By Jensen, Randy on September 4, 2020.
LETHBRIDGE HERALD – WATERTON
With the final long weekend of summer coming up this Labour Day long weekend, Waterton Lakes National Park is anticipating an influx of local visitors.
With a busy weekend anticipated, Waterton is urging visitors to plan ahead. For the best trip possible, visitors should arrive early or later in the day and be flexible. If your destination is full, visit an alternate area, the park urges in a news release.
Popular areas like Red Rock Canyon day-use area, Waterton village and the park’s major trailheads and day-use areas will be busy. If a parking lot is full, do not park illegally on roadway shoulders or off-road. Enjoy another area of the park and come back at a less busy hour. Follow all instructions from traffic personnel.
On weekends, Parks Canada is providing Live Park Information for Waterton Lakes National Park on Facebook, Twitter, the park website, and, when necessary, Alberta 511. A full list of what’s open, what to expect and how to prepare is available online at http://www.parkscanada.gc.ca/waterton-open.
A partial fire ban remains in effect for Waterton Park due to extreme fire danger. Lighting or maintaining wood or briquette fires is strictly prohibited in most locations in the park. The fire ban applies to all of Waterton Lakes National Park including all backcountry campgrounds. The exceptions are the designated wood stoves provided by Parks Canada in select day-use areas, or residential fire rings within the townsite. Visitors can bring a propane stove or barbeque for cooking.
Visitors are asked to report wildfires, suspicious smoke or illegal campfires to Parks Canada Dispatch at 1-888-927-3367 or 911. Full fire ban details can be found on the website.
The news release also notes it is important for visitors to remember they share the surrounding habitat with wildlife. Leaving food and garbage out is a risk to wildlife. Visitors can help by:
– Bringing a garbage bag and packing out any garbage from the park;
– Disposing of garbage and recycling in bear-proof bins. Do not leave garbage beside a bin; and
– Reporting full bins, unsecured food/garbage and bear sightings immediately to Parks Canada Dispatch at 1-888-927-3367.
With the health and safety of visitors, employees, and all Canadians of the utmost importance due to COVID-19, Parks Canada is following the advice of public health experts and implementing measures for cleaning, hygiene and physical distancing at all places open for visitation.
Visitors should be prepared by bringing their own hand sanitizer and masks. Maintain a two-metre physical distance between your group and others. Mask use is recommended when physical distancing is not possible.