Waterton Lakes National Park
While Waterton’s natural beauty is one of the biggest draws for the area, the park also offers a host of activities and amenities to keep visitors entertained in every season. Boat tours, golfing, horseback riding, scenic drives, wildlife viewing, canoeing, paddle boarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and of course, world-class hiking, are just a few of the activities enjoyed in Waterton Lakes National Park. The townsite also features a number of delicious and unique dining options, shopping, tennis courts, playgrounds, an opera house, guided experiences, and beach access.
For more information on park activities and amenities, hiking, wildlife, and park admission information, please visit Experiencewaterton.com or the Parks Canada website. For information on which hiking trails are currently open and trail reports, visit the Waterton Lakes National Park hiking page on the Parks Canada website.
Winter in Waterton
With only a couple hotels and restaurants open in the winter, Waterton is significantly less crowded than some of the other parks in Alberta; this makes Waterton the perfect place for a quiet winter getaway. While most people visit Waterton in the winter for a peaceful and relaxing escape, there are still plenty of activities to enjoy including snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, winter hiking, sledding, and interpretive programming from Parks Canada. For more information on what to do in the park during the winter, visit the Parks Canada website.
Shuttles and Connectors
Chief Mountain Connector
This shuttle assists hikers/visitors who are returning or coming into Waterton via the Chief Mountain Border. It also works as a connection with transportation into Montana. There are varied options on the other side of the border to continue into the U.S. For more information please see the Chief Mountain Connector website or call 1-403-859-2378 to make a reservation.
The Kenow Fire
The Kenow wildfire was first spotted by Parks Canada on August 30th in BC’s Flathead Valley. The fire, originally 5 hectares in size, exhibited rapid growth, reaching approximately 4,000 hectares by September 3rd. By September 8th, Parks Canada had issued a Mandatory Evacuation Order, protecting infrastructure within the park had become a main priority, and personnel and equipment were working around the clock. On September 11th, the Kenow fire reached the Cameron Valley. Crews worked throughout the night to protect the Waterton townsite, and in the end, were able to hold the perimeter. However, the fire continued to spread beyond the park and by September 14th had reached approximately 36,000 hectares in size. Precipitation and cooler temperatures helped crews hold the fire and by September 20th the Evacuation Order was lifted.
Fires are a natural part of a forest’s ecosystem. They can help create ideal conditions for regeneration of plant-life and can lead to renewed environments that foster biodiversity. Recovery from the fire will be a long road, but this is a natural cycle that will have long-term positive effects on the vegetation and wildlife in the area; the wildflowers, in particular, in the spring and summer following the fire were spectacular.
The Waterton Lakes Lodge Resort sends their sincerest gratitude to the fire crews, support teams and to Parks Canada; the incredible efforts of these people saved the businesses and homes in the community. While some areas within the park remain closed due to degradation caused by the fire, several trails, scenic drives, outlooks and day-use areas have already re-opened. To see the current list of what’s open and closed, visit the Parks Canada website.
The landscape in Waterton has changed, but it remains breathtaking nonetheless and the spirit of the community will always remain resilient.