Waterton Lakes National Park Travel Guide
The Waterton Lakes National Park Travel Guide describes everything you need to know about this small preserve, tucked away in the extreme southwestern corner of Alberta.
Everyone traveling to 526-square-kilometre (203-square-mile) Waterton Lakes National Park does so by choice as it is on a major highway or on the way to anywhere else.
Waterton Lakes National Park is bounded to the north and east by the rolling prairies covering southern Alberta; to the south by the U.S. border and Glacier National Park in Montana; and to the west by the Continental Divide, which forms the Alberta to British Columbia border. The natural mountain splendor, a chain of deep glacial lakes, large and diverse populations of wildlife, an unbelievable variety of day hikes, and a changing face each season make this park a gem that shouldn’t be missed on any trip to the Canadian Rockies. The route to Waterton is almost as scenic as Waterton Lakes National Park itself. From whichever direction you arrive, the transition from prairie to mountains is abrupt, almost devoid of the foothills that characterize other areas along the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies.
Between Waterton Lakes National Park gate and the small township of Waterton, two roads penetrate the mountains to the west. One ends at a large glaciated lake, the other at a spectacular canyon. The town is a smaller version of those in Banff and Jasper. Like those towns, Waterton holds a grand hotel built by the railway, a golf course, and a wide range of services, but the atmosphere here is very different.
In 2017, a wildfire swept through Waterton Lakes National Park. It covered over 38,000 hectares (94,000 acres), including most of Waterton Lakes National Park west of Waterton Village. Although the village was saved, the fire destroyed the Waterton Lakes Visitor Centre. A new visitor centre has been built downtown and most hiking trails are now open, although the views have changed drastically as the burnt forest slowly regenerates.
PLAN YOUR TRIP
STORIES FROM WATERTON LAKES NATIONAL PARK
Waterton Lakes National Park Lake Fish and Fishing
Waterton Lakes National Park Lake Fish and Fishing The lakes and rivers of Waterton Lakes National Park hold a variety of fish, most of which belong to the trout and salmon family and are classed as cold-water species—that is, they inhabit waters where the temperature...
What Movies Have Been Filmed in Waterton Lakes National Park?
What Movies Have Been Filmed in Waterton Lakes National Park? A small number of movies have been filmed in Waterton Lakes National Park, although it has been mostly just a few scenes, as the small town and remote location are not able to handle the demands of full...
What is Waterton Lakes known for?
What is Waterton Lakes known for? Our local writers describe what Waterton Lakes National Park is best known for, including wildlife, scenic drives, and hiking. With just a few hundred residents, WATERTON TOWNSITE is a charming place, sandwiched between lake and...