City Name
Things to Do in Waterton National Park

12 Things to Do in Waterton National Park

Hikers reaching the summit of a mountain with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains

Hi, there! Fancy visiting Waterton National Park but don’t know what to actually do there?

Every tourist goes through the same challenge, so don’t worry. And just like many times before, we’re here to guide you every step of the way.

Check out our suggestions below – you’ll feel like a local with these top things to do when in Waterton National Park.

Bike through Red Rock Canyon Parkway

Media by blakistonandcompany


Address: AB-5, Waterton Park, AB T0K 2M0, Canada

Operating hours: Monday – Sunday: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM

If you’re visiting Waterton National Park, don’t miss out on the chance to cruise down Red Rock Canyon Parkway. It’s one of the park’s highlights and offers a picturesque 9-kilometer ride through rolling hills. 

This paved route, along with Akamina Parkway, is one of the few in the park and where the mountains and prairie blend seamlessly. Just enjoy the stunning views!

You can also grab your own bike or rent one for the day and enjoy wildlife sightings including black bears, whitetail deer, mule deer, moose, bighorn sheep, and much more.

Just a heads up, take it slow while biking to increase your chances of spotting wildlife and for your safety too!

Hike Bear’s Hump

Media by civilmatador

Address: Waterton Park, AB T0K 2M0, Canada

Operating hours: Open 24 hours

Hiking in Waterton National Park is a blast, and Bear’s Hump trail is a must-try. It’s a super accessible hike, perfect for almost anyone, and the views of Waterton town and the lakes are just amazing. 

On a clear day, you can even spot Montana from up there. Plus, when you reach the top, you get views of the Prince of Wales Hotel and the spot where Upper and Middle Waterton Lake meet.

The hike is just 2.8 kilometers round trip, taking about an hour. So, you’ll still have time to check out other cool stuff in Waterton. 

It’s a bit of a climb, but nothing too crazy. Kids who like to stay active should handle it just fine. And don’t worry –  the trail is well looked after, so it’s safe for everyone.

Once you’ve soaked up the views or worked up an appetite, just head back down the same way you came up. Easy peasy!

Challenge yourself at Crypt Lake Trail

Media by hannahkoughan


Address: Improvement District No. 4, AB T0K 2M0, Canada

Contact details: Open 24 hours

If you’re up for a tougher trek, the Crypt Lake Trail is the way to go. This hike in Waterton National Park has earned a reputation as one of the world’s most thrilling and one of Canada’s best trails, which says a lot about its challenge level.

To start the journey, hop on a boat from Waterton Township. But fair warning – it’s no walk in the park! 

This trail climbs 900 meters over 10 kilometers through the rugged Canadian Rockies. You’ll be clinging to cliff edges, climbing ladders, and even squeezing through a natural tunnel. 

Along the way, you’ll soak in breathtaking sights like lakes, waterfalls, and towering mountains. And the ultimate reward? A turquoise blue lake that’s perfect for a refreshing dip on a hot day. That’s what makes the hike totally worth it!

Savor afternoon tea at Prince of Wales Hotel


Address: AB-5, Waterton Park, AB T0K 2M0, Canada

Contact details: Afternoon tea: Monday – Sunday: 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM

After a day of hiking, treat yourself to something special in Waterton National Park – afternoon tea at the charming Prince of Wales Hotel! There’s nowhere quite like it for a cozy tea session. 

Head to the Royal Steward Dining Room for your tea fix, where you’ll enjoy gorgeous views overlooking Waterton Lake. They have a great selection of teas, tasty sandwich squares, and pastries, served every day from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

Sure, it’s a bit pricey, starting at $49 for adults and $20 for kids. But the good news is you don’t have to be staying at the hotel to enjoy this treat. Everyone’s welcome to join in the fun!

Listen to spooky stories at Prince of Wales Hotel


Address: AB-5, Waterton Park, AB T0K 2M0, Canada

If you want something fun to do in Waterton at night, try getting spooked by some ghost tales! The bellhop team at the Prince of Wales Hotel loves sharing their creepy stories, and surely – they have some good, spine-chilling ones.

These stories have been passed down from one generation of bellhops to the next, creating a cool tradition of entertaining guests in the lobby after the sun sets. 

The hotel, built by the Great Northern Railway in 1927, has seen its fair share of history. And who knows what spooky stuff has happened since then?

From the old furniture to the mysterious rooms and even the quirky elevator, every corner of this hotel adds to the creepy vibe. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, this is an experience you won’t forget, especially if ghost stories are your thing. 

Hit the waters of Waterton Lake

Address: 224 Mt View Rd, Waterton Park, AB T0K 2M0, Canada

Contact details: +1 403-859-2266

Whether you fancy kayaking, canoeing, or trying your hand at stand-up paddleboarding,  you have to experience Lake Waterton while you’re here. 

No gear? No problem! Head over to Pat’s Waterton for all your rental needs. They have stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes up for grabs. All rentals come with a mandatory life jacket included.

Rentals range from $20 to $30 per hour, depending on what you’re after, and it’s first-come, first-served. But don’t sweat it – there’s plenty of gear available, so wait times are usually short. 

And while you wait, you can browse their souvenirs and grab a cup of coffee or a slushy.

