[MEDIUM] West Castle Wetlands Ecological Reserve

This ecological reserve protects a small complex of beaver dams and wetlands that are important trout spawning and amphibian habitat.


Map of the Area

The Castle Area of Concern Map; Alberta Wilderness Association.
The Castle Area of Concern Map; Alberta Wilderness Association.

Any maps and map views are for general information only. Do not rely on them for navigation or to determine legal boundaries.

Other Information

Big Value, Small Area. As noted by the Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) [1], the Castle is an essential piece of Alberta’s ecological puzzle as it connects Canadian and US National Parks to the south and the Flathead Basin to the west with habitats and populations in the mountains and foothills to the north. With numerous overlapping ecosystems in one relatively small area, the Castle Wilderness contains one of the highest animal and plant species diversities in Alberta.

History of Poor Management and Disturbance by both industrial and recreational activities with some hope in the late ‘teens via the Castle Parks and Castle Management Plan [2].

One Diamond in a Crown. The ER is a relatively tiny, but important, part of one the last remaining ecologically intact areas in North America known as the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem. Geographically, the Crown of the Continent is centered on the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park and stretches along the axis of the Rocky Mountains between the Canadian Central Rockies and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. This ecosystem provides a secure core of connected land and critical wildlife travel corridors extending north-south from Canada into the United States [3].

What’s In a Name. Named for the nearby Castle mountain. The mountain was so named in 1857 due to its fortress like appearance. In 1946, it was renamed to Eisenhower Mountain in honour of the Dwight D. Eisenhower, the supreme commander of allied forces in Europe (and later president of the United States). Due to public backlash, the name was changed back to Castle in 1979 [4].

Site Statistics

Site NameWest Castle Wetlands
Site TypeEcological Reserve
SubtypeOrder-in-council (OC)
Natural Region(s)Montane
O.C. No. (Land Ref. Manual)357/98
PASite ID (Map Ref #)581
Site # (Parks Website)413
Total Area94.16 ha. (232.67 ac.)
Recreation ActivitiesHiking – backcountry
Operated ByParks Division
Notes and Comments
Statistics and Details for West Castle Wetlands Ecological Reserve
West Castle Wetlands ER Site Map (Government of Alberta)
West Castle Wetlands ER Site Map (Government of Alberta)


The following links are provided as a courtesy but are not verified or endorsed by SAPAA. Clicking on the link will cause you to leave the SAPAA website. Primary source of information is: Government of Alberta Information & Facilities – West Castle Wetlands Ecological Area | Alberta Parks (All links accessed on 2023-04-29).

  1. Castle – Alberta Wilderness Association.
  2. Castle management plan : Castle Provincial Park and Castle Wildland Provincial Park – Open Government (alberta.ca).
  3. About Waterton Biosphere Reserve.
  4. Aubrey, Merrily K., ed. Concise Place Names of Alberta. Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2006; p. 59.

Further Reading

Editing, Review and Silence Procedure

  1. FRANK: Publish page
  2. HUBERT/PATSY: Assign page for editing by update tbd in the Title (4-
  3. Review for readability and alignment to SAPAA organizational reputation.
  4. Best available image
  5. Review for accuracy including:
    1. Correct map and site statistics
    2. Area size is correct
    3. Standards (e.g. use of hyphens, spelling, etc.)
    4. References are accessible and and notes match
  6. Review for formatting, e.g.: Centered captions, No empty blocks
  7. TEAM: Last walk through
    1. Any final discussion or notes
    2. Remove [name] from title
    3. Add to log book for silence procedure
    4. Delete these notes.

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