Waterton Lakes National Park Favorites

  • Wildflowers at Warterton
    Wildflowers at Warterton
    by balhannah
  • Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park Sign
    Waterton-Glacier International Peace...
    by Stephen-KarenConn
  • Border Crossing from USA into Canada
    Border Crossing from USA into Canada
    by Stephen-KarenConn

Most Recent Favorites in Waterton Lakes National Park

  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    WILDFLOWER'S

    by balhannah Updated Sep 3, 2010

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    Wildflowers at Warterton

    Favorite thing: We were at Waterton National Park in June and the Wildflowers were in bloom. I saw quite a few different ones, how nice in this pretty setting.

    Waterton Lakes National Park is home to more than 50 per cent of Alberta's wildflowers... more than any other Rocky Mountain national park. Over 50 of Canada's rare flowers grow in Waterton, 30 of which are found only in this park.

    I am not sure what I saw, but there is plenty of variety.

    If you are interested in Fauna, then you could make a date for the annual Waterton Wildflower Festival, held mid June each year.
    There are guided flower walks, hikes and workshops.
    It is a 9 day event offering educational courses on wildflowers, plants and ecosystems, art exhibits, workshops on photography and art, and evening slide shows and local entertainment, just what I enjoy!

    Courses include: Wildflower Identification, Wildflower Habitat, Bird Watching, Wildflowers by Horseback and by Cruise Boat, Photography Workshops, Watercolours, Afternoon Tea and much more.

    Fondest memory: http://www.watertonpark.com/

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  • Camping_Girl's Profile Photo

    Laundry & Showers

    by Camping_Girl Updated Mar 31, 2007

    Favorite thing: The Waterton Health Club (in the Waterton Lakes Lodge) has public showers and laundry available to non-members. This is perfect for someone who's been hiking or back country camping for a few days and is desperate for a hot shower!

    The cost for showers last time I checked was $3 CAD. For a mere $6 a day, you can use the whole facility - gym, pool, sauna & spa AND the showers!

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  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    A Beautiful Little Town

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Sep 28, 2006

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    Waterton Park as seen from the P. of Wales Hotel
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    Favorite thing: Waterton Park townsite gained its first permanent residents in 1904 when the Western Coal and Oil Company established a cookhouse, bunkhouse, blacksmith shop, office, stable and engine room for its operations in the area (oil had been struck two years earlier in the nearby Cameron Creek valley). Because of the formation of the original 'Kootenay Lakes Forest Park' around this area in 1895, it was gradually becoming more popular - leading to surveying of the first townsite lots in 1910. As more visitors came during the summer months to enjoy the splendors of the mountains, lakes and streams, the Mounties set up their first summer detachment here in 1920 (maybe the onset of alcohol Prohibition the USA also had something to do with it!) and things really took off when the majestic Prince of Wales Hotel opened for business in 1927. This photo of the Waterton Park townsite was taken from the front lawns of the Prince of Wales, with Upper Waterton Lake stretching off into Montana in the distance.

    Today, Waterton Park is still quite a relaxed little spot. Even in mid-July, the tourist throngs did not seem like a crowd at all and wild animals roam through the town streets at their leisure (see my 'To Do' tips). Unlike some parts of Glacier NP in Montana, which are fairly isolated in some of the mountain valleys, the fact that there are various amenities available for the year-round residents makes for a good variety of restaurants and other attractions in Waterton Park.

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  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    Upper Waterton Lake

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Sep 1, 2006

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    Upper Waterton Lake:  View from the North
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    Favorite thing: There are three Waterton Lakes, upper, middle and lower. Upper Waterton Lake is by far the largest and most scenic of the three and it is the centerpiece for most of the activities and attractions at Wateton Lakes National Park. This natural, finger-like, glacial lake is the deepest in the Canadian Rockies. It is surrounded by mountains which include the highest cliff face in North America.

    Upper Waterton Lake is also an international lake, with the larger "half" of its seven-mile-long expanse being in Canada, and the southern end stretching into Glacier National Park in the United States. On the north shore you of these cold clear waters sits the majestic Prince of Wales Hotel and also the Waterton Park townsite. On the southern shore is Glacier National Park's remote Goat Haunt Ranger Station, reached only by boat or hiking trail.

    The shores of Upper Waterton Lake are the nesting site for bald eagles and also home of other wildlife, from the loon to the lynx. It is not uncommon to see bears along the shore.

