WATERTON PARK ATTRACTIONS
In its tiny 505 square km footprint, Waterton Lakes National Park has a long list of breathtaking natural beauty and interesting cultural attractions. On top of that, the areas surrounding Waterton Park are also rich in history and natural wonder.
Explore all that Waterton Park and its surrounding communities have to offer.
Discover what Waterton’s surrounding communities have to offer
There are many things to explore in Waterton, and that includes the Waterton Village. It turns out that the 400,000 people who visit us every year happen to really appreciate that about our bustling little town center.
Shopping enthusiasts will find everything from fine art to jewelry, gifts, apparel and high end sporting goods. Waterton Village also offers a great selection of places to enjoy a meal, snack or beverage. Our premium coffee houses offer gourmet tea and coffee drinks and there are several places serving ice cream to enjoy while you stroll the village, sit at our brand new park or stroll along the shores of Waterton Lake.
You can experience our village by car or foot or rent a bike, moped or classic surrey to take in all of the sites that Waterton has to offer our guests.
This is a classic Waterton hike and comes highly recommended by anyone who’s ever experienced it. At only 1.5 km (0.9 miles), it’s short and strenuous but well worth the climb. At its blissfully flat apex, you will be greeted by breathtaking views of Waterton Valley. Suitable for novice hikers, it’s still advisable to choose good footwear for the journey.
Learn more about other hiking trails in Waterton Park.
Prince of Wales Hotel
Built in 1927 by the Great Northern Railway, this breathtaking building named for the Prince of Wales sits high on a bluff overlooking the Waterton valley, offering spectacular views of Waterton’s Upper Lake, the village and the Rocky Mountains sweeping all the way to the Canada-U.S. border in Goat Haunt Montana. One of the largest all-wood buildings in Alberta, it has survived wind, fire and even the Depression of the 1930s to become a National Historic site known by photograph alone throughout the world.
Located in the townsite on Evergreen Avenue, Cameron Falls attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world each year. As Rocky Mountain water cascades over 1.5 billion-year-old pre-Cambrian rock, you’ll experience equal measures of serenity and awe as you take in one of the world’s most photographed geological wonders.
A short, paved pathway to the right of Cameron Falls offers amazing vantage points of the upper waterfall. It is also the ending point of the Carthew-Alderson Trail, a 19 km one-way trek from Cameron Lake back to Waterton Village.
A 16 km journey along the Akamina Parkway will take you to one of the most stunning subalpine lakes in the Rocky Mountains. Enjoy a picnic on its pristine shores, scuba dive, take an easy hike or rent a boat for an even closer experience. If you do decide to explore the lake by boat, be sure to check out the shores for wildlife sightings. There is also access to convenient services such as washrooms, an interpretive center and a tackle shop with beverages and snacks.
As you travel to (or from) Cameron Lake, do not forget to stop off at Oil City, one of Waterton’s two National Historic Sites.
Waterton Heritage Centre
Located in the heart of Waterton Village on Waterton Avenue, the Waterton Heritage Centre is a small museum, bookstore and the place to go for interesting facts and information. You can talk with a knowledgeable staffer, view displays and buy park-related books, maps, printed guides, artwork and gifts.
Red Rock Canyon Parkway
The winding, rolling wonder known as the Red Rock Parkway offers 16 beautiful kilometres of roadside valley views, alpine meadows, wildlife and breathtaking Rocky Mountain peaks. At the end of the Parkway, visitors are treated to a deep valley of red and green bedrock flowing with clear mountain streams.
The Canyon Loop, a 0.7 km walk around the site offers fantastic views and access to a short but scenic hike to Blakiston Falls (2 km) that will give you the most impressive view of water cascading over the deep-red rocks.
Emerald Bay Shipwreck
Not only do visitors get to take in the scenery in this beautiful, turquoise-hued bay, they’ll likely see scuba divers checking out the remains of the Gertrude, a sunken sternwheeler that is nearly a century old. Whether you decide to join them for your own close-up look or simply prefer to take in the sites from the shoreline, Emerald Bay is a stop you won’t want to miss on your visit to Waterton Lakes.
Waterton Bison Paddock
There was a time when an estimated 60 million buffalo roamed the plains of southern Alberta. Excessive overhunting and a steady loss of habitat has dwindled those numbers drastically, placing bison on Alberta’s endangered list. Just a short drive north of Waterton Lakes National Park on Highway 6 is the Waterton Bison Paddock, where a protected herd of rare Plains bison is kept for viewing as a reminder of their legacy as well as in attempt to aid an increasing their population size and advance their species.