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Wonderful Waterton Winter
Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada
From the top of Bear's Hump you have a panoramic view of Waterton Village, Emerald Bay and Upper Waterton Lake which extends into Glacier Park, Montana. Winter is a magical time in Waterton Lakes National Park. Mule deer and Rocky Mountain sheep wander throughout the village, and hundreds of elk descend from the high country to graze on the flat grasslands. Although the Park is usually blanketed in a thick quilt of snow, the temperature is milder than one would expect, due to warm Chinook winds, a unique characteristic of this area.
Welcome to winter in Waterton Lakes National Park and some great winter activities - including skiing, snow shoeing, camping, ice climbing and sightseeing.
Waterton's weather and snow conditions may vary dramatically. You should prepared yourself for conditions ranging from warm wet weather to extreme cold. Mountain weather can include: poor visibility, icy roads and drifting snow.
Variable weather conditions keep park road crews busy. In the event of falling or drifting snow, maintenance of the road to and in the village is our first priority. For access to ski trails, the Akamina Parkway is the second priority. The Red Rock Parkway is closed to vehicles near the end of October and the Chief Mountain Highway is also closed to vehicles near the end of December.
Front Country Camping
Interested in enjoying a winter camping experience? Pass Creek offers a sheltered winter campground. Services include a kitchen shelter, wood stove, firewood and chemical toilets. Water is available from the creek (boil before use) or from the village system (available at the Fire hall). Fee applies; self-registration
There are good opportunities for snow shoeing, especially in the Cameron Lake area.
Information Trail and other winter program information is available on information signs at the Visitor Center and at cross-country ski trailheads. Call 859-2224 for off-hours information or weekdays from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. when Park Headquarters staff are on hand to answer your questions.
Accommodation is available year round at the Waterton Lakes Lodge Resort and the Crandell Mountain Lodge. The Waterton Lakes Lodge Resort also offers a licensed dining room and lounge. Water and barrier free public washrooms are available at the Fire hall.
Sightseeing, Photography, Picnicking
Waterton attracts many winter sightseers who wish to experience mountains blanketed in snow and to view the elk, bighorn sheep and deer that make the park their home. Winter is an excellent time to photograph scenery and wildlife. Bundle up and come for a picnic! Toilet facilities and shelters with wood stoves are located at the Little Prairie Trailhead and McNealy's picnic areas. Firewood can be purchased in town.
Ice Climbing, Backcountry Camping
Check with park staff on best locations, weather and avalanche conditions. A Park Use Permit is required for all overnight use and is available at the Warden Office. Please see Hazardous activity registration.
Ski trails in Waterton are categorized as designated and non-designated. Designated trails are identified by trailhead signs describing the degree of difficulty and other trail information. Track setting is carried out for weekend skiing. Skiers traveling off designated trails are advised to voluntarily self-register their activity at the Warden Office.
Depending on snow conditions, excellent opportunities for ski touring may exist on or off the park's trail system. Popular trails include Crandell Lake (easy-moderate), Rowe Trail, Akamina Pass, Summit Lake and Wall/Forum Lakes (all difficult). These trails are not marked or maintained and may be subject to avalanche hazard. Groups ski touring in the backcountry should carry avalanche beacons, have a knowledge of avalanche conditions and route evaluation, and be capable of self-rescue. Detailed avalanche forecasts and information regarding backcountry skiing conditions are available by contacting a warden (859-2224) or by telephoning the Canadian Avalanche Association (1-800-667-1105). Please see Hazardous activity registration.
Voluntary self-registration is available at the Warden Office to anyone undertaking what they consider to be a hazardous activity. Registration is provided to ensure your safe completion of an activity. Once registered you must check in at the completion of your activity.
Telephones are located 60 meters north of the junction of highways 5 and 6, at the Warden Office/Bunkhouse parking area, and at the entrance to the Kilmorey Lodge in the village
(see Village Map for locations).
If you would like to make a reservation, need more information or just to leave a friendly message, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
This site operated by Waterton Park Information Services, Box 100, Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada. T0K 2M0 Phone: 403-859-2150 Toll-free: 1-888-985-6343 Fax: 403-859-2229
Sister Website WatertonPark.com
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Waterton Park, Alberta, Canada