In 1932, while European countries teetered on the brink of war, the neighboring nations of the U.S. and Canada reached an unprecedented agreement in the name of peace and goodwill.

The countries banded together to create the world’s first international peace park in the towering Rockies of Northwest Montana and southern British Columbia.

Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park was born, encompassing a combined 1,720 square miles of Glacier National Park and Waterton Lakes National Park. As stated in the original legislation authorized by both the U.S. and Canadian governments, the goal was to form “an enduring monument of nature to the long-existing relationship of peace and goodwill” between the two countries.

To the south, the Goat Haunt area is one of Glacier Park’s most tranquil and remote locations, offering opportunities to explore Glacier away from the crowds, though the distances make it most popular for overnight backpacking trips.

Most visitors arrive by boat from Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta, Canada, but it is also enjoyable to walk to this destination. Once Goat Haunt opens for the season, staff from both parks join forces to guide the International Peace Park Hike south to Goat Haunt and then return via a historic boat, he M.V. International.

Whether hiking or boating, one thing visitors are sure to notice is the linear swath of trees cut to mark the International Boundary; however, plants and wildlife don’t recognize the boundary, crossing freely within one of the largest intact ecosystems on the continent.

Visitors to Goat Haunt will need to bring ID if they wish to hike further south into Glacier National Park. At this time, only citizens of the United States and Canada are permitted access to the U.S. through this limited port of entry. Citizens of other countries may feel free to leave the boat and take the short quarter-mile mile hike from the boat dock to the ranger station, but may not travel further south. There are no other facilities or services available inside the park in this area. All services are centered in Waterton Townsite, so come prepared.

TOP HIKES

1. Bear’s Hump

This short, moderately strenuous but rewarding hike to the overlook at the top of Bear’s Hump begins at the Waterton Visitor Resource Centre.

With a modest round trip distance of less than two miles, the elevation gain of 738 feet to a maximum elevation of 5,000 feet makes this a stout climb for our “easy” category.

But the views are worth the effort.

The hike is a sustained, fairly steep climb on predominantly rocky trail supplemented by short switchbacks and large, wooden beam steps. Views are spectacular and summer crowds can be avoided with an early morning start to enjoy the rising sun.

2. Kootenai Lakes

This 5.6-mile round trip gives visitors an opportunity to enjoy a boat tour on the historic M.C. International across Waterton Lake before enjoying the flat, forested hike to Kootenai Lakes, where moose browse the lake bottom for nourishing snacks.

Bring a lunch and marvel at the remarkable Citadel Peaks, then head back to catch he boat ride back across the International boundary to Canada.

Check the schedule to ensure your return can be made in a timely manner.

The U.S. Goat Haunt Port of Entry hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

3. Crypt Lake

The hike to Crypt Lake hike is 5.4 miles one way with an elevation gain of 2,300 feet, to a maximum elevation of 6,500 feet. This incredible hike is one of the most popular in Waterton Lakes National Park and arguably the most famous in the Triple Crown.

The day begins with a reserved boat shuttle from the Waterton Village Marina to the trailhead at Crypt Landing on the far shore of Upper Waterton Lake. Good weather and a plan are important to achieve this indelibly memorable lifetime achievement and experience

Bucket List

Prince of Wales Hotel

Built in 1926-27 during one of Waterton’s snowiest winters, the Prince of Wales Hotel is the park’s most striking and recognizable landmark.

Its rustic architectural design, peaked roofs, gables, balconies, and timber-frame interior give it the appearance of a massive alpine chalet, and its designation as a National Historic Site has helped preserve its historic character.

For more information and to book a stay at the Prince of Wales Hotel, visit http://www.glacierparkinc.com/lodging/prince-of-wales-hotel/