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  • Writer's pictureNicole

Weekend in Waterton Lakes National Park

Many Canadians have been spending more time visiting places and holidaying right here in our beautiful country. Canada is a vast place with so many different landscapes. With the travel restrictions still in place, I've had the opportunity to slow down and visit places that I've been meaning to see but hadn't gotten around to. Waterton was one of those places.

Located in southern Alberta, this park is in Canada but shares a border with Montana's Glacier National Park in the US. The area is known for spectacular Rocky Mountain views and hikes, the network of icy cold lakes and waterfalls which makes this area a great choice for campers, hikers and day trippers alike.

We've been heading west to Banff, Canmore, Lake Louise and surrounding areas for years now and decided to change it up and bit and head south to check out Waterton and surrounding areas. We've been twice this summer and both times have been such a great time, it's made me wonder why it's taken so long for me to get here.

The drive from Calgary is an easy three hours depending on where in Calgary you start. As you get closer to Waterton, the view out of your car window is a scenic one; fields of wheat, golden canola, farmland with a dramatic backdrop of rolling foothills that turn into the jagged and formidable rocky mountain range.

We decided on two nights to get a chance to enjoy hikes, the town and beaches at our leisure and found that to be a good amount of time to get in what we needed to see. Two nights also happens to be my camping maximum. Even for trailer camping. I'm not so into tent camping.

While I try to keep my options open, historically, tent camping hasn't been my kind of fun. I've done it before and I've had a good time. There were laughs, fun with friends but as soon as I needed to have a pee in the middle of the night - and that always happens when I tent camp, I instantly hated it. Unzipping the tent, finding my way to the bathroom or a nearby bush, then coming back to the tent and getting back onto my now cold air mattress. Nope. I didn't grow up camping because my parents are Jamaican and most Jamaican people don't tent camp. Or camp at all. At least the ones I know and are related to. I have yet to try glamping, and that could literally change everything. I'll keep you posted on how that goes.

Anyway, we trailer camped and I loved it. It was fun to be outside and then have the option of cooking in a kitchen, showering, brushing my teeth and freshening up in a cute little bathroom, retiring to the couch to read and finally, getting my 7-8 hours of sleep on a real bed after we put the fire out. The campground we were at had a large pond with canoes to borrow and was quiet with incredible views of the Rocky Mountain range and fields for as far as the eye could see. It was peaceful and a great place to recharge and spend time with my loves.

The plan for Waterton was to explore the town, hang out by the water, hike and find some waterfalls.

The town of Waterton is so cute. This UNESCO world heritage site is just tiny. The main street (Waterton Ave) isn't very long but it is was so nice to take our time to walk down and then back up to window shop, get ice-cream for the teen and then stop on a patio to have enjoy a snack. There are e-bike rentals that you can take to Red Rock Canyon or umbrella covered pedal bikes for two that you can rent by the half hour. The town wasn't packed - maybe because we went during the week. I mean, there were people there, but everyone had space to move about and enjoy themselves while adhering to the distancing guidelines that have been put into place by the province.

There is the Visitor Centre and an information area where you can learn a bit about Waterton before taking a stroll along the path that runs parallel to upper Waterton Lake. We enjoyed going off path to walk right alongside the water on the rock beach. The views and photo ops are nothing short of incredible. This place is not only one of the most beautiful places that I’ve had the pleasure of visiting, but one of the most peaceful. I would be happy to bring a blanket, lunch and a book and just hang by the water for the day. Brace yourself before heading into the lake because The water is refreshingly icy cold no matter the time of the year. If you plan to swim, be aware that the lake is extremely cold, deep and it can get very windy on the water. We saw people kayaking, paddle boarding and enjoying the water safely.

Waterton is also home to the luxurious Fairmont Prince of Wales Hotel, built in 1927 and perched above the town. It's a nice place to look around and enjoy the afternoon tea tradition at this historic location

If you're on a hunt for waterfalls, you've come to the right place. I love the sight and sound of water rushing off the side of the cliff down into a body of water below. It's soothing and a bit magical to see these works of nature. Cameron falls is conveniently located right in the town that requires no hiking to enjoy its beauty.

Hikes in Waterton are varied and plentiful. choose from short, easy hikes to hours long, extremely difficult ones that will challenge and test you. There are some hikes that will take you across the border into the US. Right now might not be the best time to attempt that, given what's going on in the world currently but those hikes do exist. Pro Tip: download and check the All Trails app to choose the best trail for your comfort level or expertise.

We the chose upper Bertha Falls trail. The trail head is located very close to Cameron Falls. The hike itself is classed as moderate on all trails and is just over 12km. We didn't find it difficult, but it definitely got steep in some places which is good, right? The views on this hike are insanely gorgeous. There is still evidence of fires from a few years back but that won't stop you from enjoying views of Waterton lake, the beach and the mountain ranges. This family friendly hike wasn't terribly busy and has benches long the way if you wish to stop to enjoy the views. We found a little spot off of the trail near the top by the waterfall to eat the lunch we had backed before descending back down. (More text after photos)

Once down, we headed to the beach to relax after the hike, dip our feet into the water and enjoy the mountain views. Waterton is amazing and if you haven't gone, the time is now. It is without question the perfect weekend or weekday getaway.

Do you like hikes? Check out the incredibly challenging, beautiful and satisfying Mist Mountain.


My name is Nicole and I am a Calgary based lifestyle and travel blogger with a focus on alcohol free living. During this period of self-isolation and physical distancing, like many others, I've been more focused on lifestyle than travel. This time has given me the opportunity to slow down and find ways to stay inspired, have fun, stay fit and eat well without travelling too far from home.

While I am inspired by beautiful Instagram pages and blogs that feature nomad travellers living and working from beaches in enviable locales – but that’s not my reality. Even though I don’t normally travel for extended periods of time, I have always had great times and made amazing memories on my getaways.

I noticed that short trips are definitely not showcased as frequently as longer getaways. There are people who don’t wish to be away from home for long periods of time. There are also people like myself who love to travel, but because of their schedule or lifestyle have decided they will not travel for several weeks or months at a time. For us like-minded folks, I've decided to create a community for those who love short getaways and life without alcohol.

Get in touch: Find me on Instagram. Follow along for more photos and behind the scenes stories.

Heads up: My posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something using those links, you don’t pay anything extra but I will receive a small commission


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