Waterton Lakes National Park: Know Before You Go
Overlooked by many, Waterton Lakes National Park is a must-see destination that can be easily combined with a trip to Glacier National Park. Extraordinary views, abundant wildlife, and more are waiting just across the Canadian border. Discover all that Waterton Lakes and Glacier National Parks have to offer.
Fun Facts about Waterton Lakes National Park
- Packed into a compact area of only 195 square miles, Waterton Lakes National Park is the smallest national park in the Canadian Rockies.
- Founded in 1895, it became the fourth established national park in Canada.
- More than ½ of the plant species found in Alberta exist in Waterton Lakes National Park.
- Large predators like grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, and cougars can all be found in the park.
- Upper Waterton Lake reaches depths of 487 ft, making it the deepest lake in the Canadian Rockies.
Connection Between Glacier and Waterton National Parks
Did you know that Waterton and Glacier National Parks are connected? Formed in 1932, the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park is a combination of the two national parks and the first of its kind. Dedicated by Sir Charles Arthur Mander, the International Peace Park is intended to create peace and goodwill between Canada and the United States.
Things To Do During a Visit to Waterton Lakes National Park
- Prince of Wales Hotel: A must-see on any visit to this park! Constructed in 1926, this famous hotel is adjacent to Upper Waterton Lake and is a popular attraction for visitors. The views from the hotel are phenomenal and the architecture will blow you away. If you want to stay the night, make sure to book early as reservations go quickly.
- Boat tour of Waterton Lakes: Looking for a relaxing way to enjoy the water and explore the park at the same time? There is no better way to see the sights than from a boat tour on Waterton Lake. Offered multiple times per day, the 2-hour tour cruises are an excellent way to get the most out of your Canadian Rockies experience.
- Hike Bears Hump: The quintessential Waterton Lakes hike! This 1.8-mile trail climbs 698 feet in elevation on this quick out-and-back adventure. This is a perfect family-friendly activity and the views are so WORTH IT!
- Hike to Bertha Falls: Unbeatable views of the lake, mountains, and gorgeous waterfalls — certainly, the Bertha Falls trail is a great hike for those looking for adventure. Clocking in at 3.3 miles and gaining 662 feet of elevation, this trail is considered moderately challenging, but worth the trek on the well-maintained path.
- Rent a bike: Go green and rent a bike for a more intimate experience in the park! Take a cruise down the Red Rock Parkway or Akamina Parkway, both of which provide amazing views.
Things To Do in Glacier National Park
- Drive the Going-To-The-Sun Road: Undeniably, this iconic highway is a must-do on any trip in Glacier National Park. Winding and weaving through the “Crown Of The Continent” ecosystem, the road provides gorgeous views and wildlife that will leave you speechless. If you want to drive the famous highway, make sure you have your vehicle pass (mandatory 5/27-9/11)!
- Take a hike: There are countless miles of trails to hike around GNP. Pick up a trail map at a local outdoor store or mercantile. Or check out the National Park Service’s trail maps for more information.
- Whitewater Rafting: Enjoy a rafting trip with our friends at Glacier Raft Company. Check out our Glacier National Park Premier Activity Package to get the most out of your trip.
Looking for your own fun in the trees? Glacier Highline is your family-friendly aerial adventure park near Glacier National Park.