Park gate and day use area parking
Waterton Lakes National Park
Townsite avalanche area
Waterton Lakes’ popular day use areas can be busy in the summer months. Expect parking lots to fill by 11:00 a.m. on weekends. Use this page to plan ahead. Updates are issued on weekends between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. from June 22 to September 11. If your chosen destination is full, consider visiting a quieter area of the park.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How is this information collected?
Information displayed on this page is based on firsthand reports from traffic controllers monitoring parking at popular day use areas. In addition, gate and parkway traffic counters collect hourly traffic numbers that help determine current traffic congestion and parking capacity.
How often is this page updated? When is it updated?
This page is updated on weekends from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Parking lot information will be updated as availability changes, based on firsthand reports from traffic controllers.
Why is this information only available on weekends?
Information used to update this page is provided by our weekend traffic controllers. During the week, you are likely to find parking at your destination of choice.
How often are parking lots full/What time do I have to arrive to get a spot?
The park is busiest on weekends in July and August between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. During peak hours, visitors can expect parking lots to be nearly full or at capacity at popular day use areas and trailheads like Cameron Lake, Red Rock Canyon, Bear’s Hump and Emerald Bay. Consider arriving before 10 a.m., after 4 p.m. or visiting on a weekday to have a better chance of finding a spot.
No matter what time you arrive, please follow the direction of traffic controllers and only park in designated spots.
Why is parking limited at Red Rock Canyon this summer?
Work is underway to improve trail surfaces and bridges at Red Rock Canyon. Some parking spaces are being used to stage construction equipment and materials. Further information is available on our Infrastructure Projects page.
How can I avoid crowds/congested parking?
During the peak summer season - especially in July and August - Parks Canada encourages visitors to plan ahead, be patient and consider visiting on weekdays. If you are planning a weekend trip, enjoy popular areas early in the day or in the evening.
For more information visit the Best Time to Visit page.
Why are there no webcams in parking lots at popular day use areas?
There is limited to no cell service at popular day use areas, and infrastructure to broadcast a livestream is not available. Utilizing firsthand information from traffic controllers allows us to provide context that cameras might not capture.
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