WATERTON LAKES NATIONAL PARK
Waterton Lakes National Park is located in the southwestern corner of Alberta, sharing a border with Glacier National Park in Montana. Although much smaller than its U.S. counterpart, the views are spectacular, wildlife is abundant and there are numerous long and short hikes of different terrains ranging from mountain climbs, to prairie vistas. From bears, birds, and various species of ungulates, each hike offers the opportunity to see some amazing wildlife.
During the summer months, the interpretive department is running in full swing. Guided hikes are available to teach people about the ecosystem, edible plants and the history of the park from their knowledgeable staff. There are also scheduled programs teaching about human impact on the environment and how to coexist better with wildlife. One of their own initiatives is their Border collie training program where dogs are responsible for herding deer out of town to ensure no fawns are born within town and to decrease deer becoming habilitation to people. This tactic also helps reduce human-carnivore conflict as it discourages large predators from entering town since their food sources are not present. When visiting, make sure you do you part - don’t feed wildlife, keep your area clean so as to not attract animals, don’t litter, and don’t take home ‘nature souvenirs.’
There are several campgrounds around the park, including backcountry options, that all contain bear boxes and information on how to stay safe in bear country. You must carry bear spray during longer hikes and employees in the town are constantly offering up their suggestions on how to increase your chances of seeing a bear… from a distance. There are also several hotels and inns within the main town that visitors can stay at for a little more comfort, if camping isn’t your thing.