Perched on the shore of Waterton Lake, Waterton is a charming Canadian Rockies hamlet near Alberta’s border with Montana. It serves as a gateway to the mountains and prairies of Waterton Lakes National Park, which is famed for its thundering waterfalls, red rock canyons and native bison.
Things to do in Waterton
Drive the spectacular Red Rocks Parkway, which winds its way up the Blakiston Valley and accesses many of Waterton Lakes National Park’s most popular day hikes. Stop at one of the many lookouts to admire the wildflower prairie and see the iron-rich red rock that runs through the mountain layers. In the winter months, the road transforms into a cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trail.
Another scenic drive to enjoy is the Bison Paddock Loop Road, which provides a rare opportunity to see plains bison in their natural habitat during spring, summer and autumn. At the Bison Paddock Overlook, you can stretch your legs while enjoying the majestic beauty of the fescue prairies and learn how this grass provides a highly nutritious food source for bison.
At the border between Alberta and Montana is the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, which recognises the UNESCO World Heritage listing of both Waterton Lakes National Park and Glacier National Park. Together, they have been designated as an International Dark Sky Park due to their exceptional stargazing opportunities. Interpretive signs detailing the history and natural significance of both parks can be found throughout the site.
Getting around Waterton
Waterton Park is just under three hours’ drive from Calgary and Calgary International Airport, which has flights to destinations across North America and Europe. Renting a car is the most convenient way of getting to Waterton Lakes National Park and exploring its natural attractions. The hamlet of Waterton Park is small enough to explore on foot.