Location: Just off Highway #3 Crowsnest Pass – Alberta, Canada
Destination: Turtle Mountain Summit
Distance: 6.5 Miles / 10.4 Kilometers round-trip
Elevation: 7,250 Feet / 2,209 Meters
Elevation Gain: 2,900 Feet / 884 Meters
Difficulty: Moderate Scramble | Mostly Class 2 – The Trail gets into some Class 3 near the top involving brief points of exposure. Climbing gear is not required. Route finding can be difficult at points.
This is the scene from the highway, where you can see half of Turtle Mountain spread across the valley floor. The slide took place on the morning of April 29, 1903 when 90 million tons of rock slid off the side of Turtle Mountain covering the town of Frank below, making this Canada’s deadliest rock slide.
We have driven the highway through the middle of this rock slide for the last 4 years, without having time to stop and hike. Now that we are more stationary, we decided it was high time to hike Turtle Mountain. From the parking lot, you can see the trail leading to the first summit, (the photo below). In the photo above, you can see the first summit and the true summit is on the left.
Location: Glacier National Park – Montana, U.S.A.
Destination: Haystack Butte
Distance: About 3.4 Miles / 5.4 Kilometers round-trip from Going To The Sun Road Parking Lot indicated in the overview map.
Elevation: 7,490 Feet / 2,283 Meters
Difficulty: Moderate Hike / Scramble | Class 1 and Class 2 – The climbers route to get up to the Highline trail is steeper requiring the occasional use of hands.
We climbed Haystack Butte on our way through Glacier National Park to Canada. It makes for the perfect half-day hike when you start from the ‘Big Bend’ parking lot near the ‘Weeping Wall’ just below Logan’s Pass Visitor Center along the Going to The Sun Road. The trail is steep, but you can reach the Garden Wall trail that leads to Haystack Butte in only 45 minutes, (that includes picture time). From the Garden Wall trail it’s only another hour or so to meander through the fields of wildflowers and snow to reach the top of Haystack Butte.
The hike to Crypt Lake starts with a 15 minute boat ride across Waterton Lake to the trail head. The trail climbs 2,300 feet through the trees into awe-inspiring views of the surrounding peaks. Crypt Lake alone is worth the hike because it’s incredibly stunning, but the hike also has many points of interest along the way.