Elevation: 1525 m
Elevation Gain: 215 m
Prior to being named for a Calgary businessman, Mount Crandell was known as “Great Bear” or “Grizzly Medicine” Mountain to the local Piikani aboriginals. Although the peak’s indigenous name is no longer used, a small overlook at the mountain’s southern end is still named for its supposed resemblance to the muscular shoulder hump of a grizzly bear.
July 16 2016.
GPS Track: Bear's Hump
Waterton National Park has always been a special place for me. Whether it was camping there with my parents and grandparents as a child, or scrambling/camping trips with (my then-girlfriend) Brianne, I’ve always loved the park’s vibrant colors, beautiful trails and laid-back atmosphere. So when it came time to plan baby Mera’s first camping trip, Waterton was a natural choice. Since Waterton is such a great place to spend time with family, Grandma, Grandpa, Nannie, Papa and Auntie all joined us for a weekend of rain, smores, rain, smokies, rain and hiking (in the rain)!
While most of my recent trips to Waterton revolved around ambitious peak-bagging itineraries, the size of this trip’s objectives had to be scaled down commensurately to accommodate the needs of our littlest peak-bagger. The popular Bear’s Hump hike, therefore, seemed like a good option for 9 month-old Mera’s next mountain adventure. This busy little peak (visible in the top right of this photo) is most easily accessed via an excellent trail which leaves from the current (as of 2016) Waterton National Park Visitor Center.
Mommy and Mera enjoy the well-made trail (despite the rain).
Nannie and Papa lead the charge as the trail steepens near the top.
The Bear’s Hump may not be the highest hike in the park but it more than compensates by being perfectly situated to yield a beautiful panorama of Waterton’s Middle (left) and Upper (right) Lakes. Click to see larger.
A closer look at the famous Prince of Wales Hotel atop the shallow channel which separates the lakes from one another.
Papa and Nannie pose high above the quaint Waterton townsite as clouds swirl about the summit of Vimy Peak across the lake.
Grandma soaks in the panorama as the clouds begin to lift over Bertha Peak (center right) and Buchanan Peak (right). Click to see larger.
Another baby peak for baby Mera!
Summit wildlife – based on the popularity of this hike (even on a rainy day), you’re much more likely to run into one of these guys than a bear here!
Waterton 2016 family photo.
The clouds suddenly part, revealing Mount Crandell’s “Bear’s Hump” (left) and “Tick Ridge” (right) ascent routes.
After enjoying an overcast summit stay, we made our way back down as lunchtime beer and burgers at the Prince of Wales Hotel were beckoning!
The stroll down through lush forest proved that trails here need not be above tree line to be spectacular! As the Bear’s Hump proves, when it comes to humps, bigger isn’t always better!