Canada is blessed with open areas and there’s nothing higher than hopping in a canoe to discover its freshwater lakes or mountaineering by the forest in one in every of our Canadian nationwide parks. From coast to coast to coast and in every single place in between, Canada’s nationwide parks are breathtaking.
Canada has 37 nationwide parks and 10 National Parks reserves. What are nationwide park reserves you ask? Well, they’re handled and managed like a nationwide park however they’ve a number of Indigenous land claims. These nationwide reserves are protected by Parks Canada and we have now had the privilege of exploring lots of our biggest protected lands. We haven’t seen all of them but, however because the saying goes, “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”
Best National Parks in Canada
The greatest approach to get to the National Parks in Canada is by automobile. You can take a look at automobile rental comparisons at RentalCars.com. Some of the very best nationwide parks in Canada can solely be reached by airplane as lots of Canada’s nationwide parks are in distant areas of the nation. That makes them much more fascinating to see!
To encourage you to select up a nationwide parks move this yr, we needed spherical up our experiences in the very best Canadian National Parks that we’ve seen. You can decide up your National Parks Pass at computer.gc.ca from the National Park Service. A Discovery Pass value $145 per household (as much as 7 folks) and provides entry to 80 parks for 12 months. Or you should purchase a single move: Adults $72.25 and Seniors $61.75
1. Banff National Park – Alberta
Banff is Canada’s most well-known National Park and never solely that it’s the oldest nationwide park within the nation. Banff was designated as a nationwide park in 1885 after the invention of its scorching springs by workers of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Located in Alberta simply 1 hour and half-hour from Calgary, Banff nationwide park is nestled within the coronary heart of the Canadian Rockies.
There is a purpose everybody flocks to Banff, Alberta. With snowcapped mountains, glacier lakes, and world-class four-season actions, it’s Canada’s out of doors playground. Banff National Park is so stunning, that one in every of its most well-known lakes, Moraine Lake was depicted on Canada’s twenty-dollar invoice.
The solely downfall of visiting Banff National Park is how busy it could possibly get. Try to go to within the shoulder season or in winter. With snowboarding at Lake Louise, Dogledding, backcountry snowboarding, and snowshoeing there’s something for everybody. Plus, the snow capped mountains of Canadian Rockies are at their most stunning in winter. Read extra: A Spectacular Helicopter Tour in Banff
Location: Banff nationwide park is positioned in Alberta within the Rocky Mountains simply 90 minutes from Calgary. Size: 6641 11,000 sq. kilometers
Plan your journey to Banff National Park
2. Jasper National Park
Located simply up the highway from Banff National Park is the most important nationwide park within the Canadian Rockies. Jasper National Park is dare I say barely much less visited than Banff however it’s simply as spectacular.
Nestled within the Rocky Mountains, Jasper National Park is teeming with an abundance of wildlife together with, grizzly bears and large horn sheep. From turquoise lakes to snowcapped peaks, it has all the things you possibly can need to see in a nationwide park. Make your manner out to one of the crucial picturesque lakes in Canada, Maligne Lake or hike in Maligne Canyon. In the winter, you possibly can see its frozen waterfalls and ice caves after which take a scenic drive to calm down within the Miette scorching Springs.
Jasper city is positioned inside Jasper National Park and makes for an incredible base to take pleasure in its eating places, retailers, and galleries at night time after you’ve loved its magnificence.
Plan your journey to Jasper National Park
3. Waterton Lakes National Park – Alberta
Located in Southern Alberta, Waterton Lakes National Park is usually left off the Alberta journey listing, however this distinctive nationwide park shouldn’t be missed.
Waterton Lakes National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an International Peace Park, and a Biosphere Reserved that shares this honor with neighboring Glacier National Park in Montana. While you might be there, it will be a disgrace to not cross the border to see Glacier National Park. Check out all there’s to do there at 16 of the Best Glacier National Park Hikes
With superior backcountry mountaineering, the well-known purple rocks, and the historic Prince of Wales Hotel, Waterton Lakes National Park has all of it. Plus, you possibly can see a wild herd of bison right here. Waterton Lakes isn’t named after lakes for something, take a ship tour on Waterton Lake, Middle Waterton Lake, and Lower Waterton Lake.
With over 200km of mountaineering trails, Waterton Lakes National Park is a hiker’s paradise. Make positive to maintain a watch out for wildlife together with bears, elk, moose bighorn sheep, and mountain goats. When we have been mountaineering at Waterton Lakes, there was a cougar on the path which made everybody very excited.
