Glacier National Park WITHOUT TOURISTS  | Waterton Lakes, Alberta, Canada

Glacier National Park WITHOUT TOURISTS | Waterton Lakes, Alberta, Canada

December 13, 2019 63 By Kailee Schamberger


What’s up everybody I’m Alex. I’m Marko, and we’re the Vagabrothers. This week we’re in Alberta, Canada, exploring Waterton Lakes National Park. Waterton Lakes is situated in South West Alberta, where the Rockies intersect the US/Canadian border just north of Glacier National Park in Montana. Though not the largest park in Canada, it’s incredibly diverse in both geography and wildlife. From jagged peaks, to deep lakes, forests, with wild bears, to grasslands where Bison graze. Well we’ve quite literally just arrived at Waterton Lakes Park, and we’ve run into a bear. There’s a black bear right in front of the hotel, foraging around for berries. Beautiful! This place is pretty cool, but it’s definitely the land of contradictions. That was a brown bear that was actually a black bear. This looks like a Swiss Chalet, but it’s named after the Prince of Wales, and all the bellmen look like Scotsmen. And we’re in Canada, but we’re right next to America. Contradictions or not, this place is awesome and we’re really excited to spend the next couple of days exploring. We’re going to go jump into the Prince of Wales Hotel and take a look around, learn a little about the history behind this awesome building. Let’s do it! The Prince of Wales was built during Prohibition by Americas Great Northern Railroad, which also helped found Glacier National Park in Montana, to which their trains provided the only access and their hotels the best accommodation. The plan was to encourage American tourists to make a boozie side trip into Canada to enjoy the stunning scenery from the Prince of Wales Hotel, cocktails in hand. But these days the hotel is better known for its high tea. High tea with the beautiful Lake Waterton right here. I’m a happy camper. From inside it’s hard to tell that this is the second windiest place in Canada. The hotel fell off its foundation twice during construction. The bellboy took us up to the roof. Going up! Guys right now we’re in the bell-tower of the hotel. I feel more like Quasimodo. On the way down, he told us about the hotel’s spookier history. Yes, so we have a Poltergeist up on our 6th floor, and she’s been known to slam windows open, throw guest sheets off of their beds. The Shining based their ghost off of her. Here’s Johnny! Well I don’t know if you believe in ghosts, but this place? I could feel it. And I’ve seen The Shining, it’s pretty spot on. I don’t know. I used to work at a hotel that was supposedly haunted, and I saw it from both sides. I didn’t think it was real. I always thought it was just a little thing to get more tourists to come and I always expect this could be a show and… The owner walking away and being like “And I would’ve gotten away with it if it weren’t for you meddling kids!” South of the hotel is Waterton Lake, which is bisected by the US/Canadian border, and traversed by the same ferries that transported the first visitors during Prohibition. Thank you! Well guys, we have not been on this boat for more than 15 minutes and we’ve already encountered our first wildlife, a mama bear and her 2 cubs. Pretty incredible. It’s absolutely gorgeous here. The lake is deepest lake in the Canadian Rockies. And it’s just hemmed in by these beautiful mountains. It was a really cool experience on the lake. From the boat you can also see deep glacier craved valleys that give Glacier Park its name, as well as the physical border required by law. Ok so we are now at Goat Haunt, which is part of the International Peace Park, and this is really cool because this is sort of a park that Canada made together to celebrate peace between these 2 nations and all the other ones on earth. So it’s cool because there’s no customs, no passport control. It’s just all about a place where you’re not really in one country or the other. Well it’s bright and early, 6:30AM to be exact. We’re going to go track some bears. They’ve got Grizzly’s here; they have black bears. Waterton is not a very large park, but for the size of the park, they’ve got a pretty healthy population of bears. We’re going to be quiet bears. We’re a little bit sleepy bears, but we’re excited bears too. Definitely hungry bears! Definitely hungry bears. Wouldn’t mind a coffee bear. I’m ready, I’m a ready bear, are you ready bear? I think we can bear it. So let’s go up the canyon and see what we can find. Well even though it’s the middle of summer, the mountains are really high here, and the valleys are really deep, so the sun doesn’t get down into the bottom of the valleys here until I don’t know, 10:30 or 11:00 in the morning. It’s 6:30 right now, and it’s freezing! Although we didn’t see any bears on our walk, Waterton is full of wildlife, including some species with endangered habitats, such as the bull trout and the North American Bison. Of course the ironic thing is that we were on a hike all morning and didn’t see a bear until we get down to the parking lot, and then there he is..a bear hanging out right next to the creek. We are raising things up a notch. We’re going to go hop on these Honda Ruckus bikes. I’ve got the eagle-rider, cafe-racer helmet on and we’re going to do some exploring! It’s more like a dumb and dumber helmet but still, I like it. We’re going to take the road up to Cameron Lake. It’s a lake that’s just kind of up a little bit higher from Waterton, and it’s a curvy road, pretty scenic, so it should be rad. I’m ready to ride, how ’bout you? Oh, my key’s already in the bike! I’m ready to start the Ruckus! That was badass. Well, we have just had an amazing moped ride up to Cameron Lake We’re here at Cameron Lake. It’s an alpine lake. On the other side is Montana We’re going to hop on some SUPS (some Stand Up Paddles) and see if we can paddle back to the States and come back. There are some clouds in the sky, but we’ve been pretty lucky with the weather so far. Time to GoPro up! Yeah switching to GoPro. It’s our last day here in Waterton Lakes. It’s our last day in Alberta, and we’re ending with something very special. The park rangers here have been kind enough to offer us an aerial tour of the Waterton Park So we’re heading up in the helicopter, and we’re going to see it from the air. Ready? For sure let’s do it. From up in the chopper we glimpsed alpine lakes, accessible only to hikers. Proving that for all we’d seen, there was still a lot more to explore. Alright guys thanks for watching. Hope you enjoyed the episode. If you want more info, make sure you check out Travel Alberta’s website. There are links in the info box. As always if you enjoyed the video, make sure you give it a thumbs up, share it with your friends, and subscribe to Vagabrothers for new travel videos every Tuesday. In the meantime stay curious, keep exploring, and we’ll see you guys on the road! Peace!