Bear’s Hump Trail – Best Canadian Rockies Day Hikes

#9 – Canadian Rockies Day Hikes: Bear’s Hump Trail (Closed) 

Bear's Hump Trail
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  • Location: Waterton Lakes National Park
  • Trailhead: Bear’s Hump Parking Lot
  • Type: Out-n-Back
  • Rating: Moderate
  • Total Distance: 1.8 miles
  • Trailhead Elevation: 4,305′
  • Total Elevation Gain: 738′
  • Recommended Time: 30 minutes – 1 hour
  • Recommended Season: Early May – Early October

Bear’s Hump Trail

In the Waterton Lakes International Peace Park there is a mountain known as Bear Mountain. It has a formation known as the Bear’s Hump. It is a rocky outcropping that indeed looks like a grizzly bear’s hump. From atop this formation, the beautiful Waterton Lakes’ terrain unfolds in an unobstructed 270° panoramic view. There is no better spot than Bear’s Hump to take in the beauty of the small town of Waterton Village, the massive Upper and Lower Waterton Lakes, and the Rocky Mountains that rise out of them. The short, heart-pumping climb up the Bear’s Hump Trail isn’t easy, but the views are well worth the effort.

Waterton Lakes
The panoramic view of the Waterton Lakes area from the Bear’s Hump Trail Overlook.

Wildlife

Bear Playing Through
A bear insists on playing through on the Waterton Golf Course.

Waterton Lakes National Park along with Glacier National Park, on the other side of the U.S./Canadian border, make up the world’s first International Peace Park. They are both home to creatures that recognize no human-made borders. These parks have an abundance of wildlife, especially the Bear’s Hump Trail’s namesake, bears. On our hike, Jennifer and I spotted no less than five bears on the far side of the Bear’s Hump formation, giving even more credence to the name. We saw two more while driving through the park, including one large bear that seemed to have an affection for the game of golf. Needless to say, anytime you are hiking in these mountains, you should be carrying bear spray.

Wildfire

Bear's Hump Trail Overlook
The view of Waterton Lake and Village inside the International Peace Park from the Bear’s Hump Trail overlook.

Unfortunately, the Bear’s Hump Trail is currently closed due to the fire that swept through the Waterton area in 2017. The massive Kenow Fire burned down 35,000 hectares according to the Park’s Service. Fire is a natural process of renewal for nature and the area will not only recover but will thrive in the long run because of the fire. The amazing Bear’s Hump Trail will open once the landscape has recovered enough to support foot traffic. The Canadian Park’s service in 2019 was doing maintenance to the trail so hopefully, it will open again soon.

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