Winter in Waterton National Park, Skiing, Snowshoeing

Glacier National Park
> Waterton Park
> Winter in Waterton

Winter in Waterton

Winter in Waterton National Park is a quiet time when visitors can experience the park blanketed in snow. It is an ideal season to enjoy mountain scenery, and opportunities abound for photographing wildlife like elk, deer and bighorn sheep.

Camping is available free of charge at Pass Creek picnic site, located on the entrance road five kilometers from the village. Facilities include a kitchen shelter, wood stove, and toilets. Water from the creek may be used if treated or boiled before use. Heated washrooms and running water are available at the Firehall located in the village.

Wilderness Camping
A Wilderness Use Pass is required for overnight camping at designated backcountry campsites. There is no charge for this pass during winter months and self-registration is available at the registration box located at the warden office entrance. Opportunities for random winter camping are limited and available by prior arrangement only.

Cross Country skiing
Waterton National Park has two designated cross country ski trails located along the upper Akamina Parkway. The Dipper ski trail (6.5 km return - moderate) begins at the Rowe trailhead while the Cameron ski trail (5 km return - easy) begins at the Little Prairie picnic site, and is a good choice for novice skiers and families. Please note that dogs are prohibited on cross country ski trails.

Visitors can snowshoe at many locations in Waterton National Park. Bertha Falls and Crandell Lake are two popular destinations. When snowshoeing in areas with designated ski trails, please preserve the trail by snowshoeing beside ski tracks, not on them.

Ski Touring
Depending on snow conditions, excellent opportunities for ski touring may exist on or off the park's trail system. Popular trails include Crandell Lake and Akamina Pass (easy to moderate), Rowe Trail, Summit Lake, and Wall/Forum Lakes (all difficult). These trails are not marked or maintained and may be subject to avalanche hazard. Groups ski touring in the backcountry should carry avalanche beacons, have a knowledge of avalanche conditions and route evaluation, and be capable of self rescue.

Ice Climbing
There are a number of locations in Waterton National Park suitable for ice climbing. Climbers should check at the warden office for best locations, current conditions and avalanche hazards.

Hazardous Activity Registration
Voluntary self registration is available at the warden office to anyone undertaking what they consider to be a hazardous activity. Registration is provided to ensure your safe completion of an activity. If staff are not available to assist you, you may self register at the station located at the entrance to the warden office.

Travel Conditions
Waterton's weather and snow conditions vary dramatically. Be prepared for conditions ranging from warm wet weather to extreme cold. Poor visibility, icy roads and drifting snow occur frequently. The entrance road leading to the village remains open year round while the Akamina Parkway is maintained to the Little Prairie picnic site, three kilometers from Cameron Lake. The Red Rock Parkway and the Chief Mountain Highway are closed to vehicles during winter months.