Developed through conservation efforts begun in 1895 and now encompassing 505 sq, km., Waterton Lakes National Park is the Canadian counterpart to America's Glacier National Park, and together they form the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park.

With an altogether charming township on the shores of Waterton Lake as the primary jumping-off-point for excursions into the backcountry, the experience in Waterton differs slightly from American parks, which manage commercial development more aggressively. Anchored by the iconic Prince of Wales hotel, the bustling town of Waterton includes a campground, a handful of motels, several bars and restaurants, art galleries, and a convenience store, along with dozens of private residences.

For sightseers and hikers, The M.V. International, an historic, 200-person boat operated by the Waterton Shoreline Cruise Co., carries passengers across Waterton Lake to the Goat Haunt area, providing convenient access to the northern tier of Glacier park and and its tallest Peak, Mount Cleveland.

The park remains open year-round, but the township mostly shutters for the winter. The quickest route there for travelers from Montana is to follow U.S. 89 along the east side of Glacier to the Chief Mountain Highway, but you can also drive U.S. 93 through Eureka to Fernie and then east across the mountains. Either way, you'll enjoy jaw-dropping scenery.


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    • May 1, 2009


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