We didn’t have much time left before making the three hour drive back to Calgary but we decided to check out the Waterton Townsite Campground. We arrived at the gate but the attendant thought we wanted to stay for the night and if that was the case, there weren’t any spots left to park. I assured her that I was preparing this story and we wouldn’t be staying long. I showed her my pass and she let us into the campground.
The Waterton Townsite Campground was one of the most popular campgrounds in the area because of its proximity to the town and its amenities. Located on the south side of Waterton, Townsite was right by the Waterton Lake. This was a handy location if campers chose to take in the lake boat tours or other night life available in the Town of Waterton. Just a caution about diesel, there was no diesel fuel available in Waterton gas stations so get diesel fuel before entering the national park.
This campground allowed tents and larger RVs but if you liked your privacy and being closer to nature, Crandell or Belly River were the other 2 options available (See Interview with Locke Marshall in Part 5). Also, at the Townsite Campground were hot showers, food storage, communal kitchen shelters, recycling bins, and a sani-dump. In bear country, food must be stored properly, and if possible, in bear proof containers.
If fishing is your preference, cutthroat trout, lake trout, rainbow trout, and northern pike are available in the Waterton Lake. A National Park fishing permit and lake information can be obtained at the Visitors’ Centre and at Pat’s.
After Toni parked the car, I got out and explored the campground. The camp was really roomy meaning there was a lot of space between camp sites on these grounds. It wasn’t as crowded as other campgrounds I’ve been to so maybe this was one reason it was so popular. I explored the campground and took photos from different angles.
I came across a couple who had their large tent on the ground not yet put up. The friendly Calgary couple Andrea and Rob Slater loved the outdoors and camping. Andrea is a dental hygienist and Rob is an electrical engineer. It was actually their second night camping at the Waterton Townsite Campground and they really liked it there. “A lot of my patients from Calgary recommended this campground,” informed Andrea.
Since the tent was on the ground, I thought they had just arrived but something had happened to the tent. “We have a Coleman camp. It’s usually up but someone broke it because they put chairs on it trying to stop it from blowing away because of the wind. They were only trying to help so that the tent wouldn’t fly away while we were gone for a while. It broke the tent so we repaired it with duct tape. We’ll be able to put it up tonight. Rob is good at fixing things,” assured Andrea.
Andrea grew up camping so she enjoyed all outdoor activities. “We’ve been doing light hiking. We stopped at points of interest along the way. We hiked on the trail at Red Rock Canyon and it was beautiful. Everything out here is beautiful,” shared Andrea.
When I commented on how windy it was there, I also asked her if campfires were allowed because it was so windy. “They don’t allow campfires at any of the campsites but for sure at Townsite because of the wind,” said Andrea.
Wildlife frequented the campground on a regular basis. “We saw a grizzly bear and 2 cubs today in a field near the boat launch. At the Townsite you’re not allowed to leave food out or they will put it in lockers because of all the wildlife. I guess some people were feeding the wildlife especially the deer so they are now coming into the campsite and begging for food. They get aggressive like a dog would,” explained Andrea.
Although they are tenting now, owning an RV could be in their future if their situation was different. “If we had kids or when we get older, we would buy a trailer but that’s off in the future and a very good possibility. We are still tent campers for now,” informed Andrea.
I thanked Andrea and Rob for the impromptu interview and gave them my Guarantee RV business card. I wished them well and then we left the Waterton Townsite Campground to return to Calgary.
It was a fabulous two day road trip and adventure. I urge everyone if you have a chance to visit this spectacular place, it was well worth the drive. I will always remember the kindness of southern Albertans we met along the way and everyone I interviewed. Definitely, I will return to Waterton Lakes National Park to hike. Fortunately, there wasn’t enough time to explore all of the hiking trails so it will give me an opportunity to return to this piece of paradise in Southern Alberta, Waterton Lakes National Park, in the near future.