Canada West Day 6 - Waterton Lakes National Park

Friday, 12 May 2023 04:01

I awoke to a beautiful sunny morning and headed out early to explore Waterton Lakes National Park which continues on into the US as Glacier National Park which I have previously had the pleasure of visiting. Armed with the excellent park guide I picked a couple of short hikes for the morning but before that I headed back towards the park entrance for some photos in the morning light. The first panorama below is taken not long after the park entrance and as you proceed in the second panorama opens up. Mind you before I could get to these locations I had to negotiate some dodgy pedestrians. Not the last mule deer I would see today. My first walk was to Crandall Lake. The trail was a little steep in places and ankle deep in residual snow at one small part of the trail. It was not the most inspiring trail partly due to clear damage from previous forest fires. It takes years for them to recover. That said there were birds in the scorched trees and some beautiful flowers including the delightful yellow glacier lilly. The road travels high above a river creating some impressive views. I did encounter more jaywalkers, this time bighorn sheep. While stopped to take a photo I heard a sound and looked around to see four mule deer bounding towards me. They suddenly saw me and stopped. After a few moments, they decided I was not going to move so simply vaulted the guard rail and headed off down the road. How lucky am I. Next I was off to red rock canyon where the walk was curtailed somewhat by construction but it did not spoil it. The weather was chaning rapidly with light showers popping up. As I passed along the lake to the canyon road this everchanging light created a beautiful moment. You can spend days waiting for the right sun angle and the right clouds but today fortune was on my side. Red rock canyon road was much closer to its river but still the views were impressive with the clouds building in from the east. The park signage and facilites are wonderful with even a place to park you electric bike. As an aside, the one petrol station in the park is closed till Sunday but there were 4 EV chargning points in the village! The scale of the canyon is deceptive surrounded by tall mountains but it more than makes up for it with its amazing colours. I had a little friend for company and there were more pretty flowers to add variety. After driving back down to Waterton Village it was time for a lunchtime snack and a cold drink from one of the very few places open. I spent the early afternoon strolling the water front completing a memorable day in this fine national park. The forecast rain was delayed but, as the French would say, it was raining cords by the time I sat down to dinner.