the wandering chick
...Waterton Lakes National Park
beauty abounds from the lake shores to the mountain tops
There is so much that has impressed me about this national park, I'm not sure where to begin. I happened to be there when the wildflowers were bursting everywhere. How appropriate for what is considered "The Wildflower Capital of Canada."
There's a sweet little town inside the park called Waterton Village where people are friendly and deer roam freely among the homes. Hotels and lodges abound, and people are bustling throughout the town.
I noticed the cleanliness throughout the whole park...I honestly don't think I saw a beer can thrown on the ground or a plastic bag blowing against a fence.
Things to do are endless. Scenic drives, nicely placed picnic areas, hikes of all levels, biking paths, boating on the lakes and wildlife viewing are all abundant.
What an entrance this view makes into the park. However, the winds blow so fiercely - and so often - it was a rare opportunity to find the water calm enough to get such a reflection.
The Prince of Wales Hotel (shown in the photo on the left) sits stately on a bluff overlooking the Upper Waterton Lake and the marina. Lucky people who have water-side rooms!
It's a short hike to Cameron Falls from the Waterton Village.
Red Rock Canyon is probably a favorite area for many in the park. The drive along Red Rock Canyon Parkway, which ends at the canyon, is a nice 10-mile or so winding road with pullouts for viewing the mountains, the landscape and the wildlife...oh yeah: wildlife!
Seen at several viewpoints within the park, the Prince of Wales Hotel is the crème de la crème of hotels. It was built in 1920 and sits on a bluff overlooking Upper Waterton Lake.
Upper Waterton Lake, looking south into the mountains that border Glacier National Park in the U.S.
Black bears aren't always black. Bears are identified by the shapes of their bodies rather than their color. Both of these bears (left and right) are black bears. The mama black bear on the left had two cubs with her. (The bear above and the one below are the same bear.) Both bears were seen on the Red Rock Canyon Parkway. A third one was also seen, but I was too late to get pictures.
A stroll along the Upper Waterton shoreline is one of many ways to spend a couple hours in Waterton Village.
Another waterfall worth visitng in the park is the Blakiston Falls. It's an easy one-mile or so stroll to it from Red Rock Canyon.
Lucky for me, I was visiting the park in the spring when the wildflowers were abundant. To the right are two shots of beargrass that was popping out all along the Blakiston Falls Trail.
The shots below were taken from the Red Rock Canyon Parkway. There are many pullouts for short photographic opportunities.
Sometimes you have to go a little farther than your heart and brain tell you. And when you do, you may find sweet little hideaways like this. The creek was running swiftly, and the rocks underneath were shimmering in the warm morning sun. Taken at Lost Horse Picnic Area off the Red Rock Canyon Parkway.
I saw two cedar waxwings in the park on two different days. This one was at the Red Rock Canyon, and the one below was on the trail that circles Lac Linnet.
The Bison Paddock is a fun but short drive through an area enclosed for roaming bison. The drive takes you over hill and dale and takes less than half an hour, even if you do see the buffalo. And if you don't, just take in the scenery. It's a perfect setting for noticing how the prairie abruptly butts into the mountains.
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