Wandering Around Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park
After many hours of driving south across Alberta’s beautiful prairies we finally arrive just north of the US/Canadian Border and enter a stunning region of blue lakes and jagged peaks know as Waterton Lakes National Park.
A Brief History Of The Area
Waterton Lakes National Park is located in the southwest corner of Alberta, Canada, and borders Glacier National Park in Montana.
Waterton was Canada’s fourth national park, formed in 1895 and named after Waterton Lake, in turn after the Victorian naturalist and conservationist Charles Waterton. The park contains 505 km2 (195 sq mi) of rugged mountains and wilderness.
In 1932, Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park was formed from both Waterton and Glacier. It was dedicated to world peace by Sir Charles Arthur Mander on behalf of Rotary International.
Although the park has a lot of diversity for its size, the main highlight is the Waterton Lakes—the deepest in the Canadian Rockies—overlooked by the historic Prince of Wales Hotel National Historic Site.
As we head west the road into the mountains turns from flat grass covered prairies to vertical narrow mountainous valleys and ends in the town of Waterton Park.
This small village is mostly filled with summer homes and small tourist businesses and is a bustling holiday mecca during the summer months. Most are now closed for the season and life is very quiet.
We immediately found a wonderful campground in the middle of the township that is still open. It is situated directly on the shores of Upper Lake Waterton and only had a handful of other campers.
The weather was glorious so we decided to drive up the spectacular Akamina Parkway to Cameron Lake.
Dogs are allowed on most trails so we hike up to Summit Lake, about 5 miles return. Luckily most of the trail was in the shade and the big black dogs enjoyed the hike. Stunning scenery!!
After 3 nights camping and hiking along Waterton Lakes we decide it was time to head south and back into the USA. We crossed the border at Carway, a small out of the way border station and drove into Glacier NP.
I had been to Glacier NP in 1969 but this was Denise’s first time. As we drove up the Many Glaciers Road we felt very lucky to back in the lower 48 and in this fantastic National Park.
That evening we wandered into the town of St Mary and found the campground completely empty. After much deliberation we finally decided on a site with plenty of view shed. With the old age discount we paid a whooping $6 per night.
In the morning we met Ranger Angie Wagner. She and her husband have worked for the park service for over 30 years and even though we had never met her before we mutually know many of the same folks. The NPS really is a big family.
Unfortunately the Going To The Sun Road through the park had closed for the season so we decided to meander further south into Montana. On our last evening the sunset at St Mary Lake was incredible!
Next stop….we visit more NPS friends near Bozeman, Stay Tuned!
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Keep you posted……