Crandell Mountain/Belly River Campgrounds

If you have questions, comment or experiences in Waterton Park in Canada, please post them in this section, although Glacier is the Focus, Waterton is the sister that has much to offer.

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Crandell Mountain/Belly River Campgrounds

Postby joybird » Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:05 pm

I'm hoping to spend a few days hiking up in Waterton Park and am looking for feedback about folks' experiences front-country camping there.

In particular, since camping in the Townsite doesn't really appeal to me (too town-y), I'm wondering if anyone has stayed at the Crandell Mountain or Belly River campgrounds and can tell me what they're like?

I've heard there is no potable water in Waterton's Belly River campground...do you know if there are spigots with non-potable water, or at least a convenient river access so that one can haul and process one's own water relatively easily? Or does one need to bring all one's own water from elsewhere?

The Parcs Canada website states the all the sites at both of those campgrounds are first-come, first served and usually fill by early afternoon. Anyone know how that process works? Is it similar to how it's done at GNP? I have not found a "historical fill time" site like GNP has...is there one out there that someone can direct me to?

If I'm unsuccessful at snagging a site, are there other options in the area that it would be good to know about? (e.g., do the Johnsons have any Canadian cousins? :wink: ) I've heard that the hostel that used to operate in Waterton may have closed down :( ...does anyone know for sure?

Anyone have an estimate for drive time from, say, St. Mary, to Waterton Township?

Thanks in advance for any info!
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Re: Crandell Mountain/Belly River Campgrounds

Postby orin » Fri Jul 12, 2013 5:31 pm

I haven't been to Belly River, but Crandell Mountain is similar to Many Glacier or St. Mary in terms of woodsy feel. It is much nicer in that respect than Townsite. Unlike Glacier, you stop at the entrance booth when you arrive and they will assign you a site if one is available and take your money. Crandell is a large campground and has potable water and flush toilets. Don't remember about showers. I stayed 3 or 4 nights and thought it was nice. It did fill in August. There was a sign at the Waterton entrance station that indicated the fill status. Not sure how accurate or updated that was. It takes an hour or a bit less to drive from St. Mary to Waterton if your customs stop is not protracted.
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