Update! Due to a huge, sweeping forest fire, this area is entirely closed until further notice. Unfortunately, even the info centre burned down. Watch this space for updates!
Road trip to Waterton
With the weather hitting a balmy 22C last weekend, we couldn’t think of a better way to test out our new (used) car than to take a drive down to Waterton National Park.
Since it’s still technically winter season, there isn’t much open in the town itself, but it makes a highly scenic day trip. The town of Waterton is located just inside the Waterton National Park, approximately 2 and a half hours by car south of Calgary. In the winter when everything is boarded up, as we found out, deer basically run the town. Adorable.
After grabbing a hotdog from Weiners of Waterton (literally the only store open in town, but delicious nonetheless), we took the trail up Bear’s Hump. This is a short but fairly steep climb up the side of a rocky outcrop which ends in a stunning view of the Waterton Valley and Mount Cleveland. It’s approximately 2.8km return and well worth the stroll.
The top of the hump is fairly wide and flat, and even with a crippling fear of heights I didn’t get antsy until Tim started mountain-goat hopping around near the edge. There are a couple of picnic tables and plenty of places to stretch out, so we suggest you bring a pack lunch and make a date of it. Just watch out for the cheeky chipmunks who may want a nibble of your unattended sandwich!
Red Rock Canyon was on our list for Waterton, but it was still closed for the season, so we contented ourselves with lunch at Cameron Falls in the township itself, where I managed to entice a chipmunk to eat out of my hand. I fed him a stick I found on the ground, which is probably why he didn’t come back for seconds (particularly given the toddler before me was feeding him Starburst Jelly Babies).
We’re definitely looking forward to hitting Waterton again when the rest of the trails open up!
Hey! love your blog – it has totally inspired me to go to Waterton later in the year. Which month were these photos taken from when you went for the day and things were still closed? Currently living in Banff.
Hey Hannah, thanks so much; we also live in Banff! The post was posted April 23rd but it could easily have been May (sorry, this was posted a few years ago now so my memory is hazy!). From our experience, Waterton takes a surprisingly long time to open up after winter, so don’t aim for early season! I also vaguely remember things being closed coinciding with tick season (which is usually May/early June) If you’re keen to hike, eat at restaurants etc, then I’d recommend mid-June onwards to be safe. Sorry for not being more helpful!