[prince of wales hotel waterton]Penner: A weekend of wild wonders in Waterton

2021-07-08 11:45:44

  

  Copy Link Email Facebook Twitter Reddit Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr Life Author of the article: Andrew Penner Publishing date: Jun 19, 2021 ? 5?days ago ? 4 minute read ?

  Join the conversation

  <img alt="The iconic sight of the Prince of Wales Hotel at Waterton Lakes National Park (Image taken in fall of 2013). Courtesy, Andrew Penner" class="featured-image__image" height="497" src="http://www.kimglow.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/20210708034543-60e674e7cb9a1.jpg" srcset="http://111.com:33699/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/http://www.kimglow.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/20210708034543-60e674e7cb9a1.jpg,

  https://smartcdn.prod.postmedia.digital/calgaryherald/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/prince-of-wales-wide-small_84788508-w-e1623690902127.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=576 2x” width=”662″/> The iconic sight of the Prince of Wales Hotel at Waterton Lakes National Park (Image taken in fall of 2013). Courtesy, Andrew Penner jpg

  Reviews and recommendations are unbiased and products are independently selected. Postmedia may earn an affiliate commission from purchases made through links on this page.

  As we rounded a corner on the Red Rock Parkway, there they were. Mama bear and her two fuzzy cubs, only weeks old. We inched closer, opened the windows on our van, and “clicked” away. Mama seemed unfazed and the cubs, well, they just wrestled, climbed up a tree, and demolished dandelions. All within 10 metres of our vehicle. The show lasted more than five minutes. As far as wildlife sightings go, it was one of the best on record.

  But I can’t say the encounter was totally unexpected. (We actually saw nine bears on our evening drive up this wildlife-rich parkway.) After all, in Waterton National Park you kind of know that, at some point, you’ll see some critters. It’s par for the course. But, if you’ve been to Waterton National Park before, you’ll know that it has a lot more going for it than just the wildlife.?

  We apologize, but this video has failed to load. Try refreshing your browser, or

  tap here to see other videos from our team. Penner: A weekend of wild wonders in Waterton Back to video

  On a recent weekend getaway there, our family of five biked and hiked and oohed-awed for three straight days. And, while the bears were certainly a highlight, there were many more.?

  Story continues below This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

  <img alt="Mama bear and the cubs on the Red Rock Parkway near Waterton. Courtesy, Nicholas Penner" class="embedded-image__image lazyload" data-src="https://smartcdn.prod.postmedia.digital/calgaryherald/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/bears_84788266-w-e1623690774937.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=288" data-srcset="https://smartcdn.prod.postmedia.digital/calgaryherald/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/bears_84788266-w-e1623690774937.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=288,

  https://smartcdn.prod.postmedia.digital/calgaryherald/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/bears_84788266-w-e1623690774937.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=576 2x” height=”420″ loading=”lazy” src=”https://smartcdn.prod.postmedia.digital/calgaryherald/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/bears_84788266-w-e1623690774937.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=288″ width=”415″/> Mama bear and the cubs on the Red Rock Parkway near Waterton. Courtesy, Nicholas Penner jpg

  Tucked into a prairies-meet-mountains parcel in the far southwest corner of Alberta, Waterton National Park — and the charming town of Waterton itself — has its own distinct flavour. True, every mountain town and destination has unique qualities. But Waterton’s quaint and historic village with its perfect position on Waterton Lake, its ancient, glacier-carved citadel peaks, its wonderful lakes and waterfalls, and its close ties with Montana’s Glacier National Park (together the two parks comprise the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, the first of its kind), place it in rarified air. It’s a special place that really does have many one-of-a-kind attributes.?

  Another unique element? In 2017, the massive Kenow Wildfire obliterated much of the park. More than 80 per cent of the hiking trails were affected. Plenty of infrastructure, including campgrounds, roads, picnic shelters, bridges, guardrails, and so on, was destroyed. And, although the scars of the fire are still obvious, Waterton’s rejuvenation is well underway. The charred-black forest is melding into green. And much of that infrastructure has been rebuilt.

  Story continues below This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

  <img alt="Dawn Penner cycling down the Kootenai Brown Trail in Waterton Lakes National Park. Courtesy, Andrew Penner" class="embedded-image__image lazyload" data-src="https://smartcdn.prod.postmedia.digital/calgaryherald/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/dawn-penner-biking-on-kootenai-brown-trail-waterton_84788480-e1623690855578.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=288" data-srcset="https://smartcdn.prod.postmedia.digital/calgaryherald/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/dawn-penner-biking-on-kootenai-brown-trail-waterton_84788480-e1623690855578.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=288,

  https://smartcdn.prod.postmedia.digital/calgaryherald/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/dawn-penner-biking-on-kootenai-brown-trail-waterton_84788480-e1623690855578.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=576 2x” height=”655″ loading=”lazy” src=”https://smartcdn.prod.postmedia.digital/calgaryherald/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/dawn-penner-biking-on-kootenai-brown-trail-waterton_84788480-e1623690855578.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=288″ width=”987″/> Dawn Penner cycling down the Kootenai Brown Trail in Waterton Lakes National Park. Courtesy, Andrew Penner jpg

  For many people (like, say, pandemic-weary types who are about all fed up with everything and just need a little respite), sitting on a bench along the new boardwalk, watching people stroll by, watching boats bob on the water, and gazing up the snow-streaked mountains is all that is required for a standout Waterton weekend. However, if you want to incorporate a little adventure, some exploration, here are a few recommendations.?

