Waterton to Chief Mt

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Waterton to Chief Mt

Postby danwadas55 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:55 pm

Hi All,

Trying to figure out logistics for a trip starting at Chief Mt on Sept 2nd and ending at Goat Haunt on Sept 5th. We are at Stoney Indian Lake on the night of the 4th so I doubt we would be able to get to the boat at Goat Haunt in time to make the shuttle at 3:00 back to Chief Mt, thus we will stay in Waterton on the 5th. However, although I do not have flights booked as of yet, I would ideally like to fly out on the 6th out of Calgary but our rental car will be down at Chief Mt and the shuttles that I see that go to Chief do not depart until 2:30. That would limit us to a very narrow flight window the evening of the 6th. Are there any other options to get us back to Chief Mt. in the morning? I thought about leaving the car at Waterton and taking the shuttle to Chief to begin our hike instead, but once again the shuttle doesn't get to Chief until 3:00 and that seems awfully late to begin the hike to Cosley. Anybody have any suggestions?
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Re: Waterton to Chief Mt

Postby paul » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:04 pm

I don't know of any other options. However, the first boat out of Goat Haunt leaves around 11:30am. I think there should be enough time to hike from the Stoney Indian Camp to Goat Haunt by that time. It's like 7.5 miles downhill and flat, so I think it's doable if you get a relatively early start.
We are in the mountains and the mountains are in us. - John Muir
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Re: Waterton to Chief Mt

Postby McKee80 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:09 am

I'm in a similar situation. I was planning on just getting a custom shuttle (mentioned at the bottom of this page)

http://www.hikewaterton.com/chiefmt.html

I'll leave a car in Waterton and get a ride in the AM to chief mountain to start
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Re: Waterton to Chief Mt

Postby danwadas55 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:02 am

Let me know if you hear anything from them. Sent them an email early yesterday afternoon about a custom shuttle and haven't heard back yet. I'll let you know if I do.
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Re: Waterton to Chief Mt

Postby danwadas55 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:15 am

McKee80, The park website states that Waterton will not be issuing permits this year because of the fire so keep that in mind if you're leaving the car at Waterton and going to Chief. I think I'm going to do it the other way since I'll have to get the permit in St. Mary
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Re: Waterton to Chief Mt

Postby McKee80 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:00 pm

Yeah, that's a bummer. viewtopic.php?f=10&t=9779

Just a little addition to the logistical challenges. I probably won't contact them until closer to the trip. I still have to figure out food caching, permit pickup, where and when I am going to arrive from Pittsburgh, etc. So, yeah, I'm pretty much set :). It is a short trip, though, so I am not too worried about being able to get there. If I'm in Waterton in the morning, I'll have a lot of time to get to the border. It is only 8 flat miles to Cosley, I think.

If I do end up with a custom shuttle, I'll have a much better idea of when I'm starting than when I'm ending. I like to have a car at the end and not be in a rush to meet time constraints.
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Re: Waterton to Chief Mt

Postby PeteE » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:34 pm

What about this idea?

Make whatever reservations you can and pay for them. viewtopic.php?f=10&t=9779
This would be a "backup" option if hitching to the border from Waterton fails.
1. Fly into Calgary the day before your trip begins.
2. Drive to St Mary and camp overnight at Johnson's (~$30.00/night and they do reservations)
3. Be at the St Mary Visitor center bright and early the next day to pick up your permit.
4. Drive to Waterton and drop your rental car. Unless delayed by breakfast, or crossing the border, you should be in Waterton by 9-10AM.
5. Start immediately looking for a ride to the border.
6. If you are able to hitch a ride to the border, call the shuttle and cancel. Yes it'll cost you but look at it as insurance.
Worst case is you shuttle to the border. COS is pretty much downhill then mostly flat.
So even if you start at 4PM, you should make it by dark...barring bad weather.

I think Teapot57 would know about driving times from Waterton to the border....and St Mary to the border and Waterton.
There is a LOT of traffic in and out of Waterton. Hard to imagine getting a ride to the border would be a big deal.
Small risk but having you car in Waterton might be worth it.

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Re: Waterton to Chief Mt

Postby McKee80 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:07 pm

Danwadas55, there is a chance I could take you down there. If we end up flying to Calgary on the 5th, that is. Our trip starts the 7th. I'll let you know when we finalize our plans.
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Re: Waterton to Chief Mt

Postby McKee80 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:10 pm

Thanks Pete! That will be the backup plan. I'm still trying to figure out a way to squeeze in a visit to goat haunt before our trip to cache food in the bear lockers. It would save us 6-7 lbs a piece for the first part of the trip (well, the first day with declining amounts thereafter). Of course, if we go two days before our trip, we could cache the food and see if we can get a walkup that night for GAB (although this sort of thinking is what got us an 8 night trip in the first place :)).
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Re: Waterton to Chief Mt

Postby teapot57 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:28 am

Tamarack Outfitters had a post on their facebook page yesterday about how they were just digging themselves out of the snow for the season. I'm sure that's why you haven't heard back from them yet.

Waterton to the Chief Mountain border is only about a 30 minute drive. I've never driven from the Chief Mountain border to St. Mary, but I would say it’s 45 minutes to an hour. I always use the Cardston border when I drive to the Park.
Last edited by teapot57 on Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Waterton to Chief Mt

Postby llholmes1948 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:38 pm

Chief Mountain customs to St. Mary is about 30 miles. The section on Route 89 is a fast road. The section from Route 89 to the border is slower and winding and caution needs to be observed because of range cattle along this section (unless it has been fenced in the past few years). In 2014 I noticed that fencing had been installed in some parts of the reservation such as Heart Butte area, which previously had range cattle. Hopefully someone has more current information on this.

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Re: Waterton to Chief Mt

Postby daveparker » Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:05 pm

Last summer when I was over that way, there is still a lot of range cattle and there is still not much fencing that has been done yet.
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Re: Waterton to Chief Mt

Postby llholmes1948 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:51 pm

daveparker wrote:Last summer when I was over that way, there is still a lot of range cattle and there is still not much fencing that has been done yet.


Dave,

That is good to know. In 2014 we found that there was new fencing along the road in Heart Butte and also along the Camp Nine Road in Babb, which had not been at those locations in our previous trip in 2008. In 2008 we came close to hitting a horse which had run onto the road at Heart Butte and the same year we were stopped by about 50 cattle standing in the middle of the Camp Nine Road like they owned it (Well, at that moment they did own it but they eventually let us pass.)

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Re: Waterton to Chief Mt

Postby danwadas55 » Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:53 am

So I ended up getting a custom shuttle to get us back the following morning. A little pricey, but worth it to have an extra day heading up to Banff. Anyway, has anyone had any trouble buying tickets once they've gotten to Goat Haunt after hiking? Since we'll be headed down from Stoney, I assume we will likely be there right before or after the first boat departs for Waterton. Thus, we'd likely be able to just wait until one of the ferries has room on board, but I thought I'd ask anyway. If the ferries do tend to fill up, I can always stop and buy tickets in person before we depart from Chief Mt, but it would be inconvenient...
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