Waterton Lakes National Park
Waterton National Park

As the border with America's Glacier National Park is pretty much undistinguishable it's quite natural to see Waterton as an extension of Glacier with equally stunning lakes, mountains and wilderness areas making it a 'must visit' if you're heading across the border and into Canada. Not only is Waterton famed for its lakes and rich variety of protected natural habitats (including alpine, prairie and forest), it's also a fantastic place to spot wildlife with moose, deer, bears and more than 250 species of birds calling the park their home. Hiking, biking and boat trips are all easily accessible for visitors to Waterton and once the day is done, relaxing by the fire and planning your next day's adventures is exactly what you can look forward to before your head finally hits the hay.

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Highlights & Activities
  • Wildlife - bear country Deepest lake in the Canadian Rockies (444feet) Waterton National Park holds the accolade of being the home of the deepest lake in the Canadian Rockies and if you get the chance to canoe or journey by boat across the surface of Lake Waterton then try not to think too much about what lies beneath. With some simply sublime lakeside trails as well as ample opportunities to marvel at the pine-covered mountain slopes from the perspective of the water, this is pretty much what life in Waterton is all about.

  • Park is perfect for hiking and biking There are loads of tracks and trails in Waterton which each promise a unique look at life in the park as well as lots of chances to see wildlife within a wide variety of habitat. Shaded pine forests, rugged alpine tundra and numerous lake and river banks promise plenty of excuses to get out and enjoy the Alberta air and if you're in the mood for a bit of summer mountain biking then there's nothing better prior to taking a dip in the lake to cool off.

  • Excellent chances to view wildlife including Grizzly and Black Bear As Waterton is well-known for its diverse ecology and preserved natural environments, there's hardly any place better to experience wildlife with grizzly and black bears both adding to the thrill of a nature trail. Aside from the big boys, Waterton NP is also home to numerous deer, elk, moose and bighorn sheep as well as a small herd of bison to help you really feel like you're at home on the range.

When to go

One of the best means of planning your visit to Waterton is to consider what you'd most like to see as from wild flowers to migrating birds, the seasonal variation is often quite dramatic. The most popular time for most lovers of the great outdoors to visit Waterton is the summer with July and August getting the lion's share of the footfall. This will by no means impinge on your experience as the summer months also promise the best of the weather as well as plenty of lake and land activities to ensure there's plenty of things to do for the whole family. Outside of the summer and another popular time of year to visit coincides with the spring where blankets of wild flowers cover the alpine pastures and slowly make their way up the mountain slopes as spring turns to summer. After the summer crowds have moved on you'll find that the park is reclaimed by the wildlife and if you're hoping to see bears prior to hibernation then follow your guide's instructions and keep your eyes peeled for action along the banks of the lakes and rivers. Winter in Waterton is cold and covered in snow but if you're into your snow-shoeing or cross-country skiing then wrap up warm and dive right in as this is a quite captivating time of year to visit and a completely different experience compared to the relative warmth of the summer.

Insider Tip: Akamina Parkway

Scenic stretches of road in Alberta don't get much better than the narrow and winding form of the Akamina Parkway and if you have time to make the 10 mile road trip to Cameron Lake then be sure to take your binoculars as you'll never know who you'll spy en-route. Once you arrive lakeside there's a lovely little 1 miler to stretch your legs and if you didn't spot any bears on the way up you may well be lucky enough to see some on the lower slopes, especially around the autumn.

Tours that visit Waterton Lakes National Park


    13 days | Canada | Camping

    Jun-Sep from


    Hike along an extensive network of trails in some of the best national parks in Canada and spot the bountiful wildlife that call the area home including bear, eagles, deer and moose. Nothing can fully prepare you for a journey deep into the Canadian Rockies.

    Highlights: Banff | Yoho | Jasper | Waterton

    View tour

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