Guide to Waterton Lakes National Park 2020

Waterton Lakes National Park is one of my favourite places to visit in the summer. After living there for summer 2016, and now again in 2020 Waterton has a special place in my heart. There were so many hiking trails to explore and mountains to climb. Unfortunately, in fall 2017 they had a huge forest fire that wiped out most of the park. Now, there are only a handful of trails open, but finding things to do is still very easy! 

Hiking

Even though the Akamina Parkway is still recovering from the fire and closed until 2022, there are still plenty hikes you can do! The Redrock Parkway is now open as well as all the trails accessible near town! Here’s what trails are open this year:

From Townsite:

  • Carthew- Alderson (Cameron lake is closed so only accessible from townsite)
  • Bertha Falls/Bertha Lake

 

From Red Rock Parkway

  • Tamarack Trail (Partially open)
  • Blakiston Falls
  • Lost Lake
  • Newman Peak
  • Avion Ridge
  • Galwey and Bellevue
  • Twin Lakes
  • Lone Lake
  • Goat Lake
  • Crandell Lake (road to parking lot is closed but you can walk in)

 

Others

  • Crypt Lake
  • Vimmy Ridge 

 

Accommodations

There are a number of different places to stay in the park during your visit. As of right now (June 2020) townsite campground is open but Belly River and Crandell are still closed. Check the Parks Canada website for the most recent updates on when they will be opening.  Booking rooms is usually not a problem but last minute reservations can be challenging during peak seasons. Booking earlier than later is always a good idea! Since this year is a weird seadon for Waterton (thanks again Covid) many of the hotels have lowered their prices! This is a great time to take advantage of cheaper accommodations and get to visit Waterton! Here is a list of the hotels in town:

  • Aspen Village
  • Bayshore Resort and Spa
  • Bear Mountain Motel
  • Crandell Mountain Lodge
  • Northland Lodge
  • Prince of Whales Hotel
  • Waterton Glacier Suites
  • Waterton Lakes Lodge Resort

 

Not sure where to go?

Not sure what to do once you get here? My Rocky Mountains Map has all activities in Waterton mapped out so you can easily find your way there! 

 

Dining

Waterton is one of the few lucky places in the world that hasn’t been run over by big chain restaurants. They only chain dining you will find is Subway, everything else is a family fun business! While here you HAVE to make sure you check out the Bayshore Chophouse. They by far have the best food in the park and you won’t be disappointed! There are many other great places to eat as well, here’s everything the town has to offer to fill your bellies:

  • Bayshore Chophouse
  • Thirsty Bear Bar
  • Beaver Tails
  • Big Scoop
  • Fireside Lounge
  • Pearls Cafe
  • Red Rock Trattoria
  • Royal Stewart Dining Room
  • Taco Bar
  • Trappers 
  • Vimmies
  • Weiners
  • Windsor Lounge
  • Zums

Everything Else

The best place to find updated trail information is the  Parks website here. Hopefully more trails open up this year as we return to a new “normal”.

Waterotn is such an amazing place to visit! Most people have never heard of it which makes it a hidden gem for those who have! If Waterton isn’t already on your bucket list, it definitely needs to be!

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