We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

long Carthew loop

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
263 posts
long Carthew loop

I am wondering if someone has done this loop (I know, it a long loop): start at Waterton doing the Carthew Alderson trail going west, at Summit Lake go south and connect with West Boundary Creek trail and go East (I read its mostly a walk in the woods), hit Waterton Lake and go North until the end of the loop.

8 replies to this topic
Waterton Lakes...
Level Contributor
83 posts
652 reviews
1. Re: long Carthew loop

Hi Carlos,

Yes, I have done the walk you are describing. For most, I wouldn't recommend such an adventure... unless you are in very good shape, looking to acquire some serious bragging rights, or are simply looking for a long, tough day of exercise.

Going from Waterton townsite UP the Carthew-Alderson trail will be tough slog. Personally, I don't care much for the section of trail from town to Alderson Lake. It's a long, steady, uphill push, with limited views. I don't feel that you really gain anything by hiking this section of trail. The trail from Cameron Lake to Summit Lake is far better in terms of views. That particular stretch of trail also offers better variability. Then, from Summit, you can pick up the Mother Duck Trail (aka. Boundary Trail) and follow it to the west shore of Upper Waterton Lake - Boundary Bay. This section of trail offers a net elevation loss and offers some very pretty views of Lake Nooney, Lake Wurdeman, Carcajou Lake and Wahseeja Lake.

Once you hit Boundary Bay, you're on the home-strech. Just make sure to leave a little gas in the tank (so to speak), for the final uphill climb from Bertha Bay to the Bertha trail overlook, which is about 1.5km (.95 mi) south of the Waterton townsite.

Please don't hesitate to ask, if you have any other questions!

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
263 posts
2. Re: long Carthew loop

thanks for the info !!

I am an experienced day hiker and I have already some some long hikes in the Glacier NP area, so this time I am doing some ,long hikes on GNP and I have one day allocated for Waterton (I will return in the future for more) and this is one of the hikes that is on my potential list.

I have read on other sites that since this trail crosses the border i need to arrange for border crossing beforehand. I am assuming that if I came from the US and crossed the regular border that is all I need, correct ? I havent read that the border crossings at Boundary Trail are manned anyway.

Waterton Lakes...
Level Contributor
83 posts
652 reviews
3. Re: long Carthew loop

You are correct: there is no manned boarder crossing on the Boundary Trail. The best thing to do would be to call CBSA, once you arrive back in the Waterton townsite. The phone number for Chief Mountain Border Crossing (which is responsible for entries into Canada via Waterton townsite) is: 403-653-3535. Just call in, let them know what trail you did and that you're back in Canada - you will probably required to provide a passport number.

Enjoy the trails! :)

Las Vegas, Nevada
2 posts
4. Re: long Carthew loop

Hi Keith, do you know if the Boundary Trail will be at all open this summer? I know the Akamina Parkway will most likely be closed due to repairs from the fire. And most likely, we wont be able to go to Cameron Lake but I was hoping to hike the Boundary trail from the Lakeshore trail in late June this coming summer 2018. I realize you probably don thave a guaranteed answer to this but just wondering what your thoughts might be. I have tried getting an answer from the park and they really cant say for sure one way or the other, Thanks in advance.

Waterton Lakes...
Level Contributor
83 posts
652 reviews
5. Re: long Carthew loop

Unfortunately, I haven't heard anything official from Parks Canada yet, either...

If/when Parks Canada starts to offer a timeline, I'll be sure to share!

canada
Level Contributor
342 posts
24 reviews
6. Re: long Carthew loop

Hello, I received an email from the Waterton rep in Parks Canada and she tells me that both Akamina and Red Rock parkways will be closed for the 2018 season. Also,the Bears Hump trail/lookout will be closed for 2 years for repairs.

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Canadian Rockies
Level Contributor
8,262 posts
4 reviews
7. Re: long Carthew loop

If you're starting and ending in Canada, I don't think you actually need to let CBSA know that you left and returned. Nor do you need to let US CBP know you entered the US briefly. Same as if you walked part way along the lakeshore trail past the US border, but not all the way to Goat Haunt. Just carry your US passport in case you do happen to meet border officials.

The only reason you would need to contact either CBSA or US CBP is if you went one way across the border. If you ended in the US, you'd need to let them know and then you'd cross back via a regular crossing into Canada. For ending in Canada, you'd have to contact CBSA and then normal entry back into the US.

Hudson, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
1,093 posts
74 reviews
8. Re: long Carthew loop

FWIMC,

I just called Waterton Lakes NP myself and was told by a park ranger that Red Rock Parkway and Akamina Parkway will indeed be closed for all of 2018. All trails that exist in these areas will also be closed, including the famous Carthew-Alderson trail in its entirety, so you will be unable to do your planned hike in 2018. The Bears Hump trail will also be closed for 2 years for major repairs. You can contact the park for more information.

Edited: 10 April 2018, 18:08
Reply to: long Carthew loop
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted
Get answers to your questions about Waterton Lakes...