Waterton Lakes National Park
Travel Update: Most destinations are open — check the official websites and read our crucial BEST TIME tips below to help you AVOID CROWDS (Travel with at least 15% off | booking.com)
Waterton is great at any time and open throughout the year. However, from May - September is probably the best time with the most wildlife being about and more pleasant temperatures. Check out our place Glacier National Park for weather details, since both are close and experience the same climate.
Avoiding Tourist Crowds
Although it's tiny compared to Banff and less touristy, Waterton became much busier in the recent years. Especially during the peak months of July and August. If you go during the summer: Avoid weekends and arrive early in the morning. In summer, the visitor center opens at 8 AM. Later in the day, there can be 40-50 cars waiting at the gate. Be there right at 8 AM and start your hike before the crowds arrive. Another way to avoid tourist crowds is visiting in the spring (May - mid-June) or in September after Labor Day Weekend until October.
Season Overview: Activites by Season | Waterton Lakes NP
Opening Hours: Hours - Facilities - Operation | Waterton Lakes NP
Waterton Park is a great place for someone who is visiting Canada for the first time. It has a wide variety of activities on offer. From day hikes to week long back country camping adventures. One of my favorite hikes is a 3-day hike starting at Red Rock Canyon heading up to Goat Lake for the first day, then up onto the Avion Ridge. The views are quite spectacular. We then drop down the mountain to Lone Lake and camp there for the second night. Day 3 is spent heading back to Red Rock Canyon on the reverse side of the mountain. A truly wonderful hike in Canada's finest back country.
Waterton has lots more to offer as well. The village itself has plenty of Restaurants, gift shops, hotels and B&B's, there are also several campsites to pitch your tent or park your motor home. There are places to hire bikes, Canoes, and boats. You could also go on horse riding treks into the mountains. If you want to experience Canada and avoid the really busy tourist areas like Banff and Jasper, then Waterton Lakes National Park is for you.
Where to Stay
- Waterton Glacier Suites: Excellent location and spectacular view, spacious rooms, very comfortable. Everything is clean and the fireplace in the bedroom is really nice. Great place as everything in Waterton is walkable from the hotel.
- Browse Hotels: Check other hotels with the best prices you can get.
Useful Links and Tips
- Hiking with Barry - 10 Great Hikes
- National Geographic - Places of a Lifetime
- Official Best Times to Visit
- Banff and Beyond - The Little Park Packed With Beauty