10 winter experiences in Waterton Lakes National Park
Explore the great outdoors in Waterton Lakes National Park. Whatever the weather, there’s something for everyone in the winter months.
Strap on your snowshoes and head out for a Waterton winter adventure. Snowshoeing is easier than hiking when the snow is deep, and is accessible to most. Drive up the Akamina Parkway to Little Prairie Day Use Area and snowshoe to Cameron Lake (please stay off the groomed cross-country ski trails). Red Rock Parkway, Crandell Lake and Wishbone Trail are other popular areas to snowshoe. Be aware that much of the mountain area within Waterton Lakes National Park is avalanche terrain. Plan ahead, have the right gear and be avalanche aware. Snowshoes are available to rent in the community. Stop by our Parks Canada Visitor Centre on Fountain Avenue for all the details.
Bighorn sheep and deer are a common sight in the community of Waterton over the winter months. The Blakiston fan is a great place to park your vehicle and watch for elk. Discover animal tracks and who they belong to by exploring Red Rock Parkway. Remember - these are wild animals, so make sure to give them lots of space.
Waterton Lakes National Park is an ideal place for astronomy lovers, even for beginners. Constellations like Orion and the Big Dipper are easy to spot in the clear night skies. Get comfortable and watch the Milky Way appear from Bison Overlook, Cameron Lake or near the townsite at Cameron Bay. Bundle up, grab your binoculars or telescope and bring your star chart to experience our International Dark Sky Park at its very best.
Don't let winter dampen your enthusiasm for camping! Set up camp at Pass Creek Day Use Area and make some s’mores around the campfire. Bring your friends and spend the night to get an early start on the day’s adventures.
Calling all fat bike enthusiasts! BYOB (Bring Your Own Bike) and pedal along the Townsite Loop or Wishbone Trail. If you’re up for a bigger adventure, spend the day on Red Rock Parkway and head to Crandell Lake or Snowshoe Trail.
Our weather is legendary! Record-breaking snowfalls, powerful chinook winds and clear sunny days are all part of southern Alberta’s winters. The Prince of Wales hill and lakeshore in the community both offer great viewpoints of the weather rolling in across Upper Waterton Lake.
Kick and glide your way through our winter wonderland. Parks Canada will be grooming this year as resources and weather allows. Potential options include Cameron Lake from Little Prairie Day Use Area, Dipper Trail, Wishbone Trail and Chief Mountain Highway (starting January 2021). Groomed trails will be posted on the Trail Conditions page.
Be aware that much of the mountain area within Waterton Lakes National Park is avalanche terrain. You should be prepared with the appropriate knowledge, skills and equipment.
Sign up for the 44th Christmas Bird Count. This is a perfect physical distancing volunteer activity. Count the many species that call Waterton Lakes National Park home, and the ones just passing through!
Explore Waterton’s waterfront and celebrate the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the world’s first international peace park. This is a great location to photograph the Prince of Wales Hotel National Historic Site.
When the park is enveloped in a blanket of white, familiar surroundings can take on a different perspective. Shoot the snowy mountain peaks, beautiful sunrises, stormy lakes or abundant wildlife in the park. When photographing wild animals, it is important to treat them with respect. Head to any of our red chairs for a photo that will leave your Instagram followers in awe! On a rare calm day, head to Emerald Bay or Lower Waterton Lake and get that lovely mirror-like reflection shot.