Family fun in Alberta in 48 hours or less

Family fun in Alberta in 48 hours or less

Discover Waterton Lakes National Park


Nestled in the southwestern corner of Alberta, Waterton offers stunning landscapes, abundant wildlife, and a charming village. This 48-hour itinerary will help you explore the highlights and features of the park, ensuring a memorable family adventure. Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park was established in 1932, and is the world’s first International Peace Park, symbolizing the friendship between Canada and the USA.

Day 1:


8:00 AM – Breakfast at Pearl’s Café

Start your day with a delicious breakfast at Pearl’s Café, known for its cozy atmosphere and hearty breakfast options. Address: 205 Windflower Avenue, Waterton

9:30 AM – Waterton Village Exploration

Begin your adventure by exploring Waterton village. Stroll through charming shops, visit local boutiques, and enjoy the picturesque setting by the lake. The village is the heart of the park and the starting point for many trails and activities.

11:00 AM – Visit the Prince of Wales Hotel

Head to the historic Prince of Wales Hotel for a tour and stunning views of Waterton Lake.  Built in 1927, this iconic hotel is a National Historic Site of Canada. Address: Alberta 5, Waterton Park


12:30  PM – Lunch at the Kilmorey Lodge Restaurant

Enjoy a lakeside lunch at Kilmorey Lodge, with gorgeous views of Emerald Bay on the Upper Waterton Lake and the mountains beyond. They have a large dining patio, ideal for summer lunch, and a kid’s menu.  Address: 117 Evergreen Avenue, Waterton Park


2:00 PM – Red Rock Canyon

Drive to Red Rock Canyon via the scenic Red Rock Parkway and enjoy an afternoon of exploration. Walk along the canyon’s edge, take photos, and enjoy the vibrant red rock formations.  Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water.

4:00 PM – Cameron Falls

Visit the picturesque Cameron Falls, located within Waterton village. The falls are particularly stunning in the late afternoon light. Address: Cameron Falls Drive, Waterton


6:00 PM – Dinner at Wieners of Waterton

For a casual and tasty dinner, head to Wieners of Waterton, known for its gourmet hot dogs and unique toppings. Address: 301 Wind Flower Avenue, Waterton

7:30  PM – Sunset at Upper Waterton Lake

End your day by watching the sunset over Upper Waterton Lake. The views are breathtaking, and it’s a perfect way to wind down. Location: Accessible from various points in Waterton Village.

Day 2:


8:00 AM – Breakfast at Vimy’s Lounge & Grill

Begin your second day with breakfast at Vimy’s Lounge & Grill, offering a variety of breakfast favorites. Address: 101 Clematis Avenue, Waterton Park

For adults and families with older children

9:30 AM – Crypt Lake Hike: 

Embark on the iconic Crypt Lake Hike. This challenging but rewarding hike includes a boat ride to the trailhead, waterfalls, a tunnel, and stunning mountain views.  This is a strenuous hike and can take 6-8 hours. Make sure to bring plenty of water, snacks, and be prepared for changing weather conditions.

For families with younger children

9:30 AM – Scenic Drive along Akamina Parkway

Start your day with a scenic drive along Akamina Parkway, a 16 km (10-mile) route that offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and forests. The parkway leads to Cameron Lake, a picturesque alpine lake.  Make frequent stops at the various viewpoints along the parkway to take photos and enjoy the scenery.

10:00 AM – Cameron Lake and Shoreline Trail

Once you reach Cameron Lake, take a leisurely walk along the Cameron Lake Shoreline Trail. This easy 1.6 km (1-mile) trail is perfect for families and offers beautiful views of the lake and surrounding peaks.  Cameron Lake was formed by glaciers and is surrounded by towering peaks, including Mount Custer, Mount Alderson, and the Akamina Ridge. Location: Cameron Lake is at the end of Akamina Parkway.

11:00 AM – Canoe or Pedal Boat Rentals

Rent a canoe or pedal boat from the Cameron Lake Boat Rentals and spend a couple of hours on the water. It’s a fun and relaxing way to explore the lake and its serene surroundings. Life jackets are provided with rentals, making it safe for children.

12:30 PM – Picnic at Cameron Lake

Enjoy a picnic lunch at the lakeside picnic area. Bring your own lunch or pick up some sandwiches and snacks from a local deli in Waterton Village before heading out.  There are picnic tables and restrooms available at Cameron Lake.

2:00 PM – Waterton Shoreline Cruise

Take a scenic boat tour with Waterton Shoreline Cruise Co. on Upper Waterton Lake. Learn about the area’s history and geology while enjoying the stunning scenery. Address: 101 Waterton Ave, Waterton Park


6:00 PM – Dinner at the Taco Bar

Enjoy a final, casual dinner at the highly rated Taco Bar.  Try the chips and salsa. Address: 398 Windflower Avenue, Waterton

8:00 PM – Stargazing at Waterton

Conclude your trip with some stargazing. Waterton is known for its dark skies, making it an excellent spot to view the stars. Location: Anywhere away from village lights; Cameron Bay is a good spot.

Tips and Hints:

Weather: Waterton can have variable weather. Dress in layers and be prepared for sudden changes. Wildlife: Keep an eye out for wildlife, including bears and deer. Always maintain a safe distance.

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