10 National Parks That You Should Visit in Canada
It’s no secret that Canada can claim some of the most beautiful landscapes on the planet.
From arid deserts to lush rainforests, rocky coastline to urban metropolises, Canada has it all, including an enviable National Park System that protects natural spaces so that everyone can use them, free of charge.
Protecting the natural landscapes of Canada is no small task, so it should come as no surprise that National Parks Canada is a nationwide organization. There are national parks, big and small, in all of the ten provinces and three territories. Here is a list of all 47 of the national parks in Canada.
As a newcomer to Canada, you may not be able to get away or take a quick holiday. But when you have some spare time and can go on vacation, don’t jet away to another country. Instead, spend your leisure time exploring the beautiful national parks of your new country. Check out these ten national parks that you should visit in Canada.
Jasper National Park, Alberta
One of the most popular national parks in all of Canada, Jasper is located in the province of Alberta. Many people choose to join this iconic landscape with the adjacent Banff National Park, as the two combined comprises the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO World Heritage Site. Jasper is home to the stunning Pyramid Lake, the deep Maligne Canyon, and lots of hiking and trekking opportunities. In the winter, it’s a skier’s paradise.
Banff National Park, Alberta
If you’re planning to visit Jasper, you should pair it with Banff National Park, which is located close by. Banff is most known for its crystal-clear glacial lake, Lake Louise. The lakeside is known for its luxury hotels (including the world renowned Chateau Lake Louise), fine dining, and tourist shops. There are plenty of hiking trails and breathtaking vistas, but if you aren’t up for the trek, you can take a cable car to the summit of Sulphur Mountain.
Pacific Rim Park Reserve, British Columbia
The Pacific Rim Park Reserve is located on beautiful Vancouver Island and spans more than 500 square kilometers. While this is technically classified as a park reserve (and not a national park), it is well worth your time and energy.
Pacific Rim Park is located between Ucluelet and Tofino, one of the most scenic drives in the province of British Columbia. Along the way you’ll pass raw ocean coast line, Long Beach (known for whale sightings), and the Broken Group Islands. You’ll want to stop and explore many places along the way.
Yoho National Park, British Columbia
Yoho National Park is widely regarded as one of the country’s prettiest national parks and is located close to the picture-perfect Lake O’ Hara, a short distance from Banff National Park. Many people choose to stop here when they’re travelling between British Columbia and Alberta, as it makes an ideal rest stop. Some of the park’s highlights include the fossils of Burgess Shale, Takakkaw Falls, and the incredible Plain of Six Glaciers.
Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia
You’ll find Cape Breton Highlands National Park about 4.5 hours away from Halifax. This park offers visitors a wide array of topographies and landscapes, and something for everyone. A dramatic Atlantic Ocean coastline kisses the pristine forest, and the local mountains are perfect for anyone who wants to go for a hike. Heaven on earth!
Fundy National Park, New Brunswick
Fundy National Park is located right on the legendary Bay of Fundy and is often regarded as one of the most beloved parks in Canada. People travel to the Bay of Fundy from around the world for its prehistoric coastline, large number of hiking and walking trails, and vibrant local culture. Be sure to have a delicious, fresh seafood lunch at the Wharfside Patio!
If you’re looking for a good beginner’s trek, check out the Dickens Falls trail. This path loops around the falls and leads to magnificent views.
Torngat Mountains National Park, Newfoundland and Labrador
Torngat Mountains National Park is a truly untouched piece of Newfoundland and Labrador. In fact, it is so remote, rough, and rocky, that you should only explore the park with a professional and accredited guide. Going on your own leaves you vulnerable to wild bear attacks! If you choose to venture into this dense forest on our own, you should check in with the Torngat Mountains Park staff before entering the boundaries. Be sure to take their advice and tips on your visit — this is Canada at its most wild and extreme.
Wapusk National Park, Manitoba
Wapusk National Park is one of Canada’s newest national parks, an awe-inspiring subarctic landscape that spans the transition zone between boreal forest and arctic tundra. It may be one of the most inaccessible national parks on this list, but those who venture this far afield will be rewarded with a magical experience. It is located in northeast Manitoba, close to the city of Churchill.
Polar bears, arctic foxes, moose, and wolves all call this park home, but if you want to get the best view of the polar bears, you can book a Polar Rover tour or helicopter tour. This is a remote and unforgiving landscape, so be sure to always follow the advice of your guide.
Bruce Peninsula National Park, Ontario
Bruce Peninsula National Park is located about 300 km north of Toronto and makes a fantastic weekend trip from the country’s biggest city. Located on the Niagara Escarpment, its sheer beauty is almost poetic. Stroll along thickly forested ridges, swim in the clear waters of the Georgian Bay, and take a boat trip to Flowerpot Island.
Make sure you also visit the Singing Sands Beach, located on the banks of Lake Huron. It has a shallow, swimmable beach, plenty of sand dunes, and a boardwalk that is bustling with fun. This is a great park to visit with kids.
Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland and Labrador
The landscape of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Gros Morne National Park is reminiscent of the epic scenery of the Norwegian fjords, boasting some of the most rugged and iconic scenery of the Maritime provinces — it’s truly a dramatic and exciting place to visit. If you trek into the Tablelands you can see the Earth’s mantle, perfect for budding geologists young and old. Make sure that you visit the Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse and arrange a guided boat tour of the massive Western Brook Pond fjord.