A part of the world’s first Peace Park, Waterton Lakes dazzles with breathtaking scenery, easygoing wildlife, and beautiful coastal stretches of trees.
The deepest lake of the Canadian Rockies (444 feet 135 meters) and the first oil well to be discovered in the western part of Canada (1902) are located at Waterton. This tiny park was named in honor of the late English naturalist Charles Waterton. The park is situated where the Albertan prairies connect with and the Rocky Mountains. Waterton has particular significance as it is the Canadian part of the Waterton-Glacier Peace Park International Peace Park.
Waterton is located in the southwestern extremity of Alberta and shares boundaries to British Columbia and Montana in the United States. The park is “where the mountains meet the prairies,” according to locals often say. In reality, the dense native grassland runs right into the peaks of vibrant color that have been formed from sedimentary rock more than one billion years ago.
With its outstanding landscape, warm weather with friendly wildlife, and stunning tree-lined beaches, Waterton is a photographer’s paradise. The park’s isolation, which is far from the city and away from the main roads, makes it a place where the crowds are small.
All three of the Waterton Lakes lie along the access road. Other routes that are paved offer quick access to some of the parks’ most popular attractions. One of the trails is famous throughout the world, while mountain bikers can find a variety of trails available, too.
How to go there
The nearest international airport is located 158 miles (254 km) from Calgary. From Calgary onto Highway 2 to Fort McLeod (102 miles, 164 km), turn left onto Highway 3 to 60 millimeters (97 km) at the end of Pincher Creek 31 miles south-south. (50 km). The gate of the park. The park continues for another 5 miles (8 km) on Highway 5 until it reaches Waterton Park’s “township,” as described by the park community in Canada. The summer population is about 2,500. You can reach Pincher Creek via Highway 3 from either the East or Westside.
In the United States, you can access the park from there. 17 north until crossing over the Chief Mountain border crossing and continue to Alberta via Highway 6. Make sure you know before your trip of the Canadian post’s operating hours and closures during the winter months.
How to visit it?
You’ll need a full day to travel the park’s three byways, so start early. The morning illumination on the mountain front is a fantastic sight to be seen at Waterton Valley. Waterton Valley viewpoint along the Chief Mountain Highway (Highway 6) in the eastern portion of the park.
Visit the townsite for breakfast and take a stroll along the shores of Upper Waterton Lake. The M.V. International, as well as other passenger vessels, travel along the lake. Because the waves can increase in size as the day progresses, Morning is a great time to go on the two-hour cruise boat ride along the lake to return.
Then take the to the scenic Red Rock Parkway to Red Rock Canyon. The canyon is named appropriately beautiful, photogenic, and an excellent activity for youngsters.
Take a break from your busy schedule by driving to the Akamina Parkway to Cameron Lake to gaze at majestic peaks glistening in the afternoon sunshine. The lake provides a stunning panorama of craggy mountains to the end of the lake, just across the international boundary, as well as rare and exotic natural beauty along the shoreline.
There are more than 200 miles (255 kilometers) of stunning terrain to explore throughout Waterton Lakes National Park that range in difficulty from gentle strolls to steep overnight hikes. The trails are managed with the help of Parks Canada and can be used by hikers, horseback riders, and cyclists (exceptions are made on some tracks). Waterton Park trails also connect with the extensive trail system located in Montana’s Glacier National Park and British Columbia’s Akamina-Kishenina Provincial Park.
Many hikers from around the globe travel to Waterton Lakes National Park to experience the excitement and natural beauty the Rocky Mountain terrain offers. With over 200 miles of trails within its borders, Waterton Park offers something for hikers of all abilities and levels with diverse terrain, expert guides, a variety of interpretive trails, and loops.
Parks Canada maintains the trails used for hiking to ensure they’re kept in good condition and are as safe as feasible for those who hike. They also ensure the delicate balance of nature on Waterton’s slopes of the mountain.
Most Popular Hikes in Waterton Park
- Crypt Lake Trail
- Bears Hump
- Carthew Alderson Trail
- Other Hikes and Trails in Waterton
- Guided Hikes
- Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park Hike
Carthew Alderson Trail
It is considered to be among the most popular trails within the Waterton region. The Carthew-Alderson Trail covers a 19 km (11.8 miles) hike that starts from the shores of Cameron Lake to the windblown Pass, also called Carthew Summit (2377 m/7800 ft), which is amazed by the amazing panoramas of Rocky Mountain peaks, prairie landscapes, and Waterton Glacier National Park.
The descent takes the hiker up to Carthew Lakes Alderson Lake and then to Cameron Falls. An all-day excursion The Carthew- Alderson Trail is moderately challenging and can last up to 8 hours one way. Tamarack Outdoor Outfitters in Waterton Village offers a shuttle service every day from Cameron Lake to make this hike easy and effective. Return shuttles or transportation will also be required.
It is a classic, family-friendly Waterton trek that is highly recommended to anyone who has experienced it. With just 1.5 miles (0.9 miles), it’s relatively short and strenuous yet worth the effort. The summit is flat and smooth. You’ll be treated to stunning panoramas of Waterton Valley, the Waterton Lakes, and the Prince of Wales Hotel.
Ideal for beginners It is still recommended to select good shoes and bring water along to drink during your hike.
Crypt Lake Trail
It is regarded to be among the most popular hikes In Canada. The 8.5 kilometers (5.3 miles) day hike starts with the short cruise from Waterton Village marina to Crypt Landing. At Crypt Landing, you will pass an optional detour that leads for Hell Roaring Falls, continue along an incredibly rocky landscape, and finally a climb through a 4ft wide tunnel made from the cliff wall. After crossing the opposite side, you’ll traverse a cliff while being held by a steel safety cable until you reach the location in Crypt Lake.
The descent finishes at Crypt Landing, where you will be taken through Waterton Village after 6-7 hours of trekking through one of the most picturesque regions in the world.
Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park Hike
At the beginning at Bertha trailhead, the 14km interpretive hike is accompanied by Canadian and American Park Interpreters. It is a moderately easy hike that follows the western shores of Waterton Lake, stopping at the International Boundary to enjoy an outdoor picnic lunch and a moving ceremony known as “Hands Across the Border.” The trail continues until Goat Haunt, Montana, from where hikers return to Waterton via boat. It’s a long but gentle hike with many rest breaks.
A cost that is $23.00 Canadian is charged for the return boat ride.
The hike is only open to 35 participants, so it is necessary to pre-register for the trek. The registration process can be completed up to three days prior by contacting:
Waterton Visitor Center in Waterton Park (403-859-5133)St. Mary Visitor Center in Glacier National Park (406-732-7750)