11 Best National Parks In Canada
Canada is a very big country. Canada’s vast swaths of wilderness include glacial lakes and valleys, tall mountains, islands, rugged coastlines, and spectacular scenery. There are 44 big national parks and national park reserves in Canada. Each park has its own beauty and unique attractions.
“These special places are gateways to nature, to adventure, to discovery, to solitude. They celebrate the beauty and infinite variety of our country.” – Parks Canada
Remember that, all sites are open on Canada Day and all site has it’s own free admission day.
We have listed 11 Best National parks to visit and enjoy beautiful nature. You can discover the astonishing flora, fauna, terrain, and topography of these national parks in Canada. There are plenty of camping sites, outdoor recreation opportunities in these parks.
1. Banff National Park, Alberta.
Banff National Park is Canada’s oldest national park. It was open in 1885. It is approximately 150KM west of Calgary and bordered to the south by Kootenay National Park in British Columbia and to the north by Jasper National Park. Situated in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Banff National Park is the continent’s one of the premier destinations. With its dense forest, snow-capped peaks, movie-set views, pristine lakes, and vast alpine meadows – it is boasting an unsurpassed level of natural beauty.
Every year thousands of travelers visit this beautiful national park. A regular cast of creatures whose whoops, purrs, and screeches provide an unparalleled soundtrack. ? There are so many opportunities for outdoor activities like Hiking, Trekking, Biking, and Canoeing to backcountry camping.
You can visit so many strings of lakes and glaciers. Lake Louise and the township of Banff, Lake Louise, Lake Minnewanka are great places to visit in Banff national park. There are world-class resorts, boutiques, and restaurants available.
2. Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, British Columbia
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is located along Vancouver Island’s western shoreline in British Columbia. It is divided into 3 parts: The West Coast Trails, Long Beach and Broken Group Island. For pure West Coast wilderness, hit this national park.
You can spot migrating humpback whales whilst hiking coastal trails, Brave some of the country’s wildest surf at Long Beach and enjoy kayak in crystal clear waters past countless islands!!!
The entire Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is paradise for Hikers. There are jaw-dropping coastal vistas, miles of sandy beaches and thriving old-growth forests.
3. Jasper National Park, Alberta
Jasper National Park is located on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains in western Alberta. Jasper’s legendary scenery has to be seen to be believed. There is huge hiking and biking trail network. You can explore rugged backcountry via this network. Alongside you can observe the wildlife of Jasper which includes bears, caribou, elks, and bighorn sheep.
Don’t miss major attractions in the park that include the magnificent Athabasca Falls, the breathtaking views from aboard the Jasper SkyTram and the beautiful, still waters of Maligne Lake.
The Columbia Icefield is definitely must visit place in this park. Jasper National Park is one of the best place on earth to observe Night Sky. There is also Dark Sky Festival in October when enthusiasts gather for stargazing.
To see a side of Jasper that few locals have ever experienced, consider a luxury train trip (complete with glass-domed train cars and fine dining) on Rocky Mountaineer, which runs from April through October along routes spanning Vancouver, Whistler, Kamloops, Jasper, and Banff.
4. Yoho National Park, British Columbia
A continental divide separates the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. The Alberta side is home to Banff National Park, and British Columbia is home to the very similar but less crowded Yoho National Park. It is two hours from the bustling city of Calgary. Yoho National Park is an amazing getaway spot for nature lovers.
Boasting some of North America’s most untarnished natural wilderness, Yoho national parks give you opportunities for exceptional hiking. Yoho takes its name from a Cree expression of awe and wonder, and you’ll understand after glimpsing the turquoise Kicking Horse River. ? You can witness dramatic natural beauty in this national park. There are deep blue lakes, thunderous waterfalls, soaring mountain peaks.
Wapta Falls, Takkakaws falls is a great place to visit in Yoho National Park. Takkakaws falls is easily accessible from Highway 1. It is Canada’s highest waterfall. From here, You can follow a 20KM circuit of Iceline Trail which will take you to the park’s most spectacular glaciers and mountain scenery. Emerald Lake, Lake O’Hara is just as picturesque.
5. Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia.
Cape Breton highlands national park is the northern part of Cape Breton Island. The park is defined as an elevated plateau with a tundra-like landscape. This Atlantic Canada’s first national park—is often referred to simply as “where the mountains meet the sea.”
It is interspersed with deep forested river canyons that descend toward the temperate lowlands and seashores. This results in remarkable wildlife in this national park. You can spot endangered lynx, grouse, moose, minke whales, bald eagles.
