Situated in the southwest corner of Alberta, Canada, Waterton Lakes National Park is an internationally known locale and for a good reason! This gem of a park offers panoramic mountain views, strikingly blue lakes and a host of natural treasures that captivate visitors in the hundreds of thousands each year.
Are you yearning to visit? We have something for you before you head out. Don’t leave home without reading this guide to RV camping at Waterton Lakes National Park!
Waterton Lakes National Park Facts
Waterfalls and wildlife and winter sports, oh my! There’s so much to know about the idyllic Waterton Lakes National Park. Let’s begin with some nuggets of knowledge that tell the story of this 125-year-old national park.
Two parks are better than one! Waterton Lakes National Park is located in Canada, but it borders Montana, specifically around the Glacier National Park area. In fact, a portion of Waterton Lake is located inside Glacier National Park.
According to Parks Canada, Waterton Lakes National Park has the most developed backcountry of the Canadian mountain parks. With over 200 kilometers (124 miles) of trails, hikers have a reason to celebrate at this park.
There’s a reason the park is called Waterton Lakes. Waterton is known for the chain of lakes that runs through it. Over 80 lakes and ponds contribute to the Waterton Lakes Chain. Linnet Lake is one of many picturesque bodies of water that visitors can hike around.
Keep an eye out for wildlife! Waterton is brimming with animals of all types. Over 250 species of birds and 60 species of mammals call this park home. Elk, moose, Mule deer, Bighorn sheep and Black bears make up a portion of the creatures roaming this natural paradise.
We hoped you enjoyed learning those fun facts as much as we did. Next up, we’re exploring RV parks near Waterton Lakes National Park.
Best Waterton Lakes National Park RV Parks and Campgrounds
Camping gives you the chance to immerse yourself in the beauty of the area. To stay protected from the unpredictable climate, consider an RV rental for your Waterton Lakes National Park trip. Check out four RV campgrounds in Waterton Lakes National Park below.
Amenities: Located near Upper Waterton Lake, Townsite Campground is a great spot to stay during your trip. The campsite features 15 and 30 amp electric hookups and free WiFi for those staying on the grounds. Plus, pets are allowed—just make sure they’re on a leash.
Capacity: There are 94 full-service, pull-through sites at this campground.
More information: Townsite Campground
Fort Heritage & Frontier RV Park
Amenities: If you’re on the hunt for RV parks near Waterton Lakes National Park, this may be the one for you. With pull-through sites and electrical hookups, you can roll onto your site with confidence. The park offers a front-row view of the Rocky Mountains and has grassy RV spots if that’s what you’re after. Best of all, Fort Heritage is just 10 minutes from Waterton Lakes National Park.
Capacity: There are 20 sites at this campground.
More information: Fort Heritage & Frontier RV Park
Crooked Creek Campground
Amenities: Crooked Creek Campground is a clean, beautiful campground located just 10 minutes from Waterton Lakes National Park. With amenities including on-site laundry and a store with food and supplies, convenience is something you can count on. Plus, 30 amp hookups mean electricity is ready to power up your RV.
Capacity: There are 80 RV sites at this campground.
More information: Crooked Creek Campground
Whisper Valley RV Park and Campground
Amenities: Next on the list of Waterton Lakes National Park RV sites is Whisper Valley RV Park and Campground. With spacious, private lots, you’ll have the opportunity to relax and enjoy your stay. Electrical hookups, fire pits, and access to hiking trails make this RV campground a perfect spot.
Capacity: Whisper Valley Campground doesn’t disclose the number of spaces. You can explore the reservations page to find available sites.
More information: Whisper Valley RV Park and Campground
Photo Credit: Instagram User @zarkfata
Best Time to Visit Waterton Lakes National Park for RV Camping
Waterton Lakes takes on a different look and feel each season. If you go RV camping near Waterton Lakes National Park in autumn, you’ll experience the park in a much different way than you would during a summer trip.
Catch a glimpse of each season below to determine the best time to visit Waterton Lakes National Park.
Winter begins in November, but it’s January and February that usher in the coldest temperatures of the year. These snow-filled months bring average highs in the mid-20s to low-30s!
The weather may be chilly, but there’s plenty of activities to keep you entertained at Waterton. Take in the majestic snow-covered mountains on the winter hiking trails or sled down Prince of Wales Hill. Snowshoeing and skiing are also a popular winter pastime. Elk move in herds through the park during winter, making it a great season to spot these creatures.
