Waterton Lakes National Park is a national treasure for so many reasons, chief among them its unique and unusually diverse ecology. Waterton Lakes is one of the narrowest places in the Rocky Mountains, creating an unusually rich ecological meeting place for fragrant evergreen forests, wind-swept prairies, towering Rocky Mountains and deep glacial lakes.

No protected areas of similar size in the Rockies offers as much biodiversity as Waterton Lakes National Park. Waterton’s vast mosaic of plant life gives rise (and sustenance) to a wide array of highly visible wildlife. Nature lovers from all over the world are drawn to this fascinating ecological wonder “where the mountains meet the prairies”. Exploring this natural world is an amazing way to learn more about Waterton Lakes National Park.

Nature Exploring

Wildflowers and Fauna

Among Waterton’s many natural riches is the diversity of plants and flowers it offers. In fact, more than half of Alberta’s plant species are found in Waterton Park. Waterton’s four ecoregions – foothills parkland, montane, subalpine and alpine – are home to forty-five vegetation communities, sixteen of which are considered significant because they are rare or fragile and threatened. Waterton’s ecological wonder includes an unusually high number of rare plants – over 175 are provincially rare and more than twenty of these are found only in the Waterton area. Over 50 species of these plants are rare in Canada.

Why not grab a handbook and see how many of these rare and beautiful plants you can discover on your journey? With more than 1000 to choose from, you are sure to encounter something you have never seen before.

Visit Park Canada’s website website to learn more about Waterton’s unique and unusual biodiversity.

Wildlife Viewing

Waterton’s variety of plant communities does more than beautify the landscape. It also provides homes for many animals, including over:

In fact, no other national park in Canada protects so much wildlife within such a small area (195 sq. miles). Strike out on your own or take in one of the many guided tours available. In all cases, educate yourself to stay safe and informed, especially where Waterton’s many carnivores are concerned.

Learn more about wildlife viewing in Waterton Lakes National Park

Bird Watching

Waterton provides an ideally balanced habitat for more than 250 species of birds. It is not surprising that almost anywhere in Waterton Park is a great place to spot rare and beautiful birds. Birdwatching enthusiasts highly recommend the:

Learn more about bird watching in Waterton Lakes National Park