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6 to 8 hours / 20.5K return

Elevation Gain

1025m loss


Trailhead: Located in Waterton National Park. This is a classic shuttle hike that can be completed from either direction. Cameron Lake to Cameron Falls. Cameron Falls trail head is located at the Waterton Towne site. Alderson Carthew hike is part of the Great Divide Trail.


Description: Alderson Carthew is considered the best one way shuttle hike in the Canadian Rockies. Certainly one of the best hikes in Waterton National Park. By using a local shuttle bus it will allow you to hike the entire route in one day. Starting at Cameron lake the elevation gain is 650m with a total loss of 1025m, allow 6 to 8 hours one way. Catch a bus, or shuttle a car from the Waterton Town site to Cameron lake, approximately 16km.

Locate the Alderson Carthew summit trailhead near the Cameron lake parking lot. Work your way up past summit lake towards Carthew summit ridge. Beware that the weather, especially the wind on Carthew ridge is in a constant state of change and can be severe. Carrying proper outer wear and lots of water is a must. Once you reach Carthew ridge, you’ll see a lookout located a short distance to your right.

Views towards Glacier National park located in the US and the surrounding valleys are absolutely stunning. While enjoying the views from the lookout you can take comfort in knowing the remaining 12km’s is all down hill. Head back to the main trail and continue north along the ridge as it leads down towards Carthew and Alderson lakes. Keep your eyes out for Big Horn Sheep that may be staring back at you from the talus slopes above.

Alderson Carthew lakes offer good Cutthroat Trout fishing. You’ll need a fishing license to try your luck, check regulations for closures. Once you pass Alderson lake and it’s back country campground the last 7km’s or so leads you through an old growth fir and spruce forest. Without the distraction of the beautiful views this section of trail seems a bit of a drudge. Before long you’ll arrive at the top of Cameron falls near the Waterton Towne site. You Are In Bear Country

Area Map PDF

Waterton Hikes Brochure PDF

Waterton Geology  & Landforms

Items Reviewed - 1

5.0Very Good
Mark Townsend

Long Hike but worth the effort.

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