Canada's Greatest National Parks
Canada has huge areas of unspoiled nature, from coasts and mountains to tundra and frozen arctic deserts.
Canada’s national parks are home to most of these spectacular landscapes, which are among the world’s most beautiful natural sights. The parks showcase Canada’s stunning environment and are located on the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic Coasts, the wild Canadian Interior and the Rocky Mountains. But with more than 40 parks to choose from it can become a challenge to decide which ones you should visit on your family holidays in Canada.
These peaceful havens are the perfect spots for tuning in to nature. With landscapes as varied as temperate rainforest, windswept beaches, mountain glaciers and Arctic tundra, the wildlife spotting opportunities are endless. If you’ve always dreamed of snapping that perfect shot of a bear, head to the national parks. The myriad ways to explore – from hiking to kayaking to horse riding – add to the incredible activities on offer.
While you won’t be able to visit every national park, we’ve given you a helping hand by sharing a list of the greatest national parks in Canada.
Now that you’ve discovered which parks you should visit during your next trip to Canada, we have suggested a little itinerary for a day’s visit to each park.
Banff National Park
Morning – Hike Larch Valley from Moraine Lake or go skiing at the Lake Louise Ski Resort.
Afternoon – Go horseback riding around the national park with Banff Trail Riders or go ice skating on a frozen Lake Louise by renting skates from Wilson Mountain Sports.
Evening – Enjoy some great food at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.
Jasper National Park
Morning – Discover the Japser Skytram up to the top of Whistlers Mountain or hit the slopes and go snowboarding at Ski Marmot.
Afternoon – Sit back and relax on a Maligne Lake cruise or book a Maligne Canyon Icewalk with Sundog Tours.
Evening – Enjoy some traditional Canadian cuisine at Syrahs of Jasper.
Thousand Island National Park
Morning – Enjoy a sightseeing cruise with Kingston 1000 Island Cruises or go on an ice fishing trip.
Afternoon – Go kite and windsurfing or head to Mallorytown’s Swiss Chalet restaurant.
Evening – Go stargazing.
Fundy National Park
Morning – You can see the incredible high tides for yourself and explore the seabed at low tide. The difference between high and low tide can be as tall as a 5-storey building, and a huge area of rich, crustacean-filled mud flats are left by the receding tide.
Afternoon – Hike the Caribou Plain trail or go tobogganing in the bowl at park headquarters.
Evening – Finish off your day with some delicious food at Tipsy Tails.
Pacific Rim National Park
Morning – Start the day with a surf or go storm watching in the winter.
Afternoon – Check out the incredible wildlife in the national park with Adventure Tofino.
Evening – Enjoy some delicious seafood at Wildside Grill.
Gros Morne National Park
Morning – Make the most of the morning by sea kayaking with Gros Morne Adventures or try cross-country skiing at the visitor centre’s trails.
Afternoon – Walk to Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse or jump on a snowmobile and explore the park.
Evening – Eat at Treasure Box, which is in the centre of the national park.
Auyuittuq National Park
Morning – Try climbing on parts of Mount Thor or during the winter months go dogsledding in the park.
Afternoon – Put your feet up and enjoy a boat trip or go ice skating
Evening – Toast a great visit by staying at the Auyuittuq Lodge.
Glacier National Park
Morning – Explore the narrow valleys and mountain peaks by cycling in the summer or go skiing in the winter.
Afternoon – Fishing is a popular summer activity in the park or, in winter, get those snowshoes out and explore some of Glacier National Park.
Evening – If you’re feeling adventurous you can stay in one of the parks huts or cabins for the night, although you will need a wilderness pass and to pre-book.
Image Credit: Photo by pmorgan on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND.