A stone’s throw from the Canada-USA border, amidst the Rocky Mountains, you find the teeny tiny hamlet of Waterton. Sitting in the middle of the UNESCO World Heritage Waterton Lakes National Park, the village is a very popular summer destination and the hub for hikers, bikers and all other kinds of outdoor lovers. Though summers can be busy here, Waterton stays as laid-back a place as you can find them anywhere in beautiful Alberta.
Driving south from Calgary you are being lured into the Rockies. This is where the prairies meet the mountains and yes, it is love at first sight. Visiting in fall tricks and treats you to the foliage of the trembling aspen furiously kissing the already snowy feet of the Rocky Mountains. This is where the seasons congregate, where the warm wind of summer caresses the yellow leaves of fall that sail into the snowy background winter.
Waterton Lakes National Park shares and open border with Montana’s Glacier National Park. Hikers might all of a sudden find themselves treading US soil when being all bear aware and on the lookout for wolves and cougars (the one on display in the restaurant of the Bayshore Inn Spa & Resort gives you a head start of what to expect….). Approaching the village, you are greeted by the dramatic vista of the Prince of Wales Hotel set against an overwhelming mountain backdrop. It tells you you have arrived. Arrived in Waterton wonderland.
Besides grizzly and black bears, birds and boats, the park offers bison (take a 15 minute drive around the Bison Paddock just before the entrance of the park), bighorn sheep and lots of beauty. There is a camp and RV-ground, a family run gas station, some stores and a few hotels. Most businesses close after (the Prince of Wales Hotel even before) Canadian Thanksgiving so before heading down to paradise it’s best to check on accommodation availability.
Fall is a great time of year to come and enjoy the wonders of Waterton. Days are still fairly long and warm, nights are crisp and full of stars. A comfortable and cosy place to crash and make ‘basecamp’ for a couple of days and nights is the Bayshore Inn Spa & Resort. Inside this wooden lakeside structure you find all things needed to be pampered after a long day of hiking in the woods or peddling on the water. The Bayshore Inn offers spa services and a couple of bars and restaurants where you can dream away with a Caesar cocktail in your hand while staring at the ever changing water of Upper Waterton Lake.
The rooms and suites at the Bayshore Inn have sort of a European Alps vibe. They are quite spacy and most of them offer views of the lake. When dusk arrives you’ll meet your furry roommates when sitting on your balcony or at the terrace of the Lakeside Chophouse. Deer come out of the woods to take their share of the beauty and of course the grass of this Waterton gem which, naturally, is greener than that of the nearby US West Glacier Park neighbours…
Waterton Wonderland – read more…
Bayshore Inn Spa & Resort
111 Waterton Ave.
Waterton Park, Alberta, Canada
T: +1 (403) 859-2211