Waterton Lakes National Park officially kicks off 2021 summer season

News release

Visitors are asked to plan ahead to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience

May 26, 2021                         Waterton Park, Alberta                  Parks Canada Agency

National historic sites, national parks and national marine conservation areas offer Canadians places to enjoy the mental and physical benefits of being outdoors and opportunities to discover history, while respecting the guidance of public health experts.

Waterton Lakes National Park is pleased to welcome visitors for the 2021 summer season.

The health and safety of visitors, employees and all Canadians are of the utmost importance to Parks Canada. Before visiting, there are a few things that everyone should remember:

·  Plan ahead. The Waterton Lakes National Park website provides detailed information on what locations are open, what to expect, how to prepare, and what services are available. In addition, several construction projects are underway in the park and may impact your visit. Be sure to check the website before you travel.

   Follow travel restrictions and respect the guidance of public health experts. We all need to do our part to limit the spread of COVID-19 and keep one another safe. It is important to always follow travel restrictions, even when visiting national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas.

·  Make safe choices. Choose activities that correspond with your level of experience in order to avoid injury and/or getting lost and help minimize the demands placed on emergency response, search and rescue teams, and on the health care system.

·  Be self-sufficient. Pack a kit that includes extra hygiene supplies such as hand sanitizer, soap, masks or face coverings, garbage bags and a tablecloth. You should be prepared to bring your own water and food.

·  Leave no trace. Help us keep this special place clean by using appropriate garbage containers or by taking all your garbage with you.

·  Respect wildlife. Learn more about the wildlife in Waterton Lakes National Park before you visit, remember to never feed wildlife, always give them space, maintain a clean campsite and respect closures and speed limits. In addition, keep your dog on a leash at all times.

Further information and tips to help ensure a safe and enjoyable visit are available on the Parks Canada website at: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/voyage-travel/securite-safety/covid-19-info/covid-19-visite-visit.

Waterton Lakes National Park offers a variety of experiences for Canadians to safely enjoy the outdoors:

·  Enjoy a scenic drive along Akamina Parkway. Akamina Parkway is now open to vehicle traffic after the closure due to damage from the 2017 Kenow Wildfire. The parkway is a winding mountain road which starts in the Waterton townsite and runs 16 km along the Cameron Valley, ending at scenic Cameron Lake.

·  Explore Red Rock Canyon. Red Rock Parkway is now reopened to vehicle traffic after its annual winter closure. Drive up Red Rock Parkway through the Blakiston Valley’s rolling grasslands and arrive at Red Rock Canyon. This canyon features layered red walls and a sparkling mountain stream.

·  Take the trail less travelled. Dust off your hiking boots and get ready to explore. Waterton Lakes National Park has 200+ kilometres of hiking trails available. While some trails can be busy, hidden gems include the scenic Lakeshore trail, the Wishbone trail, and Bellevue trail (one of the best spots for wildflower viewing).

·  Beat the crowds. Waterton Lakes National Park gets busy on weekends. Consider visiting during a weekday or earlier or later in the day for a more tranquil experience.



“Over the past year, so many Canadians have benefited from the health and wellness benefits that come from being outdoors and in nature. I too have taken every opportunity to get outside. National historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas offer countless opportunities for Canadians to safely connect with nature and history while following the guidance of public health authorities to help limit the spread of COVID-19. I am looking forward to the 2021 visitor season as Parks Canada places allow us to enjoy the outdoors and create lasting memories close to home at Waterton Lakes National Park.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

“For Parks Canada, the health and wellbeing of visitors, employees, and all Canadians are of the utmost importance. The Parks Canada team is working extremely hard to provide a safe, clean, and healthy experience at Waterton Lakes National Park and everyone can play an important role. Visitors should make every effort to plan ahead, respect travel restrictions, follow the guidance of public health experts, make safe choices, and leave no trace when visiting outdoor spaces. By working together, we can ensure a safe and enjoyable 2021 visitor season for all.”

Ron Hallman
President & Chief Executive Officer, Parks Canada 

Quick facts

  • Waterton Lakes National Park is Canada’s 4th national park, originally protected in 1895. It represents the southern Rocky Mountains Natural Region - where some of the most ancient mountains in the Rockies abruptly meet the prairie. It is a landscape shaped by wind, fire, and flooding; with a rich variety of plants and wildlife.

  • Five electric vehicle charging stations are available for visitors to use in Waterton Lakes National Park. Four are located in the marina parking lot, and the other can be found nearby in the public parking lot across Mount View Road.

  • The Parks Canada app makes trip planning for first-time visitors to Parks Canada locations across the country even simpler. Visitors can now find Learn-to Camp content in the app and can obtain information on proper camping equipment, tips, and recipes. Visitors can even plan their entire trip itinerary and create a camping checklist.

Associated links


Moira Kelly
Press Secretary    
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency

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