while the vastness of the prairies echoes to the horizon.  Take time up on the ridge and savour this experience as it encapsulates all the brings one to the mountains.

The decent from the ridge brings you through a radiant red alpine of a billion year old ancient sea bed (argillite) to the three Paternoster Carthew Lakes connected with streams and waterfalls where we saw Cutthroat Trout Spawning in the stream between Upper and Middle Carthew Lakes.  50 fish or more!

The descent continues past the azul Alderson Lake and campsite and down the endless trail of ubiquitous greenery to the Waterton Townsite, Cameron Falls and our parked car at Tamarack Outdoor Outfitters.

Pictures can’t do this justice, go experience this for yourself.

.gpx track of the Carthew-Alderson Trail for your GPS device (download here)

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