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    • Water Sports

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  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    Boundary and Peace Park Markers

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Sep 1, 2006

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    International Boundary and Peace Park Markers

    Favorite thing: At the International Boundary, on the western shore of Upper Waterton Lake, you will see not one but two small obelisks which look almost identical from a distance. Upon inquiry I learned that one is the border marker placed there by the International Boundary Commission. The other is a monument placed by the Rotary Clubs of Alberta and Montana in commemoration of the establishment of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park in 1932.

    In this photo the darker colored obelisk, in front, is the International Boundary Marker. The lighter colored marker is for the International Peace Park. Each sits astride the border line.

    International Peace Park - Rotary Club Site

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  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    The International Boundary

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Sep 1, 2006

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    International Boundary: Canada - Left, USA - Right
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    Favorite thing: When you take the boat cruise on Upper Waterton Lake, your tour will stop briefly for a view of the international boundary between Canada and the United States. There you will see a very visible line - a clearing in the forest - which marks what is called the longest undefended border between two countries in the world. Actually, the border is defended, but by police and not military personnel.

    Clearing of brush and vegetation for 6 meters (20 feet) on either side of the line is the responsibiliity of the International Boundary Commission. Since 1925 the Boundary Commission has had the responsibilty for surveying and mapping the boundary, maintaining boundary monuments (and buoys where applicable), as well maintaining the clearing. Exactly why it is felt a clearing is necessary is anybody's guess.

    The International Boundary

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  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    Waterton Glacier International Peace Park

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Sep 1, 2006

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    Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park Sign

    Favorite thing: Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada and Glacier National Park in the United States join each other. Although they are divided by a political line, they share the same geology, climate, wildlife, plantlife and ecosystem.

    Waterton became a National Park of Canada in 1895, and Glacier National Park was not formed in the United States until 15 years later. Since that time, the two parks have shared a common boundary.

    In 1932, as the result of efforts by the Rotary Club members on both sides of the border, the two parks were joined as a symbol of the longtime friendship between these two great nations. In 1995 the Waterton-Glacier Peace Park became the world's first Peace Park World Heritage Site. The joining of the two parks is largely symbolic and the two seperate parks are administered by their respective governments. However, Canada and the United States cooperate in managing their common natural and cultural resources in the park. The wild plants and animals ignore political boundaries and claim the mountain peaks, valleys, rivers and lakes on both sides of the border.

    Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park

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  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    Passing through Customs

    by Stephen-KarenConn Written Aug 30, 2006

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    Border Crossing from USA into Canada
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    Favorite thing: Although Waterton-Glacier is an International Peace Park, one must still pass through customs and immigration when traveling across the international boundary within the park. There is a highway crossing on the Chief Mountain Highway, which is the only roadway connecting the two parks. There is also a walk-in customs station at the trailhead leading into the United States near the boat dock on the south shore of Upper Waterton Lake.

    Citizens of Canada or the United States may cross the border with proof of citizenship. A passport is recommended. Citizens of other countries MAY be required to have a visa, so know the laws for your own country.

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  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    Waterton Lakes National Park is Located HERE

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Aug 2, 2006

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    Located in the lower left corner of Alberta
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    Favorite thing: Waterton Lakes National Park, 505 square km (203 square miles) in size, is so small that it does not even register on some maps! Located in the southwest corner of Alberta, up against the US border and the provincial border with British Columbia, Waterton is only 1/8th the size of its sister Glacier National Park (4100 sq. km) in Montana. It is completely dwarfed by its much more famous Alberta cousins, Banff NP at 6640 sq. km and Jasper at 10,900 sq. km. In addition to showing where Waterton is located, this map also indicates where we spent the first two weeks of our Alberta trip (Calgary and Cold Lake - both circled) as well as the purple routes we used in our 3200-km jaunt around southern Alberta and a bit of Montana.

    The second photo is a detailed map of Waterton NP itself, showing the central town of Waterton Park (located where Middle and Upper Waterton Lakes meet) and the various highways and trails that branch out from there. We did hikes at the ends of both the black 'Parkway' roads that run off to the left of the map, as well as another from within Waterton Park itself. Our hike to Wall Lake was at the bottom right side of the greenish area shown to the left, at the bottom end of British Columbia. The line across the bottom part of the map is the Canada-USA border.

