Best times to visit
Expect extremely high visitation this summer. It could result in traffic delays, limited parking, busy trails and limited or no campsite availability. Find the best times to visit.
Waterton Lakes National Park is located in southwest Alberta, 271 km south of Calgary and 132 km southwest of Lethbridge.
Distance from Waterton Lakes National Park to:
Cardston 55 km
Pincher Creek 56 km
Lethbridge 132 km
Calgary 271 km
Medicine Hat 296 km
Banff 398 km
Edmonton 562 km
Jasper 684 km
Vancouver 1,230 km
From Calgary, take Highway 2 south to Fort Macleod, then west on Highway 3 to Pincher Creek, then south on Highway 6 to the park (approximately 3 hours).
From Banff National Park, a scenic 380 km route starts along Highway 1 east. Turn south at Highway 40 and take this scenic route over the Highwood Pass to Highway 22; or, travel further east and turn directly onto Highway 22 south. You will pass the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site just south of Longview. Highway 22 connects with Highway 3. Continue east on Highway 3 to Pincher Creek and then south on Highway 6 to the park.
From Lethbridge, drive south to Cardston on Highway 5, then west to the park on Highway 5 (approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes).
From British Columbia, travel by way of the Crowsnest Pass on Highway 3 to Pincher Creek and then south on Highway 6. From Fernie, BC, it is 204 km to the park (approximately 2 hours).
From Glacier National Park, Montana, take the Chief Mountain International Highway in summer or go north through Cardston on Montana Highway 89 to Highway 2 then west on Highway 5 any time of year. From St. Mary, Montana it is about 80 km to the park (approximately 1 hour).
International ports of entry:
- Chief Mountain (Chief Mountain Highway) - seasonal, open May 15 to September 30, opening hours vary Canada Border Services Agency - Chief Mountain
- Carway/Peigan (Highway 2/89, south of Cardston, AB) - open year round, 7 am to 11 pm Canada Border Services Agency - Carway
- Roosville (Highway 93, south of Fernie, BC) - open year round, 24 h Canada Border Services Agency - Roosville
Government of Canada travel advice and advisories: USA
International travellers (not including U.S. and Canadian citizens) may need a visa to enter the United States. Please refer to Information on U.S. Visas
Airports are located at Calgary (distance from Waterton, 282 km) and Lethbridge (123 km), Alberta. Nearest U.S. airports are Kalispell (195 km) and Great Falls (323 km), Montana.