The park’s special blend of ocean, ecosystem of mountain and forest, new hiking trails, rich and lively cultural history make Cape Breton Highlands National Park not to be missed. For the park’s famous whale-watching (keep an eye out for vapor plumes), Mackenzie Mountain is the spot.
The best experience you get in this national park at world-famous Cabot Trails. As you follow the trails through highlands and reach the island’s coastline, you get rewarded with the epic scenic beauty of canyons, forests, and beautiful seascapes.
6. Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland.
Gros Morne National Park is located on Newfoundland’s west coast and it is Atlantic Canada’s second-largest national park. It is named for its largest peak, the Gros Morne. This national park is filled with strings of endless natural wonders. It is a UNESCO world heritage site that also boasts towering granite mountains, forests, beaches, waterfalls, and coastal features, along with so many picturesque seaside villages.
You can try boating and kayaking along the rugged coastline. In Highlands, you can try hiking and wildlife spotting. You can visit The Tablelands to access rare rocks that have emerged from deep within Earth’s crust. During much of the summer, you can also take a guided boat tour on the waters of Western Brook Pond for a unique perspective on the surrounding peaks. Cow Head Lighthouse is another landmark to add to your itinerary that offers a fascinating display with plenty of history.
7. Fundy National Park, New Brunswick
Near St. John on Canada’s Atlantic Coast, Fundy National Park encompasses roughly 8 Miles of shoreline around the Bay of Fundy. In this national park, you can enjoy wide beaches, impressive sandstone cliffs. Beyond the seashore, there are miles of well-maintained hiking trails to explore.
This hiking trail goes through the thick forest, so many sparkling streams and towards the cascading waterfall. Not only you can watch tides from the St. John River battle those from the bay in combative tide pools at Reversing Falls, but you can also hike up to the highest tides in the world at Hopewell Rocks. You can also try Snorkeling with salmon. Yep, you can get in the water and swim around with the insanely rare inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic salmon.
8. Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba
Riding Mountain National Park is located in the Parkland area of Manitoba, approximately 100KM north of Brandon in Central Canada. This national park is suitable for camping, hiking and nature photography. There are encompassing sweeping valleys, huge peaks, boreal forests, and sparkling lakes. An extensive trail system offers fantastic opportunities for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, and horseback riding.
Riding Mountain National Park is a must-visit park for wildlife enthusiast. At the scenic Loon’s Island Trail, you can spot wildlife like a beaver, elk, deer, grey wolves, cougars, white pelicans, and Canadian geese. There is also a wild bison range located near Lake Audy.
9. Point Pelee National Park, Ontario
Point Pelee National Park is situated in the southwest-Ontario oasis. This national park is a rare Carolinian forest in the Great Lakes region. In this national park, You can find different wildlife in different seasons.
It’s a top destination for birders because, in spring, songbirds migrate here. Cicadas pass through in summer. If you visit in the fall, monarch butterflies bring riots of color and movement. In cold-weather months, deer and wild turkeys might scoot by, but the tree-packed terrain itself becomes the star. After a snowfall, you’ll see a lunar landscape of stunning purity.
10. Grasslands National Park, Saskatchewan.
Grassland national park is located near the village of Val Marie, Saskatchewan. It is a 200-square-mile prairie landscape that is one of the world’s largest Dark Sky Reserves, where an ink-black, star-filled sky floats undisturbed by light pollution. In daylight, the lush flats can reveal extremely rare wildlife. You can spot groups of bison, short-horned lizards, and black-tailed prairie dogs scamper—or yield astonishing dinosaur bones.?
The Killdeer Badlands, a fossil-rich area of the park where the first dinosaur bones in western Canada were discovered. It is also the region’s thriving bison population.
11. Kluane National Park and Reserve, Yukon.
Kluane National Park and Reserve are situated at the southwest of Yukon. For those seeking a more extreme experience, Canada’s highest peak reigns here-The majestic, 20,000-foot Mount Logan—alongside the world’s largest non-polar ice field. You can take in Kluane’s 8,500 square miles by prop plane or helicopter to get a birds-eye view of the mountains, ice rivers, frozen landscapes, and region of grizzlies. For the ultimate thrill, join a basecamp tour to trek the icefields, the closest you’ll get to walking on the moon!!
These are the 11 Best National Parks in Canada you must visit in your holidays. Whether you are in search of soaring mountain peaks, glistening glacier lakes, verdant forests or stunning coastal scenery. You’ll be met with expansive stretches of pristine nature, raw wilderness, endless opportunities for active adventures. From east to west, above all are the Best National Parks in Canada.