Cameron Lake is one of those magical places in Waterton Lakes National Park, ideal whether you are cross country skiing in the winter or canoeing and kayaking in the summer. A mountain lake astride the U.S.-Canadian border (mostly in Canada, it's memorable features include a steep wall at the end, an island, excellent wildlife viewing, and some breathtaking scenery.
*This activity is currently closed due to the 2017 Kenow Wildfire. Parks Canada is working to reopen and we will keep you posted. For hikes that are open check the Parks Canada website https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/waterton/visit/ouvert-open*
Best Places to Go
I recommend paddling the entire lake, stopping at the far end for a coffee or hot chocolate, observing the latest avalanche remnants, and admiring the flowers thriving on the ledges up the far wall. Watch for the marmots camouflaged in the rocks and the family of mergansers who quietly bask in the morning sun on an island rock. I have not had the privilege of observing grizzlies grazing in the berry patches at the far end; they are said to be easy to identify as the thick bushes will be shaking vigorously. How often when you are kayaking do you encounter stunning reflections, waterfalls, ice shelves and ice bergs, and magical misty mornings? Cameron Lake can offer all of that and more...
Best Times to Go
Cameron Lake is all about the time to go. With blustery winds often kicking up by mid morning, my recommendation is a sunrise paddle by canoe or kayak. The effort, cool temperatures, and solitude will be rewarded with excellent photography opportunities and an often private experience.July, August, and September in the early morning. If you don't have your own canoe or kayak, I suggest borrowing, renting, or hiring a guide. There are rentals at Cameron however it does not open until 8 AM. I would even try making arrangements the day prior to have them unlock a boat for your early morning departure- it is worth the extra effort. You want to be on the water at dawn and by the midway point of your paddle you will be basking in the morning sunshine and colors. Of course a clear summer morning is icing on the cake.
What You Should Know Before You Go
Mornings will be cool. Dress in layers. Wildlife sightings are numerous at this time of a day- a bonus reward to your early morning efforts. Priceless solitude.