From the rugged beauty of the Rocky Mountains to the pristine coastline of the Atlantic and Pacific, Canada boasts a diverse array of natural wonders waiting to be discovered. Seek adventure in the great outdoors or set out on a peaceful retreat surrounded by nature’s beauty. Join us as we delve into the awe-inspiring landscapes, abundant wildlife, and endless opportunities for adventure that await you in Canada’s 47 National Parks.

Canada’s National Parks

Canada’s National Parks and Park Reserves represent some of the most pristine and ecologically significant areas in the country. These protected spaces encompass a wide range of landscapes, from towering mountains and dense forests, to coastal plains and Arctic tundra. Visitors to the National Parks of Canada can immerse themselves in the country’s natural beauty while enjoying a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, wildlife viewing, and canoeing. Whether you’re seeking adventure, tranquility, or simply a chance to reconnect with nature, Canada’s National Parks offer something for everyone. And they are super easy and accessible to visit too. Just keep reading for our best recommendations on how you can visit the parks on your next trip.

Best hikes

Hiking around Canada’s National Parks promises unforgettable adventures amidst some of the world’s most breathtaking landscapes. From awe-inspiring mountain vistas to encounters with wildlife, these trails offer the perfect opportunity to immerse oneself in the beauty of nature. Plus, you’ll be able to create lasting memories of exploration and discovery. And it’s honestly hard to find a bad hike at any of the parks! But if you really make us choose, these are some of our favorites organized by what park they’re located in:

Banff National Park: Plain of Six Glaciers trail, Lake Agnes Tea House trail, Valley of the Ten Peaks trail, Skoki Loop trail

  • Plain of Six Glaciers trail starts at the iconic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and winds its way through alpine meadows, offering stunning views of glaciers, rugged peaks, and turquoise lake. It’s simple to continue on to the teahouse if you want.
  • Lake Agnes Tea House trail leads to the historic Lake Agnes Tea House, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains and turquoise lake. Hikers can enjoy a well-deserved break with tea and homemade treats while soaking in the tranquil alpine scenery.
  • Valley of the Ten Peaks trail offers breathtaking views of the iconic Moraine Lake and the surrounding mountain peaks with opportunities for photography and wildlife viewing.
  • Skoki Loop trail is a classic backcountry trek, taking hikers on a multi-day adventure through remote alpine valleys, past pristine lakes, and beneath towering peaks.
A young adult hiker descending down a long staircase from Gros Morne Mountain, in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.

Gros Morne National Park: Gros Morne Mountain trail

  • Gros Morne Mountain trail allows you to reach the summit of Gros Morne Mountain, the second-highest peak in Newfoundland. On the hike you’ll be able to take in breathtaking views of the park’s fjords, coastal cliffs, and glacial valleys.

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve: West Coast trail

  • West Coast trail is a rugged coastal trail offers a challenging multi-day backpacking experience along Vancouver Island’s dramatic west coast. Hikers navigate through dense rainforests, rocky beaches, and suspension bridges while encountering stunning ocean views, sea caves, and hidden waterfalls.

Cape Breton National Park: Skyline trail

  • Skyline trail hosts sweeping panoramic views of the rugged coastline and highland plateaus. Hikers can explore the Acadian forest ecosystem while keeping an eye out for moose, bald eagles, and other wildlife.

Jasper National Park: Skyline trail, Wilcox Pass trail, Tonquin Valley trail

  • Skyline trail is one of the most popular multi-day hikes in Jasper National Park. It offers sweeping views of the Canadian Rockies, vast alpine meadows, and pristine wilderness. Hikers can spot wildlife such as mountain goats, elk, and bears along the trail.
  • Wilcox Pass trail provides panoramic views of the Columbia Icefield and surrounding mountain ranges along a moderately challenging hike. Hikers will have opportunities for seeing wildlife such as bighorn sheep and marmots.
  • Tonquin Valley trail is a remote and pristine wilderness experience. This multi-day backpacking route takes hikers through alpine meadows, past glaciers, and beside pristine alpine lakes, offering solitude and stunning mountain scenery
The limestone cliffside of Halfway Rock Point in Bruce Peninsula National Park, Ontario, Canada on a sunny day.

Bruce Peninsula National Park: Bruce trail

  • Bruce trail is Canada’s oldest and longest marked hiking trail, offering lots of options from scenic day hikes to multi-day backpacking routes along the Niagara Escarpment. Hikers can explore limestone cliffs, lush forests, and turquoise waters while enjoying panoramic views of Georgian Bay

Waterton Lakes National Park: Crypt Lake trail

  • Crypt Lake trail takes hikers on a thrilling journey through tunnels, up steep cliffs, and alongside cascading waterfalls before reaching the pristine Crypt Lake. This trail offers breathtaking views and unique geological features.

