Saturday, March 09, 2024

Real winter at Waterton


For the second consecutive year we broke up winter with a trip to Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta at the Kilmorey Lodge.

While Great Falls was losing its snow to a Chinook, Waterton was locked in ice cold temperatures.

However, our second day in the skies cleared and we had radiant sunshine which made our skiing and snow shoeing even more enjoyable.

I found it remarkable that the wonderful lodge was nearly empty and that we could be the only people in its upscale restaurant during meals.

We arrived in an ice-cold inversion with temperatures in the minus 10 range and high winds.

Even in the bitter cold we found roofers atop the Prince of Wales Lodge hard at work.

We snow shoed up a trail to the lodge to have a look.

It appears as though a work crew is being housed in this scenic lodge while it works on the roof.

The following day the brilliant sunshine lured us out for some cross country skiing.

We drove up the Akamina Parkway that had been plowed out to about 1.8 miles from Cameron Lake where we began our ski at Little Prairie.

When we started there was no one around.

There were nice ski and shoe tracks all the way to the lake on the road.

The bluebird skies and good snow made for a perfect day.

When we got to the lake that borders the U.S., we found that the Canadian Park Service employees doing avalanche measurements had taken a snowmobile out onto the lake itself.  So we did, too,  reasoning that the ice held the snowmobiles quite well.  The snow covered mountains around us were stupendous.

Cameron Lake is an area where Alberta, British Columbia and Montana and Glacier Park with Waterton border one another.

After a skiing back to Cameron Lake trailhead, we decided to take a trail along the creek rather than the road  back to our car because it passed by Akamina Lake.  It was a good choice.

When we got back to the lodge we tried to walk along Waterton Lake, but found the unplowed walkways too much of an obstacle.  

Back at the lodge, the pub was filling up and a "Trivia Night," for guests and locals commenced.  It really enlivened the place.

The food at the lodge was pretty good, but pricey.  The pub food, though, was more reasonable and there was a good selection.

I'm at a loss why there weren't more people using the lodge and skiing or snow shoeing.  There are a couple of other lodging choices there that were empty, too.

In the morning we headed back home, stopping as we had done on the way out not far from the border crossing at Carway/Piegan where there's a pullout for viewing the impressive Chief Mountain shard.  Blackfeet and private buffalo herds graze with the mountain as a backdrop.

In that area we saw several coyotes and bald eagles that we were told were migrating north.

Waterton is a terrific winter break spot.

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