Gateway Gazette

Parks Canada: Plan Ahead for a Busy Long Weekend in Waterton Lakes National Park

Waterton Lakes National Park anticipates welcoming many local visitors this long weekend. To have the best possible trip, visitors should arrive early or later in the day, consider planning a mid-week trip, and be flexible – if your selected destination is full, visit an alternate area. Plan ahead before you travel to Waterton. A full list of what’s open, what to expect and how to prepare is available online: www.parkscanada.gc.ca/waterton-open and https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/waterton/visit/ideale_best

On weekends, Parks Canada is providing Live Park Information for Waterton Lakes National Park on Facebook and Twitter, our website, and Alberta 511. Follow our social media and the hashtags #WatertonRoads and #ABRoads for live updates. Parks Canada has a traffic management plan in place that includes real-time modelling of inbound and outbound traffic which is analyzed against past years’ data, on-the-ground observations and recent visitation trends. The Agency asks visitors to be patient and to follow all instructions from traffic personnel.

Visitors should expect popular areas like Red Rock Canyon day use area, Waterton village and the park’s major trailheads and day use areas to be busy this long weekend. Continue to practice physical distancing in these areas and consider visiting earlier or later in the day or mid-week to enjoy a more tranquil experience. If you do arrive at a parking lot and it is full, do not park illegally on roadway shoulders or off-road. Visitors are asked to enjoy another area of the park and come back at a less busy hour. The Townsite Campground is fully-booked for the summer and the Belly River Campground is currently closed.

Visitors are required to make sure all garbage, food and other wildlife attractants are secured. If a garbage can is full, use the next one or pack your garbage out. Wash your hands after touching any high touch surfaces.

Visitors should not expect the kind of experience that they have had in the past. Parks Canada is adapting to the COVID-19 situation and access and services will be limited. The health and safety of visitors, employees, and all Canadians is of the utmost importance. Parks Canada is following the advice of public health experts and implementing measures for cleaning, hygiene, and physical distancing at all places open for visitation. Only those places where measures can be implemented to minimize healthy and safety risks will be open to the public.

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