Location: Alberta – 2 hours and 40 minutes south of Calgary Size 505 sq. km Book an evening to recollect on the Prince of Wales
Plan your journey to Waterton Lakes National Park
4. Ivvavik National Park – Yukon Territories
Ivvavik National Park is as distant because it will get. We flew to Whitehorse, Yukon, after which onward by little cities in Northern Canada as we picked folks up on a small aircraft like a northern bus route earlier than stopping within the city of Inuvik in Northwest Territories for the night time. It was then onward by biplane to camp in the course of Ivavvik National Park within the far north of the Yukon Territories the place we made a base to seek for grizzly bears.
Parks Canada has a base camp arrange immediately alongside a grizzly bear freeway that you’re smack dab in the course of. Surrounded by the rolling British Mountains, Ivavvik National Park can also be residence to Canada’s oldest river.
Location: Far Northern Yukon on the Beaufort Sea – Only manner in is by aircraft Size: 10,168 sq. km Plan your journey to Ivvavik National Park:
5. Kluane National Park – Yukon Territories
While visiting the Yukon, one other unimaginable Canadian nationwide park could be seen. Located within the southwest nook of the territory, Kluane National Park is a chosen UNESCO World Heritage Site and residential to the most important non-polar ice subject on this planet spanning 35,233 sq. km (13,600 sq. miles)
The park’s panorama is dominated by the Saint Elias Mountains, which include Canada’s highest peak, Mount Logan, standing at 5,959 meters. Kluane National Park additionally homes the world-famous Kaskawulsh Glacier, which is the most important glacier within the park.
6. Wood Buffalo National Park – Northwest Territories / Alberta
While we’re visiting Canada’s Territories, Wood Buffalo National Park is one other one in every of our stunning and distant nationwide parks in Canada. Sharing a border with Alberta, this nationwide park was established in 1922. It was designed to guard one of many final surviving herds of Bison so you might be protected to imagine that that is the highest draw. However, there are many issues to do right here from mountaineering and paddling to having fun with stargazing and trying to find the Northern lights.
It is the most important nationwide park in Canada and additionally it is a nationwide historic website.
7. Fundy National Park- New Brunswick
Home to the world’s highest tides, Fundy National Park in New Brunswick is a pure surprise. With greater than 100 km of mountaineering trails, it’s a place to spend days. Take a drive to the excessive lookouts overlooking sea cliffs that roll alongside the Bay of Fundy, have a picnic on one in every of its seashores, and make a day journey to the Hopewell Rocks and Cape and Rage to actually see the ability of those excessive tides.
The Bay of Fundy is likely one of the pure wonders of the world at low tide you possibly can stroll for miles on the ocean ground and top-of-the-line locations to try this is at Hopewell Rocks. At excessive tide you possibly can go kayaking round these unimaginable formations.
Fundy NP has incredible tenting together with yurts for lease by Parks Canada. See extra at: Amazing Bay of Fundy Adventures – Ways to Experience the Highest Tides
Location: New Brunswick between Saint John and Moncton Size 207 sq. km
8. Cape Breton Highlands National Park – Nova Scotia
Home to one of many biggest drives on the planet, Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Nova Scotia is the place the place the mountains meet the ocean. It’s residence to Canada’s most stunning sea cliffs. The Cabot Trail runs throughout the nationwide park, so it’s simple to drive from one spectacular view after one other.
Go whale watching, mountaineering or tenting in an oTentik. This is really a spot to take pleasure in east coast hospitality and the great thing about Canada. Read extra: 22 Incredible Stops on the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia
Location: Cape Breton Island Nova Scotia 5 hours from Halifax Size: 949 sq. km
9. Pacific Rim National Park Reserve – British Columbia
Located on Vancouver Island, Pacific Rim National Park is the place you’ll hike the well-known West Coast Trail. The West Coast Trail is a 75 km lengthy trek and takes between 5 to 7 days to hike and is one in every of Canada’s nice hikes positioned alongside the west coast of Vancouver Island. The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve additionally consists of the Long Beach and the Broken Group Islands.
With paddling at Broken Group Islands or browsing at Long Beach and world-class whale watching, Pacific Rim nationwide park has all of it. Read extra: Kayaking to the Broken Group Islands
In order to hike the West Coast Trail, hikers should get hold of a allow from Parks Canada and are required to attend an orientation session previous to beginning the path. The variety of hikers allowed on the path is proscribed annually with a purpose to defend the delicate ecosystem and make sure the security of hikers.
