The drive from Glacier National Park in Montana to Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta took us along the southern edge of Glacier National Park, over to Browning, Montana and thru the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, and on up to Canada. We passed the beautiful Chief Mountain in Montana (elevation 9,085 feet) of which the border crossing is so aptly named. Chief Mountain is on the eastern border of Glacier National Park and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.
The Chief Mountain Port of Entry into Canada is a small border crossing and when we arrived there was no one in line ahead of us so it took just minutes to stop, show passports, answer questions, and head on into Canada.
Not far from the Port of Entry is a small rest area with a “Welcome to Alberta” sign. Time for a photo op!!
A bit further up the road is the Waterton Lakes National Park entrance. Even if you have a campground reservation within the park you still have to pay park fees.
After entering the national park we soon passed by the beautiful Prince of Wales Hotel, built in 1927, which stands prominently on the hill overlooking Upper Waterton Lake. The town of Waterton Park lies just past the hotel and the campground is on the far side of a the small town.
The Townsite Campground, one of the two campgrounds in the park, has a kiosk entry where you receive your camping pass. Seeing it was July the campground was full. The other campground in the park, Crandell Mountain Campground, was closed due to extensive damage from the Kenow wildfire. A lightning strike in August 2017 triggered an extensive wildfire which caused the park to be evacuated and burned close to 40% of the park.
Campground: Waterton Lakes National Park – Watertown Townsite
Location: Waterton Park, Alberta (in town)
Cost: $46.50 (CAD)
Comments: A lovely campground, with an RV park feel, but with beautiful mountain scenery. The campground is along the Upper Waterton Lake and walking distance to everything in town.
There are 8 loops (A-H) in the campground with several of them being tent only. Loops A and B are the largest loops (the most sites) and most were RVs/trailers. We were in Loop A that consisted of full hookups with both back-ins and pull thrus. There were scattered trees but most sites were out in the open which allowed for soaking up the mountain views.
Cameron Creek runs between some of the loops (specifically Loops A and B) and there are walking trails on each side of the creek which lead down to Upper Waterton Lake and on to town. The other direction leads to Cameron Falls and a few trailheads. There is a rocky beach area along the lake and the infamous Parks Canada Red Chairs. Deer are quite prevalent in the area and we even saw one laying next to a motorhome. The owner came out and was surprised to see him sitting there!
The beach area along Upper Waterton lake has picnic tables, grassy areas, and great views. There is, of course, a scenic tour boat which departs from the town marina which can be seen traversing the lake.
Waterton Park (often called Waterton) is the official name of the town which is right next to the campground and you can walk to everything. There is a small general store, a number of restaurants, motels, coffee shops, souvenir shops, bakeries, etc. It has a small town feel and is quite charming.
There is a Visitor Center right in town (quite close to our campsite) which is lovely and looks quite new. In the afternoon the tourists abound in town and rent side by side bikes and travel the few streets that are around . By evening the town is quiet and peaceful. The deer roam the streets and Norm even chased one away that had gotten into a flower bed and was munching away!
It is a lovely area and we lucked out with having fabulous weather while we were there. Next post is all about the national park.