TravelAwaits’ 2023 Greatest Of Journey Awards, offered by AllTrails and with the assist of Baggage Free , the premier baggage transport service, showcases our readers’ favourite locations and companies. Nominations and voting befell earlier this yr, and we hope the ultimate alternatives encourage your future adventures; congrats to all the winners!
Put these Canadian nationwide parks in your must-visit listing. Whether or not you’re an avid hiker, a photographer, a wildlife fanatic, otherwise you merely respect the wonders of nature, you’ll love all of them.
Professional Ideas: Do your homework! Examine the Parks Canada web site to plan your journey. Get present information and data on park passes, accessibility, and particular person park particulars. Many fashionable locations require permits, advance reserving, or have native security concerns chances are you’ll not find out about. For backcountry adventures, at any time of the yr, it’s very important to be well-informed and ready.
Now, on with the highest 10.
Morant’s Curve at Banff Nationwide Park Photograph credit score: BGSmith / Shutterstock.com
1. Banff Nationwide Park (Winner)
Canada’s first nationwide park began with a pure scorching spring. It’s now a serious wildlife habitat and probably the most well-known parks on this planet.
Banff Nationwide Park has extra vacationer facilities inside its borders than the opposite parks. Within the Banff townsite, there’s a variety of lodging, eating, and buying. The luxurious Fairmont Banff Springs Lodge is a well-liked landmark.
You’re virtually assured to see native wildlife, like Rocky Mountain sheep, deer, and elk. You’ll want to give them plenty of house.
Outside actions embrace climbing, downhill and cross-country snowboarding, kayaking, canoeing, and climbing. On the town, you’ll be able to park your automotive and discover on foot. Take a look at the Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum for First Nations historical past and tradition, the historic Banff Park Museum for pure historical past, and the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies for positive artwork and insights into the human historical past and tradition of the area.
Banff Nationwide Park is a mixture of rugged and refined. Scenic Lake Louise is a guests’ favourite. It’s so fashionable that in peak season, you could have to take a shuttle bus quite than drive your automotive; it’s simpler. Examine the park web site for particulars.
Glacier Nationwide Park close to Abbot Ridge Path Photograph credit score: Alisa Khliestkova / Shutterstock.com
2. Glacier Nationwide Park
The second and third nationwide parks in Canada, Glacier and Yoho, had been created on the identical day in 1886.
Don’t confuse Glacier Nationwide Park in Canada with Glacier Nationwide Park in Montana.
The Canadian Glacier Nationwide Park is on the TransCanada Freeway between the cities of Golden and Revelstoke. The literal excessive level on the street is Rogers Move, the route for each the street and the railway by means of the Selkirk Mountains. 100 years in the past, there was a lodge right here in Glacier. It’s lengthy gone, however in its heyday, it was the place to begin for mountaineering expeditions and lots of first ascents.
You don’t should be a mountain climber to discover the park’s community of climbing trails, together with the well-known Abbott Ridge Path, for breathtaking panoramic views. In the event you’re driving from Calgary to Vancouver, Glacier’s day-use areas are inviting locations for a calming stroll alongside the best way.
Cease on the Rogers Move Discovery Centre and study in regards to the engineering challenges of getting by means of the mountains at this nationwide historic web site.
Pacific Rim Nationwide Park Reserve overview Photograph credit score: Wirestock Creators / Shutterstock.com
3. Pacific Rim Nationwide Park Reserve
Farther west, stretching alongside Vancouver Island’s western shoreline, Pacific Rim Nationwide Park Reserve showcases the fantastic thing about Canada’s Pacific Ocean shoreline.
The well-known West Coast Path is an unforgettable backpacking journey. Reservations and permits are required. Examine the web site for present particulars.
The Lengthy Seaside Unit of the park stretches for miles. Kayakers like to discover the close by Damaged Islands Group.
