Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta – In 1932 Waterton Lakes National Park joined with Glacier National Park in Montana (on the border’s south side) to become the world’s first International Peace Park. Park staff on both sides work together on a popular 14-km (8.5-mile) guided International Peace Park Hike held Wednesdays & Saturdays, July & August. Popular two-hour cruises also run frequently on Upper Waterton Lake, with a stop at Goat Haunt Montana.
Back in the village you don’t have to go far to spot wildlife, mule deer nibble trees in the centre of town. And, nobody’s challenging the the estimated 150 to 250 grizzly’s in the mountains who wander between countries whenever they feel like it. Here the mountains dramatically drop right to prairies, a landscape that funnels so much wind, if you look closely at the Historic Prince of Wales Hotel you’ll see it’s secured to the ground with cables. In the winter the wind can create snowballs on flat land, I saw photographs in the information office.
The park is located 270 km south of Calgary, and 130 km Southwest of Leithbridge Alberta. The village has just 400 hotel /motel rooms (so, book ahead) plus camping, boating and a golf course. As you travel south from Calgary you pass through Chinook territory. A Chinook is a wind that blows from the Pacific, gives up its moisture to rise over the Rockies, then packing warm dry air races down the eastern slopes of the mountains, shooting up the temperature on the prairies at an amazingly fast pace. The record in Canada is 41 C (-19 C to 22 C) in one hour in 1962, at Pincher Creek. There are an average of 30-35 Chinooks a year.
Waterton Lakes National Park now has digital cameras set up so animals take their own pictures Cameras are often attached to trees along trails and are triggered by animals that walk by. The wildlife can range from wolves to cougars, and when they animal walk by an infrared motion detector triggers the camera shutter.
Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta