In the Crown of the Continent, western North America’s major climatic zones converge from the Pacific Northwest, Great Plains, and Rocky Mountains. In the middle of this convergence lies Waterton Lakes National Park, home to an impressive diversity of native wildflowers. Over 1,000 species of vascular plants, including more than 50 of Canada’s rare flowers, can be found in this Wildflower Capital of Canada.
The Waterton Wildflower Festival celebrates this diversity. Running at the time of the summer solstice in mid-June, the Festival engages flower enthusiasts in more than 70 workshops and field studies led by over 30 guides.
Rules against large groups tramping across the landscape of Waterton Lakes National Park preserve the spring Waterton Wildflower Festival as an intimate tiptoe through fields of rare species. The Festival provides a wide range of opportunities for flower searchers, bird watchers, photographers, hikers, and those who prefer the educational comforts of town. Its conjunction of prairie and mountain ecosystems makes Waterton National Park a truly unique community of wildflowers and birds. From tiny, delicate alpine orchids to bold, sensuous bear grass, Waterton has more flowers than any other mountain park.
The mid-June timing means wildflowers are at their effulgent peak while the park is still quiet in advance of summer’s influx of vacationers. This is the perfect early-season experience for like-minded singles and couples eager to learn about an ecosystem so special that it is a United Nations World Heritage Site.
Events throughout the 9 days are led by highly qualified professionals including talented wildflower photographers Steve Harrington and Frans Brouwers; botanical artist Margaret Best; and naturalists and scientists, John & Charlie Russell, Dr. Brian Reeves, Jo-Anne Reynolds, Brenda Holder, and Lyndon Penner.
You can download the full program of activities online at left and register in advance at WatertonWildflowers.com