Restricted activity orders are in place for non-motorized and motorized watercraft.

Getting out on the water is an excellent way to explore Waterton Lakes National Park.

Home to a string of pristine mountain lakes, the park is a paradise for anyone who enjoys being on, in or near the water.

In town, Upper and Middle Waterton lakes are the park’s biggest and busiest bodies of water. Steady breezes make the lakes popular among windsurfers and sailboarders. Meanwhile, the calm waters of Emerald Bay are perfect for swimming and paddleboarding and divers can even explore the wreckage of a sunken ship.

Boaters planning to stay overnight at a backcountry campsite accessible by water (Bertha Bay and Boundary Bay) require a wilderness permit. Please refer to wilderness camping. Overnight camping or sleeping on boats is not permitted.

Attention boaters - help protect park waters!

All non-motorized watercraft must receive a mandatory inspection by Parks Canada staff before entering park waters.

Non-motorized watercraft include (but is not limited to) canoes, kayaks, stand up paddleboards (SUPs), paddle boats, drift boats and sailboats. Following inspection, you will receive a tag to attach to your watercraft, and also a permit to display in your vehicle.

The mandatory inspection is a method to reduce the risk of spreading invasive mussels, Eurasian milfoil and whirling disease to the waters in the park.

Clean, drain and dry your watercraft

Aquatic invasive species pose a significant and irreversible threat to the integrity of park waters. Prevention is essential.

In addition to completing a mandatory inspection before launching non-motorized watercraft, everyone needs to adhere to the Clean, Drain, Dry program:

  • CLEAN - Clean and inspect watercraft and gear (including fishing and scuba equipment)
  • DRAIN- Drain buckets, ballasts, bilges, coolers, internal compartments, and other containers that may hold trapped or standing water
  • DRY - Dry the watercraft and gear completely between trips and leave compartments open and sponge out standing water.

Quarantine sealing program for motorized and trailered watercraft

Parks Canada has authorized motorized and trailered watercraft to operate on Upper and Middle Waterton Lake, once the watercraft have completed a 90-day quarantine seal program.

Parks Canada is confident this program will protect the ecological integrity of Waterton Lakes National Park while also returning an excellent recreational boating experience to park users.

Parks Canada continues to take the threat of invasive mussels very seriously. A 90-day quarantine is longer than most current sealing programs and is considered sufficient to prevent the introduction of live mussels to Upper or Middle Waterton Lake.

For more information on this program and obtaining your seal, visit:

More information: