Posted 10 August 2010 - 03:57 PM
Visit to Waterton International Peace Park Which Is In Canada And Adjoins Glacier National Park
The entrance to Waterton International Peace Park is a short 34 mile drive from the Many Glacier area. From the town of Babb, take Highway 89 North until it intersects with Chief Mountain Highway 17, Most of the route follows Highway 17 with a small diversions to well marked Canadian Highway 6. The drive is quite scenic and offers views of prairies, wetlands, and beautiful peaks and valleys.
Chief Mountain stands out alone and offers many views of it as you travel along the Highway.I pass Belly River Campground, located just off the highway 16 miles from the Waterton Townsite. I consider staying there, but I proceed on as I would like to stay in the Waterton Townsite campground that I stayed at years ago. I enter the Waterton Park entrance and I am told that all the campsites are full in town and have been reserved for months. I end up staying at Crooked Creek Campground an unremarkable but clean commercial campground outside the Park. I also drive by and check out the Crandall Mountain Campground run by the park service. Crandall is on a first come basis with some sort of a waiting list they will add you on. Campsites are very tight in a forested area.
Things have changed since my last visit to Waterton Townsite. The majestic Prince of Wales Hotel is still there on an isolated peninsula overlooking the magnificent Waterton Lake. Gone are the lush flower gardens in the back of the hotel that were carefully groomed. It also seemed that many of the quaint cottages with flowered window boxes are missing. The town is still beautiful but very busy and more commercialized. I should have expected the changes but my memory was frozen with visions of the town of long ago. The Waterton Townsite is still a special place and one should reserve some time to see the town and the surrounding views.
Be prepared to spend some time clearing Canadian Customs. It was not a pleasant experience for me and I did not feel like a welcomed American entering Canada. I had heard the same thing from some guests at the Many Glacier Hotel. My return to the US through our Customs was a pleasant experience. The officer visually scanned the contents of my truck through the window, looked back at my Casita and smiled and asked, "okay, what do we have going on here." I explain that I have been camping throughout Glacier NP for the last few weeks and that I have just spent a few days in Waterton and was anxious to get back to the US after my Canadian border crossing. He smiles and says he has heard that story before.