Unbelievably beautiful. Unspoiled. Uncrowded.  Just some of the words that come to mind when one thinks of Waterton National Park.

Located in the southwest corner of Alberta, Waterton lies alongside the United States border connecting with Glacier National Park in Montana - together forming the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park.

Waterton Lakes is the smallest national park in the Canadian Rockies but still packs a mighty punch. It has a rugged natural beauty dotted by crystal clear lakes and miles of pristine walking and hiking trails. It has scenery to take your breath away.

The townsite campground operated by Parks Canada hugs the waterline here and it’s not unusual to watch deer and elk wandering by your picnic table. From your RV rental parked at this campground, it’s an easy walk into town – perhaps you’ll catch sight of an owl or two en route. Those who enjoy hiking will find a wealth of trails in the area, both easy and challenging. A hike up to Bear's Hump (walkable from the Townsite Campground) will provide spectacular views of the Waterton Valley and Mount Cleveland. It's a short strenuous hike suitable for families. Allow an hour to complete the return trip.

Close by is the historic Prince of Wales hotel which stands proudly on a bluff overlooking Waterton Village. It's an iconic sight in the Park and is a designated Canadian National Historic Site. It exudes a rustic charm and is a definite 'must-see' while in Waterton.

Two spur roads within the Park take you to other 'must-see' attractions. The Akamina Parkway is a 16km scenic drive taking you past the site of the first oil well in Western Canada and ending at Cameron Lake where a visitor centre gives you ideas for hiking and recreation in the area. The 14km long Red Rock Parkway is one of the most popular destinations in Waterton Lakes Park ending at the parking area at Red Rock Canyon. Here visitors are greeted by colourful rock formations with the 0.7km trail offering fantastic views of the canyon. Other hikes are also available in the area.

If you prefer to take to the water, lake cruises are available taking you down the lake to Goat Haunt in Glacier National Park. The US border intersects Waterton Lake at its southern end and the trip to Goat Haunt crosses the international boundary but, unless you are planning to pass through the border station here, passports are not required.

For those with a little more time in the area, consider booking a trip on the Waterton-Glacier Red Bus for their Going-to-the-Sun-Road tour (July-August). Sit back and relax as you are whisked into Montana for this spectacular tour. Passports are required.

So much to do, so much to see - this is Waterton.

Top 5 Things to Do

  • Hike up to Bear's Hump
  • Cruise Waterton Lake
  • Canoe on Cameron Lake
  • Visit the Prince of Wales Hotel
  • Red bus it into Glacier Park, Montana (seasonal)

Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park

Waterton has its own unique charm packed into a compact space but, as the northern part of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, the spectacular scenery continues beyond the border into nearby Glacier National Park.
Video courtesy of Parks Canada

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