Waterton Lakes National Park
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.