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Waterton Lakes National Park sees the sprawling Canadian prairies collide with the rugged peaks of the Rocky Mountains. It's tucked away in the southwest corner of Alberta and occupies more than 200 square miles. While it's relatively small as far as national parks go, it packs a punch when it comes to outdoor activities. Whether you're hiking through flower-filled meadows, paddling on crystalline lakes, gazing up at tumbling waterfalls, or spotting tooth-and-claw wildlife, you're guaranteed to leave spellbound by Waterton Lakes National Park.
Planning a Canadian road trip? Book an RV in Alberta and you'll enjoy the freedom to explore Waterton Lakes National Park at your own pace. You'll love sleeping under the stars at lakeside campgrounds, roasting s'mores around the fire, and connecting with fellow nature lovers. A home on wheels offers the freedom to head north to Banff National Park, as well as cross the border into the United States and explore Glacier National Park in Montana.
The hiking is legendary at Waterton Lakes National Park, with more than 120 miles of trails to explore. From short lakeside strolls to strenuous day hikes, you'll find options for every age and fitness level. The trails are especially beautiful in the spring and summer, with more than 800 species of wildflowers blooming within the park. Experienced hikers can hit the 12-mile Carthew–Alderson Trail. It's one of the premier alpine day hikes in North America and takes you past craggy mountains and sparkling glacier lakes.
Getting out on the water is one of the absolute best ways to enjoy Waterton Lakes National Park. In summer, Upper Waterton Lake is a fantastic place to cool off. You can also take a dip in the crystalline waters of Emerald Bay or rent a canoe and paddle around Cameron Lake. If grizzly bears, moose, bighorn sheep, and elk are on your wish list, Waterton Lakes National Park is the place to be. The chances of spotting local wildlife are excellent, whether you're behind the wheel of your rental RV or hiking in the backcountry.
As a provisional International Dark Sky Park, Waterton Lakes National Park offers incredible stargazing opportunities so be sure to venture out your motorhome rental after dark. Golfers will jump at the chance to reserve a tee time at the historic Waterton Lakes Golf Course. It's been welcoming visitors since 1922 and treats you to emerald green fairways and stunning mountain vistas. As you explore the park, you'll see pairs of cherry red Adirondack chairs at scenic lookouts. They're perfect for soaking in the scenery and snapping a quintessential Canadian photo.
Parks Canada operates three RV-friendly campgrounds in Waterton Lakes National Park. Townsite Campground is set at the south end of the village and features spacious sites set on a grassy lawn next to Upper Waterton Lake. Over 90 sites include water, sewer, and electrical connections. There are also 43 electric-only sites, as well as 65 primitive and tent-only sites. As a developed national park campground, you'll enjoy access to modern bathroom blocks with hot showers and flush toilets.
There are no individual firepits, though you can cook around fires in the shared kitchen shelters. You'll love staying within walking distance of the village. Deer, bighorn sheep, and ground squirrels make regular appearances in the campground and add to the wilderness experience. Another option is the primitive Belly River Campground set off Chief Mountain Highway, a 30-minute drive from Waterton Village. Choose from 24 sites set in a picturesque aspen forest. You'll need to bring your own drinking water or sterilization equipment.
The scenery in southeast Alberta is awe-inspiring, so why not pencil in time to visit nearby Akamina-Kishinena Provincial Park during your Waterton Lakes National Park camping trip? It's home to a healthy population of grizzly bears who roam the windswept alpine ridges, deep valleys, and mountain passes. Waterton also borders Glacier National Park in Montana, where you can discover a wonderland of turquoise lakes, tumbling waterfalls, and lush forests.
All the RV camping necessities you'll need can be found at Waterton Village. The historic village is a fantastic place to enjoy dinner and cocktails if you want a break from your camp kitchen. Calgary is a three-hour drive north and is a great place to kick off a Canadian road trip. The city offers a huge selection of camper rentals near Waterton Lakes National Park and is also home to attractions like Calgary Zoo and the Glenbow Museum. The city also hosts the legendary Calgary Stampede held every July.