10. Mount Revelstoke – British Columbia
Revelstoke is one in every of our favourite locations to go to in British Columbia. It is part of a number of mountain nationwide parks operating by BC and Alberta. Many folks suppose Revelstoke is in Alberta since it’s nearer to Calgary than Vancouver, however it’s the truth is, in British Columbia.
And Revelstoke National Park just isn’t positioned within the Rocky Mountains. The Rockies are 100 km away, however it definitely feels as in case you are within the Canadian Rockies. Mount Revelstoke is positioned throughout the Columbia Mountains and the city of Revelstoke is positioned simply outdoors of Mount Revelstoke National Park. It makes for the proper out of doors escape in each summer time and winter. Read extra: The Best Things to do in Revelstoke, BC – Besides Skiing
11. Yoho National Park – British Columbia
British Columbia is blessed with nationwide parks and wide-open areas and Yoho National Park is one other stunning place to go to. Located within the Canadian Rockies, it provides distinctive mountaineering and biking. The identify “Yoho” comes from a Cree phrase that means “awe” or “wonder”, which is a becoming description.
Yoho National Park creates a Rocky Mountain triangle with Kootenay National Park to the south and Banff National Park to the East within the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Canadian Rocky Mountains Parks. Read: The Rocky Mountaineer Experience – Vancouver to Banff
The prime sights to see listed below are the pure bridge, an emerald lake, Wapta Falls, and Burgess Shale Fossil Site. The Burgess Shale, one other UNESCO World Heritage Site, is positioned inside Yoho National Park. It is a fossil deposit that incorporates among the oldest and most well-preserved fossils of early animal life on Earth.
12. Kootenay National Park – British Columbia
Another one in every of our nationwide parks in British Columbia is close by Kootenay National Park. Joining Yoho National Park with Banff National Park this trio makes up the UNESCO-designated Canadian Rockies. Located within the city of Radium, it’s snuggled alongside the Alberta border.
It’s identified for its abundance of scorching springs together with Radium Hot Springs the place you possibly can benefit from the scorching swimming pools in luxurious and abundance of wildlife. A spotlight of Kootenay National Park is Marble Canyon the place you possibly can hike by the slender gorge.
13. Pukaskwa National Park – Ontario
Pukaskwa National Park is positioned alongside the north coast of Lake Superior and is within the coronary heart of Ontario’s untamed wilderness. It is likely one of the greatest nationwide parks for epic mountaineering. Hiking alongside its coast reminds you of being on the East Coast of Canada as its rolling rocky shoreline climbs excessive above the inland sea of Lake Superior.
There’s backcountry tenting and it homes top-of-the-line hikes in Canada that actually takes you on a wilderness expertise. We got here nose to nose with a mama moose and her calf which we assume was spooked by a close-by black bear after seeing its recent paw prints within the mud under. See our expertise: The Wild Coastal Trail of Pukaskwa National Park
14. Thousand Islands National Park – Ontario
Located alongside the St. Lawrence River Thousand Islands National Park is one in every of Canada’s smallest nationwide parks with an space of solely 24.4 sq. km and most of that’s water. This is a superb place to go paddling to discover the islands between Kingston and Brockville. Be positive to cease in at Mallorytown Landing on the 1000 Islands Parkway to get all the knowledge it is advisable to discover the primary nationwide park in Eastern Canada. Read extra: 25 Day Trips from Toronto to Escape the City
15. Bruce Peninsula National Park
Bruce Peninsula National Park most likely has essentially the most wow issue landscapes in Ontario. With sea cliffs and flowerpots, it’s a must-visit. Watch the panorama change earlier than your eyes as you head north the place evergreen forests give approach to the rocky Canadian protect. This is the guts of cottage nation so there are actions for the entire household with mountaineering trails, boat excursions, biking and tenting. Read extra: Epic Things to do in Ontario
Located on Georgian Bay Bruce Peninsula National Park homes one of the crucial wow locations in Ontario. The Grotto is a secluded sea cave that sits on the shores of Lake Huron. The view from above is gorgeous and you’d swear that you’re within the Caribbean reasonably than Canada. Be ready to scramble all the way down to the water the place it is advisable to squeeze by a gap to enter.
The Grotto is extraordinarily busy in the summertime and you have to guide entry upfront. A parking allow should be bought forward of time and entry is blocked in four-hour slots for timed entry. You can verify with Park’s Canada for particulars to guide your time slot.
