Canada, with its vast and diverse landscapes, is home to some of the most stunning national parks in the world. From the rugged beauty of the Rocky Mountains to the pristine coastlines of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, Canada’s national parks offer a wealth of natural wonders and outdoor adventures. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the best national parks in Canada, each with its unique charm and attractions. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a wildlife enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates the great outdoors, Canada’s national parks have something for everyone.
Canada boasts an impressive collection of national parks, each with its own unique natural beauty and recreational opportunities. These parks are not only a source of pride for Canadians but also a draw for travelers from around the globe. Whether you’re interested in hiking through lush forests, kayaking on pristine lakes, or marveling at stunning mountain vistas, you’ll find your paradise in one of Canada’s national parks.
In this guide, we’ll take you on a journey through some of the best national parks in Canada, highlighting their key attractions and activities. So, pack your outdoor gear and get ready to explore the incredible natural wonders that await you.
Best National Parks in Canada
Banff Best National Parks in Canada
Lake Louise is one of the most iconic and photographed lakes in Canada, known for its stunning turquoise waters set against the backdrop of rugged mountains. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the lakeshore or embark on more challenging hikes to viewpoints like the Lake Agnes Tea House or the Plain of Six Glaciers.
Moraine Lake Best National Parks in Canada
Moraine Lake is another jewel of Banff National Park, renowned for its vivid blue waters and the dramatic Valley of the Ten Peaks that surrounds it. The Rockpile Trail offers a short but rewarding hike to an elevated viewpoint overlooking the lake—an ideal spot for taking breathtaking photos.
The Icefields Parkway is a scenic drive that takes you through the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Along the way, you’ll encounter stunning vistas, pristine lakes, and the opportunity to explore the Athabasca Glacier at the Columbia Icefield. Be sure to stop at Bow Lake, Peyto Lake, and the Athabasca Falls for memorable experiences.
Jasper National Park, Best National Parks in Canada
Maligne Lake is the largest natural lake in the Canadian Rockies, famous for its vibrant blue waters and the Spirit Island, a tiny islet that has become an iconic symbol of the park. You can take a boat tour to the island or hike along the shoreline to savor the tranquility of this beautiful lake.
Athabasca Falls is a powerful waterfall located in Jasper National Park, easily accessible by a short walk from the parking area. Witness the roaring waters as they rush through a narrow gorge, carving their way through the ancient rock formations—a sight to behold.
Jasper SkyTram Best National Parks in Canada
For panoramic views of Jasper National Park, hop aboard the Jasper SkyTram, which will whisk you up Whistler’s Mountain. At the summit, you’ll be treated to breathtaking vistas of the surrounding landscapes, including the town of Jasper, the Athabasca River, and the expansive wilderness beyond.
Yoho National Park, British Columbia
Takakkaw Falls is one of Canada’s tallest waterfalls, plunging from a towering height of 373 meters (1,224 feet). A short hike will bring you to the base of the falls, where you can feel the mist on your face and marvel at the sheer power of nature.
Emerald Lake, as the name suggests, boasts striking emerald-green waters surrounded by towering mountains. Canoeing on the lake is a popular activity, allowing you to soak in the serene beauty of this natural gem.
Pacific Rim Best National Parks in Canada Reserve, British Columbia
Long Beach offers a pristine stretch of sandy coastline along the wild west coast of Vancouver Island. It’s a haven for surfers, beachcombers, and anyone seeking the tranquility of the ocean. Stroll along the shore, watch for marine wildlife, or try your hand at riding the waves.
Broken Group Islands Best National Parks in Canada
Accessible only by boat or kayak, the Broken Group Islands are a kayaker’s paradise. Paddle through crystal-clear waters, explore hidden coves, and camp on remote islands surrounded by lush rainforests. This is wilderness at its finest.
Western Brook Pond
Western Brook Pond is a freshwater fjord surrounded by dramatic cliffs and waterfalls. Take a boat tour through the fjord to experience this otherworldly landscape up close, with opportunities for wildlife sightings along the way.
Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia
The Cabot Trail is a world-renowned scenic drive that takes you through Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Marvel at the rugged coastal cliffs, winding roads, and panoramic viewpoints. Be sure to stop at Skyline Trail for one of the most breathtaking sunsets in Canada.
Skyline Trail Best National Parks in Canada
Skyline Trail offers one of the most stunning hikes in the park. The trail takes you to a high plateau overlooking the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where you can witness the mesmerizing beauty of the Cape Breton Highlands.
Fundy National Park, Best National Parks in Canada
Fundy National Park is famous for having the highest tides in the world. At Hopewell Rocks, you can walk on the ocean floor during low tide and return later to see the same spot submerged during high tide. It’s a remarkable natural phenomenon.
Dickson Falls is a serene waterfall accessible by a short trail. It’s a great spot to cool off on a hot summer day and appreciate the lush forest surroundings.
Prince Edward Island National Park, Prince Edward Island
Cavendish Beach is renowned for its red sand shores and dunes, making it a popular destination for sunbathers and swimmers. The park also offers scenic hiking trails and opportunities to spot migratory birds.
Green Gables Heritage Place Best National Parks in Canada
Literature enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to Green Gables Heritage Place, the inspiration for Lucy Maud Montgomery’s “Anne of Green Gables” series. Explore the historic farm and immerse yourself in the world of Anne Shirley.
Kluane National Park and Reserve, Yukon
Kluane National Park is home to Canada’s highest peak, Mount Logan. While summiting the mountain is a significant undertaking, the park offers numerous hiking and mountaineering opportunities for all skill levels, allowing you to experience the breathtaking scenery.
Kathleen Lake is a pristine mountain lake surrounded by towering peaks. It’s an ideal spot for kayaking, canoeing, or simply enjoying a picnic while soaking in the awe-inspiring mountain views.
Red Rock Canyon
Red Rock Canyon is known for its vibrant red rock formations and crystal-clear water. Hike along the Red Rock Parkway or simply relax by the canyon’s edge and appreciate the striking contrast between the red rocks and lush greenery.
Auyuittuq Best National Parks in Canada
Auyuittuq National Park is a remote wilderness area characterized by towering granite cliffs and deep fjords. Mount Thor, often called the “Vertical Mile,” boasts the world’s greatest vertical drop. While climbing it is a serious endeavor, the park offers numerous hikes and backpacking adventures for all levels.
Akshayuk Pass is a popular backpacking route that takes you through some of the park’s most stunning landscapes. You’ll traverse glaciers, hike alongside rushing rivers, and camp beneath towering peaks in this pristine Arctic wilderness.
Kejimkujik Dark Sky Preserve
Kejimkujik is designated as a Dark Sky Preserve, making it an excellent spot for stargazing. On clear nights, you can witness a dazzling display of stars and celestial wonders in this protected area.
Riding Mountain Best National Parks in Canada
Clear Lake is the focal point of Riding Mountain National Park, known for its clear waters and sandy shores. It’s a popular spot for swimming, fishing, and enjoying water sports in the summer. In the winter, the park transforms into a wonderland for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Riding Mountain National Park is home to a thriving population of bison. Take a drive through the park and keep an eye out for these majestic creatures, which are often seen grazing in the open grasslands.
Canada’s national parks are a testament to the country’s natural beauty and commitment to preserving its diverse ecosystems. Whether you’re seeking adventure in the rugged Rockies, tranquility on pristine coastlines, or the opportunity to immerse yourself in remote wilderness, Canada’s national parks have it all.
From the towering peaks of Banff and Jasper in Alberta to the coastal wonders of Pacific Rim in British Columbia, from the ancient landscapes of Gros Morne in Newfoundland to the tranquil beaches of Prince Edward Island, there’s a national park in Canada to suit every adventurer’s taste.
So, lace up your hiking boots, grab your camera, and set out to explore the best national parks in Canada. Each park offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature, create lasting memories, and experience the untamed beauty of this vast and diverse country.