Monday, November 7, 2016

Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, Alberta, Canada

On our last day visiting Glacier National Park in Montana, my husband and I drove through the Going-to-the-Sun Road from the West side of the park, to the East side, and then outside the park onto Blackfeet Nation Reservation and then north on US Route 89 towards Canada.  Looming over a portion of the drive was Chief Mountain, or Ninaistako in Blackfeet language, at 9,080 feet (2,768 m). It can be seen for hundreds of miles.

(All photos and photo collages in this post will enlarge if clicked on)

The Blackfeet people have lived near Chief Mountain for millennia, and believe the mountain holds great power and ancient knowledge. If you click on the photo above of the informational placard you can read more about the mountain.

Near this area, we turned from US Route 89 N to MT Highway 17, or Chief Mountain Highway. The roads gave us beautiful views! We were surprised quite a few times by cows from nearby farms and ranches standing next to, or crossing the road.  We made sure to drive carefully.

We passed the Many Glacier parts of Glacier National Park (click here to read my blog post about that area) and then approached the Canadian border crossing where we stopped to show our passports. Highway 17 then turned to Alberta Route 6.

We then entered into Alberta, Canada where the Waterton Glacier International Peace Park is located.

As we approached the park entrance the views were beautiful.

This area is called "where the mountains meet the prairies."

We passed through the park toll booth.  Unfortunately, our US National Parks Pass did not apply for free entrance as it does in the USA, so we had to pay admission.  The Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park was created by the US and Canada in 1932, and in 1976 it was designated an International Biosphere Reserve. In 1995 it was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.  The Peace park commemorated the peace and goodwill our two nations share and today Waterton Lakes National Park and Glacier National Park use peace and goodwill to work towards shared management in protecting the water, plants, and animals that are found in the shared area of the parks.

We almost immediately saw upper Waterton Lake.....

...where we bought tickets to take a boat ride by the Waterton Shoreline Cruise Company.

We could see the beautiful Prince of Wales Hotel and Restaurant on the hill in the distance--more about the hotel later in this post.

The boat cruises along the shoreline of the beautiful Upper Waterton Lake and crosses the International border to Goat Haunt, Montana.  Waterton Lake is the deepest lake in the Canadian Rockies!

As we sailed away the Prince of Wales Hotel shrank in size. The high mountain next to it is called Bears Hump and there is a trail that leads to the top from the visitors center.

The narrated cruise is about an hour long each way with magnificent views!

We could see quite a few glaciers at the Goat Haunt area.

There was a half hour stop at Goat Haunt--the northern gateway to Glacier National park. We debarked at this beautiful sheltered and commercialized area to take a short hike along the shoreline. and to wade into the cold lake water.

The Waterton Lake bottom was filled with a pretty array of multicolored pebbles--the same as the other lakes within Glacier.

Inside the shelter were some placards about the history of the world's first International Peace Park--please click to enlarge to read.

Click to enlarge to read.

This placard explained that the events of 9-11-01 changed the concept of the International Peace Park borders to make this border crossing, that was once open to all nations, to be only available to US and Canadian citizens--a sad reality to increase national security.

There was also an interactive board where people could leave their ideas on how to be a peacemaker where they live. I found the answers interesting. What would you write?

Back on the boat to return to Canada, we could see the 49th Parallel Canadian/United States border. Canada and the USA have the longest undefended border in the world (5,525 miles/8,892 km.).

The return cruise sailed closer to the eastern side of the lake to see different views.

At one point the boat stopped to allow us to see this unusual shoreline rock formation.

When we went back ashore we were excited to visit the Prince of Wales Hotel.

The hotel was constructed between 1926 and 1927 by the American Great Northern Railway. The hotel is named after the Prince of Wales--later King Edward VIII.  The bellhops wore red tartan plaid kilts and the plaid was also on display in the hotel lobby.

There is a beautiful view of Waterton Lake from the hotel lobby. Tea was in progress and I regretted that I did not make reservations to indulge in it, but I knew we wanted to explore other parts of the park and did not have the time.

The history of the Prince of Wales Hotel--please click to enlarge to read.

This is the view outside the Prince of Wales hotel looking across Waterton Lake south towards Goat Haunt at the far end.

Another view from outside the hotel, looking east.