Coolest Lakes

An aerial shot of Peyto Lake in Banff National Park. This lake is known for being shaped like a wolf or a fox face profile.

The stunning lakes in Canada’s National Parks offer unparalleled natural beauty. Many have vivid turquoise waters set against majestic mountain backdrops, creating postcard-perfect scenery. Some of the Canada’s best lakes are in Banff National Park, Jasper National Park, and Yoho National Park. Coincidentally, these are all nearby to each other and make for a great roadtrip (see below)!

Banff offers world famous lakes like Moraine Lake, Lake Louise, and Peyto Lake. All three have bright turquoise waters, and offer great viewpoints and hikes. Moraine Lake and Lake Louise also offer water-based activities like kayaking. You can do those at Peyto Lake, too but it’s definitely less accessible and easy to make happen. Jasper’s best is Maligne Lake, the largest natural lake in the Canadian Rockies. It’s famous for its serene beauty and vibrant blue waters. A boat cruise to Spirit Island, located at the heart of the lake, is a must-do experience, filled with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers. At Yoho, you’ll want to see Lake O’Hara. Because its only accessible by foot or by limited shuttle buses, it has a true pristine wilderness feel.

Most accessible parks

Travel is for everyone but unfortunately not everywhere in the world is completely accessible for everyone. This can be especially challenging in places like a national park where efforts are focused towards preservation. Accessibility in national parks can vary widely depending on factors such as terrain, facilities, and available infrastructure. But there are lots of National Parks options in Canada that are accessible! Some of our favs are:

Riding Mountain National Park

Riding Mountain National Park offers accessible trails, viewpoints, and facilities suitable for visitors with mobility challenges. The Ominik Marsh Trail and the Wasagaming wheelchair-accessible boardwalk are popular accessible attractions within the park.

Fundy National Park

Fundy National Park features several accessible trails and viewpoints, including the Dickson Falls Trail and the Point Wolfe Beach boardwalk. The park’s visitor center and campground also offer accessible facilities and services.

Floating boardwalk through the Prince Edward Island National Park at Greenwich, PEI, Canada.

Prince Edward Island National Park

Known for its stunning coastal landscapes and sandy beaches, Prince Edward Island National Park offers several accessible boardwalks, viewpoints, and facilities along its coastline. The Greenwich Dunes Trail is one example of an accessible trail within the park.

Banff National Park

Banff National Park offers a range of accessible trails, viewpoints, and facilities suitable for visitors of all abilities. Attractions such as Lake Louise, Johnston Canyon, and the Banff Gondola provide opportunities for wheelchair users and those with mobility challenges to enjoy the park’s stunning scenery. Banff National Park is also easily accessible by car via the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1), which passes through the park. The Icefields Parkway (Highway 93) is one of the most scenic drives in the world. It connects Banff and Jasper National Parks and offering breathtaking views of the Canadian Rockies.

Jasper National Park

Jasper National Park offers accessible trails and viewpoints, including the Athabasca Falls viewpoint, Maligne Canyon, and the Jasper SkyTram. The park also has accessible camping facilities and services to accommodate visitors with disabilities. Jasper National Park is also accessible by car via the Icefields Parkway. The parkway has opportunities to explore stunning viewpoints, glaciers, and wildlife along the way. The Maligne Lake Road is another popular drive, leading to the iconic Spirit Island viewpoint.

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is accessible by car via Highway 4. Visitors can enjoy scenic drives along the Pacific Rim Highway, with opportunities to explore sandy beaches, coastal rainforests, and dramatic ocean vistas.

Gros Morne National Park

Gros Morne National Park is accessible by car via the Viking Trail (Route 430), which runs along Newfoundland’s west coast. The park offers scenic drives through stunning landscapes, including fjords, mountains, and coastal cliffs.

Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Cape Breton Highlands National Park is accessible by car via the Cabot Trail. The trail is a renowned scenic drive that loops around the northern tip of Cape Breton Island. The Cabot Trail offers breathtaking views of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, rugged coastline, and highland plateaus.

How much does it cost to visit Canada’s National Parks

Young woman walking on a wood bridge over a lake in Jasper National Park, Canada.

The vast majority of the parks cost anywhere from $6.50 to $11 to visit for adults. Note that if you’re 17 or under, admission to any of Parks Canada’s places is free! Another option is purchasing admissions to the parks on an annual basis. The annual passes for just one park are a great if you live or go to school nearby and want to visit again and again.

