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Waterton Lakes National Park

Interpretive theatre programs, guided hikes and family programs

Waterton's 2016 team of Interpreters
Our 2016 team of interpreters © Parks Canada

2016 Labour Day weekend interpretation program

Our team of interpreters are here to delight you through authentic experiences and inspire you by revealing the meaning of Waterton Lakes National Park's natural environment and cultural heritage. Theatre programs, guided hikes and family programs are all free with your Park entry fee. Check the schedule below for program descriptions, days, times and locations.

Theatre programs

Every evening at 8 p.m., June 26 through August 30, 2016.

Waterton's interpreters in costume next to the Falls Theatre sign
Join us for evening theatre programs © Parks Canada

From flying bats to bears, flaming fires to cougars, backcountry hiking tips and the art of wildlife watching, our interpreters share the latest research with fun stories and theatrics for kids and adults alike! Join us at Falls Theatre (near Cameron Falls) or Crandell Theatre (in Crandell Mountain Campground) at 8 p.m. every night for a 45-minute, family-friendly program. All programs are free with Park entry fee.

Predator Purrrfect

This is the purrrfect way to learn about cougars, one of the most misunderstood predators in the park.

Blackfoot Storyteller

Storytellers share Blackfoot culture through traditional stories and dance.

Walk on the Wildside

Take a walk on the wild side with the Waterton Natural History Association as they host a new guest speaker each week.

A Dark Night

Discover why the unique and important bats are facing the darkest night of their time.

Anderson to Yarrow Creek

Discover the stories behind the names of peaks and places in Waterton Lakes National Park, shared from the perspectives of memorable people of the past.

Fire, Behind the Scenes

Follow in the footsteps of the Waterton Initial Attack Crew and see if interpreter Tanya can take the heat!

The Art of Wildlife Viewing

Wanda the wildlife watcher learns the fine arts of connecting with wildlife to get the most out of her Waterton Lakes National Park vacation.

Indiana Cones and the Quest for the Keystone

With unlikely friends and formidable foes, it's a race against time in Indiana Cone's Quest for the Keystone!

Hiking 101: Make it Back Alive

Whether you are new to Waterton Lakes National Park or an experienced traveller, stories of success and failure will help hone your hiking skills for more fun and safe adventures.

Campfire Stories at the Belly River

NEW! Bring a chair and your mug to enjoy a sip of Heritage hot chocolate as you listen to stories about the Belly River Valley - a place of significance to our wildlife, aquatic species and people. 8 p.m. in the open kitchen shelter; July 1, 8, 15, 22 and August 12.

Daily schedule

TheatreMTWTFSSu
Crandell Theatre (8 p.m.) Blackfoot Storyteller Predator Purrrfect Anderson to Yarrow Creek A Dark Night Art of Wildlife Viewing Fire: Behind the Scenes Indiana Cones & the Quest for Keystone
Falls Theatre (8 p.m.) Predator Purrrfect Walk on the Wild Side A Dark Night Art of Wildlife Viewing Fire: Behind the Scenes Indiana Cones & the Quest for Keystone Hiking 101: Make it Back Alive

Guided hikes

Running daily, June 26 through August 30, 2016.

Visitors on a guided hike 
Learn to hike! © Parks Canada

Prepare for the guided hikes by wearing sturdy shoes, sun protection and clothing appropriate for changing weather conditions. Bring a small pack with water, snacks, rain gear and a camera along our guided hikes. Ask our interpreters to share hiking tips and tricks with you!

2016 Summer Program

View from the Edge

Up for a challenge? Join our guided hike on Horseshoe Basin Trail, up to a ridge overlooking one of Waterton’s best-kept secrets!

