Your Guide to the Best National Parks in Canada

Josh Straus
Your Guide to the Best National Parks in Canada
Author: Josh Straus
28.08.2019 15:21PM

No matter where you are in the world, National Parks rarely disappoint.

Visited by nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike, these parks do an excellent job of illustrating how beautiful our world is. Whether you're working in Canada, or just visiting, there's something for everyone.

With 47 National Parks spread throughout the country, Canada is a destination full of diverse wildlife and varying landscapes. So no matter where you happen to be in Canada, there’s always an opportunity to discover and explore someplace new.

With so much to choose from, this article showcases 6 parks located in 6 different provinces and territories around the country.

So, in no particular order, here’s your guide to the best national parks in Canada.

Located on the island of Newfoundland in the far east of Canada, Gros Morne National Park boasts some of the most outstanding views in the entire country.

With hiking trails for all fitness levels, tremendous camping opportunities, and boat tours throughout the famous fjords, Gros Morne has it all. The summer season boasts clear blue skies, while in the autumn months, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the varying colours of the fall foliage take over the park.

If you find yourself in Eastern Canada or are planning an upcoming trip, I highly recommend taking a few days to witness the natural beauty of Gros Morne National Park.

This National Park can be found in the north of the magnificent Cape Breton Island, which was recently named one of the world’s must-see islands by Travel + Leisure magazine.

The famous scenic drive, known as the Cabot Trail, winds throughout the entire park and allows for ample photo opportunities along the coastline. Like Gros Morne National Park, the Highlands deliver some of the best hiking trails and camping spots in Eastern Canada. Outdoor enthusiasts are treated to many different activities in the area, such as kayaking, cycling, and even whale watching.

To take advantage of everything the park has to offer, it’s important to plan your visit sometime between May and October.

This one is for all of you that like to think you have a strong desire for adventure.

Do a quick google maps search to see where this park is located, and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. That’s right, Auyuittuq is in the TRUE NORTH of Canada, where most people make the assumption that it’s inaccessible. I’ll be honest, until I started working in the travel industry, I had no idea how incredible the landscapes were in this part of my beautiful country.

Although not the easiest to get to, if you have the time and money to spend, Auyuittuq National Park should be on your radar.

There’s few people in the world that can say they’ve made it to the Arctic Circle, or seen a polar bear firsthand. Here lies an opportunity to make these both happen.

This region also provides visitors the opportunity to learn about the local Inuit culture, history and traditions that exist.

Combining limestone cliffs and stunning turquoise waters, the Bruce Peninsula is part of the UNESCO Niagara Escarpment and located northwest of Toronto.

Like many national parks around the world, the breathtaking scenery here is the main drawing card. A destination for all ages, the park becomes a popular tourist attraction during the summer months when the many campgrounds in the area open their gates.

Almost four hours from Toronto, look into spending a couple nights here to see the beauty that exists and not feel rushed to take in all the sights. Consider taking a half-day trip to the nearby coastal town of Tobermory for lunch or dinner. Explore the various shops along the nautical themed boardwalk, and maybe even witness the famous Chi-Cheemaun.

The crown jewel and the first national park established in the country, Banff National Park headlines the collection of parks in Canada.

Situated along the Canadian Rockies, this park is one of many that line the jagged mountains that make their way through Alberta and British Columbia. It is here where the picturesque Lake Louise, Lake Moraine, and Lake Peyto are found, and is very popular all throughout the year.

When people around the world talk about top destinations in Canada, Banff National Park is bound to come up in the conversation. There are an abundant amount of scenic drives in the area to explore, which I’m excited to write about in the future. Challenge yourself to a difficult day hike throughout the mountains and then return to the quaint town of Banff to enjoy a few beverages at a local craft brewery.

If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, consider visiting one of the following as an alternative: Yoho National Park, Kootenay National Park, or Mount Revelstoke National Park.

This is the go-to spot for all you surfers (or wannabe surfers) out there.

Situated on Vancouver Island, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve allows visitors a chance to experience what’s often referred to as the “West Coast, Best Coast.”

Very popular with hikers up for a challenge, the 75km West Coast Trail pulls in visitors from all over the world looking to conquer what is often a bucket list item.

Like the national parks on the east coast, Pacific Rim provides ample opportunity to spot whales and other marine life. Besides this, “Storm Watching” is an exhilarating activity for travelers that happen to be in the area during the winter season.

Port Alberni or the surf town of Tofino are excellent places to base yourself while on the island. Don’t forget to experience and dabble in the delicious fresh seafood that awaits in one of the many restaurants in the area.

Well there you have it my friends, the best national parks in Canada. I have taken you from the far east coast to the far west coast of Canada. These 6 National Parks, as well as the other 41 scattered around, are another great reason to make your way to the beautiful true north. If you've worked at a summer camp in Canada, you would've no doubt heard of some of these and are on your post-camp bucket list. For others, scrawl them onto that bucket list immediately.

For now, take care of yourself - and remember, adventure is out there.

Interested in your own Canadian adventure?

Then find out how you can make a difference next summer through Camp Canada.

Want new travel guides sent directly to your inbox?

Subscribe to the Smaller Earth Newsletter.

Get in Touch