Cruise along Waterton Lake


Address: 101 Waterton Ave, Waterton Park, AB T0K 2M0, Canada

Contact details: +1 403-859-2362

Operating hours: Monday – Sunday: 8:00 AM – 6:30 PM

How about taking a cruise on Waterton Lake? You can cruise with Waterton Shoreline Cruise Company. Tickets cost $61 for adults (13 years and older) and $30 for youths (0 to 12 years old). 

They offer two fantastic cruises: a 10:00 AM Photographic Cruise (perfect for photography enthusiasts) and a 7:00 PM Evening Wildlife Cruise, ideal for spotting wildlife (only available from the end of June to the end of August).

During these cruises, you’ll cross the border between Canada and the United States, with a quick stop in Goat Haunt in Glacier National Park. Your guide will also share plenty of interesting facts about Waterton, the International Peace Park, and the Kenow wildfire. 

Soak up the sun at Waterton Driftwood Beach

Media by inezfernandez

Address: AB-5, Waterton Park, AB T0K 2M0, Canada

Operating hours: Open 24 hours

Right along the shores of Waterton Townsite lies the charming Waterton Driftwood Beach. Stretching from the townsite to the Waterton Campground near the Prince of Wales Hotel, it’s the perfect place to catch some rays. 

Whether you’re lounging on towels (if you don’t mind the pebbles) and chairs or gliding across the water in a kayak or stand-up paddleboard, you’re guaranteed a sunny time.

If you’ve had your fill of sunshine, find a shady spot under the trees and take in the breathtaking view of Vimy Peak across the lake. Feeling brave? Take a refreshing dip in the cool waters of Upper Waterton Lake to beat the heat. 

Moreover, there’s a lovely footpath to stroll around when you want to stretch your legs. Truly, you’ll never run out of things to do at this beach.

Take a relaxing walk to Bertha Falls

Media by kiersten.komada


Address: Improvement District No. 4, AB T0K 2M0, Canada

Operating hours: Open 24 hours

The Lower Bertha Falls trail is perfect for beginners, stretching 5.2 kilometers and marked clearly for easy navigation. 

It’s a bit like Bears Hump in terms of difficulty level, but instead of stunning views of another country, you’re treated to the soothing sight of waterfall sprays. This hike is great for families with kids, as the terrain is easy and there’s not much uphill climbing. 

Along the way, you’ll enjoy gorgeous sights of Upper Waterton Lake before reaching the charming Bertha Falls. Just remember, the falls can get crowded in the busy summer months, so it’s best to start early or visit during quieter times.

And here’s a tip: After you’ve seen the falls, you can turn it into a longer hike by continuing to Bertha Lake, which is just 3 kilometers away with a bit of uphill climbing!

Embark on a scenic drive to Cameron Lake

Media by canuckone

Address: Akamina Parkway, Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada

Operating hours: Open 24 hours

Hop on the winding, 16-kilometer Akamina Parkway for one of the most picturesque drives in Waterton Lakes National Park.

Despite the 2017 Kenow Wildfire causing significant damage, don’t let it discourage you. Seeing the recovering landscape, with new growth among the blackened trees, is really uplifting.

Once you reach the sub-alpine beauty of Cameron Lake, take a moment to relax. It’s the perfect spot for a picnic or to simply unwind and admire the clear waters. 

If you’re feeling adventurous, get out on the lake with some canoeing, kayaking, or paddleboarding. There’s also a gift shop here to browse, so before you leave, grab a memento or some snacks to make your visit even better!

Find the red chairs across Waterton National Park


If you want a unique experience, then hunt down one of the four pairs of red Adirondack chairs scattered around the Waterton National Park.

So, what’s up with these chairs? Well, Parks Canada has placed over 200 red Adirondack chairs in beautiful spots all across the country, including the four sets you’ll find here at Waterton Lakes.

Whether you decide to find just one pair or hunt down all of them, don’t miss the chance to take a seat and enjoy the amazing views.

Even better, capture some Instagram-worthy photos of you and your friends lounging in them to showcase your classic Waterton National Park experience.

Go scuba diving at Emerald Bay

Media by highmountainsea


Address: On the edge of Waterton Townsite, 200 Vimy Ave, Waterton Park, AB T0K 2M0, Canada

Contact details: 403-859-5121

If you’re fed up with ordinary water activities, try scuba diving in Emerald Bay, located just on the edge of the townsite by the Marina (Cameron Bay is another great spot for divers).

Here, you’ll discover more than just your average underwater scene. You’ll come face to face with the legendary Emerald Bay Shipwreck, affectionately known as ‘Gertrude.’ 

This old sternwheeler has been resting at the bottom of Emerald Bay for nearly a century, offering a fascinating glimpse into the deep. The best visibility is usually in early spring or during the fall, so plan your visit accordingly.

Just keep in mind, Waterton Lakes, including all lakes in the park, are cold (we’re talking take-your-breath-away cold, even in August), so come prepared if you intend to spend time in or on the water. 

Also, refrain from using the Gertrude wreck as a resting spot, and remember that it’s against the law to take anything you may find during your dive!

Now, aside from scuba diving, Emerald Bay also has a picnic area where you can enjoy your own food after your adventure.

Leave a Comment