  • When: Tuesdays
  • Time: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (7.5 to 8 hours return)
  • Distance: 17 km / 10.5 miles return (full-day hike)
  • Skill level: Moderate - difficult
  • Elevation gain: 325m / 1066 ft
  • Where: Horseshoe Basin trail, please meet at the gate to the trailhead. Drive to the end of the Bison Paddock Road off of HWY 6 where there is a cul-de-sac and two port-a-potties.
  • What to bring: Lunch and snacks, water (at least 2 L), proper footwear, sun protection, a hat, jacket, camera, extra layers and raingear
Blakiston Falls Walk

People have enjoyed this striking landscape for thousands of years! Millions of years before that, these red rocks were just beginning to form. Join us for a family-friendly walk through fragrant pine forests that lead to a magnificent waterfall, and be delighted by the stories revealed through interpreting this landscape. **Please note the viewing platforms are closed for visitor safety until they are replaced.

  • When: Sundays and Thursdays
  • Time: 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. 
  • Distance: 2 km (1.2 miles) return
  • Skill level: Easy, family-friendly walk
  • Where: Red Rock Day-Use Area (end of the Red Rock Parkway)
  • Bring: Water, sturdy shoes, and sun protection
Legends of Bertha Falls

There is more to our surroundings than meets the eye! Join a park interpreter to discover the tall tales, stories and legends surrounding Waterton's plants and people on this scenic trail to the cascading Bertha Falls.

  • When: Sundays and Wednesdays
  • Time: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (2.5 - 3 hours return)
  • Distance: 5.2 km (3.2 miles) return
  • Skill level: Moderate
  • Where: Meet at Bertha Trailhead on Emerald Avenue
  • What to bring: Snack, Water (minimum 1 litre), sturdy footwear, sun protection, a camera and rain gear.
Bears and Blooms

On this guided hike along Blakiston Creek, you will learn all about grizzly and black bears in Waterton! Identify various flowers and plants that bears eat, understand bear behaviour, and receive tips on how to hike smart in bear country.

  • Day: Saturdays
  • Time: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (2.5 - 3 hours return)
  • Skill level: Easy
  • Distance: 6 km / 3.7 miles return (half day hike)
  • Where: Look for the park vehicle at the pullout about 400 metres along the Red Rock Parkway.
  • What to bring: Snacks, water (at least 1 L), sturdy footwear, sun protection, camera and raingear.
V.I.P. Wanted!

Waterton Lakes is a tiny park with big designations! Along this guided walk to a stunning mountain view, you'll discover what our biologists are doing "behind the scenes" and who they partner with to preserve this special meeting place.

  • Day: Thursdays
  • Time: 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (4.5 hours return)
  • Distance: 8km (5 miles return)
  • Skill level: Moderate with challenging short uphill sections.
  • Where: Horseshoe Basin Trail, please meet at the gate to the trailhead. Drive to the end of the bison paddock road off of HWY 6 where there is a cul-de-sac and two port-a-potties.
  • What to bring: Lunch and snacks, water (at least 1 L), proper footwear, sun protection, camera and raingear
Rising from the Ashes

Discover the relationship between prescribed fire, aspen, and elk on this guided hike! Walk along Wishbone Trail, through a forest that burned in spring 2015, to the shores of Lower Waterton Lake.

  • Day: Saturdays
  • Time: 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (2.5-3 hours return)
  • Distance: 6.5 km / 4 miles return (half day hike)
  • Skill level: Easy
  • Where: Meet at Wishbone Trailhead on Highway 6. There may be minor delays due to construction.
  • What to bring: Snacks, water (at least 1 L), sturdy footwear, sun protection, camera and raingear.
The International Peace Park Hike

Co-led by a Parks Canada interpreter and a U.S National Park Service ranger, this day-long hike is a tradition of over 30 years here in the world’s first International Peace Park!

NEW in 2016! The IPP hike will be offered on Tuesdays and Fridays.

  • Plan to hike 15 km (9.3 mi), which includes distance from the boat dock to the trailhead.
  • When: Tuesdays & Fridays
  • Time: 10:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • Distance: 14 km (8.5 miles) one way
  • Skill level: Moderately challenging, with some uphill sections
  • Where: Meet at the Bertha trailhead on Emerald Avenue
  • Bring: Water, lunch, snacks, sun protection, hat, jacket, rain gear, insect repellant, a boat ticket and passport with proper documentation for crossing the border.

