We love the hike Wall Lake in Waterton. This beautiful alpine lake has incredible towering headwalls that are so high you’ll cramp your neck to see the top. A trail runs along the shore and offers many peaceful lunch spots where you can enjoy the view or try some fishing.
The trail to Wall Lake begins at the trailhead marked for Akamina Pass, approximately 15.0km distance along the Akamina Parkway from the Waterton Townsite.
|When to do|
May to October
Yes, at Akamina Creek, 2.6km
At Akamina Creek and at Wall Lake
Out and back
Note that much of Waterton National Park was severely impacted by the 2017 Kenow Wildfire. To find out what trails are open, please check the Parks Canada website.
The trail to Wall Lake is part of the longer Akamina Ridge, and so begins at the trailhead marked for Akamina. Although the trail begins in Alberta, Wall Lake itself is in Akamina-Kishinena Provincial Park in BC.
The path is wide and well maintained. It begins to gain elevation immediately, steadily rising for the first kilometre. After the incline it’ll level out and begin to drop.
At 1.6km is the well-marked Alberta/BC border. Signs announce the entrance to Akamina-Kishinena Provincial Park in BC. The rocky trail begins to descend.
At 2.3km there is a junction. Stay straight at the junction for Wall Lake, another 3.0km away. Shortly after the Forum Lake junction is Akamina Creek Campsite on the right-hand side of the trail. This backcountry campground is pretty and well maintained; however, it is frequently empty due to its close proximity to the trailhead.
Continuing straight a short distance brings you to a creek crossing on a wooden bridge. Immediately following the bridge is another junction: hikers and bikers travel left to Wall Lake, while horse riders continue straight.
Turning left at the junction takes you over two consecutive wooden bridges. The trail narrows and curves. You’re in for one shorter steep climb before the trail levels out for the next 2.0km. From this point it is a thoroughly enjoyable winding path through a beautiful forest. The grade is fairly level as it winds through the woods towards Wall Lake.
At 4.8km the trail opens up as it crosses avalanche paths. Views of the headwalls over Wall Lake can be seen. Just a few hundred metres further, the path crosses a sturdy wood bridge over a lovely creek. Wall Lake peeks through the trees.
Cross the bridge to arrive at the north-eastern shore of Wall Lake at 5.2km.
As you sit along the shore of the lake, the massive headwalls tower over you, making an impressive vista. After soaking in the views, return the way you came.
Wall Lake is part of the impressive Akamina Ridge (not covered here because of a short scramble section that is part of the ridge ascent). The recommended route for Akamina Ridge is to ascend at Forum Lake and descend at Wall Lake. However, if you wish to extend your Wall Lake hike, continue around the north end of the lake and gain the ridge via Bennett Pass. It is a steep and challenging ascent, but absolutely spectacular, particularly in the fall when the larches have changed colour.
Bikes are allowed on the Wall Lake trail. Aside from the initial 1.0km climb, biking this trail is wonderful.
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