Waterton Lakes National Park is located in Alberta, Canada, and borders Glacier National Park in Montana, U.S. At 109 sq mi (505 sq km), Waterton is the smallest national park in the Canadian Rockies.
How It Got Here
The park is named after Waterton Lake, which in turn is named after the naturalist and conservationist Charles Waterton, and was opened in 1895. Waterton and Glacier National Park make the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, which Sir Charles Arthur Mander, representing Rotary International, dedicated to world peace.
The average temperature is 18.35 °F (-7.6 °C) in January and 60.2 °F (15.8 °C) in July. The park is part of the international Crown of the Continent and influenced by the Pacific maritime weather system. The warm moist air that flows over the Columbia Plateau and Coast Mountains often meet the cold Arctic Continental weather system, which forces up the warmer air and creates a high level of snow and rain. As such, the park has the highest average annual precipitation from Alberta-42 in (1072 mm).
Wild Wild Life
Despite being small, there are many species of animals living in the park, including black and grizzly bears, bison, wolverines, bald eagles, mule deer, mountain goats, foxes, coyotes, river otters, and snowshoe hares.
The park, together with Glacier National Park, is a World Biosphere reserve and includes important plants such as aspen grove forests, prairie grasslands, lower subalpine forests, alpine tundra, and coniferous and deciduous forests.
The park encompasses areas of the Rocky Mountains and the Canadian prairies. The only commercial facilities you will find are located in the town of Waterton Park.
One of the main attractions of the park is its lakes, which are located between two mountain ranges and has a depth of over 492 ft (150 m), being deeper compared to other lakes that can be found in Canada.
An interesting building located In Warton is the Prince of Wales Hotel, which was designed and built for the Great Northern Railway company and is managed by the Glacier Park Company. This 121 ft (37 m) building is considered one of the coolest railway hotels in Canada and provides good views of the Upper Waterton Lake. It’s worth mentioning that the Upper Waterton Lake is divided by the Canada-U.S. border, with Canada having around two-thirds of the lake.
Other attractions include Cameron Falls, Red Rock Canyon, Bertha Falls, Bertha Lake, Cameron Lake, Blakiston Falls, Linette Lake, and Waterton Heritage Center.
Hiking & Camping in Waterton National Park
For information and tips about hikes in Waterton National Park check here.
If you are interested in camping check here.
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