Welcome to Week of Waterton on Canadian Girl Runs! This past weekend, a group of Alberta-based healthy living bloggers were invited to spend the weekend in Waterton, explore the town, and enjoy the food and activities. I cannot even begin to tell you how awesome this weekend was. Not only was the town gorgeous but the ladies (and kiddies) I had the privilege of spending my time with were just simply amazing.
After loading almost 500 photos onto my computer from three days in Waterton, Alberta, I decided that this week is going to be “Week of Waterton” on my blog. I can’t think of a better way to recap it than to split up some of the events and activities that we did, and to prevent photo-overload on these posts! There will be plenty of recaps floating around the internet from some awesome bloggers this week so be sure to check out their blogs too!
On Thursday night I drove down to my aunt’s house in Airdrie, AB after teaching spin class. I got in shortly after 11pm and left before 6am, so it was a quick sleep and on the road again! I stopped briefly for coffee and made my way to Waterton, arriving just after 9:00am. It is about a 3 hour drive from Calgary to Waterton. Unlike driving west to Banff where the prairies slowly change from flatland to rolling hills to foothills to mountains, driving south to Waterton is a sharp change from flatland to a wall of mountains. It is beautiful.
Waterton itself is super cute. It’s TINY, but adorable, a little village nestles in the mountains on the shore of the Waterton Lakes (duh). There are very few people that live in the town year-round as it is a summer town, closed up from about October to May. We caught the last weekend of tourist season in Waterton!
Friday: Once I arrived on Friday, I met up with Jo (Living Mint Green) at the marina in Waterton. We were planning on hiking to Crypt Lake before the other bloggers arrived as we both had the day off and could get there earlier. (Crypt Lake recap HERE!) Once we finished the hike we met up with the other bloggers, ate, wandered around Waterton, and chatted. We checked into our cozy rooms at the Waterton Lakes Lodge Resort, a series of colourful buildings in the heart of Waterton.
Saturday: On Saturday we met up for breakfast then headed down to the marina to board our boat cruise from Waterton Shoreline Cruise Co. It was a 2-hour trip around Waterton Lake, crossing international borders into the US. (Boat cruise recap coming!) It was a tad chilly and windy but being out on the water was beautiful. Canada happened to be much sunnier and nicer that day. 😉
After the cruise we enjoyed lunch before splitting up our group, half of us heading up to Bertha lake on another hike! (Bertha Lake recap coming!) We regrouped for dinner and dessert and enjoyed a crisp fall evening along the Waterton Lake shores before heading back to our hotel, exhausted from the fresh mountain air!
Sunday: On our last morning in Waterton we met up for a delicious breakfast, checked out of our hotel, and headed to the Waterton Visitor’s Centre for the Bear’s Hump hike. I stuck around after the hike to check out the adorable family-owned shops downtown Waterton (the two streets in town that have stores 😉 ) before grabbing a coffee and heading out of town with a full heart and sore legs.
The Bear’s Hump hike is a popular one in the area due to it’s short duration and rewarding views at the top. We had the whole group in tow, which meant I was humbled by two toddlers running up the mountain effortlessly behind me. It is a steep and steady climb of about 0.9 miles (1.4km) with 738ft (225m) of elevation gain. It is a heart-pounding 20-40 minutes to the top depending on how fast you go, and then about half of that time on the way down. Our group was up and down, with a lot of photos at the top, in about 75 minutes!
It might be a sweaty jaunt up to the top but the views are totally worth it. You can see all the way down the Waterton Lakes, you are standing on top of the town, and you can turn and face the huge stretch of prairies. It becomes extremely apparent when you are on top of the “hump” why Waterton is “where the mountains meet the prairies.”
If you are looking for a relatively easy hike, that has spectacular views, AND can be done in running shoes and with children, this is a go-to. While it was super windy at the top, the trail is treed and had very little wind on the way up! Just be careful not to get swept off the “hump” at the top. 😉
It’s safe to say I had an incredible weekend in Waterton. I was so sad to leave, both the town and the people, but I have added several things to my “Summer 2016 Bucket List” after exploring Waterton so I will certainly be back!
COMING SOON: Bertha Lake Hike and the International Boat Cruise Recap.