Mon, Jul 27 2009, Tue, Jul 28 2009, Wed, Jul 29 2009, Thu, Jul 30 2009 - Waterton Hiking - Slowpokes, Dawdlers & Photographers (View Original Event Details)

Event Coordinator(s): Karen D
Participants:Debra Siviero, Ann N, Veronica J., Laura K, Pat D., Ed, Karen D, Jana N

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Write Up:
Two countries & two provinces would be how I would describe our hikes in Waterton Area !!!

We all met at the Marina on Monday morning and boarded our boat ride to the trailhead for Lake Janet in the USA !!! The hike was at Goat Haunt in Glacier National Park. After getting thru “customs” and receiving a neat stamp in our passports at the trailhead, we headed out on our hike.

Even in the heat of the day (close to 30°C), it was a great hike, and I highly recommend it. Along the way, we encountered a moose just below the trail, and once we passed it, he/she walked along the trail for a bit to make sure we were still going away ! The lake was surrounded by a beautiful cirque, and there were still a few snow patches ! After lunch, we explored the area and took some more pics ! While hiking back to the trailhead, our group split in half, which one group went back to the trailhead, and the other hiked another 2km to see Rainbow Falls. Our “carpool ride” the boat !!! picked us up at 5:30p.m. for the hour long ride back to Waterton Marina.

While everyone checked in, Mom & I barbecued for the group since we arrived the day before. The weather was perfect for our supper at the picnic tables at the motel. Afterwards, we retired to our rooms for some sleep since we are starting all over again the next day !!

The next morning, we all meet for our second hike of the trip. We decided to do Forum Lake. The trail begins in Alberta, but within a kilometer, we crossed into B.C. !!! What a difference a day makes. It was nice and cool today, almost a hot chocolate day !! Along the way to Forum Lake, we took a small detour to look at the Forum Falls. Well worth the detour (see pics) !!! We continued on our way, and just before arriving at the lake, we were greeted with tons of wildflowers & bear grass in full bloom. As Ann said “the most beautiful arrival to a lake that I’ve ever seen” !!! We had lunch, took lots of pictures, and returned back to the trailhead.

It was pouring rain by suppertime, so we couldn’t hang out together outside like the night before. The group, minus Mom & I (we weren’t hungry then), ate at Pizza of Waterton. I highly recommend it, and they told me they enjoyed it very much. The only drawback that they told me about, was when they got their table inside the restaurant, a take-out order for 20 pizzas had just arrived, so that put the kitchen way behind in the orders……… Mom & I ordered take-out pizza later in the night, brought it back to our room, and watched Coronation Street while having our supper !

Wednesday morning, the last morning for the majority of our group. We met and drove to our trailhead for our hike. Today, we decided to do Wall Lake. The trailhead is the same as yesterday’s hike, but branches off. Again, this hike was in B.C. !!! Once at the lake, we had lunch, and noticed a family of ducks on the water. To our surprise, they swam right passed our lunch place and close too, and we got some good shots !! The babies were playing in the water by diving down, and popping up one right after another – it was cute to watch !!!

After the hike, the five of the group who were not staying the third nite, drove up to Cameron Lake to check it out. I was told that it was very busy with tourists ! After this, they drove back to Calgary.

Mom & I relaxed on the outdoor patio at our room, and enjoyed another take-out meal. The next day, Debra, Mom & I drove up to Cameron Lake. There weren’t many people there that early in the day, and the whole area was serene and beautiful. There was still some midst on the water !!! We then drove out to Red Rock Canyon and did the 0.7km loop along the canyon. We then said our goodbyes, and Mom & I left to go back to Canmore, and Deb did some more exploring at Red Rock Canyon.

Here comes the bear story !!!! I said to Mom as we were leaving Red Rock Canyon, that I was surprised that we didn’t see one bear during our whole time there as Waterton is big grizzly area. Mom certainly wasn’t complaining as she really, and I mean really, doesn’t like our “critters” out here in the Rockies !!! We stopped at a pull out, as there was a sign there explaining how the Kootenays got their name. Got back in the car, and stopped at another pull out, where the sign explained how two lakes joined (called Fan) to make up Waterton Lake. I had parked about 10 feet up from the sign in case another car pulls in. As I finished reading the sign, to my left, I saw a bear about 30 feet away in the high grass. I put my hands on Mom’s shoulders and said “bear”. She knows that I wouldn’t joke about this, she saw the direction I was looking in, and saw it. We walked quickly to the car and got in. Now we are safe, and as her heart was beating, she was excited and scared all at once !!! I started the car, and it didn’t disturb the bear at all. I had the car in drive with my foot on the brake while we took some good pictures ! The funniest part was when Mom looked thru the binoculars at the bear, it scared her even more !!! She just couldn’t get over how close this bear was, and I had to remind her “look Mom, he/she isn’t even paying any attention to us – bears really don’t care about people unless they have a concern”…….The cars were whizzing by not seeing what we were seeing – a small grizzly grazing in the grass, ignoring our car, about 20 feet away. Finally a camper saw it and pulled in. The grizzly kept ignoring us ! After 5 more mins, Parks Canada arrived and we left. The moral of this story, even at pullouts, keep looking for bears !!!!

Thank you for joining Mom & I in Waterton, and for making my Mom’s trip a very very memorable one !!

Encounters on the trail/event: Wonderful wonderful wonderful views, beautiful wildflowers, moose, birds, deer, ducks, birds, USA customs, other hikers & families, sunny skies, pouring rain, and lots of smiles !!!! And of course, Mom’s bear which I’ve name Pat !!!

Happy Trails :)
Karen D.