Areas of Waterton Lakes National Park remain closed due to safety hazards and infrastructure damage from the Kenow Wildfire. Visit our What's open page for an up-to-date list of open areas.
To ensure the ongoing protection of Waterton Lakes National Park from non-native plants, Parks Canada is limiting horse use by the general public in 2018 to areas unburned areas by the Kenow Wildfire (see the map below).
Alpine Stables and Parks Canada’s horses are permitted in burned areas under specific conditions. This temporary protective measure will help vegetation to recover in burned areas.
The Kenow Wildfire created conditions which may significantly promote the spread of non-native plants in the park.
The wildfire burned over 50% of the vegetated area within the park. The wildfire’s severity was mostly high to very high and removed much of the vegetation and topsoil, leaving large areas of the park vulnerable to invasion by weeds.
Horse riding is a traditional way to experience Waterton Lakes National Park and is an important part of the park’s history.
Parks Canada realizes this decision will impact some visitors, including those from the local and regional area. However, this decision is based on evidence, is necessary to protect the park and neighbouring lands from the serious and long-lasting impacts of non-native plants, and will significantly reduce the risk of non-native plants colonizing areas burned by the Kenow Wildfire.
Parks Canada will update the park’s horse use guidelines and would like to involve this user group in the process to develop a collaborative strategy that will protect both the national park and neighbouring lands.
What trails are available for horse riding?
The general public can bring horses into the park and ride in areas unburned by the Kenow Wildfire. The trails in these areas are Wishbone, Vimy and Crypt Lake. Please note, these trails are all accessed by the Wishbone Trailhead. This trailhead is busy and parking is extremely limited during peak times this year. Please drive carefully. See the map below.
Alpine Stables provides guided horseback trips ranging from one hour to full-day trips.
For more information please contact: email@example.com or 403-859-5133.