Wildflowers of Waterton Park

 

TRAILS OF WATERTON WILD

Flowers of Waterton Park Flowers of Waterton Park Flowers of Waterton Park Flowers of Waterton Park

Waterton National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with more than 800 kilometres of trails to explore.

From late May until early September each year, the park is a cornucopia of colours. We invite you to explore the trails of Waterton Park and discover new flowers along the way!

 

 

Waterton Wild is an invitation to explore the trails and discover new flowers along the way!

Bertha Lake trail offers the beauty of many colourful flowers and the sweet smell of shrubs in bloom, along with striking views of Upper Waterton Lake, tumultuous waterfalls, and a tranquil subalpine lake. It is a pleasant early-season hike with yellow Violets, rosy-pink Calypso, and blue Showy Jacob's Ladder. Later in the season, the trail is bordered by giant Beargrass, bouquets of Alberta Penstemon. Hikers will enjoy a moderate climb up to Lower Bertha Falls, with many flowers. Hardier flower seekers can continue up the trail to Bertha Lake, with the reward of stunning Subalpine Spiraea in July.

Lineham Creek trail is a great trail to explore in early June with spring flowers bordering open slopes and glistening creeks. The sweet smell of many flowering shrubs and views of Mount Lineham add to the experience. After a short hike, the trail opens up to a meadow filled with Crocus, Old Man's Whiskers, and Shooting Star. Farther up, rock gardens offer havens for Low Larkspur, Small-flowered Woodland Star and Scorpionweed. The trail then traverses through a Pine forest that is home to many shade-loving flowers, including the charming Prince's Pine. Views of Lineham Falls tumbling down high cliffs make a great turnaround point for this scenic hike.

Rowe Lakes trail is renowned for its wildflowers blooming in natural rock gardens and open meadows. The trail begins in the forest, passing by rock gardens offering a cornucopia of colours, with Blue-eyed Mary, yellow Groundsel, and magenta Shooting Star. Farther along, hikers pass through a forest with impressive Beargrass growing in the shade of spruce and alpine fir. At Rowe Lakes, open meadows are surrounced by mountains, rock slides, and falls tumbling down an impressive rock wall. Stronger hikers can follow the trail to Lineham Ridge with an amazing collection of tough and tenacious alpine flowers.

Carthew-Alderson trail offers a mix of high alpine country, down to subalpine meadows, and montane forest, each offering a unique display of wildflowers. The trail climbs through coniferous forest where Mountain Ash, Elderberry, and Honeysuckle shrubs bloom. At Summit Lake, the meadow hosts a variety of wildflowers such as Valerian, Groundsel, Arnica, and Beargrass. In the Carthew Lakes basin, flower lovers will be thrilled by the amazing collection of tiny plants that turn the scree slopes into a carpet of colourful flowers. With stunning mountain views and more than a hundred wildflowers, this is a favourite trail for flower enthusiasts.

Bellevue Prairie trail is a wonderful area to explore in early spring when most of the other trails in the park are still snow-bound. This prairie zone features an abundance of wildflowers all summer long, from Shooting Star, to Balsamroot, Brown-eyed Susan, and Bergamot waving in the breeze. As soon as you step onto the trail, you are surrounded by flowers as the trail wanders through open meadows and rolling hills in the shadow of Bellevue Hill. For its knee-deep cornucopia of wildflowers all summer long, this is a great trail to explore all summer long.

Crandell Lake trail is a pleasant, short hike on the way to a scenic lake nested between Mount Crandell and Ruby Ridge. This montane zone features blue Clematis in May, deep purple Striped Coralroot in June, white Queen's Cup in July, and yellow Cinquefoil still in bloom in August. The trail is bordered with a succession of yellow flowers in early season, beginning with Oregon Grape, Yellow Wood Violet, and thousands of Glacier Lily blooms. Higher up, hundreds of majestic Beargrass flowers decorate the open forest. For its easy access to more than eighty flowers, this is a perfect half-day family outing.

Red Rock Canyon - Blakiston Falls trail features a deep canyon carved in burgundy rock and majestic waterfalls. The Red Rock Canyon trail follows the perimeter of the canyon with its wonderful rock gardens of colourful flowers. The Blakiston Falls section of the hike meanders through a forest, where majestic Beargrass plants punctuate the scenery with white flowerheads. The trail then passes across an open slope where Sulphur Buckwheat, Alberta Penstemon, and Desert Parsley lead the way to the magnificent Blakiston Falls. With more than 100 different flowers over the summer, this short hike has all the ingredients to please nature lovers of all ages.

Goat Lake trail offers hillsides carpeted with colourful wildflowers, wild open country, and the tranquility of Goat Lake and its vibrant alpine meadows. The first part of the trail features an open hillside covered with Balsamroot, Larkspur, and Nodding Onion among the red rocks. After four kilometres, the trail climbs up through the forest and hikers quickly gain altitude. Several switchbacks bring hikers across a steep rocky area with many tough and tenacious alpine flowers. From montane to alpine zones, Goat Lake trail hosts more than 100 flowers, with many unique to the Waterton area.

Horseshoe Basin trail is a paradise for those who enjoy the serenity of an uncrowded trail. In mid-June, the hike up through the first Aspen grove is like a jungle adventure with towering Cow Parsnip, Desert Parsley, and Fireweed reaching two metres high. In the higher open meadows, Pussytoes, Geranium, Cinquefoil and Fleabane embellish the area with blossoms. By the end of July, Bergamot, Golden Aster, and Blazing Star bring another wave of colours, along with shrubs that attract flocks of birds with their sweet-scented berries. For its lush growth in the Aspen forest and surprising variety of flowers, this trail has a great deal to offer.

Wishbone trail has a lot to offer nature lovers, from humble Yellowbells in May, to delicate Mountain Lady's Slipper in June, striking Hollyhock in July, and brilliant Blazing Star in August. This easy hike passes through Aspen groves, grassy meadows, and marshy areas to the rocky floodplain of Sofa Creek with an amazing variety of wildflowers throughout the blooming season. All summer long, the grassy meadows are patchworks of colourful wildflowers with Blue Flax, Yellow Pucoon, Prairie Rose and Bergamot. At Sofa Creek, hikers will enjoy the picturesque Lupine, River Beauty, and Lyall's Penstemon. For its accessibility to exceptional flowers from May to August, this trail is a delight.

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