Mount Edith Cavell Path in Jasper Nationwide Park Photograph credit score: Klara_Steffkova / Shutterstock.com
4. Jasper Nationwide Park
It’s no shock that 5 of the highest 10 parks are within the western mountains. Individuals can’t resist the alpine landscapes with mountain peaks, waterfalls, glaciers, forests, and wildlife.
Like its neighbor, Banff Nationwide Park, Jasper Nationwide Park has dramatic surroundings, remoted picturesque lakes, and limitless exploration alternatives. Do you know that Jasper is the world’s second-largest Darkish Sky Protect? It’s good for stargazing. You might even be fortunate sufficient to see the northern lights.
The Icefields Parkway between Jasper and Banff is likely one of the world’s most lovely roads.
Hart Island within the Thousand Islands Nationwide Park Photograph credit score: Sergey Kotsegubov / Shutterstock.com
5. Thousand Islands Nationwide Park
Within the St. Lawrence River throughout from New York State, Thousand Islands Nationwide Park is a singular mix of pure magnificence and wealthy historical past. Discover the picturesque islands by boat. The park is fashionable for birding, particularly throughout the spring and fall migrations.
Households can benefit from the Mallorytown Touchdown space with its playground and customer heart.
6. Cape Breton Highlands Nationwide Park
From the dramatic cliffs of Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island, this nationwide park provides beautiful Atlantic Ocean vistas and plush forests.
The climbing right here is an effective way to discover. Attempt the “10 hikes in 1 day problem.” For scenic automotive adventures, the Cabot Path is a must-do drive in Canada.
Have you ever heard of the Pink Chairs? A function of the nationwide parks, they seem in locations the place you’ll undoubtedly need to sit down and take an image.
The seashores of Prince Edward Island Nationwide Park Photograph credit score: Yingna Cai / Shutterstock.com
7. Prince Edward Island Nationwide Park
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island Nationwide Park is a relaxed and naturally lovely place identified for its intensive seashores and glowing purple sandstone cliffs. In September 2022, Hurricane Fiona hit PEI with a vengeance. The park’s web site options the restoration work on the broken areas.
However don’t let that cease you from visiting! PEI is a captivating and fascinating place, each for its pure magnificence and its historical past. See the home that impressed Lucy Maud Montgomery to write down about Anne of Inexperienced Gables.
8. Kootenay Nationwide Park
One of many 4 nationwide parks included within the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO World Heritage Web site (together with Banff, Jasper, and Yoho), Kootenay Nationwide Park and its neighbor Yoho are residence to one of many world’s most vital fossil areas: the Burgess Shale.
Cease for an hour or take a multi-day backpacking journey. You don’t should go far to search out true peace and quiet.
Wild bison in Grasslands Nationwide Park Photograph credit score: Hidjay01 / Shutterstock.com
9. Grasslands Nationwide Park
The delicate landscapes of the Canadian prairie make up Grasslands Nationwide Park. This distant park provides native grasslands, badlands, and the prospect to identify a wide range of animals together with reintroduced bison, pronghorn antelope, and black-tailed prairie canine.
The sunshine high quality here’s a reward to photographers.
Like Jasper Nationwide Park, Grasslands is a Darkish Sky Protect, good for watching taking pictures stars and recognizing constellations.
On the border of Montana, this area was a refuge for Sitting Bull and his individuals after the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1877.
10. Yoho Nationwide Park
Yoho Nationwide Park is as scenic as its neighbors Banff and Kootenay. Marvel on the waterfalls, together with the long-lasting Takakkaw Falls.
For a very romantic getaway, go to the secluded Emerald Lake Lodge. Emerald Lake takes its title from the inexperienced water. The explanation the mountain lakes have such lovely shades is due to the tiny particles of rock mud within the water. Created by the glaciers grinding down the mountains, the particles mirror the blue-green a part of the solar’s gentle.
These 10 Canadian nationwide parks are only a glimpse of the nation’s unimaginable pure wonders. Take a look at as many as you’ll be able to!
Learn extra from our 2023 Greatest Of Journey Awards.