Waterton Lakes National Park

A Summer Road Trip

During the summer, I am really busy at work and don’t take much time off. It is also the most popular time for families with children to go on vacation, so time is scarce and makes it more difficult for me….. But once in a while I take a short trip.

In August 2013, I went back to Alberta to visit family. My mom and I decided to take a road trip and spend a few days in Waterton Lakes National Park. Family friends had gone there several times and really liked it.

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Approaching Waterton Lakes National Park

Our first stop on the trip was Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump. This area and its cliffs had been used by the First Nations. They would herd the buffalo towards the cliff until they had no more room and would have to jump. As the cliffs are steep, the buffalo would not survive the jump and the hunters would have a chance to catch and eat these animals so they could survive.

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Summer is peak time at the park and accommodation was hard to find: they were either booked up or expensive. I did some digging around and found a place in Hill Spring, Alberta on Airbnb. It was about a half hour away, but a lot cheaper than staying in the park. It was small, but reasonably comfortable.

Hill Spring is a small, but quaint little village in southern Alberta. It also has one of Canada’s smallest Post Office.

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One of the smallest Post Offices in Canada! I would have gone in but it was closed.
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Part of the way through the hike

The Waterton Lake National Park is definitely beautiful. First we hiked up the Bears Hump for a great view of the town of Waterton. The chipmunks were definitely curious and came right up to us.

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On top of the Bear’s Hump looking down on the town of Waterton and Upper Waterton Lake

 

The lake is large and calm and there is some really beautiful scenery around. We did not have a lot of time on this trip and wanted to see more so, we decided to go on a cruise! Waterton Shoreline Cruise Co. has a paddle boat which takes you down the lake to the U.S. and back. The stop on the cruise is at the worlds first International Peace Park which joins Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta and Glacier National park in Montana.

 

 

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I crossed the Canada/US border without a passport!

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On our way home we stopped in at the Bison Paddock Loop Road. This is a large enclosed area where bison roam. You are close enough to take pictures, but far enough away to feel safe from these massive animals. Or at least have enough time to step on the gas and get out of there if they don’t like you!

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Waterton Lakes National Park is definitely a worth a visit, with some good hikes and great views.

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