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The Prince of Wales Hotel

A historical landmark.

Today many people recognize the Prince of Wales as a railway hotel, but few realize it was built by the Great Northern of United States and not the Canadian Pacific.

The last in a chain of 1920s luxury hotels, backcountry chalets and tent camps, the Prince of Wales offered a final stop for affluent visitors travelling Glacier National Park's backcountry by horseback.

For just over $1,000 you could ride the train to either East or West Glacier and then enjoy a week’s adventure in the wilderness via several routes created by the Great Northern. After 1927, many folks chose to go to Goat Haunt’s backcountry ranger station and hop aboard the M.V. International to come to Waterton. After a stay at the Prince of Wales hotel, guests were bussed back to Montana to catch their train home.

The Second World War and the 1930s depression put an end to this mode of travel through Glacier and into Waterton but many of the hotels and two of the chalets remain.

In February 1993 the Historic Sites and Monuments Board approved the Prince of Wales' designation as a National Historic Site, recognizing its architectural style (rustic design tradition, with peaked roofs, gables, balconies and timber-frame interior that give it an appearance of a giant alpine chalet) and its contribution to tourism in the mountains. On July 23, 1995 a commemorative plaque ceremony was held at the hotel.