The Cameron Lake road in Waterton Lakes National Park reopened this fall after being under reconstruction for years from the Kenow Fire. It’s a winter hot spot because Parks maintains a couple cross country ski tracks that lead to Cameron Lake. We made use of the re opening to go snow shoeing to Forum Falls.
Part of the reconstruction included a new winter parking lot by the road closure and it was a game changer! I remember all the cars parked on the road side making it almost impossible to turn around. The new parking lot meant space to put on gear and to get in and out.
I was so happy to see so many families out that day. Kids on snow shoes and cross country skis were having a blast in the snow. That’s one gift from 2020; people are rediscovering the joy of the outdoors and getting out together as a family.
The trail head was a little difficult to find in the snow, but between two signs was a new parking lot which was right across from the trail. I’m so glad that Parks used the road reconstruction as a chance to put in more parking as the park has skyrocketed in popularity since I moved there in 2010. The last few summers have been crazy in terms of the amount of people and lack of parking space.
The thing to remember about the Akamina trail is that is starts off uphill for the first bit. I always forget how long that uphill stretch is. Being so out of shape I was huffing and puffing and sweating like crazy. With the trees burned out though you have better mountain views and it was cool to see how high we were actually going.
Soon enough the trail levels out and it stays level all the way to Forum Falls. When we hit the border into B.C.’s Akamina Park the park sign was covered in a tarp which I thought was odd. I don’t know if they were preserving the sign from snow damage or what. But I’ve been on this trail long enough to know we were headed in the right direction.
Shortly after we turned off to the Forum trail, the new B.C. park Ranger cabin clearing came into site. This new one is such an improvement on the log cabins that used to stand there so again, there was a silver lining to the fire.
The falls are only 200 m away from the cabin so we were there before we knew it. The trail to the falls was completely snowed over and steep. I wanted to walk all the way to the base but it quickly became clear that wasn’t a great idea.
We took a few photos as close to the falls as we could get and then went back to have lunch on the porch of the cabin.
The way back was much easier going as it was flat or downhill and the silence was incredible.
I highly recommend snow shoeing to Forum Falls to any beginner snow shoer because it’s short, not too steep, and the destination is so beautiful in the winter.