I always like to go for a drive down some back road I haven't taken before, there's so many in Alberta, it seems more than anywhere else I've lived in Canada. This time I decided to go south to the Waterton Lakes National Park. Since this unusually nice weather decided to continue, I decided to go see what I could find. In a wind warning, with winds up to 100 km/h, it's not easy standing still to take a photo but it was is fun! I always love a challenge!
The Waterton Lakes National Park is located in the southwest corner of Alberta, Canada, and borders Glacier National Park in Montana, United States. (See the map at the bottom of the page.) Interestingly it's Canada's 4th national park, formed in 1895 and named after the Victorian naturalist and conservationist Charles Waterton. The main attraction of this park is definitely the lakes for being the deepest in the Canadian Rockies! They're overlooked by the historic Prince of Wales Hotel National Historic Site, seen in the picture below covered by a Chinook cloud.
Waterton is one of Alberta’s windiest places. Winter winds over 100 km/hr are common. The area has Chinooks often, which results in it being one of Alberta’s warmest areas in winter. I know, it sounds like I didn't write that properly but yes, it's windy but warmer than other places. Chinook winds can cause winter temperatures to rise dramatically within hours. The more you know!
In 1979, Waterton Lakes and bordering Glacier National park in Montana, US were made into World Biosphere reserves, preserving mountains, prairie, lakes and freshwater wetlands ecosystems. As for wildlife, be prepared to encounter some amazing animals like wolverines, bighorn sheep, bald eagles, mountain goats, elks, moose, foxes, wolves, coyotes, beavers, river otters, cougars, lynxes, bobcats and black and grizzly bears. Don't let that scare you, if you go for hikes or walks, just remember to always make plenty of noise and having bear spray and bells is a smart idea.
Another cool fact of this amazing wonderland is that it was the birthplace of Alberta's oil boom. The Line-ham Discovery Well wasn't the first try to drill oil in western Canada but the first well to produce enough oil to sell.
The park is open year-round, though most facilities close for the winter. It is at its busiest from June through September, with July and August seeing the most visitors. All year long, you'll find plenty to do to entertain yourself and your family! Parks Canada operates three campgrounds in Waterton Lakes National Park: Townsite Campground, Crandell Campground and Belly River Campground.
Alberta is filled with amazing hidden gems. There's so much to see and do, I definitely live here for the breathtaking views and the connection I'm able to have with nature. Every road leads to somewhere epic!
-> Which park is your favorite? Let me know in the comments, I always love learning new things!
Peace & Love,