The Waterton Lakes National Park (English Waterton Lakes National Park, French Parc national des Lacs - Waterton ) is located in southern Alberta, Canada, directly on the border with the U.S. state of Montana. It is about 270 km from Calgary and 560 km from Edmonton. The Waterton Lakes National Park was founded in 1895 as the fourth National Park of Canada and received its name from three lakes ( Waterton Lakes: Upper - Middle - Lower). Since 1979 he has been a Biosphere Reserve.
Location and natural conditions
The park borders with its rugged mountain country directly to the U.S. Glacier National Park and forms with him the Waterton - Glacier International Peace Park, which was established in 1995 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The area of the park is 525 km ², the highest elevation is 2920 m with the Mount Blakiston. In Waterton Lakes National Park, the eponymous chain of lakes is located at the transition between the endless Prärieen the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains, which stand out here because of the Lewis overthrust without any foothills of the plane.
Since it is a reaching across borders park, he is counted among the Peace Parks. The two national parks form the core of the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem, a large ecosystem that extends into the Rocky Mountains far above the national parks.
The park is open year round, peak season is from July to August.
Although the National Park for Canadian conditions is relatively small, it is home to a diverse wildlife: About 250 species of birds, 60 species of mammals, 24 species of fish and about ten species of reptiles and amphibians have been recorded.
The varied landscape offers all native predators ( wolf, cougar, wolverine, grizzly bear and black bear ) a livelihood. At large ungulates moose, elk, mule and white -tailed deer, bison, bighorn sheep and mountain goat occur.
Of the 255 documented species of birds come only before 37 throughout the year and 149 nest in the park. The lakes of the region are an important resting area for migratory birds. Coots are often the first type, which occurs here, followed by Pfeifschwänen, cinamon, Shoveler and Hooded Merganser
- Bear 's Hump, a short hiking trail, 1.5 km long, 200 vertical meters from the top, fantastic views of the Waterton Townsite, starting just above the Visitor Centre
- Boat trip on the Upper Waterton Lake: Start of the Waterton Townsite. The journey leads over the 49th parallel in the United States. Funny: The border with the United States is seen with the naked eye; in the forest on both sides of the lake about a 30 meter wide corridor was beaten. At the American end of the lake you can stretch your feet in a small march. Magnificent views of the mountains skirting the lake.
- Red Rock Canyon
- Cameron Lake
Two constructions in the park were declared National Historic Site of Canada:
- The Prince of Wales Hotel, a rustic railway hotel of the Great Northern Railway, which was typical of the hotel construction in Canadian national parks and
- First Oil Well in Western Canada, the first commercial oil well in Western Canada