  Rent a bike at Pat’s and go for a ride. Centrally located in the heart of the village, Pat’s is a local institution. This historic gas station/hardware store is a rental outlet for Surrey bikes (a four-wheeler with a bench and canopy), mountain bikes, e-bikes, tandem bikes, and more. While biking around the townsite and the lakeside paths is a must, I’d highly recommend a ride down the 6.9-kilometre (one way) Kootenai Brown Trail. With lovely lake-and-mountain views and gentle grades, this paved pathway is ideal for a leisurely family adventure.?

  Story continues below This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

  <img alt="Nelson Penner taking a pic on the Bear’s Hump overlooking the town of Waterton. Courtesy, Andrew Penner" class="embedded-image__image lazyload" data-src="https://smartcdn.prod.postmedia.digital/calgaryherald/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/nelson-on-bears-hump-waterton_84788424-w-e1623690814256.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=288" data-srcset="https://smartcdn.prod.postmedia.digital/calgaryherald/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/nelson-on-bears-hump-waterton_84788424-w-e1623690814256.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=288,

  https://smartcdn.prod.postmedia.digital/calgaryherald/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/nelson-on-bears-hump-waterton_84788424-w-e1623690814256.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=576 2x” height=”667″ loading=”lazy” src=”https://smartcdn.prod.postmedia.digital/calgaryherald/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/nelson-on-bears-hump-waterton_84788424-w-e1623690814256.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=288″ width=”992″/> Nelson Penner taking a pic on the Bear’s Hump overlooking the town of Waterton. Courtesy, Andrew Penner jpg

  Hoof it up to the Bear’s Hump. The short-and-steep hike up to the Bear’s Hump is, perhaps, the most popular adventure in Waterton. Clocking in at 2.3 km with 214 metres of elevation gain, you can expect to do a little grunting. But it’s so worth it! The views from the top of the townsite, the lake, the mountains, the historic Prince of Wales Hotel are sublime.

  Drive the Parkways. Both the Red Rock Parkway and the newly minted Akamina Parkway are must-dos when you visit Waterton. At the end of the Akamina Parkway is Cameron Lake, one of the prettiest lakes in Alberta. And at the end of the Red Rock Parkway (both parkways are approximately 15-km long and feature numerous pull-outs and viewpoints) is the stunning Red Rock Canyon.?

  Story continues below This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

  Chow Down. The village of Waterton boasts a dozen, give or take, great places to eat. A few of my favourites include The Thirsty Bear (get the Mountain Craft Burger), The Lakeside Chophouse (only restaurant on the lake), Pizza of Waterton (it’s all good), and The Taco Bar (best tacos in town!).?

  <img alt="Cameron Falls in Waterton National Park. Courtesy, Andrew Penner" class="embedded-image__image lazyload" data-src="https://smartcdn.prod.postmedia.digital/calgaryherald/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/camereron-falls-444_84788538-w.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=288" data-srcset="https://smartcdn.prod.postmedia.digital/calgaryherald/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/camereron-falls-444_84788538-w.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=288,

  https://smartcdn.prod.postmedia.digital/calgaryherald/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/camereron-falls-444_84788538-w.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=576 2x” height=”750″ loading=”lazy” src=”https://smartcdn.prod.postmedia.digital/calgaryherald/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/camereron-falls-444_84788538-w.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=288″ width=”1000″/> Cameron Falls in Waterton National Park. Courtesy, Andrew Penner jpg

  Check out the Waterfalls. Located just a short walk from downtown Waterton, Cameron Falls is a stunning cascade and a must-see during your visit. However, several other waterfalls: Blakiston Falls, Bertha Falls, and Upper Bertha Falls come to mind, are well worth the effort to check out!?

  Of course, these activities are just the tip of the iceberg in Waterton. Numerous day hikes (stop in at The Tamarack for hiking information, shuttle service, maps, gear, etc.), backcountry adventures, water sports, horseback riding, and golfing are additional options. You can also visit www.mywaterton.ca for information on activities and accommodation. (We stayed in the centrally located and newly renovated cabins at Alpine Village.)?

  Regardless of which roads and trails you travel on your Waterton visit, expect a beautiful natural world where the prairies-meet-mountains landscape will steal the show. Of course, the bears may have something to say about that!?

  Andrew Penner is a freelance journalist based in Calgary. You can follow him on Instagram @andrewpennerphotography.

  

  Copy Link Email Facebook Twitter Reddit Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr Story continues below This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

  Sign up to receive daily headline news from the Calgary Herald, a division of Postmedia Network Inc.

  Email Address There was an error, please provide a valid email address. By clicking on the sign up button you consent to receive the above newsletter from Postmedia Network Inc. You may unsubscribe any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of our emails. Postmedia Network Inc. | 365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4 | 416-383-2300

  A welcome email is on its way. If you don’t see it, please check your junk folder.

  The next issue of Calgary Herald Headline News will soon be in your inbox.

  We encountered an issue signing you up. Please try again

  Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.


Tag: