This summer I ventured out to Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta. Although the park experienced a major fire in 2017, it definitely still worth a visit. Here are a few recommended activities and tips:
We biked two trails during our visit. The Kootenai Brown trail is a easy eight kilometer pathway to the park entrance. There were several sightseeing points – Driftwood Beach, Pass Creek, Kootenai Brown and his wives’ graves, and Lower Waterton Lake.
Red Rock Parkway was only open to pedestrians and bikers, so we took full advantage. It is a moderate sixteen kilometre ride to Red Rock Canyon with many dips and hills. It took us about two hours to bike there with breaks for rests and pictures. The reward was worth it – Red Rock Canyon. Furthermore, there were only a handful of people at Red Rock Canyon due to the road closure. The ride back was far easier. The many hills allowed us to coast much of the way! Pack a lunch and consider renting an E-bike for a relaxing ride to the Canyon.
We tackled all Bertha trails over the course of our stay – Bertha Falls, Bertha Lake, and Bertha Bay. The falls are beautiful but busy. Even the lake had more people than I expected. It is a moderate hike up a score of switchbacks. However the lake is very nice. Bertha Bay is a quiet hike and has a beautiful pebble beach.
We opted to take a boat cruise on Upper Waterton Lake. The ship circumnavigates the lake, heading south into the USA then back north to Waterton. The tour guide provided much information on the history, geology, and ecology of the area. We saw the border cut line and monuments, a bald eagle, and several key mountains.
The town of Waterton provides an abundance of ways to relax when not out on the trails. The Prince of Wales hotel offers history and great views of Upper Waterton Lake and the town. There are many shops to purchase souvenirs from. Cameron Falls are a short walk from downtown. The village also provides relief from the south winds at the campground. We camped in G loop; A loop might be slightly more protected from the wind. However, there are kitchen shelters to escape the wind. Waterton Lakes is far quieter than national parks like Banff and Jasper.