Every vacation has a few meals that go down in the books. Not every vacation features a restaurant with a name like “Wieners of Waterton”.
I mean… come on! Wieners of Waterton! You kind of have to eat at a place with a name that bold. The restaurant promises to get you eating – what else – hot dogs, the most American food I can imagine eating in a Canadian national park.
Elizabeth and I arrived at this odd juxtaposition shortly before 2:00 MDT, fresh off the Waterton Lake boat tour. A long morning of hiking and boating plus an insufficient breakfast of Go-Go Squeeze left me raring for a wiener. Preferably a large one. Therefore, after waiting in line for a minute or two, I ordered myself a nice large Local Smokie at the counter and added the works. Somehow, I must have missed that there was poutine on the menu (In Canada, duh!) because I got regular old fries and that was definitely an oversight. In fact, the most stressful part of the order was picking which sauce to get with the burger and dog.
We took our food out of the classic-looking A-Frame to their outdoor picnic tables to enjoy the grub in the mild summer sun. Elizabeth went first with her smokie. For the Youtube video (and you’ll have to see the dogs there, I was dumb enough not to take any pictures), she played up her enjoyment of them. However, Elizabeth is not a fan of anything with too much grilling. Understandable. I could tell the Smokie was a 2/5 to her.
To me? Wieners of Waterton scored a solid 4.5/5. The crispiness just seared in a flavor that was way more – I dunno, smoky? – than your standard hot dog. The thing was massive. The fries felt bottomless. And the sauces were legit unreal (special sauce, peppercorn ranch especially). All of those calories worked their way down into my stomach as fast as they could.
After a delicious meal, we had a few last stops to make for sure in Waterton before the border closed in a few hours. The nicest thing about the townsite was that it was all just a couple of blocks across. We could get in the rental, drive across town from Wieners to the Cameron Falls parking lot, and be in front of the waterfall in 5 minutes. The second nicest thing about Waterton? Being the type of town that has a waterfall right on the fringe of it that you can just park in front of.
And it was a pretty waterfall, too.
Unfortunately, I washed out the Canon trying to take a picture of Cameron Falls, so this iPhone shot is all we have to work with from here.
I do have one more shot of the waterfall to share. This one is from above and to the right of the fall, since a short path led up above it. I liked this view – it gave more perspective of the depth of a waterfall than I think you usually get to see when looking at it from head-on. As always, the rocks and the water were brilliant shades that essentially defied all logic.
This beautiful waterfall is about a 3 minute walk from people’s houses in Waterton. That’s just too magical to be believed.
We drove back into town to check out the lakeshore for a little bit before we had to begin the drive back to Glacier. Along the way, I got to see a real, live Mountie in the flesh, which basically fulfilled my Canadian dream alongside the guy saying “sorry” earlier.
Despite the warning from the boat tour operator, Upper Waterton Lake didn’t feel dangerously cold from the shoreline. It just felt like another cold northern lake – refreshing, if anything, on what was honestly a pretty warm mid-summer afternoon. Perfect for splashing a little bit of water on yourself.
We drifted on over to the downtown area, close to the harbor, to do a little gift shopping. The gift shops were pretty run-of-the-mill for a touristy town, but that didn’t stop Elizabeth from hunting down the perfect sweatshirt/t-shirt/whatever the hell else she wanted to find.
And just like that, our brief time in Waterton Lakes National Park was coming to an end. I say coming to and end, and not over completely, because there was one final stop that just had to be made. High on a bluff on the lakeshore a mile or so away sat the Prince of Wales Hotel – and it wouldn’t be a trip to Waterton Lakes without stopping at it.