Parks Canada is expecting a hectic summer at Waterton Lakes National Park.
They're planning ahead asking visitors to do the same.
They've provided some tips to help make visitors time in the park more enjoyable:
Plan ahead. The Waterton Lakes National Park website provides detailed information on what locations are open, what to expect, how to prepare, and what services are available. In addition, construction projects are underway and may impact your visit. Be sure to check the website before you travel.
Visit a park less traveled. Popular day use areas are congested during peak periods in late spring, summer and early fall. The park less traveled webpage highlights quieter places in the park. Consider these options, and have a plan B in case your destination of choice is full or congested.
Beat the crowds. The park is busiest on weekends in July and August between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and is especially busy on long weekends. Consider visiting during the early mornings, evenings or weekdays for a quieter experience.
Respect wildlife. Observing wildlife in their natural habitat is a privilege that comes with a responsibility to treat them with the respect they deserve and need. Keep a minimum of three bus lengths (30 metres / 100 feet) away from elk, deer, moose and bighorn sheep and ten bus lengths (100 metres / 325 feet) away from bears, cougars and wolves. Never follow, approach, entice or feed wildlife.
Be bear aware. Carry bear spray with you at all times on the trail, and know how to use it. The best thing visitors can do for bears is limit their exposure to humans. Visitors should slow down and consider not stopping if they see a roadside bear, put all garbage in a bear-proof garbage bins (or pack it out) and keep their picnic or camping site attractant free. Never leave food unattended.
Get your watercraft inspected. All non-motorized watercraft (kayaks, canoes, SUPs, etc.) are subject to a mandatory inspection before entering park waters. The inspection station is located on the north side of the intersection of Highways 5/6 and the Entrance Road.
Red Rock Parkway has reopened to vehicle traffic after its annual winter closure. Construction projects are underway around Red Rock Canyon and day use areas around the park. Respect all warnings and closures.
Akamina Parkway is currently open to vehicles until the Little Prairie Day Use Area. Cameron Lake is accessible on foot. Expect snow and winter-like conditions in and around Cameron Lake at this time.
The Townsite Campground is now open for the season. Reservations are encouraged.
Belly River Campground opens on May 13. Campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The new Parks Canada visitor Centre is open, including interpretive exhibits, interpretive programming and visitor information services.