Please pre-register at the Visitor Reception Centre or phone (403) 859 5133 for more information.

International Peace Park Hike checklist (PDF, 1.8 MB).

Daily schedule

Guided HikesMTWThFSSu
Bears and Blooms (9 a.m. to 12 p.m.)            
Legends of Bertha Falls (9 a.m. to  p.m.)          
Blakiston Falls Walk (3 p.m. to 4 p.m.)          
View from the Edge (9 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.)            
International Peace Park Hike (10 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.)          
V.I.P. Wanted! (9 a.m. to 1.30 p.m.)            
Rising from the Ashes (12.30 p.m. to  3.30 p.m.)            

*Due to trail conditions, some hikes may not be running early in the season. Please check at the visitor centre for more information.

Family programs

June 26 through August 30, 2016. Parent / guardian must accompany children for duration of family programs.

A Parks Canada interpreter and a young visitor examine plants in Waterton Lakes National Park
Our interpreters offer a variety of family activities © Parks Canada

Hello, my name is Waterton!

Waterton Lakes National Park is waiting to meet you and your family! Where the mountains meet the prairie, drop in to discover what makes this place unique. You may even see some plains bison!

  • Drop in from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Bison Paddock overlook. Good for all ages! Look for the interpreter vehicle at the parking lot for the Bison Paddock overlook.
Whitebark Pine Jeopardy!

What is a whitebark pine and why is it in jeopardy? During this short, interactive game show, the whole audience must work together to defeat the scourge of the Subalpine forest: White pine blister rust!

  • This show starts at 2 p.m. Sundays and 3 p.m. Mondays on the green lawn beside the Waterton Heritage Centre (117 Wateron Avenue).
Blackfoot Crafts and Stories

Join our Blackfoot interpreters. Sit on a bison rug, listen to their stories, and make a small craft to take home with you.

  • Join us at Crandell tipi on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. The program starts promptly at 10 a.m. Please allow 2 hours.
  • Join us in the townsite, at the Waterton Community Centre, on Thursday afternoons. The program starts promptly at 2 p.m. in the south classroom.
Blackfoot Drums and Dance

Take in the sights and sounds of traditional drums and dancing by local Indigenous people.

  • Join us from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 pm on the green lawn beside the Waterton Heritage Centre (117 Wateron Avenue)
Wildlife Tracks, scats and more

Drop in to discover the subtle signs of animals in Wateron! Furs, skulls, antlers and horns will be on display (for all ages). Kids can participate in animal track and scat activities, or make a craft.

  • Located at the Community Kitchen Shelter on the lakeshore. Follow Waterton Avenue past the campground to the last building on the left. Look for a park vehicle and interpreter in the parking lot.
Eyes on the Skies

Take advantage of the prevailing weather by flying our kites. Pick up a cloud-watching guide and make your own cloud art or kite to take home. In partnership with the Waterton Natural History Association.

  • Located at the Community Kitchen Shelter on the lakeshore. Follow Waterton Avenue past the campground to the last building on the left. Look for a park vehicle and interpreter in the parking lot.

Daily schedule

Family programsMTWTFSSu
Wildlife Tracks, Scats and more (10 a.m. to 12 p.m.)            

Blackfoot Crafts & Stories at Crandell (10 a.m. to 12 p.m.)

         

Blackfoot Crafts & Stories at Waterton Community Centre (2 p.m. to  4 p.m.)

           
Blackfoot Drums and Dance (1:30 p.m. to 2.30 p.m.)            
Whitebark Pine Jeopardy (Sunday, 2 p.m. Monday, 3 p.m.)          
Eyes on the Skies (2 p.m. to 4 p.m.)            
Hello, My name is Waterton (1 p.m. to 3 p.m.)            

Roving interpreters and wildlife guardians

Three Parks Canada interpreters by Red Rock Canyon
Roving park interpreters © Parks Canada

Roving means mobile and that's what we do. On sunny days, park interpreters and wildlife guardians will set up a mobile displays of natural history items (skins, skulls, horns and antlers) at popular visitor destinations. Say hello and let us answer your questions!