This trail in Waterton Lakes National Park is the most popular short hike in probably all of the mountain parks. It's also the steepest, climbing 240m in just over 1km. The trail swithbacks up Mount Crandell to a prominent outcropping reminiscent of the grizzly's hump. The views of the Prince of Wales hotel, the townsite and down the length of Waterton Lake are spectacular. It is usually windy on the hump, so dress accordingly. Keep small children away from the edge and don't allow them to throw rocks over the edge - climbers sometimes like to scale the face.
If you're one who likes to count switchbacks to know how close you're getting to the end - there's 18!!! Some are very close together but that's how steep it is. Just take your time and you'll get there.
Return the same way.
In winter please check the local avalanche conditions.
The trailhead is at the Visitor's Centre in Waterton Lakes National Park.
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Posted By: ChrisMarry
- Mon Jul 01 19:37:23 EDT 2013
UpsideVery short hike, well maintained path, supber view of Waterton Village and lakes!
DownsideToo many people.
CommentIf you don't have lots of time during your visit in Waterton, that's the trail you have to do for sure. View is superb, trailhead easy to find at the entrance of Waterton Village. We did it in 20 minutes up on a great pace. We wanted more challenge so we scrambled on the way up to Mount Crandell for 1 more km, approx 300 m more elevation. We stopped where the peak was too challenging and even dangerous to scramble without proper equipment.
Posted By: FarmBoyHuron
- Thu Jun 06 22:26:31 EDT 2013
UpsideShort quick hike, great view from the top.
DownsideI did this trail mid may and on a weekday, it wasn't very busy, but I could see that tourists stoping at the front gate could think that it is only an easy hike.
CommentI am 13 and did this trail 1 way in 15-20 min. When the trail ends at the hump I went up prodaly another 1/2 km no problem. Would have liked to go farther and probaly could have. The rating as diffuclut is understandable, as I could see that some one like my parents (around 50) could probaly find this rather difucult. I would personally say this was a easy hike, but than again I'm 13 and very athletic.
Posted By: Inaccurately
- Tue Jul 24 16:11:37 EDT 2012
CommentThis would only be considered an easy hike if you were in amazing physical condition. The entire hike crams 200m of elevation gain into 1.2km. It is a series of constant, steep switchbacks.
In my opinion - it's worth the short hike for the amazing view.
Posted By: lgblack
- Wed Nov 24 18:55:22 EST 2010
UpsideAmazing views from the top. Well maintained trail.
DownsideSteep, challenging, but very safe. No special equipment required. This was our very first hike, but as we started working out regularly in Jan 2010, our bodies were up to the challenge (ages 51 & 57)
CommentTalk about a windy location in Alberta! Thought it was windy enough that day (80 km/hr), Nov 11, by Prince of Wales. Glad the wind first a.m. next day was not as bad when we went to the top of Bear's Hump! But I was still not going to STAND on the hump and risk the wind. I bellied up to the edge to take my pictures!!!
Posted By: toughcreek
- Tue Jun 16 16:21:41 EDT 2009
UpsideGreat view of Waterton Lakes and the townsite.
DownsideToo popular to the tourists due to easy access and publicity (trailhead at the information bureau).
CommentI've probably done more ascents of Bear's Hump than any other hike in Waterton. It is not, however, the easiest hike in Waterton. If you are looking for a shorter leisurely stroll, some good options would be Linnet Lake below the Prince of Whales hotel or Blackiston Falls (1 km) starting from Red Rock. Bertha Falls would also fit into this category although it is a little longer at 2.6 km, and it has more varied terrain.
Posted By: bfcoffey
- Fri Jul 20 12:15:48 EDT 2007
CommentEditor's Comments - I believe that the original poster rated this trail as difficult because for many people it is. Others will fly up the trail. I'm 60 years old and I, too, do it in 20 minutes but I hike Waterton all the time and I don't consider it easy. However, my kids would. A lot of tourists stop at the visitor centre and see a short trail right there and away they go. Many have never hiked at all. It's really amazing what you see on that trail some days. And it's also quite likely that some of theos people will never see another trail. It's those people who need some idea of what they're getting themselves into.
Posted By: kbalaz
- Wed Jul 18 21:25:09 EDT 2007
UpsideIts dry early in the season and a good way to kill 20 minutes. Great for a first hike or beginners.
Downsidepretty easy and uneventful.
CommentDefinately the easiest hike in waterton. It is great as a little warm up, or if you finish doing a good hike and have time, walk up the hump to have a picnic overlooking the townsite. Not sure why the other poster rated it as a difficult, it really is very easy.