Glacier/Waterton, Part 3 – Crypt Lake

We didn’t have plans for Waterton other than to do some day hikes. Because of the nearby fires, there were only a few trails open so our options were very limited. The good news was that the trail to Crypt Lake was open. It was rated as one of the Top 20 most thrilling hiking trails in the world by National Geographic so it seemed like a no brainer.

The Crypt Lake trailhead requires a ferry across Waterton Lake. The issue with taking a ferry is that everyone is starting the trail at the same time. We were behind ~20 people, and who knows how many more behind us. After a half mile or so, you have the option to take a side trail to some waterfalls. We were originally planning to do this on the way down from the lake, but decided it was better to do it at the start and get away from the crowds.

From the waterfalls, you hike through a forest eventually connecting back up with the main trail. There are a couple of other nice waterfalls along the river flowing through the valley below.

Once above the tree line, the trail starts to open up to nice a view.

As you get closer, the trail starts to narrow and gets very steep to the right. If you are afraid of heights, this is probably not going to be your favorite hike!

The narrow ledge that you hike along brings you to a tunnel which you must climb through.

On the other side of the tunnel, the trail begins to climb up. There is a chain anchored into the wall to assist with the climb. I can’t imagine trying to do this section without it! 

We finally reached the lake where we had a nice lunch and soaked in the sun.

We had some extra time on the way down so we stopped at one of the waterfalls we had hurried past on the way up.

While at the waterfall, we noticed the smoke from the fire across the lake had started to pick up. It eventually grew to cover the sun – very creepy!

We made it back to the main trailhead around 4 pm where we took the ferry back to the main dock. With the smoke becoming so intense, we decided to find a restaurant and hole up in inside. After dinner, the smell has decreased (or maybe we just used to it) so we headed back to camp.

Lake Jocassee, SC

Daniel and I went kayak camping on Lake Jocassee a few weekends ago. We started our journey off at Devils Fork State Park.

We paddled about 10 minutes and then noticed a bunch of clouds and rain coming in over the mountains to our left. We immediately picked up the pace and headed for the closest section of shore we could find.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe found ourselves a small beach cove named “Happy Cove”. We puled our boats up on shore and hid under a bank while the rain passed.

After the rain passed, we jumped in our boats and began paddling again.

After 6 miles of paddling, we came across a small waterfall. When we heard the noise of the falls, we thought we had arrived at Laurel Fork, but once seeing the falls, knew we had a bit further to go.

We paddling a little bit further and caught our first glimpse of Laurel Fork.

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We parked our boats at the bottom and climbed up the rocks to check out the falls. We had to cross a bit of mud, but we made it across. There was a lot of water flowing over the falls due to the recent rain.

We decided it was so difficult to try and carry our bags up the rock face to the campsite on the map so we back paddled a few minutes to the Laurel Fork Boat Ramp. We packed our stuff into our bags and hiked the .5 miles to the campsite. We stopped and checked out a few campsites, but we finally found the perfect spot – at the very top of Laurel Fork Falls.

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The next morning we started our morning out with a filling breakfast of eggs and bacon.

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We then hiked to Virginia Hawkins Falls. It is a pretty waterfall about 2 miles from our campsite.

After visiting Virginia Hawkins, we grabbed our stuff from our campsite and headed back to our boats. We packed our stuff up and checked out the falls once more.

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