William Watson Lodge provides year-round, barrier-free, wilderness lodging and seasonal camping for persons with disabilities, Alberta seniors and their families. It's situated in beautiful Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, overlooking Lower Kananaskis Lake. This facility includes the Main Lodge, 22 accessible cabin units, a small campground, 1 comfort cabin, over 20 km of accessible trails, accessible picnic sites, a gazebo, and a playground. The goal of this facility is to connect people of all abilities, all ages and all cultures to recreational opportunities in nature through providing needs-based accommodation and inspiring more accessible experiences.
After being closed for two years to accommodate renovations and accessibility upgrades, William Watson Lodge reopened in June 2022. We are pleased to share renovations are now complete and William Watson Lodge is fully open. The new lodge enhances the overall visitor experience and safety and brings the facility up to today’s international accessibility standards. The Government of Alberta invested $6 million into the project.
Looking for an adventure while visiting? Rocky Mountain Adaptive is a registered charity providing individuals guided experiences and adaptable equipment to participate, learn and excel at mountain sport and recreation. To learn more, please visit their website.
All guests who make a booking at William Watson Lodge must provide verification of eligibility in person at the time of check-in.
William Watson Lodge defines a disability as:
To inquire about documentation that does not appear on this list, please call
Alberta seniors are required to present photo identification that verifies they are a resident aged 65 years or older.
Verification of Eligibility from a medical professional or association confirming the guest meets the above criteria is required prior to booking. Examples of documentation include but are not limited to:
Albertans with permanent disabilities can make reservations 120 days in advance of their stay.
Albertan seniors (65 and over) and out-of-province persons with disability can make reservations 60 days in advance of their stay.
Please ensure to book reservations under the eligible guest’s name.
Upon arrival, guests are required to show documentation of eligibility.
This eligibility ensures that those of greatest need are able to access William Watson Lodge. If your needs do not require supportive, accessible accommodation, please use alternative accommodations.
Reservations can be made by using our online system or by calling the Alberta Parks Contact Centre at 1-877-537-2757. To inquire about day lodge group bookings or advanced cabin group bookings for organizations who serve Albertans with disabilities, call the main lodge at 1-403-591-7227 or send us an email at email@example.com. A $12.00 reservation fee will be applied to all reservations. The fee is consistent with reservations across the Alberta Parks system.
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Question: Where is William Watson Lodge?
William Watson Lodge is situated in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park on Lower Kananaskis Lake, approximately one hour from Canmore, Alberta and approximately 1.5 hours or more from Cochrane or Calgary, Alberta. It is near the Peter Lougheed Discovery Centre and the Elkwood Campground and Amphitheatre. This is a remote location with limited to no cell service or wireless internet access.
Question: Why can't I make a one-night reservation?
Our caretaking and maintenance team takes the opportunity to complete larger repairs and additional cleaning once guests have checked out.
With the remote location of William Watson Lodge, we want to ensure that our guests have enough time to relax, rejuvenate, refresh and enjoy all of William Watson Lodge and Peter Lougheed Park.
Question: What is the cost to stay in a cabin or campsite?
William Watson Lodge prides itself on offering affordable, barrier-free experiences and lodging. Our Main Lodge and day use amenities are also available.
Three bedroom cabins: $40.00 per night (plus $12.00 reservation fee for all bookings)
Two bedroom cabins: $35.00 per night (plus $12.00 reservation fee for all bookings)
One bedroom cabins: $30.00 per night (plus $12.00 reservation fee for all bookings)
Campsites: $16.00 per night (plus $12.00 reservation fee for all bookings)
Main Lodge day booking: $20.00 (plus $12.00 reservation fee for all bookings)
Please note that all bookings are subject to a $12.00 reservation fee. The reservation fee is consistent across the Alberta Parks system.
Question: How do I make a group reservation for overnight accommodation?
We are happy to host organizations that serve Albertans with disabilities for overnight accommodation. Due to the complexity of group reservations, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Group reservations can be made 150 days in advance.
Question: How do I reserve the main lodge for my group?
We are happy to host organizations that serve Albertans with disabilities or Albertan seniors in our Main Lodge for day reservations. If you are a coordinator for a group that is looking for a reservation, please call the Main Lodge at 1-403-591-7227 or email at email@example.com to connect with a member of our Visitor Services Team.
Please note, William Watson Lodge does not host weddings, family reunions or similar functions.
Question: Do I need a Kananaskis Conservation Pass for my stay at William Watson Lodge? Am I eligible for a low income Albertan exemption?
Yes. All vehicles parked at provincial park and public land sites in Kananaskis Country and the Bow Valley need a Kananaskis Conservation Pass. Passes can be purchased in advance of your stay at www.alberta.ca/yourpass.
Albertans on Assured Income for Severely Handicapped (AISH) and Alberta Income Support (AIS) may be eligible for an exemption. Visit https://www.alberta.ca/kananaskis-conservation-pass.aspx for more details.
Question: What can I do at William Watson Lodge?
William Watson Lodge offers barrier-free experiences for visitors to enjoy. Your overnight accommodations at William Watson Lodge include access to the main lodge, including the library where you can enjoy a book by the fireplace or play a few board games.
For those who want to explore, there is an accessible/paved trail network to our fire pit and playground, access to Lower Kananaskis Lake, the Elkwood Amphitheatre, the Peter Lougheed Discovery Centre and more.
Our staff are happy to provide recommendations on recreation, tourism and programming opportunities. Rocky Mountain Adaptive is able to provide guided experiences and adaptable equipment to participate, learn and excel at mountain sport and recreation. To learn more, please visit their website.
Question: How do I learn more about becoming a Campground Host?
To be eligible to volunteer as a Campground Host, you will have previously stayed at the Lodge, or have experience as a Campground Host at William Watson Lodge. Preference is given to seniors and persons with disabilities for volunteer host placements. William Watson Lodge is proud to support Campground Hosts. For more information please call the Main Lodge at 1-403-591-7227 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to connect with a member of our Visitor Services Team.