Waterton Lakes National Park


Waterton Lakes National Park

Infobox_protected_area
name = Waterton Lakes National Park
iucn_category = II



caption = "Waterton Lakes" National Park Location
locator_x = 57
locator_y = 182
location = Alberta, Canada
nearest_city = Pincher Creek
lat_degrees = 49
lat_minutes = 02
lat_seconds = 45
lat_direction = N
long_degrees = 113
long_minutes = 54
long_seconds = 55
long_direction = W
area = 505 km²
established = 1895 (national park)
1979 (biosphere reserve)
1995 (world heritage site)
visitation_num = 367,500
visitation_year = 2004
governing_body = Parks Canada
world_heritage_site = [http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/354 354]

Waterton Lakes National Park is a national park located in the southwest corner of Alberta, Canada, and borders Glacier National Park in Montana, USA. Waterton was Canada's fourth national park, formed in 1895 and named after Waterton Lake, in turn after Charles Waterton. The park contains 505 km² (203 mi²) of rugged mountains and wilderness.

Operated by Parks Canada, Waterton is open all year, but the main tourist season is during July and August. The only commercial facilities available within the park are located at the Waterton Park townsite. The park ranges in elevation from convert|1290|m|ft|0 at the townsite to convert|2910|m|ft|0|abbr=on at Mount Blakiston. It offers many scenic trails, including Crypt Lake trail. In 2004, Waterton Lakes National Park had 367,500 visitors. [ [http://www.alberta-canada.com/statpub/tourismStatistics/pdf/frequentTourismQuestions.pdf Alberta Tourism] - Tourist statistics and revenue]

History

In 1932, Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park was formed from Waterton and Glacier. It was dedicated to world peace by Sir Charles Arthur Mander on behalf of Rotary International. This park symbolizes the bonds of peace and friendship between the people of the United States and Canada, and a border crossing is open in the park during the summer. Although the park has a lot of diversity for its size, the main highlight is the Waterton lakes—the deepest in the Canadian Rockies—overlooked by the historic Prince of Wales Hotel.

Biosphere Reserve

In 1979, Waterton was also designated a World Biosphere reserve, preserving mountains, highlands, lakes and freshwater wetlands ecosystems. Habitats represented in the park range include: prairie grasslands, aspen grove forests, alpine tundra/high meadows, Arctic-alpine communities above the tree line, lower subalpine forests, deciduous and coniferous forests. [ [http://www2.unesco.org/mab/br/brdir/directory/biores.asp?code=CAN+02&mode=all UNESCO] - Park description at UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve]

World Heritage Site

The park is part of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, designated as World Heritage Site in 1995 for its scenery and wealth of plant and animal species. [ [http://whc.unesco.org/pg.cfm?cid=31&id_site=354 UNESCO] - Park description at UNESCO World Heritage]

Photo gallery

References

External links

* [http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/ab/waterton/index_e.asp Parks Canada website]
* [http://www.watertonpark.com/ Travel Guide for Waterton Lakes Park in Alberta, Canada]
* [http://www.watertoninfo.ab.ca/ Official site of the Waterton Lakes National Park Info Guide in Alberta, Canada]
* [http://www.canadianrockies.net/Waterton/index.html Waterton Lakes National Park from Canadianrockies.net]
* [http://www.nationalparkreservations.com/glacier_princewales.htm Prince of Wales Hotel website]
* [http://www.mywaterton.com/about-history.cfm A brief history of the Park]


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