After a long winter, May marks the start of spring in Waterton Lakes National Park. With highs in the 50s, the snow is melting and the flowers are blooming this time of year. The Alberta prairies are bursting with color thanks to vibrant wildflowers.
Previously frozen waterfalls rush forward in the spring. Visit Cameron Falls to watch the pristine mountain water cascade over ancient rocks. Less snow also means that more trails are open for exploring. You can soak in the scenery of upper Waterton Lake with a hike on the Bertha Trail or bike along Red Rock Parkway where the prairies meet the mountains.
July and August are the warmest months of the year at Waterton Lakes. If you’re hoping for sunshine and endless outdoor activity options, summer is the best time to visit Waterton Lakes National Park.
The cool waters of Emerald Bay are open for paddleboarding, swimming, canoeing and more. When you’re not on the water, you can take guided walks with Parks Canada interpreters or head out to the Waterton Lakes Golf Course for breathtaking surroundings while on the green.
Looking for rich golden, red and orange hues? September and October are the best time to see the dazzling foliage of Waterton Lakes National Park. With highs ranging from the mid-40s to the mid-50s, hiking in the crisp mountain air is one popular fall activity.
Kootenai Brown Trail is open for bikers, hikers and those looking for a leisurely stroll. This path boasts amazing views of the Waterton Lakes and the towering mountains that rise above them. Fall is prime time for wildlife photography as well. Bighorn sheep, elk, deer and more are out and about in autumn.
Photo Credit: Instagram User @braybraywoowoo
Things to Do in Waterton Lakes National Park
Rest assured, your Waterton Lakes National Park RV camping trip will be full of adventure. Here are four fun things to do during your stay.
Mount up for a new perspective. Take a memorable ride across the gorgeous landscape on a guided horseback tour. The nearby stables offer rides for all skill levels. Beginners can head out for a one-hour ride, while experienced riders can take a five-day trip through the mountains. Saddle up and explore the park in a new way!
View the galaxies above. Even at night, there are natural treasures in store at Waterton Lakes National Park. You can expect superb stargazing at this certified International Dark Sky Park. We recommend taking in the Milky Way from Bison Paddock Overlook. Bring out the binoculars and bundle up! The sky display is one you won’t want to miss.
Give back to Mother Nature. Did you know that Waterton Lakes National Park is a dedicated World Heritage Site? This means that visitors should do their best to preserve the park for future generations. Go above and beyond by volunteering your time to take part in an ecological-focused project. Whether it's maintaining a patch of land in the park or tidying up trailheads with the Busy Beaver Clean Up crew, there are plenty of ways to get involved.
Trek through the great outdoors. From July through mid-September, hiking season is in full swing. There are so many options available for hikers of all ages and skill levels. Looking for a challenge? Lace up your hiking shoes and follow the Crypt Lake Trail. If you enjoy learning as you hike, try out an interpretive trail. These include panels along the path with details about the history and ecosystems of the park.
Tips on Visiting Waterton Lakes National Park
Waterton is waiting. These handy tips will help you prepare yourself for the journey ahead.
If the beauty of Waterton Lakes National Park doesn’t blow you away, the high-powered winds might! January and November bring the most forceful gusts, but this park is windy all-year-round.
In addition to strong winds, unpredictable weather is common at Waterton Lakes National Park. Warm, dry winds called Chinooks can cause sudden increases in temperature. These winds blow year-round. Be sure to check the weather before heading out!
Visiting in the summer? The trails are beautiful, but insects are present. Avoid wearing scented lotions or heavy perfumes when out. Also, pack insect repellent, so you’re protected from mosquitoes and other bugs.
For many, enjoying time away from crowds is a way to recharge. Consider escaping to Waterton Lakes on a weekday rather than a weekend to avoid the rush of visitors. Spring and Fall are considered “shoulder seasons” that are less crowded. If your schedule allows, a visit during one of these seasons may be an ideal choice.
Photo Credit: Instagram User @zackeryorourke
RV Rental for Waterton Lakes National Park
Well, friend, we’ve made it to the end of our guide to RV camping at Waterton Lakes National Park. Before we part ways, let’s discuss your vehicle of choice for this fun-filled excursion. A Cruise America RV is your perfect mountain-traversing companion.
Each Cruise America RV comes equipped with the amenities you need for a comfortable journey. With a fridge, heating and cooling, shower, bathroom and more, you’ll never be far from the amenities you need. Find the right size RV rental for your Waterton Lakes National Park trip with Cruise America!