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Waterton River | Alberta, Canada

Lake, River, or Waterfall

Boat Access Locations

From Alberta Highway 5, inside Waterton Lakes National Park, two unpaved roads lead east to the section of Waterton River linking the middle and lower lakes.

Know before you go -

For 30 km of Grade II river, put-in at the bridge where Provincial Highway 6 crosses the river. Take-out at Secondary Highway 800 bridge. Belly River Campground users can put in at the campground itself.

Please note that motorized and trailered watercraft are only permitted to operate on Upper and Middle Waterton Lake starting in 2019, once the watercraft have completed a 90-day quarantine seal program. There are no motorized and trailered watercraft permitted on the Waterton River.

Parks Canada is confident this program will protect the ecological integrity of Waterton Lakes National Park while also returning an excellent recreational boating experience to park users.

In addition to this, human-powered and some wind-powered watercraft are allowed in Waterton Lakes National Park. For more information on boating regulations and mandatory self-inspection forms visit, https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/waterton/info/index/reglements-regulations/envahissantes-invasive/permis-permit

The Waterton River flows northeast from the Waterton Lakes to merge with the Belly River north of Stand Off, Alberta. It is interrupted in its journey by the Waterton Reservoir.

Driving Directions from Nearest Town or Landmark

Access is from Provincial Highway 5, inside Waterton Lakes National Park.

Fishing Access Highlights

From Alberta Highway 5, inside Waterton Lakes National Park, two unpaved roads lead east to the section of Waterton River linking the middle and lower lakes.

Fishing Highlights

The Waterton River's best fishing is inside Waterton Lakes National Park, where it connects Middle and Lower Waterton Lakes. The 2-km stretch contains cutthroat and rainbow trout and is open for angling from July 1 to October 31. A national park fishing permit is required for fishing, and is available at the information centre and other outlets in the community of Waterton.

For more information, visit https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/waterton/activ/experiences/peche-fishing/reglement-regulations

Paddling Highlights

Paddlers put in at Waterton National Park for a (30 km 18 mi) Class I and II drift to Waterton Reservoir.