Experience Waterton Lakes International Peace Park
Waterton Lakes National Park is a true jewel for the nature lover. Whether you want to stroll along a flat trail to a beautiful waterfall, enjoy an international boat cruise on the main lake golf, mountain bike, explore on horseback, or take on the challenge of the Crypt Lake Trail, the mountain hike rated ‘Best in Canada’ in 1981, Waterton has something you’ll love!
Together with its sister Glacier National Park in Montana, Waterton is the centrepiece of the ‘Crown of the Continent.’ The Parks include the headwaters of three major watersheds. This means the area has an unusually rich and varied number of plants and wildlife species. Large predators include wolf, coyote, cougar, grizzly bear, and American black bear. As well, the park’s grasslands are important winter range for elk and deer. In fact, it is common to spot wildlife right in the village.
In 2009, Frommers Travel Guides named Waterton Lakes National Park, “One of the world’s Top Destinations.” We’re pleased to report that nothing has changed over the years. Waterton remains, “One of the only places in the Canadian Rockies where you can feel apart from the modern world.”
Waterton is well known for its wide variety of easily accessible lakeside strolls, interpretive loops, high country day hikes, and beautiful ridge walks with breathtaking vistas. The park has more than 200 kilometres of trails to entice all skill levels.
Easy walks include strolls along the shores of Upper Waterton and Cameron Lakes. Cameron is a glacier-formed alpine lake on Akamina Parkway. While you are there, plan to rent a paddle boat or canoe.
A lovely, winding 16-kilometre drive through rolling prairies and past flowery slopes leads to Red Rock Canyon. Here a short interpretive trail loops around deeply carved walls of the canyon’s distinctively red and green rock. The self-guided walks and exhibits detail human history & geology. And if time permits, be sure to explore the nearby interpretive walk that traverses through open forest for one kilometre to the impressive plunge of Blakiston Falls.
The park offers a variety of accommodations ranging from historic hotels, elegant inns, and quaint motels, to full service lakeside campgrounds and RV sites or backpack-only wilderness campgrounds. On busy summer weekends, it’s a good idea to make reservations well in advance. A fine way to start and end your day is to drop in to one of the village’s excellent restaurants or cafes. Waterton’s charming village also offers a unique array of clothing, souvenir, fine arts, crafts, and outdoor stores.
Please note that although the village is open year-round, the visitor information centre, museum, and some businesses operate seasonally (May to Oct). And the Prince of Wales Hotel, one of the most photographed icons in the Rockies is open from mid-June to mid-Sept.
Whatever your fitness level, Waterton has an adventure just for you. Whether you’re a back country enthusiast, or someone who’d rather curl up with a good book, Waterton lets you bask in the glory of the Rockies. For online trip-planning tools and more information, check out www.mywaterton.ca.