“a photographer's paradise”
Rugged, windswept mountains rise abruptly out of gentle prairie grassland in spectacular Waterton Lakes National Park. Here, several different ecological regions meet and interact in a landscape shaped by wind, fire, flooding, and abundant plants and wildlife. The park helps protect the unique and unusually diverse physical, biological and cultural resources found in the Crown of the Continent: one of the narrowest places in the Rocky Mountains. The deepest lake in the Canadian Rockies (444 feet) and the first oil well in western Canada (1902) are both found in Waterton, a small park named in honor of English naturalist Charles Waterton. Set in a region renowned for its winds, Waterton has special significance as the Canadian portion of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. Waterton sits in the extreme southwestern corner of Alberta, sharing boundaries with British Columbia and Montana in the United States. It’s “where the mountains meet the prairies,” as locals like to say. Indeed, lush native grassland rolls right up to the colorful peaks, which have been carved from sedimentary rock well over a billion years old. With its outstanding scenery, sunny weather, easygoing wildlife, and picturesque wind-raked trees, Waterton is a photographer’s paradise. The park’s isolation, far from any urban center and off the beaten track, keeps the crowds small. All three of the Waterton Lakes lie along the entry road. Other paved routes provide quick access to park highlights. One of the hiking trails is world famous, while mountain bikers will find several trails open to them, too. Waterton is open year-round, but windy weather discourages visitors in winter. Few services are available in the park between October and May, when some roads are subject to closure and the townsite population drops to fewer than 40. Spring arrives in early May. The park is busiest in July and August, when daytime temperatures reach over 70ºF and may hit the mid-90sºF. Low-elevation wildflowers are at their best in June, while the high country above tree line is most colorful in mid-July. Waterton’s many aspen groves paint the valley floors and lower slopes brilliantly yellow in September.
Just imagine, laying on your back on the top of a mountain, counting the stars after a hard day of hike that you will continue tomorrow to get up to the states...
I've had the privilege to work in Waterton National Park for two consecutive summer. It is a little known gem of Alberta, but boy oh boy is it amazing!
So many mountains to hike, so many things to do. If you like the great outdoors, you'll love this place. From kayaking to horseback riding, from wild flower picking to bird watch, you'll find a way for your passion there!
Waterton also have an intense nightlife, the unique bar of the place is obviously always packed and is a great place to meet people, share stories, get advice on where to go and how to hike. Such delicious food to try ( Zum's, Pearl's, Wiener's and the incredible Grande Nachos Plate from the Fireside Lounge. )
If you are traveling across the Canadian West, Alberta or the Rockies, Waterton is definetly to add to your to-do list.
This gem of a park was devastated by fires in 2017. The fire came very close to the town but, fortunately, only the Visitor Centre was destroyed and there was no loss of life. However, the two major tourist attraction roads are now, July2018, closed for vehicle traffic. If you are planning a trip there, check the web site for closures.
Inspiring and of humbling majesty and beauty
Waterton has a totally different feel than Glacier. Things were more laid back here and the town in it creates a different atmosphere. You can shop, eat, or rent kayaks, boats, or paddleboards. Of course there's quite a lot of hiking trails you can do.
Waterton has gorgeous views and you still get to see wildlife in the park but it feels less dangerous than Glacier.
If you're looking for a little more civilization than Glacier, this is the place to go.
If you were able to visit this wonderful place in the past, and visit it again now, you would really see improvements as well as new things added. There are a lot of activities you can enjoy here and also the views are just spectacular!
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Waterton Lakes National Park
- Sun - Sat: 12:00 am - 11:59 pm
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