Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 09/17/2014


Photo taken on August 27, 2014


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View over the Waterton Valley

View over the Waterton Valley
The hamlet of Waterton is some distance off this photo, to the left. This is just one view taken from along the Chief Mountain Highway in Waterton Lakes National Park, on 27 August 2014. This park is about 276 km south of Calgary and roughly a three hour drive. During the time we were there, we explored all four drives in the area: the Akamina Pathway that leads to Cameron Lake; the Red Rock Parkway; the Chief Mountain Highway which takes you up to the US/Canada Customs; and the Bison Paddocks. This was a driving trip, not a hiking trip - which is just as well, as a young woman was attacked on one of the days that we were there, by a Cougar on one of the trails!

During three days away (26, 27 and 28 August 2014) with friends Cathy and Terry, we saw so many things, including breathtaking scenery, 4 Black Bears (including one that was swimming in the lake), Bison, Deer (including several that we saw in the town of Waterton, where we stayed for two nights at the clean and friendly Bear Mountain Motel), Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels, Chipmunks, various bird species including these endangered Burrowing Owls (way east of Waterton, on our last day), a few wildflowers, several Yellow-bellied Marmots (a first for me!), a few different insect species, and a family of Dusky Grouse that are uncommon in the park. I even got the chance to see three or four new-to-me old, wooden grain elevators. Oh, and we got caught in a storm like nothing we'd ever seen before - a mesocyclone, apparently.

"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. 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 National Historic Site.

In 1979, Waterton and bordering Glacier National park in the US were designated as World Biosphere reserves, preserving mountains, prairie, lakes and freshwater wetlands ecosystems. Habitats represented in the parks' range include: prairie grasslands, aspen grove forests, alpine tundra/high meadows, lower subalpine forests, deciduous and coniferous forests.

The park is part of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, designated as World Heritage Site in 1995 for their distinctive climate, physiographic setting, mountain-prairie interface, and tri-ocean hydrographical divide. They are areas of significant scenic values with abundant and diverse flora and fauna"

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waterton_Lakes_National_Park

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