Distance: 2.8 km
Elevation Gain: 225 meters
Time Required: 1 Hour
The Bears Hump is a popular hike in Waterton, rewarded by an epic view over the town and surrounding lakes. It is short but strenuous, gaining 240m in just over 1km mainly by short switchbacks and wooden steps. The view is incredible for such a short hike, so it’s worth the sweat and crowds. Plan the hike for early in the morning or at the end of the day, for the best light throughout the valley.
It’s a great early season hike or perfect for a weekend visit to Waterton when there isn’t enough time for an all day hike. Beginners will like the grand, top-of-the-world view without having to go deep or far into the mountains to get it.
The trailhead begins behind on the edge of Waterton town, behind the Visitor Information Centre. Follow the path up the network of switchbacks and wooden stairs. The trail is only moderately exposed, and mostly rocky without a lot of tree or foliage cover.
Eventually, you will reach the ‘hump’, a flat rocky area overlooking the town. From here there are incredible views over the Waterton Valley and Lakes. You can see the prairies in the distance, and see where they become foothills and meet the mountains. This is one of Waterton’s claims to fame, as well as being the world’s first International Peace Park.
Have lunch here and awe at the view of Mount Cleveland, the tallest summit in Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. Afterward appreciating the view and taking a postcard-worthy shot, return the same way you came up.