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  • jojocan's Profile Photo

    The general store

    by jojocan Written May 17, 2005

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    Pats store - it has it all!

    Favorite thing: Pats is a great general store! This is the place you can rent scooters, bikes, tennis rackets, almost anything. They are the only gas station in town, and the best place to buy chips, chocolate bars, etc.

    We also bought bracelets and postcards from here as they were cheaper than anywhere else.

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  • jojocan's Profile Photo

    Want to get away for the summer?

    by jojocan Written May 17, 2005

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    Favorite thing: A lot of waitresses, etc. in Waterton are from other provinces, or countries for that matter. Like most "summer" towns, the huge influx of people during a season requires them to bring in staff to accommodate. This last time I was there, we had a waitress from Ontario serving.

    I'm not sure who you check out the details with, but if you phone one of the hotels, I'm sure they can help you.

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  • zrim's Profile Photo

    Climb Bear Hump for Great Views

    by zrim Written Feb 25, 2003

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    Looking out over Waterton village to the peaks

    Favorite thing: A somewhat strenuous hike up the Bear Hump will provide awesome views of the Waterton Lakes area. The winds on top of the hill can be hurricane force. I had to hunker down behind a boulder and just raise my face and camera above it to get the photos. I literally would have been blown over if I tried to stand up straight and aim my camera.

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  • sunnywong's Profile Photo

    Trails from the Red Rock Canyon Parkway

    by sunnywong Written Feb 25, 2003

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    Favorite thing: Most trails on the Red Rock Canyon Parkway, such as the short Red Rock Canyon Trail (0.7-km loop) and Blackiston Falls (1km; 30min), leave from Red Rock Canyon at the end of the road. The most exhilarating option from the head of the road, however, is the Goat Lake Trail (6.7km; 550m ascent), which follows Bauerman Creek on an old fire road (flat and easy, but a little dull) before peeling off right at the 4.3km mark for the climb to tranquil Goat Lake and ever-improving views (there's a backcountry campground at the lake). If you ignore the lake turn-off and follow the fire road for another 4km, you come to a junction: one trail leads north to Lost Lake (2km), the other south to the spectacular Twin Lakes area (3.2km). This latter option will bring you to the long-distance Tamarack Trail. Walk south on this from Twin Lakes (3.1km) and you can pick up the Blakiston Creek Trail which will take you back to the head of the Red Rock Canyon Parkway.

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  • sunnywong's Profile Photo

    Trails from the Akamina Parkway

    by sunnywong Written Feb 25, 2003

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    Favorite thing: Most of the trails accessed by the Akamina Parkway leave from the road's end near Cameron Lake. To stretch your legs after the drive up, try either the Akamina Lake (0.5km; 15min) or Cameron Lakeshore (1.6km; 30min) trails. The best of the longer walks is to Carthew Summit (7.9km one way; 660m ascent), a superb trail that switchbacks through forest before opening out into sub-alpine meadow and a final climb to a craggy summit and astounding viewpoint. The trail can be continued all the way back to Waterton Townsite (another 12km) - it's then the Carthew-Alderson Trail, most of whose hard work you've done in getting up to Carthew Summit; thereafter it's largely downhill via Carthew and Alderson lakes (1875m) to the townsite (1295m).

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  • sunnywong's Profile Photo

    Walks from the townsite

    by sunnywong Written Feb 25, 2003

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    Favorite thing: In and around Wateron Townsite, there are various short loops: try the Prince of Wales from the visitor center (2km; 45min) or the more demanding Bear's Hump, also from the center (1.2km; 200m vertical). Another obvious, and very simple walk from the town is the Waterton Lakeshore Trail (13km; 100m ascent), which follows Upper Waterton Lake's west shore across the United States border to Goat Haunt; regular lake ferries sail back to the townsite, completing a lovely round trip (ferry details from the marina or call 859-2362).

    Fondest memory: The single most popular day's walk from the townsite, however, is the classic Bertha Lake Trail from Waterton, 5.8km each way with an ascent of 460m (allow 3-4hr for the round trip). It's a short, steep hike to a busy but remarkably unsullied mountain-ringed lake and there's an easy trail which runs right round the lakeshore (adding about another 5km to the trip). If you're not up to this, you can just do the first part of the trail and break off at Lower Bertha Falls (2.9km from the townsite; 150m ascent; 1hr).

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