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hikes

The Canadian Rockies’ Southern Jewel: Waterton Lakes National Park

By Afton Aikens & Olivia Grecu

From the Trans-Canada Hwy between Calgary and Canmore, drive south through rolling hills on Alberta’s Cowboy Trail (Hwy 22) to Waterton Lakes National Park.

While smaller than Banff and Jasper national parks, Waterton’s beauty is just as impressive. Explore the park with these locals’ suggestions:

RedRock

Scenic Drives

  • The Bison Paddock Loop Road is just inside the park boundary off Hwy 6. Watch for these majestic animals from a viewing platfom near the paddock.
  • At the Red Rock Parkway, prairie and mountain landscapes meet. See colourful rocks at Red Rock Canyon and take a shady forest walk to thundering Blakiston Falls.

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The 7 Best Canyon Hikes of the Canadian Rockies

Article and photography by Graeme Pole

In the Rockies, the roar of rushing water is the sound of a canyon ‘growing’. Canyon hikes are great for rainy days not suited to exposed treeline forays, and for shady days when features in the depths are easier to see. Bridges over chasms allow appreciation of nature’s handiwork from different angles—including directly above.

So, how does a canyon ‘grow’? Although the Rockies appear formidable, their relatively weak limestone can be eaten away by rainwater and snowmelt. After the last ice age, surging water from icefields and valley glaciers transformed stream courses into the canyons that we see today.

Almost every side valley in the Rockies contains a canyon. Here, our slide show of some of the most exceptional walks in the region. Start the slide show »

Editor’s Note: Graeme Pole is author of
Walks and Easy Hikes in the Canadian Rockies.