Unfortunately, we found out scenic Akamina Highway in the park was closed as it suffered serve damage the prior winter and had not yet been repaired. We then drove to Red Rock Canyon, passing beautiful mountain scenery along the way.

We hiked a trail that circumference a portion of Red Rock Canyon, where the layers of red and green colored minerals offered a brilliant contrast to the surrounding lush green surroundings.  We watched visitors enjoying the water from various bridges that crossed over the canyon.

The day was approaching late afternoon so we headed back towards the USA border crossing, passing Chief Mountain again,  and then onto US Route 89 where we re-entered Glacier National Park at the St Mary entrance, and returned west towards our hotel along the Going-to-the-Sun road. It was a very full day, but one filled with many glorious tights and memories we will never forget.

The next morning we checked out of our hotel to drive back to Colorado. This was our last look of Glacier National Park in the distance as we traveled south.  We would love to return one day to see and experience more of the park. We've visited many National Parks over the years, and Glacier has now become one of our favorites. It truly earned it's nickname as the "Crown of the Continent." Thank you for coming along on my blog for the journey!

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Lorrie said...

What a beautiful tour through Glacier Park you've taken us on, Pat. I've thoroughly enjoyed it all! Visiting Waterton Park is on my list of things to do - we often go to Banff and Lake Louise since they are directly on the highway we travel. The boat cruise sounds like a great way to see the area and to get good information from a guide.

Daniela said...

What a stunning blog post you're sharing with us today so enthralling, so interesting and so very beautiful, which to begin our week with, darling Pat, thank you sweetie !

Wishing you all my best for your week just begun
I'm sending blessings & hugs to you,
with utmost gratitude

Xx Dany

eileeninmd said...

Hello, wonderful photos of Glacier and the Waterton Park. The hotel is gorgeous and the boat ride looks like a fun time with great views. Awesome post. Have a great day and new week ahead!

Tanya Breese said...

i enjoyed my tour very much! beautiful pictures!

The Furry Gnome said...

Glad you got to include Canada in yiour trip. I enjoyed your posts from Glacier!

Anonymous said...

Breathtaking areas for sure. It would be fun to stay at that hotel in Canada. Thanks for your thorough post about your visit.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

Breath taking post with all the beautiful views.

Linda W. said...

I've also visited this park in Canada and it is wonderful! Enjoying your trip recap immensely.

Sarah said...

Pat, you are such an amazing virtual tour guide. I always enjoy the trips you take! These vistas are magnificent! Our country has some amazing landscape!

Forest Dream Weaver said...

Wonderful post....fabulous landscapes....beautiful photos!
Thanks for sharing this,have a great week!

Marcia said...

I really enjoyed your photos. I haven't been to Glacier since 1999 and I imagine many of the glaciers are a bit smaller now.

NCSue said...

How lovely!
Thanks for sharing at

Betsy Banks Adams said...

I've enjoyed all of your Glacier posts --and hope that we can get there sometime... I'm sure one could spend weeks there exploring!!!! we'd love it...

What would I do for PEACE? Well--right now with this election looming ---I would opt to get rid of ALL of the politicians (both/all parties) ---and do a re-start with our Government finding people who weren't in it for the power and money--but who were honest, hard-working Americans who had the country's best interest at heart. I'm not just talking about our President/VP --but also the Congress... We--as a country--are in a HUGE mess and we'll never be at peace as a country until we have better leadership all around... Scary to think of our future as a country... God Bless us ALL.


Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I loved your trip Pat -- thank you for sharing it. I didn't realize that this border crossing had been closed to other nations besides us and Canada; that is sad. Your beautiful photos and narration really make me feel like I'd been there with you -- but they also make me realize how much I really really would love to go back in real life. I like that you include the explanatory signs -- I always stop to read every word of them when we're in places like this, so your inclusion makes it seem even more like I was there.

Ruth Hiebert said...

Your pictures are fantastic.makes me want to pack my bags and go there.

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

What beautiful scenery and photography!
Thank you for your kind visit as well, much appreciated.

carol l mckenna said...

Wow! What vistas you and hubby are getting to see ~ so happy for you ~ Marvelous photography ~ thanks ~

Wishing you a lovely week ~ ^_^

Al said...

It looks fantastic - that's a park I'd love to visit.

Michelle said...

The beauty here is just breathtaking. I know you must have really enjoyed this trip!

