Waterton Village Postscript - Waterton Lakes - Hiking Alberta

 

Waterton Lakes National Park is hiking nirvana in South Alberta, Canada.

 

 

Waterton Village is the focal point of Waterton Lakes National Park in the southwest corner of Alberta, Canada.  This popular park in the southwest corner of Alberta is the Canadian component of the unique International Peace Park formed in 1932 to permanently acknowledge the friendship between Canada and the United States

Canada's relatively small, spectacular, natural wonder rests on top of Glacier National Park in Montana, USA.  At only 505 square kilometers (195 sq. miles), the size of Waterton Lakes National Park may pale in comparison, but Canada's little park competes favorably in the category of natural wonder. 

Glacier National Park in Montana is not to be confused with this much smaller, more rugged wilderness, and massive glacial névés of Canada's Glacier National Park at Rogers Pass between Revelstoke and Golden in British Columbia

They are very different and they are both absolutely spectacular!

 

Waterton Village - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada Mount Crandell in early morning sun across shoreline of Emerald Bay - Bears Hump is the outlier from Mount Crandell on photo left.

 

The sun feels good on the face in the cool, brisk temperature of early morning while wandering with the camera and a fresh cup of complementary coffee from Bear Mountain Motel, past the Marina to the end of the short pier protecting Emerald BayMount Crandell glows golden with Bear's Hump prominent on photo left.

 

Waterton Village - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada Mount Crandell across Emerald bay in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

The short walk on the stony shoreline of Upper Waterton Lake provides spectacular views of peaks along the mountain-bound lake extending south from Canada into the United States.

 

Waterton Village - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada The view south on Upper Waterton Lake from Waterton Village beach

 

Waterton Village - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada A view south along Upper Waterton Lake from Waterton Village beach.

 

Waterton Village - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada A long lens view from Waterton Village beach of mountains further south bordering Upper Waterton Lake

 

A right turn from the beach and through the small park adjacent to the Waterton National History Association leads directly to the historic location of Waterton's RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) detachment, constructed in 1926.

 

Waterton Village - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada Zum's Eatery is on the corner opposite the Waterton Village RCMP Station

 

Waterton Village - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada Waterton Village RCMP Station

 

Waterton Village - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada The Waterton Village RCMP Station

 

It is common to see deer roaming through town.

 

Waterton Village - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada Deer wander about town.

 

The timing is coordinated to arrive at Zum's Eatery for the 8:00 AM breakfast opening as usual at the usual table in the uniquely decorated dining area.  There is a hearty breakfast available where staff are friendly and service is good.

 

Waterton Village - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada Zum's Eatery in Waterton is opening at 8 AM to serve breakfast

 

Waterton Village - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada Zum's Eatery in Waterton - Interior decor.

 

Waterton Village - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada Zum's Eatery in Waterton - Interior decor

 

Following breakfast, a short walk across Waterton Avenue to the Waterton Natural History Association reveals a wealth of historical information, a good library of books relevant to the area and there is also offers a variety of unique gifts.  The quaint, old building is named on its exterior, as Waterton Heritage Centre du Patrimoine.

 

Waterton Village - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada Waterton Heritage Centre across the street from Zum's Eatery in Waterton

 

A walk north on Waterton Avenue, with Mount Crandell providing a bold background, leads to the short pier at Emerald Bay for morning-light views of the Prince of Wales Hotel on the other side.

 

Waterton Village - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada A short section of Waterton Village main drag with Mount Crandell in the background.

 

Waterton Village - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada Prince of Wakes Hotel across Emerald Bay from the pier in Waterton Village.

 

Waterton Village - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada Prince of Wales Hotel across Emerald Bay

 

Waterton Village - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada Mount Crandell across Emerald Bay and foreground sea gulls at the end of the pier.

 

After packing up and checking out of the Bear Mountain Motel, it is time to bid a fond farewell to Waterton Village until next time.  The Bear Mountain Motel is unpretentious, fundamental and focused on providing clean, comfortable and affordable accommodation.  The centrally located motel adjacent to Tamarack Outdoor Outfitters has provided accommodation many times and has always been a positive experience. 

Waterton Village is the hub for Waterton Lakes National Park.  This park is a mecca for hikers and a hiking town with incredible potential as current efforts will extend the season to keep the town busy year round. The drive north on the Park Entrance Road passes the Waterton Lakes Golf Course.  Waterton Village hosts large Provincial Campgrounds.

There are several turnouts along the entrance road which provide interpretive plaques of notable pioneers in the park's history, as well as outstanding views of Middle Waterton Lake, Lower Waterton Lake and Maskinonge Lake.  One turnout hosts a short trail to the grave site of John George 'Kootenai' Brown

Leaving Waterton Lakes National Park, at the T junction the turn left onto Highway 6 heads north past the entrance to the 3.5 KM (2¼ mile) Bison Paddock Drive.

 

 

 

Highway 6 north provides the opportunity to stop at a viewpoint overlooking the Waterton Park Front Range for magnificent views of the Rocky Mountains behind rolling farm and ranch land where the mountains meet the prairies.  Beyond Twin Butte and Pincher Creek, the turn is left at the intersection with Hwy 3.

 

Waterton Village - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada Waterton Village - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada Waterton Village - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada Waterton Village - Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

At Highway 3, the drive proceeds west on the Cowboy Trail.

 

 

 

 

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Comments

It was welcome following the previous wet day. Waterton is a very beautiful park and somewhat out of the way. It gets a bit busier every year. Thanks for your comment, Helen.

The West Coast Trail will create indelible memories. You should be able to complete this world-class hike in 5 days. I wish you fair weather. I hike solo but I have encounters and conversations with other hikers along the trail. Hiking opportunities in BC are virtually endless. Parks Canada and Provincial Parks staff will be the best equipped to match the best trails to your ability and personal preferences. Stay safe. I wish you well. Thank you for your comment, Kay.

Hi Barry, it looks amazing! Have you met many other hikers in Waterton? I came across your article while searching for new hiking trails in BC. I live in Toronto with my boyfriend and we are going to BC in two weeks time, to complete the <a href="http://jamiesarner.com/toronto-life/2012/08/most-demanding-hiking-trails-canada/" rel="nofollow">West Coast Trail</a>. We hope we can manage it in 5 days and then we would like to see some other place as well. Do you have any recommendations? We are both experienced hikers. Thank you so much! :) Kay

Such a wonderfully crisp clear morning!

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