Fall is here, and at Waterton Lakes National Park, that means the chance to dive into a range of fun outdoor adventures and attractions surrounded by nature is at its best. We’ve whipped up a list of the absolute best escapades for the fall in Waterton that will fire up your pumpkin-spiced adventures.
A list of our favourite things to do in the fall in Waterton Lakes National Park
Here’s how to get the most out of your fall adevntures:
- Admire the larch wonderland with Uplift Adventures.
Waterton hikes are a marvel any time of year, but we especially love the fall colours that Waterton has to offer. We can take you on some of the best hikes in Waterton to admire the fall foliage. We’ll let you in on a little secret – Upper Rowe Lake is one of our favourites because it has great views of the larch trees turning colour. Also, the huckleberries have been incredible this year – and we know the best spots.
See the hikes we’ve got planned and join us!
Rowe Lakes is an awesome hike that has spectacular views. You can read more about it in our blog post about amazing hike alternatives to Banff and Jasper.
- Glide through nature with Blakiston.
Rent a stand-up paddle board, kayak, electric bike, or even a 10-person party board (how cool!) from Blakiston & Co. and explore Waterton by water or road.
- Pedal the Kootenai.
If you’re exploring Waterton by road, check out the Kootenai Brown Trail that extends along the Entrance Parkway, from the park gate right to the townsite. This 16-kilometre trail is perfect for biking, as it has relatively low elevation, yet stunning views and a fun winding paved trail.
The best part about having an e-bike (as opposed to a regular bike) is that the wind can be strong when heading back to the Waterton townsite, so the e-bike can make for a smoother ride.
- Cruise Middle Waterton Lake.
If exploring by water, enjoy the bay of Middle Waterton Lake and bask in the beauty of glistening waters contrasted by a fiery fall shoreline. This lake is typically sheltered, and the perfect way to relax and embrace the autumn atmosphere.
If there are people in your group who don’t want to explore on the water, they can enjoy fall on the Kilmorey Lodge‘s outdoor patio, cocktail and hearty meal to go with the views.
- Stroll the cute and cozy Waterton townsite.
Take your time meandering through the Waterton townsite before charming shops, delectable cafes, and local boutique stores start to close. We highly recommend checking out the acclaimed photo gallery by the Launstein Family and getting one of their stunning prints as a memento.
- Connect with Indigenous perspectives.
The land in Waterton has stories to tell, and you can learn about them from the perspective of the Indigenous peoples. Discover Waterton’s incredible heritage and gain a deeper understanding of the land’s significance.
- Camera-ready at Cameron Lake.
Visit Cameron Lake and take a picture with the famous red bear statue. You can also paddle out onto the water with Cameron Lake Boat Rental. Trust us, your camera will thank you for the postcard-perfect scenery.
- A royal treat at the Prince of Wales.
For an exquisite experience, enjoy high tea at the iconic Prince of Wales Hotel. It’s a lavish affair you won’t regret – and make sure to listen to the ghost stories.
- Rock it out by the renowned red chairs.
Head to Upper Waterton Lake to skip some rocks – and look out for the famous red Adirondack chairs to take a selfie. Parks Canada has placed some 200 of these chairs in scenic spots across Canada, including four sets at Waterton Lakes. How many can you check off your list?
- Horseback ride through the meadows and listen to the elk bugling.
In the fall, the elk migrate to the Blakiston Fan to make one large herd and to start their rutting season (mating season). The Alpine Stables, located nearby, know the elk herds very well as they watch and listen to them every fall. When taking a horseback ride with them, be sure to ask your about your favourite elk story. The Alpine Stables are open until Thanksgiving weekend, weather permitting of course.
If you happen to stumble upon an elk yourself, keep a huge distance between the elk and you – we recommend at least 100m this time of year, if not more. Elk can get quite aggressive during rutting season and also they are busy. It’s best to give them some privacy.
Where to eat in Waterton Lakes National Park
As the air turns crisp, our appetites turn to the cozy and comforting. From hearty comfort foods to cozy fireside meals, you won’t have to rake through piles of options to uncover the delectable fare Waterton has to offer – our go-to guide has your pre- and post-adventure munchies covered.
Experience the magic of fall in Waterton
That’s a wrap on Waterton’s fall activities. Whether you’re crunching leaves underfoot on a scenic hike, warming up with tantalizing local fare, or simply basking in the radiant colours of the season, Waterton is your perfect autumn adventure. See you among the larches!
Looking to explore Waterton in the winter? Our guide has family-friendly options for activities, accommodations, and restaurants for those looking for some snowy fun. And if summer adventuring is more your thing, learn seven awesome things to do in Waterton in the summer.