Anonymous said...

Amazing landscapes, Pat! Waterton Lake is what I would like to see. The mountains are stunning, and so are the multi-colored pebbles. the Prince of Wales hotel looks a beautiful hotel! The red rocks must have been a surprized and many thanks for sharing Canaca with ALL SEASONS!
Have a beautiful week1

Lady Fi said...

Magnificent vistas! And I like the idea of a peace board.

Jeanne said...

Hi Pat, It is really late but I was busy all day and then went to the movie theater to see Inferno. It was a real good movie with lots of twists and turns.

Thank you for your sweet comment about my post. I am not a writer like you so I do try to entertain. :)

This last post was the crowning journey to your wonderful vacation which included a beautiful visit to Waterton Lake and the Prince of whales Hotel. We went to a beautiful hotel to have lunch but I am not sure what the name was. It was too long ago.

Thank you for your terrific series of posts about Glacier National Park which includes the Canadian Glacier Peace Park. Your history and photos tell an amazing story.

Happy Blue Monday,

Maggie said...

Hi Pat, I finally have some internet juice so I can get around to visit my MM bloggers at last.
What am amazing trip this has been and I'm thrilled to have been along for some of the journey.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Wow Pat. What a stunning place and great ohotos. You and Vinny are really enjoying a fabulous retirement.

Coloring Outside the Lines said...

Another big WOW- thanks for sharing your trip- just beautiful and makes me want to visit. You are a great tour guide!

krishna said...

awesome pictures from glacier national park..

Ruth said...

The vistas are breathtaking indeed! I am glad you were able to visit the Canadian side. If I visit the area, I will make sure I allocate at least a day for the Canadian park. #OurWorldTuesday

betty-NZ said...

What a fantastic place for scenery! I am loving the mountains and that hotel is so pretty.

LV said...

Had the pleasure of visiting Canada once, but never saw sights like this.

LV said...

Pat, it's just me again. Would you send me your email so I can answer your question on your comment. Have not been able to figure it out.

Pamela Gordon said...

Wow! I would love to visit that area of Alberta some day when we're there visiting our family. I guess it is farther south and we usually stay in the Calgary/Banff area. It would be awesome to stay at that hotel too. Thanks for taking such beautiful photos of your trip and sharing all the details. Very interesting post.

diane b said...

Wow! What breathtaking scenery. You packed a lot into one day. Thanks for taking me along.

Rambling Woods said...

Just beautiful scenery... you are so lucky to get to visit these parks... Michelle

Unknown said...

All of your pictures are just so gorgeous! I would love to visit Alberta and stay at the Prince Wale's!

Yvette said...

I am convinced, Pat, that eventually you will be my own personal tour guide to the entire USA and even Canada and maybe even the whole world. You will travel so I can stay home and reap the rewards when you return to post your blog journals. (For journals they are.) I do so admire your stamina and oh how I wish I'd done all this when I was younger. :)

Actually, what with the dreadful results of this election, Canada is sounding more and more attractive to many Americans.

Unknown said...

I was wondering if you made it to Canada. When we visit Glacier again we are also going into Canada to visit Banff. Banff is on my bucket list.

I have really enjoyed all your Glacier posts.

Lisa @ LTTL

Michelle said...

So much beauty and you have captured it perfectly.

Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson said...

Very beautiful! The Peace board is such a great idea. We have ran into animals and farmers like that on some of our adventures before. Nice surprise, but yes; you have to drive carefully! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Chief Mountain looks so amazing, but really, the entire area is incredible. Thanks for another great post and the entire series. I seriously want to visit this area now!

Photo(Geo)grapher said...

What a fantastic place! Great photos too

Mary K. said...

Pat y ou are so lucky to be able to travel to these beautiful places. Your photos left me holding my breath. One was more beautiful than the other. And the story behind the crossing was so interesting. I am featuring your lovely and very informative post tomorrow on Sweet Inspiration. Thank you for sharing with us.

KL said...

What a majestic, awe-inspiring place; and the beauty has come out more through your pictures. Gorgeous pictures. Do you know if it is possible to visit this place during December? Or will the whole place be under thick snow then?

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

KL, Waterton Lakes Park is open in December but I would check their web site first before visiting, as there may be areas that are not accessible due to heavy snow.