16. Prince Edward Island National Park – PEI
Home to Anne of Green Gables, Prince Edward Island National Park homes Green Gables and the nationwide historic website, Dalvay by the Sea positioned at Dalvay Lake. Be positive to go for a stroll alongside the boardwalk taking you throughout the marshland to the sand dunes.
With different mountaineering trails, and a really lengthy sandy seashore, that is the proper cease on a PEI highway journey. Get extra data: Things to do in Prince Edward Island (PEI)
Location: Prince Edward Island (PEI) – half-hour north of Charlottetown. Size: 27 sq. Km
17. Prince Albert National Park – Saskatchewan
Okay, that is taking us manner again into the vault. Years in the past, I sang in a present in Prince Albert Saskatchewan known as P.A.Boys. It was throughout that point that I had the possibility to discover a little bit of the province within the north. The year-round vacation spot encompasses a boreal forest, grasslands, lakes and rivers. At 3,874 sq. kilometres, it’s a giant one! Read extra about Saskatchewan: 15 Best Things to do in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Location: Saskachewan – 1 hour north of Prince Alberta Size: 3874 sq. km
18. Gaspésie Peninsula – Quebec
Visiting the Gaspésie Region of Quebec provides the possibility to go to 4 National Parks in Canada of assorted landscapes and exeriences. If you need to see woodland caribou within the wild, Gaspésie National Park is the place to do it. It was designated to guard the Gaspésie Caribou. Apparently it’s the solely place you possibly can see caribou south of the St. Lawrence (and I imply, actually, simply south of the St. Lawrence).
Located inland within the Appalachian Mountains, it’s a lovely panorama of rolling hills. For the dramatic sea cliff views of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, head to, Forillian and l’Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé. And Miguasha National Park is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its 370 million yr outdated fossils. Needless to say, it is a excellent spot to spend a summer time trip.
Location: Quebec – 8 hours North of Quebec City within the Gaspé Peninsula.
19. Wapusk National Park – Manitoba
Home to the Polar Bear Highway, Wapusk National Park is positioned in a distant area of Manitoba on the Hudson Bay. We stayed on the sting of it when trying to find polar bears with Churchill Wild at each Seal River Heritage Lodge and Nanuk Lodge. They act as bookends to the park!
When flying over this slice of the Arctic we noticed at the very least a dozen polar bears strolling alongside the coast. You can’t go to this park by yourself, however you possibly can guide polar bear excursions with expert guides in distant lodges to witness the unimaginable wildlife of the north. It’s not simply polar bears that you simply’ll see, we noticed black bears, wolves and arctic fox. So cute! Read extra: Walking with Polar Bears
Location: Manitoba – South of Churchill on the Hudson Bay reached by aircraft. Size: 11,745 Square km
20. Riding Mountain National Park – Manitoba
A extra accessible nationwide park in Manitoba is Riding Mountain National Park. Established in 1929, and it covers an space of over 3,000 sq. kilometers. The park is residence to a number of historic websites, together with the Grey Owl Cabin, which was as soon as inhabited by the well-known conservationist Archibald Belaney, also called Grey Owl.
Riding Mountain nationwide park is 2 hours and 45 minutes from Winnipeg and one of the simplest ways to get there’s to drive. If you don’t have a automobile, you possibly can lease one. Vehicles going into any of Canada’s nationwide parks require a allow. You can decide one up from Parks Canada on the gate, or get a nationwide park move upfront.
21. Gros Morne National Park – Newfoundland
Gros Morne nationwide park has been on our bucket listing. We have had a few plans to see it, however life received in the best way. Hopefully, this yr will lastly be our yr. Gros Morne National Park is thought for its excessive fjords and distant panorama and one of many must-do actions in Gros Morne National Park is a ship tour of the Western Brook Pond Fjord by towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls.
Gros Morne National Park can also be residence to a singular geological characteristic known as the Tablelands. This is likely one of the greatest locations to hike alongside its flat-topped mountain plateau which rises greater than 700 meters above sea stage.
And lastly, I do know what you might be pondering, why isn’t Torngat Mountains, National Park? Well, it like Gros Morne National Park, it too is in Newfoundland and we have now but to go to so it should wait. But as soon as we do, this house proper right here might be reserved for the Torngat Mountains.
And these are the very best nationwide parks in Canada. There are nonetheless a number of extra on our bucket listing and we will’t wait to get outdoors and discover extra of wonderful Canada.