The Prince of Wales Hotel looms over the Upper Waterton Lake like something out of a Stephen King novel. Picture the Overlook Hotel from King’s infamous horror and you have a general idea of what The P.O.W Hotel feels erie and desolate, perched up on a bluff, above the banks of Upper Waterton Lake.
Built in 1927 by an American railroad company the P.O.W Hotel was to draw affluent Americans north of the border during the prohibition era. Today the hotel is one of the most iconic buildings in Canada, designated a National Historic Site of Canada by the Government in 1995. It also happens to be located in one of Canada’s most scenic national parks.
photo credit: http://www.pc.gc.ca
Waterton Lakes National Park is an area of outstanding natural beauty, wildlife ranging from grizzlies and black bears to elk and moose make the park their home. During the winter months the park is quiet and the townsite is practically deserted but during the summer the park becomes alive. Hikers, anglers, mountain bikers and kayakers all flock to the park.
One popular hiking trail allows ramblers to cross into the USA, with US park rangers deputized to check passports before allowing visitors from Canada to cross into Glacier National Park. In fact, just across Upper Waterton Lake, towards Goat’s Haunt, lies the USA and Glacier National, with the number of park rangers easily outnumbered by the number of mountain goats who have no need or desire to abide by international borders.
Waterton National Park was linked to Montana's Glacier National Park in 1932. Together, the two stunning National Parks, formed the world's first International Peace Park.
Mike Cotton blogs at http://www.nomadsontheroad.com/