Camping Near Waterton: 5 Things You Need to Know

camping near waterton
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Crystal-clear lakes, jaw-dropping scenery, and picturesque mountain ranges are a few of the perfect words to describe the beauty of Waterton. It is a quiet place just a few hours away from Lethbridge and Calgary that usually becomes crowded during months like July to September. Waterton Lakes National Park, the main attraction of this place, is one of the most popular camping spots in Canada. Let us find out more about camping near Waterton.

1. Waterton Lakes National Park

The park is over 125  years old and it borders Montana around the Glacier National Park area. This park is also home to over 250 unique bird species and over 60 mammal species. Therefore, it is an extremely diverse place in terms of biodiversity.

Campers, adventurers, and hikers come here to enjoy their time. Not only Waterton, but the areas surrounding Waterton Lakes National Park serve as unique locations for camping, hiking, and other leisure activities.

1.1. Waterton Townsite Campground

Townsite Campground, located in the heart of Waterton, is one of the most famous campgrounds to explore the Waterton Lakes National Park. The Townsite campground is a drive-up one and is quite close to the main town. Prebook the sites to prevent any last-minute rush. 

Camping near waterton
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Some of the facilities available at this campground include dump stations, showers, toilets, and special wheelchair-accessible services. The charges per night for each site at the Townsite Campground are normally between $24-$40.

1.2. Crandell Mountain Campground

Another popular campground near Waterton, Crandell Mountain Campground is usually open from May to September for tepees, tent campers, and caravans. There are 129 camping sites with enough facilities like laundry, showers, fire rings, and picnic tables.

The site for each site is normally about $25 and a reservation is required that can be done by visiting their official website.

Unfortunately, the campground was closed due to the forest fires in 2017 but we are hopeful that it is going to reopen soon.

1.3. Belly River Campground

Belly River Campground is another drive-up campsite in Waterton Lakes National Park. Campers and visitors can enjoy the beautiful view of the Waterton Lakes. This rustic campground is on a first-served basis and has only 24 campsites. Reservations can be made by calling (403) 859-2224

Waterton lakes camping sites
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1.4. Fort Heritage and Frontier RV Park

If you are looking for a perfect RV park and campsite near Waterton Lakes National Park, this is the one for you. There are ample pull-through sites and powered RV pads. This park will give you a scenic view of the magnificent Rocky Mountain Ranges and is just 10 minutes away from Waterton Lakes. It is therefore a perfect RV camping site too.

Van for camping in waterton
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The RV and Caravan spots cost about $27-$33 per night while the campsite costs around $23 per night. Since there are only 20 campsites, a reservation is advisable by visiting their official website.

1.5. Prairies Peak Campground

Located about 50 kilometres from Waterton  Lakes National Park, Prairies Peak Campground is another great place for camping with the Rocky Mountains at its backdrop. A lot of amenities are available here like RV camping sites, potable drinking water, playgrounds, a pool for fishing, boating, and on-site laundry. The charge for a night is around $50 and a reservation has to be made.

camping near waterton
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2. Things to Do while Camping Near Waterton

Camping near Waterton Lakes National Park is a fun thing to do, no doubt it. There are many adventurous journeys you can hop on. A few are mentioned below:

2.1. Hop on Your Vehicle to Enjoy the Parkways

Just staying at your campsite might get boring, so use the time you have on your hand. Explore the parkways near the park. The Red Rock Parkway is definitely a good place to enjoy the scenic sites while driving. You can also stop at the pull-offs to click pictures or just enjoy the beauty of nature,

At the end of this parkway awaits the beautiful Red Rock Canyon which can be accessed through hiking. During June, the hiking trails are filled with wildflowers making the whole journey eye-pleasing.

2.2. Visit the Lakes and Enjoy Water Activities

If you love water activities like fishing, canoeing, boating or just sitting near the lakeside, don’t miss out on the beautiful lakes near Waterton. Some of them include Goat Lake, Twin Lake, and Lineham Lakes.  

2.4. Stargazing

Who doesn’t like getting lost looking at the vast sky, right? In that case, carry your binoculars to look at the craters of the Moon, planets, and Constellations like the Big Dipper and our Milky Way Galaxy. Do not forget to bring some warm blankets, clothes and a lot of excitement!

3. Winter Camping Near Waterton

Winters can get quite rough here but if you are willing to strive through the roughs and toughs, you are welcome for camping near Waterton. You can camp at non-designated campsites in Waterton Lakes National Park by paying the applicable park fees. Before visiting the park during winter, please call (403) 859-5133 to reserve a spot or visit the official website.

winter camping in waterton
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You need to pack enough resources to survive the harsh climate like proper sleeping bags, enough food, and of course a lot of courage as the weather gets pretty chilly. But the rough weather doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy your time here.

Hop on the hiking journey through the snow-covered hiking trails and enjoy the beauty. Indulge in other activities including sledging, skiing, and snow-shoeing down Prince of Wales Hill. You can also spot elks that move in herds during winter.

4. Backcountry Camping Near Waterton

Backcountry camping is an excellent way to experience more rough and adventurous camping. It requires a lot more hard work but if you are a true adventurer, backcountry camping won’t disappoint you. Get to feel the real beauty of Waterton Lakes and get a more rugged experience.

backcountry camping
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It will require a lot more planning and hiking to reach the actual campsites. A total of ten backcountry campsites are there near Waterton which include Alderson Lake, Lineham Lake, Bertha Bay, Goat Lake, and many more. 

You will have to reserve a spot here as well by calling (403) 859-5133 and paying a non-refundable fee of $11.50 – 90 days before your trip. Fires are also allowed on a few sites and you should check more about the facilities available on their official websites. 

5. General information

Camping near Waterton requires some research and reservation before actually visiting as it gets crowded during the peak season. Nonetheless, the weather in Waterton during these months is normally pleasant with blue skies, clear sunny days, and a bit dry climate.

  • The maximum temperature is generally 23-25°C.
  • The lowest can dip up to 9 °C during the night.
  • Weather is the driest during these months however it might also rain.
  • Winters usually start in October and last till early May when the temperature can be as low as -1 °C during the day and -10°C at night. 

Reservation is another important thing that you need to keep in your mind before planning a visit here. Reservation information has been provided above. However, you can even check the concerned campground’s official website for more information.

Indeed the campgrounds are located in the wild. Perhaps it is essential to take proper precautions to avoid contact with any wild animal. Especially Grizzly bears are quite common to spot here.

  • Carrying bear spray and packing food and other items in smell-proof containers are some of the ways to prevent any risks.
  • Do not try to move close to the bear cubs out of curiosity as the mama cub might be around.
  • If you bring pets, make sure to put them on a leash so that they don’t wander into the wild or do not disturb others.
  • Make sure to clean the campsite and not litter around.
  • Also bring adequate food, clothes, and other essentials to prevent any emergencies. 

6. Summing Up

Camping near Waterton is an excellent way to get some time for yourself and your family to enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature. Hoping on adventures is always an adrenaline rush for many. Hope you liked reading the article. Do not forget to check some other amazing articles on our site related to camping. 

Muskan Tanzeem Farooq
I am Muskan, a content writer with a passion for music, books and travelling. Writing blogs and poems is my hobby and I'm trying to improve my skills on this platform . I'm pursuing MBBS as well and I write articles related to health as well. Other topics that intrigue me are travelling, lifestyle, personality development.