Waterton Lakes National Park
On May 30, 1895, a 140 sq. km (54 sq. miles) area was protected by the federal government as a Dominion Forest Park. Its status, boundary, and name have varied over the years; and it is now known as Waterton Lakes National Park.
Waterton was Canada’s fourth national park and is the smallest in the Canadian Rockies, with an area of 505 sq. km (195 sq. miles).
John George Kootenai Brown was the first settler in the park area, the first game guardian and fisheries inspector, and became the first park superintendent in 1911. In 1902, the first oil strike was made, producing a flow of 300 barrels per day of high grade oil at “Original Discovery No.1” well site in Cameron Valley. In 1904, the Western Coal and Oil Company from Vancouver drilled for oil near Cameron Falls, striking a flow of one barrel/day.
In 1932, the park was joined with Montana’s Glacier National Park to form the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park – the first in the world.
In 1979, Waterton became Canada’s second biosphere reserve and the first Canadian national park to take part in this UNESCO program.
Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park became a World Heritage site in 1995.
The international Upper Waterton Lake is the deepest lake in the Canadian Rockies.
See maps of the park.
See also: National Parks of Canada.
(This page was updated in November 2012.)