Since moving to Pincher Creek this spring, I've been looking forward to being merely a half hour from so many beautiful locations. My finance and I decided to spend our afternoon in Waterton National Park, located just 30 minutes from our house. I have to admit, in the 20+ years I've lived in Alberta, I have never taken the trip down. We rectified this terrible error.
The damage from last years wildfires is still quite noticeable but nature has begun the process of repairing itself. In our afternoon visit we were able to try a couple of restaurants out. Waffleton served up some delicious waffles and coffee. The staff enthusiastically created a "Frankenwaffle" (their word) because we wanted to try both the berries and cream and smore waffles. After an hour of exploring the various shops we swung back around for Wieners of Waterton for a pretty solid hot dog experience.
We also stopped at the Prince of Whales hotel for a spectacular view of the lake. Evidence of how close the wildfires had gotten to the old building were evident. As we were exploring the interior a mother and her daughter stopped me. "I just heard a brown bear and her cubs are close by. You have a nice camera, I thought you should know." The tip paid off. Across a ridge and some brush were a mamma bear and three cubs. It's easy to get excited and forget that bears are efficient killing machines, especially with their young in tow. A Parks Canada officer was quick to arrive and make sure someone didn't get to adventurous with a selfie stick.
Even on an overcast day, Waterton has all the beauty of Banff and Canmore but is incredibly more relaxed. A yearly park pass and repeat visits are in order throughout the summer. Full gallery below.
Gear list: Sony a6500, Tamron 70-200 2.8, Sigma 18-35 1.8, Tiffen variable ND filter.