Friday, January 15, 2010

Trip to Southern Alberta 2008 - Waterton

Our goal this day would be to get to Waterton National Park.  We left Chain Lakes and drove highway 22 south, through extremely pretty ‘foot hills’ type terrain, until we reached highway 3, traveled east to the town of Pincher Creek, where we stopped to stock up on groceries (I’ll have some pictures of the Pincher Creek area on the return trip), then south on highway 6 to Waterton, which is located in the extreme south west corner of  the province of Alberta.


This is extremely pretty country with the mountains on the one side….


and the rolling prairies on the other…..Waterton8

instead of heading into the actual town site where there is a large parking lot type RV campground, we elected to head to the more outlaying and more our style of primitive campground at the base of Crandell Mountain.  This would actually be our 3rd visit to Waterton and our 2nd staying at Crandell Mountain campsite.  The first had been about 10 years earlier when we had been here in June, one day, enjoying a hike up Crandell Mountain (pre-digital days unfortunately), then an ice cream in town while watching the hummingbirds at the various feeders hanging about in the town site….only to wake up the next morning to snow and getting out by the skin of our teeth as they experienced a major dump of snow that pretty much shut the area down….


Extremes of weather seem to be the norm in this area as the mountains and the prairies collide – I found this example of two colliding weather systems to be fascinating.


This is part of Waterton Lake, this particular area, which is a picnic site, is actually outside of the main park entrance and as such isn’t as well used as some other areas in the park.  It is difficult to see, but on the top of the closest little green hill on the right hand side is the famous Prince of Wales Hotel.

After spending a bit of time at this site, we decided to take the 16 km drive, bypassing the town itself, to Cameron Lake which is situated up in the mountains well to the west of the town site, in fact almost on the B.C. /Alberta/U.S.A. border.

We stopped on the way to take these pictures

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of  Mule deer walking down this river bed – certainly safer than trying to walk down the narrow, winding road!

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There is a closer look at one of them.  It was a fairly warm day – remember this was still August….so perhaps it was a way of cooling off as well.


and here is Cameron Lake.  There is a large parking area with an information center, souvenir sales and canoe rentals…..and also a lovely trail down the north side of the lake.


This picture was taken from about half way down the lake…I don’t think you can actually walk right to the end of the lake – we were pretty much at the end of the trail when we took this.  Probably a good thing as Grizzly Bear are known to frequent those slopes.


and here is one more look at this scenic lake.  The sun was playing peek a boo at this stage….it was getting late, and time to head back to the campsite for supper.

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