– 10 miles round trip.
Kootenai Lakes Trail
Kootenai Lakes are nested in the Waterton Valley near the Waterton River, with jagged peaks towering above them. Another wonderful feature of these lakes is the healthy population of moose that feed in these waters.
Traveling between Canada and the Goat Haunt ranger
station, either by boat or by foot, will require an official
government issued photo identification card for u.s.
or Canadian citizens or permanent residents. all others
must carry a valid passport.
To reach Goat Haunt from Waterton, you may hike the Waterton Lakeshore Trail, use your own boat or ride the International Cruise Ship early in the morning and catch the last boat of the day back. We choose to enjoy this beautiful morning on the cruise up the lake.
As we begin our hike we walk through the employee housing area, then along a gravel road for a ways until we are on the Waterton Valley Trail into a beautiful mature forest with meadow and marshy areas along the way. There is little elevation gain on this hike, which is a plus, however there are lots of mosquitoes and we are really happy to have brought along a good supply of repellent and use it freely. At approximately 2 ½ miles the Kootenai Lakes Trail heads off to the left. We have been warned about the moose and bear in the lakes area so are not surprised to come across a large bull moose in one of the marshy meadows. Taking the time to watch this creature, we are amazed at how large he is. His horns are huge!
Keeping a good distance between the moose and us, we move on up the trail. The trail is peaceful and the day is excellent for our outing. Getting closer to the lakes we come out into a meadow surrounded by the Citadel Peaks and Porcupine Ridge and on the far side of one of the lakes there are two cow moose feeding. What a beautiful place. Beaver dams on the Waterton River created this series of small-shallow lakes and they are a favorite feeding area for the moose. There is bear sign everywhere but we don’t see any bear.
If you were able to get a camping permit in Glacier Park before coming, and want to spend the night, there are good tent campsites here and an outhouse too.
After resting quietly for a while we head back to catch the boat to Waterton.