Trip Report: Mount Alderson in Waterton Lakes National Park, Canada
Location: Mt. Alderson - Waterton AB
Conditions: Lower 70's and sunny. A bit breezy.
Duration: Single Day
Difficulty: Moderate to hard
Kid Friendly: No
Pet Friendly: No
Useful links: www.summitpost.org
The Full Report:
Mt. Alderson is an 8,832-foot mountain located just outside the quaint town of Waterton AB. The mountain lies within the Waterton Lakes National Park and once reaching the summit offers fantastic views in all directions.
Most information on the internet suggests starting at Cameron Lake and hiking the 12 miles one way with a return via shuttle to your starting point. I chose to do an in and out from Waterton instead which ended up being around 14 miles and is the more strenuous option bagging you 4,633 feet of elevation gain.
The first third of the trail is steady elevation gain through the forest with glimpses of the surrounding mountains through the trees. The first viewpoint of note comes when you reach Alderson Lake. The lake itself sits in a small glacially-carved basin with Mt. Alderson's steep cliffs framing the lake for nearly 180 degrees to the south. From here on the views of Mt. Alderson, Mt. Carthew, and Buchanan Peak are up close and personal.
Pro tip, bring a hat. The trail is fully exposed from here on out.
After a short elevation gain, you reach Carthew Lakes with the trail meandering right alongside the water. This is a nice spot to take a short rest before reaching the ridge line that leads directly to the summit. There is a faint trail to follow but it’s obvious the direction you need to go to reach the summit. All the hard work is worth it with 360 degrees views stretching for miles. Return the way you came and be sure to stop at the Taco Bar back in Waterton. The food is great, and the beer is cold.