Waterton Lakes National Park is one of Canada’s most famous national parks.
The national park is well-known for its animals and breathtaking natural scenery. It also provides a wide range of exciting and interesting activities, including boat trips, horseback riding, hiking, and camping.
Waterton Lakes National Park is the place to go if you’re planning a vacation with unforgettable vistas and enjoyable things to do. This blog can help you plan effectively so that everything turns out perfectly.
Sounds Good? Okay, let’s get into it…
1. Why Choose Waterton Lakes National Park?
The National Park, established in 1895, was named after Waterton Lake after Victorian naturalist and conservationist Charles Waterton. Its range extends from the Canadian Rockies to the prairies. Rugged mountains and wilderness cover this park’s 505 km2 (195 sq mi).
The park shares its boundary with Montana’s Glacier National Park. Waterton National Park is one of Canada’s first four national parks.
The union of the Waterton Lakes National Park, Canada, and Glacier National Park, United States, is known as the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park.
2. Things To Do In And Around Waterton Lakes National Park
There are 200 kilometres (120 miles) of hiking routes in Waterton Lakes National Park, with distances ranging from leisurely strolls to challenging wilderness hikes.
A range of shorter paths that can be easily finished in a few hours or a day can be found in the park, which is a great area to enjoy.
Plan your journey before you leave. Ensure you have the information, tools, and materials necessary for a secure and enjoyable hike. You can visit our visitor centre in the Waterton townsite or use the information provided below.
The best hiking months are from mid-July until mid-September. Many trails are covered in snow and may present Avalanche hazards until late June.
The greatest hiking is done at lower elevations or on drier, south-facing slopes because the trails are typically muddier at this time of year. The majority of mountain passes are snow-free by the middle of July.
2.2 Boat tour
One of the best activities in the park is the boat excursion at Waterton Lakes.
The boat excursion is available from the final week of June to the final week of August. The 2-hour voyage crosses the border between the United States and Canada.
2.3 Mountain Biking
You can rent a mountain bike from the shop near the gas station in Waterton town.
The shop will provide you with a mountain bike, a map, and basic trail information.
2.4 Explore the Park With a Bicycle
Explore Waterton Lakes National Park with a bicycle. Rent bikes in the city and ride on one of the various picturesque lanes that cross the park.
There are many parkways and trails where you can ride your bikes smoothly and explore flora and fauna of the park.
Waterton Lakes National Park is one of the most popular places to camp in Canada since the area is one of the most stunning places to set up a tent.
It is a utopia for campers with beautiful landscapes. Various campsites offer different accommodations.
3. Campsites and Campground In Waterton Lakes National Park
3.1 Pass Creek Winter Camp
This day-use campsite area is located on Blakiston Creek, just off Entrance Road. Many people enjoy this spot because of the soothing sounds and its accessibility.
You can easily spend your precious time adoring the breathtaking views of Mt. Galwey. You can sit by the fireplace in winter and enjoy the warmth.
This campsite is Waterton’s only campsite where you can stay overnight in winter, and it’s lovely to spend the night after enjoying one of the park’s many winter activities. The campsite is only available through reservations.
3.2 Waterton Town Site Camping
Location: Wind Flower Ave, southern alberta T0K 2M0, Canada
This campsite is located on the outskirts of Waterton and offers 90 water, sewer, and electrical sites, accessible, unserviced, and walk-in tent sites.
The place has proper toilets, food storage facilities, and kitchen shelters at the campground.
This open campground, which faces Upper Waterton Lake, is exposed to breezes and is ideal for recreational vehicles or people who want to be close to the town’s facilities.
3.3 Crooked Creek Campground
Location: AB-5, Waterton Park, AB T0K 2M0, Canada Crooked Creek Campground is located 3.4 miles eastside of the Waterton National Park.
Open from the first week of May to September 30. It offers 95 serviced campsites, 30 and 50 back-in to the visiting public.
Facilities Provided: WiFi, shower & toilets, kitchen-shack, laundry service, children-friendly campground, local shops, food & snack. Pet-Friendly campground.
3.4 Crandell Mountain Campground
Location: Waterton Lakes National Park Box 200 Waterton Park, AB T0K 2M0
Parks Canada maintains the Crandell Mountain campground. The picturesque Blakiston Valley is located along the Red Rock Parkway.
It has 129 unserviced campsites that are provided on a first-come, first-served basis. The campground is open from mid-May to early September, but the opening depends on the weather.
Crandell Mountain Campground has five traditional tipis available (for a charge) from late June to September 6. (weather dependent). For further information, go to Parks Canada’s website.
