Upper Waterton Lake, National Park

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Upper Waterton Lake

The highlight of Waterton National Park's sparkling chain of lakes is the international Upper Waterton Lake, the deepest lake in the Canadian Rockies.

  • Upper Waterton Lake lies in the south-central region of Waterton Park, 5 miles southwest of the park’s eastern entrance.
  • Lake activities include boating, waterskiing, fishing, scuba-diving and nearby hiking trails, campgrounds and amenities.
  • Upper Waterton Lake is very deep  - for personal safety, wear a wetsuit when swimming, skiing or diving.


As Waterton Park’s largest and deepest lake, Upper Waterton Lake features a range of activities including boating, waterskiing, scuba-diving, fishing, hiking, and camping. The lake's long, narrow geography offers proximatey to amenities and wilderness areas alike, giving visitors their choice of preferred access and scenery.


Upper Waterton Lake is centrally located in the southern portion of Waterton Park, with its length running north and south. Waterton Townsite, situated on the lake’s northern shore, provides easy access and plentiful amenities. From the park’s eastern entrance, Upper Waterton Lake is approximately 8 kms (5 miles) southwest along Canada’s Highway 5.


Upper Waterton Lake is best experienced during summer, when its waters are open to boating, scuba-diving, and fishing.


Boating/Waterskiing: Take advantage of Upper Waterton Lake’s large expanse and launch your choice of watercraft from the boat ramp at Waterton marina. Fuel and mooring sites also available here. Motorboats are allowed on Upper Waterton Lake. Be mindful of busy lake traffic and abide navigational rules.


  • Always have a spotter.
  • Due to cold water temperatures, wetsuits highly recommended.


  • Upper Waterton Lake’s high winds make sailboarding a popular activity.
  • Be aware of gusts; stay in the bays (Emerald or Cameron) for a more sheltered experience.


  • Try the popular diving locations of Emerald Bay and Cameron Bay.
  • Emerald Bay features “Gertrude,” an old, sunken wheeler, located at a depth of 20 meters.


  • National parks fishing permit required.
  • Always check possession limits. When in doubt, release your fish.
  • Artificial bait with barbless hooks only; no lead.
  • Season: May 16 – September 7.
  • Permit fees (Canadian): $9.80/daily or $34.40/annual

Additional Information

  • Several hiking trails follow Upper Waterton Lake’s shoreline, including access to Cameron Falls and Bertha Bay Campground.
  • Waterton Townsite, at the lake's northern tip, features dining, shopping, picnic areas, and campground.