Explore the great outdoors in Waterton Lakes National Park. Whatever the weather, there’s something for everyone in the winter months.

Wildlife watching

Bighorn rams are easily recognized by their large curved horns.

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.

Winter stargazing

Waterton Lakes National Park and Glacier National Park (USA) are an International Dark Sky Park.

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 or 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.

Spend the night 

Pass Creek picnic site offers a sheltered winter campground.

Don’t let winter kill your camping buzz! 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. 

Cycling

Fat bikes have oversized rims and tires - perfect for snowy conditions!

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.

Snowshoeing

Always check trail and weather conditions before heading out for the day.

Strap on your snowshoes and trek up the Akamina and Red Rock Parkways, Horseshoe Basin or Wishbone Trail this winter. Some of the popular places to snowshoe are classified with Avalanche Terrain Ratingscheck our Avalanche Bulletin before heading out. Snowshoes are available to rent in the community. Stop by our Parks Canada Visitor Centre on Fountain Avenue for all the details.

Weather watching

Our park is known to have wind, rain, snow and sun, often all in one day.

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. 

Cross-country skiing 

Cross-country skiing is popular on track set and backcountry areas of the park.

Kick and glide your way through our winter wonderland. Parks Canada will be grooming trails and road this year as resources and weather allows. Potential options include Akamina Parkway, Wishbone Trail and Chief Mountain Highway (after Jan. 4, 2020). Groomed trails will be posted on the Trail Conditions page.

Many of the places to ski are in avalanche territory, check the Avalanche Bulletin regularly. Before heading out, ensure you have proper equipment and training for the conditions and terrain you plan to visit. Skis, boots and poles are available for rent in the townsite.

Volunteering

There may be fewer birds around in winter, but with no leaves on the trees, they’re easier to see!

Volunteer for the 43rd Christmas Bird Count and join other bird nerds to count the many species that call Waterton Lakes National Park home, and the ones just passing through! Take a look at our other volunteer opportunities in the coming year to find something perfect for yourself or a group.

Visit the Peace Park Plaza

The Peace Park Plaza, with new pathways, exhibits and interpretive nodes, opened in 2018.

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.

Winter photography

Head up Chief Mountain Highway for a unique perspective of our landscapes.

The clear winter air makes every direction in the park picture-perfect. Snowy peaks paired with late sunrises and early sunsets are too good to resist! Head to any of our red chairs for a photo that will make all your Instagram followers jealous. Capture the wild waves of Upper Waterton Lake, looking south to the United States, or seek shelter in Emerald Bay for mirror-like reflections.