3.5 Belly River Campground
Belly River Campground is the most remote of the three campgrounds in Waterton National Park, with 24 well-treed basic campsites for both RVs and tents.
Dry toilets, cooking shelters, food storage, picnic tables, and fire pits are among the amenities available. When purchasing a fire permit, you can get firewood.
There is no other source of water than the Belly River. Waterton Lakes National Park is filled with exciting activities and experiences like hiking and exploring the national park with mountain bikes.
But camping is the most treasured experience of all. Camping allows you to stay in this beautiful Waterton Park and enjoy every activity of your choice.
Visit Waterton Park not because we are telling you to but to experience the beauty of mother nature in its purest form.
3.6 Backcountry Campsites
Backcountry camping at Waterton Lakes National Park is a fantastic way to explore the park and lose oneself in its surroundings.
While backcountry camping requires more effort than a drive-up campground, it is well worth it for individuals who enjoy being outside and want a raw, authentic experience.
It’s worth noting that the backcountry Waterton campgrounds aren’t reachable by road and must be reached by hiking paths.
It means you’ll need to be able to carry all of your goods comfortably as you make your way to your wilderness campsite. 9 Out of 10 Campsites have all the facilities like tent pads, an outhouse, and picnic tables.
The 10 Backcountry campsites are:
- Alderson Lake
- Bertha Bay
- Bertha Lake
- Boundary Bay
- Crandell Lake
- Goat Lake
- Lineham Lakes
- Lone Lake
- Twin Lakes
Before heading out to either of these Waterton camping spots, make sure you’ve read up on backcountry camping since you’ll need to take extra precautions concerning water purification, food, clothes, and so on.
You must make reservation 90 days before visiting any campsite. Visit Waterton Lakes National Park’s website to know more.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What animals can you find in the park?
Waterton Lakes National Park is divided into four ecoregions: parkland in the foothills, montane, subalpine, and alpine.
Waterton is Canada’s only national park containing the foothills parkland ecoregion, covering about 10% of the park and stretching from Calgary to Waterton and into some regions of the United States.
The wildlife of the Waterton Lakes National Park includes wolverines, moose, timber wolves, coyotes, cougars, bobcats, beavers, bison, elk, river otters, lynxes, pikas, mountain goats, bison, grizzly bears, marmots, black bears, bighorn sheep, white-tailed deer, foxes, bald eagles, and mule deer.
2, Historic Sites in Waterton Lakes National Park
2.1 The Prince of Wales Hotel
The Prince of Wales Hotel is one of Canada’s notable railway hotels. The Great Northern Railway of the United States built the hotel near Upper Waterton Lakes between 1926 and 1927.
It was an attempt to lure American tourists during the prohibition era in the United States. The Wales Hotel opened in July 1927 and is Canada’s first great railway hotel built by an American railway firm.
2.2 First Oil Well of Canada National Historic Site
The First Oil Well in Western Canada is also known as Lineham Discovery Well No. 1. It is an obsolete oil well and a national historic site in Canada.
The well was the first productive oil well in the Western Canadian provinces, initially dug in 1902.
The oil well marks the first oil strike in Western Canada on September 21, 1902, in what is now known as the Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta.
2.3 The Bar U Ranch National Historic Site
The Bar U Ranch National Historic Site in Longview, Alberta, is a conserved ranch.
It was once one of Canada’s most successful ranching operations. The Bar U Ranch spanned 65,000 hectares at its peak, with 30,000 cattle and 1,000 Percheron horses.
The Big Four included two proprietors who were essential in the founding of the Calgary Stampede.
3, What to keep in mind?
It’s also important to remember that for the duration of your camping excursion in Waterton, you’ll need a valid camping permit and a Parks Canada pass.
Before you set up camp, you must register your permission, and fire permits are necessary each night you have a fire.
The National Parks website has all the information about Waterton Lakes National Park’s costs. Also, you will unlikely have a violent bear encounter, but you must be prepared for an unfortunate situation.
If a bear tries to get close to you, spray the bear spray or play dead. Don’t make eye contact with the bear; it might take it as a challenge and attack you. (For more precautions, visit the Waterton Park website.) You can also book the royal Stewart dining room for your enjoyment.
Waterton Lakes National Park is accessible all year, but July and August are the busiest tourist months. It is highly recommended that you book reliable accommodation options for your stay, like Crandell mountain lodge, or the Waterton lakes lodge resort, to enjoy the mountain vistas of the rocky mountains or the view of inner sacred lake And don’t take in the beauty of this Unesco world heritage site.