Water­ton Lakes Na­tional Park

Canadian Running - - EXOTIC DESTINATION -

South­ern Al­berta

South­ern Al­berta is an odd utopia for trail run­ning. It’s where ul­tra phe­nom Alissa St Lau­rent grew up, and one of the ul­tras where she cut her ul­tra-run­ning teeth, Sin­is­ter 7 (named af­ter the seven moun­tain passes on the route), takes place each year. And it’s also home to Water­ton Lakes Na­tional Park, “where the moun­tains meet the prairies.” Hours from any­where, once you’re there, it’s idyl­lic. The pris­tine lakes and rugged peaks of the moun­tains are post­cards – and, for the sky­line squea­mish, there are the promised f lat bits, as­ton­ish­ing panora­mas. Thanks to this unique biome, Water­ton holds a re­mark­able bio­di­ver­sity: half of Al­berta’s plant species can be found within its bor­ders. There are also tremen­dous run­ning and hik­ing trails, some of which con­nect to the United States. Ask park of­fi­cials for the scoop on the “Mad Dash,” a fa­mous 30-mile run­ning route, which re­quires at min­i­mum a pass­port and lots of pocket change. (The rec­om­mended re­turn route is to hop a tour boat across the in­ter­na­tional bor­der.)

Ideal des­ti­na­tion for:

Atyp­i­cal in­ter­na­tional ad­ven­ture.

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