Waterton Lake <Insert province and class in title if applicable>

Waterton Lake is a mountain lake in southern Alberta, Canada and northern Montana, United States. The lake is composed of two bodies of water, connected by a shallow channel known locally as the Bosporus. The two parts are referred to as Lower Waterton Lake, and Upper Waterton Lake, the latter of which is crossed at the tip by the Canada–United States border. The United States Geological Survey gives the geocoordinates of 49°03′00″N 113°54′03″W for Upper Waterton Lake.

The northern, lower end of the main lake lies in Waterton Lakes National Park while the upper, southern part of the lake is located in Glacier National Park. In 1979, UNESCO established the Waterton Biosphere Reserve to protect the diverse habitats including prairie grasslands, aspen parkland, subalpine forests, alpine tundra and freshwater fens that surround the lake.

The upper and middle Waterton Lake system has a surface of 10.1 km2 (3.9 sq mi), while the lower lake, which is in Canada only, has 1.5 km2 (0.58 sq mi) and lies at an altitude of 1,274 m (4,180 ft). Two soundings of the lake were 210 feet (64 m) and 317 feet (97 m), done in 1910. More recent soundings have revealed a depth of 487 ft (149 m).

There are several campgrounds along the lake that provide multi-day paddling options. You will need a permit to camp at these locations and there are no freedom camping options available in the Park.

If you are planning on crossing the border don't forget your passport! Also a good idea to check in with the border control to ensure no logistical dilemmas.

Waterton is renowned for being windy so be prepared to paddle in choppy conditions as well possibly having to surf. If you are not a confident paddler you may find the conditions less inspiring so keep an eye on the weather to ensure an enjoyable trip.

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Run Information


Same as Put In.

Put In

There are several spots to launch your boat on the Waterton Lakes. There is a boat launch on the south side of highway 5 on Lower Waterton Lake. There is a beach in Waterrton that provides access to Upper Waterton Lake. There are also some campgrounds that you can launch from.


Large mountainous lakes.

Length & Time

10.1km, Multi_Day



Flow Information



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