Interpretive Theatre Programs, Guided Hikes & Activities
How long are you staying in Waterton? A few hours? A whole day? How about overnight ... or a couple of days? Parks Canada's team of interpreters in Waterton offer a variety of visitor programs during July and August. Theatre programs, guided hikes and family activities - they are all free with your park entrance fee. Check the schedule below for days, times and locations of the programs.
What is Interpretation?
Tips From Our Team
Evening Theatre Programs
What is Interpretation?
Freeman Tilden, the "grand-daddy" of interpretation, said, "The chief aim of interpretation is not instruction, but provocation." So what does that mean?
Whether you're on a guided walk, or at an evening theatre program, interpretation should engage you. And all interpretation programs contain information, so if you want to learn something - great! But the best interpretation not only entertains and teaches, but ultimately provokes thought ... gives you something to chew on ... so you can decide what you think. That's Interpretation.
Happy Chewing - your Waterton Interpretive Team.
Tips From Our Team
Interpreters (back l-r): Laura (Glacier NP Ranger), Sharon, Karen, Sean,
Sarah (Glacier NP Ranger), Max (Glacier NP Ranger); (front l-r) Dee, Lauren, Pam, Cate.
© Parks Canada
Take a short stroll around Red Rock Canyon or walk to Blakiston Falls. Have a picnic and don't forget your camera: gorgeous wildflowers and intriguing birds abound. Look for beargrass, the unofficial flower of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. Watch the stream for American dippers and harlequin ducks. And, of course, enjoy the beautiful red and green rock that Waterton is famous for!
I'm a big fan of the prairie trail, along the front of the Bellevue hill. It is often overlooked by many hikers because it lacks a stunning conclusion, but for me, this trail is about the journey. Actually, it's about the flowers! Looking across the prairie from a vehicle, one often just sees a sea of uniform green. Stepping out of the car reveals the amazing diversity of flowers - of shapes and colours you couldn't even imagine - poking out between the bunches of fescue grasses. It's better than any cultivated garden I've ever seen, and I'm continually coming across species I haven't seen before. Check it out!
The look-out point over the Maskinonge is a beautiful place to watch a sunrise (or sunset) in the park. If it's a calm day, you may be lucky enough to catch the reflection of the mountains in the lake.
Walk up to lower Bertha Falls and be refreshed by the mist of this ‘bridal veil’ waterfall. The trail has gorgeous views out across Upper Waterton Lake and a great array of plants along the way. Don’t forget to check out the lookout on your way up and marvel at the spires on Porcupine ridge down the valley in Montana! If you are looking for a longer hike, continue from the falls to Bertha Lake for a picnic. It’s been a favourite spot since I was 10!
Bring your passport and spend some time exploring Glacier National Park. Goat Haunt, just down the lake from the community of Waterton, is a favourite spot. When I’m there, I like to head into the shelter near the boat dock to read the display of 'pledges for peace' that previous visitors have written on sticky notes. If your passport’s at home, you can still hike across a border - from the Akamina trailhead near Cameron Lake you can go for a day hike to British Columbia and be back in Waterton in time for dinner. The wildlife in Waterton isn't limited by park boundaries, and you shouldn’t be either!
On a hot summer day, head up to Cameron Lake to cool off at a higher elevation. Few views in the park compare to the reflection of Mount Custer over Cameron’s cool waters. Grizzly bears are sometimes spotted on the lower slopes of the mountain, across the lake. A short paddle across the lake will take you to the international border with the USA, nestled just east of the continental divide and Alberta’s border with BC; this is the absolute corner of the province and a beautiful place to spend the afternoon.
Get up high and enjoy magnificent views! You can find great lookouts at the top of Bear's Hump (particularly magical if you get up early enough to watch the sun rise over the prairie), along the ridge on the Carthew-Alderson trail, or from your car on the Akamina Parkway. Of course, the best way to get up high is to climb a mountain while you're here. Ask at the Visitor Centre for some advice on the best trails to take you to the top.
Take in an Evening Theatre Program
Join us at the Falls Theatre (near Cameron Falls and the Townsite Campground) or the Crandell Theatre (in Crandell Mountain Campground) at 8pm every night for a 45-minute program. From bats to bears, felines to fire, wolverines to wildflowers, we share the latest research and fun stories to kids and adults alike.
Programs begin end of June 2013 and run through Labour Day 2013 (unless otherwise noted).
The International Peace Park Hike (adults and older children)
- IPP hike restarts June 2013
- Moderate 13km (8 miles) one-way, boat ride back
- Wednesday and Saturday, 10am-6.30pm
- Meet at 10am at Bertha Trail head in Waterton
Did you know that Waterton Lakes National Park and Glacier National Park formed the world's first International Peace Park? For over 30 years, visitors have hiked across the Canada / U.S. boundary on foot, accompanied by both a Glacier Park Ranger and a Waterton Park Interpreter.
Hike along the shore of Upper Waterton Lake and hear stories of what the two parks share - an ecosystem with over 1,200 species of plants, over 60 species of wildlife, and the various ways we work together.
The International Peace Park Hike © Parks Canada
The hike ends in the United States at the Goat Haunt Ranger Station, where you can receive a special U.S. entry stamp in your passport before boarding a boat to return to the Waterton townsite.
Spaces are limited so please pre-register, either in person or by phoning the Waterton Visitor Centre (403-859-5133), or the St. Mary Information Center (406-732-7750).
Cost: The hike is free with your park entry fee, but there is a charge for the boat ride back. Please purchase your boat tickets in advance at Waterton Inter-National Shoreline Cruise Co. at the marina in Waterton.
Identification: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security requires Canadian and American citizens to carry a passport or passport card. All visitors from countries other than Canada or the United States need their passports and have to have been documented at another U.S. port of entry.
The IPP Hike Checklist (PDF, 146 KB).
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