It's not difficult to settle for a national park to spend some vacation time, but finding a national park that keeps visitors coming back every year is a different game. Waterton Lakes National Park is a popular tourist attraction that boasts fascinating sceneries, intriguing hike trails, diverse wildlife, wildflowers, and the spectacular Rocky Mountains.
Most tourists confess that it takes more than one visit to get the most out of what the Waterton Lakes National Park offers. Here are the top 8 things to do to have an unforgettable experience at the park.
8 Tour The Cameron Falls
Waterton Lake National Park is no stranger to photography lovers' interest, and The Cameron Falls is a sight to behold. It is arguably the place with the most photography activity in the National Park, mainly due to its pink-looking waters as seen in photographs. Additionally, the fact that it’s located at the heart of the town is intriguing to many.
For visitors feeling adventurous, a short trail is designed just for better views when the falls are well lit under the night sky.
7 Have Fun At The Lake
From kayaking and canoeing at Cameron Lake to stand-up paddleboarding at Lake Waterton, the gorgeous alpine lakes are a perfect spot to spend your mid-morning. The tranquil shores also provide a luxurious environment for picnics, swimming, or just walking barefoot. Seriously, the jaw-dropping reflection of the mountains on the lake surface is one of the best scenes in Waterton Lake National Park.
- Hours: Every Day, 9 a.m to 5 p.m
- Cost: $25 an hour
- Distance: Approximately 5km
6 Horseback Riding
The breathtaking prairie grassland, U-shaped valleys, and multiple shallow-water streams make Waterton Lakes National Park a haven for a family adventure. Well-trained horses and clearly defined riding trails make visitors want to return to have that cowboy experience. Trotting the horse during the sunset coupled with the beautiful spread of wildflowers will be a sure way to make lasting memories.
- Hours: Monday - Saturday, 9 a.m to 9 p.m
- Cost: $40 per person
- Recommendation: 2hr 30min ride duration
5 The Bear's Hump Hike
For visitors who are "born to hike", the high-altitude part of Waterton Lakes National Park is perfect to build mental sharpness. A short but steep foot trail delivers a spectacular view of the lake and Waterton Valley as you climb to the vantage point.
As the name suggests, the Bear Mountain resembles the outline of a towering grizzly bear viewed from a distance during the hike.
- Hours: Every day, open 24hrs
- Distance: 1.8 miles
- Recommendation: Short hike, moderate hike, and open hike
4 Play Golf
Believe it or not, The Waterton Lakes Golf Course is one of the oldest and most reputable golf courses in Canada. BBC presenter, Dan Walker, and sports celebrities like Chris Turner, Steve Haslam, and Andy Holdsworth are golf enthusiasts who take part in golf events here. Playing golf near the gorgeous mountain scenery during the summer is an experience no visitor should miss. Plus, who knows, bumping into one of the local animals looking to join in is a probability.
- Hours: 7 a.m to 7 p.m
- Distance/Area: 200 acres
- Cost: $35 to $50 per session
3 Take A Cruise
This is the best place for visitors looking to have a posh experience. The cruises take about one hour and vary in price according to departure times. Cruising across Waterton Lake is a paradise for photography lovers as it provides a view of the National Park from a new perspective, on top of a boat in the middle of the lake.
Since the spaces are in high demand, booking ahead is always recommended. As the boat cruises through the crisp waters, a team of hospitable guides educates tourists on the park's rich history. For serious hikers, carrying the hiking gear is a good idea as the boat drops off travelers at hike start points.
- Hours: Every day, 8 a.m to 6 p.m
- Price: $60
2 Wildlife Sighting And Bird Watching
As usual, tourists don’t expect to miss wild animals at any great National Park. Waterton Lakes National Park makes it even more fun for animal lovers with its great resource in flora and fauna. The park is home to over 70 land animals, 24 species of fish, and 250 bird species. The most commonly spotted animals are bighorn sheep, grizzly bears, black bears, elks, moose, mule deer, coyotes, and foxes. Visitors should always be on the lookout as they might spot the blue jay, the birds are believed to be a symbol of adventure and determination.
1 Visit The Prince Of Wales Hotel
For tourists looking for a place to stay for a night or two, the special British-style grand hotel with breathtaking views is the place to be. Built in 1927, the traditional architecture with unique floor-to-ceiling windows lets visitors take in Waterton Lake's activities while in the hotel room. Additionally, it’s a great spot to spend the afternoon, thanks to the signature afternoon tea and mouth-watering pastries offered in the main restaurant.
- Hours: Open seasonally from May to September
- Cost: $200 a night
- Recommendations: Afternoon high tea, sandwich squares, and delicious pastries