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Canadian Rockies Trail Guide

Deadfall litters Waterton's lower Crypt Lake trail in early May. For a unique look at what this popular trail looks like in the spring, check out Parks Canada's Trail Report Hiking Crypt Lake trail-spring 2016. Photo courtesy of Parks Canada.

Deadfall litters Waterton’s lower Crypt Lake trail in early May.  Photo courtesy of Parks Canada.

It’s been one of the earliest springs on record. But if you’ve ever wondered why we don’t recommend for our readers to hit the high country trails, all you have to do is check out this Parks Canada update from early May for Waterton’s popular Crypt Lake trail.

While conditions have improved on the lower half of the Crypt Lake trail since this detailed report was filed, upper sections are still snow-covered and messy. The same goes for a lot of trails in June throughout the Mountain Parks—expect deadfall, mud and lingering snowfields.

That said, a lot of scenic high trails, particularly in Banff National Park, are open and should be quite reasonable during the warm week ahead.

My recommendations: C-Level Cirque (1), Aylmer Lookout (4), Cory Pass (16), Castle Lookout (23), Lake Agnes (39), Plain of the Six Glaciers (40), Lake Annette in Paradise Valley (42), Larch Valley (43), Eiffel Lake (44), and Boulder Pass (47). You can expect to cross some snowpatches on some of these trails, but nothing that well-shod hikers shouldn’t be able to navigate. (Numbers refer to descriptions in the Canadian Rockies Trail Guide.)

Check out the Banff National Park Trail Report for the latest heading into what looks to be an exceptional June.