10 spring experiences in Waterton Lakes National Park
The best time to see wildflowers in Waterton Lakes National Park is when they paint the prairie in spring. Step out of your car from any roadside pullout to easily see the variety of wildflowers - including Waterton’s signature bear grass at higher elevation areas of the park. Spring is also time when newborn wildlife and migratory birds arrive, and receding snow opens opportunities for outdoor recreation. Snow melt and spring rain make it a good time to visit the thundering Cameron Falls.
Bike, walk or run along the paved Kootenai Brown trail and enjoy the scenic vistas and unique plants and animals that call this place home. You might even take the short path down to the shoreline of Lower Waterton Lake, past the historical resting place of John George “Kootenai” Brown, the first settler in the area and the first park official.
Take a cruise on Red Rock Parkway this spring. Try to spot the early-spring blooms of prairie crocus and glacier lilies. Be sure to bring a camera!
Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park is a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site. Learn more about the world’s first international peace park at the marina exhibit in the townsite. While you’re there, take a self-guided walking tour of the townsite on the path along the shore to Cameron Bay and then up Evergreen Avenue to Cameron Falls. Enjoy a picnic lunch at one of the benches and sheltered tables along the path.
Take a peek through your binoculars into the wetlands on a search for migrating birds. From the tiniest wrens to the magnificent sandhill cranes, you are sure to have a spectacular sighting. Birds are the ultimate tourists in Waterton Lakes National Park!
Go to the bison paddock overlook to view plains bison in their natural habitat. The herd of six calves were released into the park in February of 2021, and are the first bison to return to the landscape since the Kenow Wildfire in 2017. The road within the bison paddock opens to visitors in late spring, and is a scenic drive that shouldn’t be missed!
Connect with us by participating in a spring volunteer event. Help control invasive plant species, keep the shorelines free of litter, or be a salamander habitat hero!
Stop at the Chief Mountain Overlook and soak in the full panorama of ‘the mountains meeting the prairie’. Spring is prime wildlife watching season so keep your eye out for birds, ducks, deer and bears. While viewing these animals, it is important to remain respectful and mindful of your safety and theirs.
As you enter the park, stop by Pass Creek picnic site for a sheltered lunch stop. Fire pit and tranquil creek view included.
Say hello to the knowledgeable staff at the new visitor centre to help you plan the perfect visit. Stay awhile and explore exhibits both in and outside of the centre. The interpretive team will also be on site with activities for all ages.
The flowers are opening and so are the shops and restaurants in the Waterton townsite. Grab a bite, indulge your sweet tooth, update your wardrobe or explore your artistic side. Take a wander through town and see what catches your eye … or your stomach!