Waterton Lakes National Park

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Waterton Village, Middle and Upper Lake from Bears Hump Trail To

Almost two months later, finally another post about my road trip across Canada 😉
At this rate I will finish writing about this trip in 2 years !!

Between Vulcan and Medicine Hat, which I talk about in my previous article, I spent about one day in the Waterton Lakes National Park, in southern Alberta. The park extends beyond the border, most of it being in the United States under the name of “Glaciers National Park.”

Waterton Lakes National Park

July 19th

I arrived at the park around 4 pm, the entrance fee is about $ 8 CA. The park takes its name from the three Waterton Lakes, Upper, Middle and Lower … or is it the opposite? At the heart of the park (the Canadian portion) is the Waterton Village, on the upper lake shore. It is 99% aimed at tourists, the village has nothing authentic anymore, it is just cafés, restaurants, lodging and camping. There remains still a bit of architecture and a small museum shop tracing the history of the village and the region.

I expected it a bit, but it made my search for a place to spend the night more complicated:  no free parking allowed at night, unless you have rented an accommodation, and in such a tourist attraction, there is more surveillance. But, flipping through brochures, I saw that one could make multi-day hikes in the park. So I asked at the Visitor Centre how would people park in this case and it turns out it is allowed to park overnight at some hiking trail heads. Of course, the vehicles should be empty, but who will come to check. 😉

Once this detail was solved, I started exploring the area. Still with a knee injury, I found a short and easy hike, Bears Hump, starting from the Visitor Centre and leading to a peak above the village. The weather was changing and the sun began to set, but I still got some good light to enjoy the view.
One of the park attractions is the Prince of Gales Hotel, overlooking the upper and central lakes. You can enter the hotel to enjoy the architecture of the hall, but to sleep there it’s a minimum $ 200 US.
By the time I finished the hike, a little rain stopped and a magnificent double rainbow appeared over the lake. I just had the time to reach the hotel’s cliff to capture what was still visible.

Then I ate on the rocky beach lake, watching the end of the sunset. After a short stroll through the village, I went to park at the hike trail head, on the edge of the village, and spent the night there. In the middle of the night, a storm broke: lightning, thunder and heavy rain. I had not seen one like that for a long time. 🙂 I can confirm that my Toyota Sienna is 100% waterproof !!

July 20th

The next morning, the weather was rather nice. I stopped at a café to have a nice Americano, to charge my device’s batteries and to use the Internet to try to give news to the world and write a little. The Internet was very slow, so apart from the transfer of some pictures, I did not do anything else.

Around noon, I took the car to reach another lake in the park to go kayaking. It was very beautiful when I arrived and picnicked by the lake. But shortly after the end of my meal, it was overcast and a little rain fell. I waited and took another coffee around the lake, and as soon as the sky cleared, I rented a kayak and went out on the water. The time I did the walk back from one end to the other of the lake (a few hours), I have had multiple other showers but no lightning, which would have been a sign of evacuation. There were not many people on the water and most were on their way back when I started. So, I found myself relatively alone on the lake, surrounded by all these mountains. It was relaxing. 🙂

I passed through the village, to do my dishes before leaving the park and then I hit the road to Medicine Hat, it was 5 pm ish.

Photos

Jérôme

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