Waterton Lakes National Park

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Waterton Lakes National Park
IUCN category II (national park)
Upper Waterton Lake
Map showing the location of Waterton Lakes National Park
Map showing the location of Waterton Lakes National Park
Waterton Lakes National Park Location
Location Alberta, Canada
Nearest city Pincher Creek
Coordinates 49°02′45″N 113°54′55″W / 49.04583°N 113.91528°W / 49.04583; -113.91528Coordinates: 49°02′45″N 113°54′55″W / 49.04583°N 113.91528°W / 49.04583; -113.91528
Area 505 km2 (195 sq mi)
Established 1895 (national park)
1979 (biosphere reserve)
1995 (world heritage site)
Visitors 402,542 (in 2012/13[1])
Governing body I.D. Council, Parks Canada
World Heritage Site 354
Improvement District No. 4
Improvement district
Waterton Lakes National Park is located in Alberta
Waterton Lakes National Park
Location of Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta
Coordinates: 49°02′45″N 113°54′55″W / 49.04583°N 113.91528°W / 49.04583; -113.91528
Country  Canada
Province  Alberta
Region Southern Alberta
Census division No. 3
 • Governing body I.D. 4 Council
 • Chair Brian Reeves
 • CAO J. Scott Barton
Area (2016)[3]
 • Land 485.66 km2 (187.51 sq mi)
Population (2016)[3]
 • Total 105
 • Density 0.2/km2 (0.5/sq mi)
Time zone MST (UTC-7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
Postal code T0K 2M0
Area code(s) 403, 587
Website Parks Canada

Waterton Lakes National Park is a national park located in the southwest corner of Alberta, Canada, and borders Glacier National Park in Montana, United States. Waterton was Canada's fourth national park, formed in 1895 and named after Waterton Lake, in turn after the Victorian naturalist and conservationist Charles Waterton. The park contains 505 km2 (195 sq mi) of rugged mountains and wilderness.

Operated by Parks Canada, Waterton is open all year, but the main tourist season is during July and August. The only commercial facilities available within the park are located at the Waterton Park townsite. The park ranges in elevation from 1,290 metres (4,232 ft) at the townsite to 2,910 m (9,547 ft) at Mount Blakiston. It offers many scenic trails, including Crypt Lake trail. In 2012/2013, Waterton Lakes National Park had 402,542 visitors.[1]

The park was the subject of a short film in 2011's National Parks Project, directed by Peter Lynch and scored by Cadence Weapon, Laura Barrett and Mark Hamilton.


In 1932, Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park was formed from Waterton and Glacier. It was dedicated to world peace by Sir Charles Arthur Mander on behalf of Rotary International. Although the park has a lot of diversity for its size, the main highlight is the Waterton lakes—the deepest in the Canadian Rockies—overlooked by the historic Prince of Wales Hotel National Historic Site.


Animals that inhabit this national park include wolverines, bighorn sheep, bald eagles, white-tailed deer, mule deer, mountain goats, elk, moose, foxes, wolves, coyotes, beavers, river otters, cougars, lynxes, bobcats, snowshoe hares, pikas, hoary marmots, grizzly bears and black bears.

Biosphere Reserve[edit]

In 1979, Waterton and bordering Glacier National park in the US were designated as World Biosphere reserves, preserving mountains, prairie, lakes and freshwater wetlands ecosystems. Habitats represented in the parks' range include: prairie grasslands, aspen grove forests, alpine tundra/high meadows, lower subalpine forests, deciduous and coniferous forests.[4]

World Heritage Site[edit]

The park is part of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, designated as World Heritage Site in 1995 for their distinctive climate, physiographic setting, mountain-prairie interface, and tri-ocean hydrographical divide. They are areas of significant scenic values with abundant and diverse flora and fauna.[5]

Photo gallery[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Parks Canada Attendance 2007-08 to 2012-13" (PDF). Parks Canada. July 31, 2013. p. 2. Retrieved May 29, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Municipal Officials Search". Alberta Municipal Affairs. February 10, 2017. Retrieved February 11, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2016 and 2011 censuses – 100% data (Alberta)". Statistics Canada. February 8, 2017. Retrieved February 8, 2017. 
  4. ^ UNESCO - Park description at UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve
  5. ^ UNESCO - Park description at UNESCO World Heritage

External links[edit]