You can also purchase a Discovery Pass for the year, giving you access to 80 of Parks Canada’s places. This can be a huge money saver if you plan to see multiple parks in one year or even go on a National Parks road trip. The Discovery Pass is $75.25 for adults. It only takes 7 visits to $11 parks before you’re saving money. And there are plenty of parks that are even more expensive on a day pass meaning you’d break-even faster! You can find the fees for any of the parks on the Parks Canada site by searching the specific name or by checking the “National Parks” box and scrolling the list.

Some roadtrip suggestions

There are so many awesome roadtrips through and between Canada’s National Parks. From winding mountain roads to coastal highways, each drive presents a new adventure. And each adventure has opportunities to explore iconic landmarks, spot wildlife, and immerse oneself in the serenity of the wilderness. Whether embarking on a cross-country trek or a weekend getaway, hitting the road to visit National Parks promises excitement and memories to last a lifetime.

Roadtrip from Jasper National Park to Banff, Yoho, and Kootenay National Parks

Taking a road trip through Jasper, Banff, Yoho, and Kootenay National Parks promises an unforgettable journey through the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Beginning in Jasper National Park, travelers are greeted with majestic mountain peaks, turquoise lakes, and abundant wildlife. Driving along the Icefields Parkway, one of the world’s most scenic routes, offers breathtaking vistas of glaciers, waterfalls, and alpine meadows. Continue into Banff National Park and you’ll see iconic landmarks such as Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, surrounded by towering peaks and pristine forests. Yoho National Park enchants with its dramatic landscapes, including the stunning Takakkaw Falls and the majestic Emerald Lake. Finally, Kootenay National Park offers a serene retreat, with hot springs, ancient forests, and the iconic Paint Pots. Along the way, travelers can hike scenic trails, photograph breathtaking vistas, and immerse themselves in the natural beauty of these iconic parks, creating amazing memories.

View of a mountain face in Mount Revelstoke National Park, Canada with a lake at the base of the mountain in the foreground.

If you have more time to explore on your roadtrip, add on Glacier National Park and/or Mount Revelstoke National Park! Glacier National Park is known for its towering peaks, ancient glaciers, and rugged alpine terrain. Explore the park’s network of hiking trails, including the iconic Abbott Ridge Trail, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Take in the park’s natural beauty as you traverse the scenic Going-to-the-Sun Road, a renowned mountain highway that winds through glacier-carved valleys and past cascading waterfalls. Mount Revelstoke National Park hosts lush forests, subalpine meadows, and pristine alpine landscapes await. You’ll be able to ascend to the summit of Mount Revelstoke via the Meadows-in-the-Sky Parkway, a scenic drive that offers sweeping views of the Selkirk and Monashee mountain ranges.

Pacific Rim National Park and Gulf Islands National Park roadtrip

If you want a coastal adventure, roadtrip to Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and Gulf Islands National Park Reserve in British Columbia. Begin with rugged coastlines and temperate rainforests at Pacific Rim. The Pacific Rim Highway winds through old-growth forests and offers chances to spot marine wildlife. Then, explore Gulf Islands’ tranquil archipelago, known for lush forests and pristine beaches. Take a ferry rides to experience panoramic views of the Salish Sea. Whether camping, hiking, or kayaking, these coastal treasures promise an unforgettable journey through Canada’s west coast beauty.

The curving coastline of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve in Bamfield, Canada with morning fog in the sky.

Options for roadtrips out of Toronto

Set out on an unforgettable road trip from Toronto, starting with a visit to Rouge National Urban Park on the city’s outskirts. Then, choose your route: head south to Point Pelee National Park for a taste of Canada’s southernmost point, or venture north to explore Georgian Bay Islands and Bruce Peninsula National Parks. Alternatively, head east to Thousand Islands National Park for a scenic cruise along the St. Lawrence River. Whichever direction you choose, this road trip promises diverse landscapes, outdoor adventures, and cultural experiences across Ontario’s stunning natural and historic sites.

Eastern coast parks roadtrip

Head off on a roadtrip exploring the coastal beauty and rich natural heritage of Eastern Canada, starting with a journey to Kouchibouguac National Park in New Brunswick. Here, immerse yourself in the park’s diverse ecosystems. From pristine beaches to expansive salt marshes, there are opportunities for hiking, kayaking, and wildlife viewing amidst breathtaking coastal scenery. Continue your adventure to Fundy National Park, where the world-famous Bay of Fundy boasts the highest tides on Earth, creating dramatic landscapes of towering cliffs, coastal forests, and hidden waterfalls. Take time to explore the park’s extensive trail network. Marvel at the iconic Hopewell Rocks. Experience the mesmerizing tidal phenomenon firsthand.

The Hopewell Rocks is one of New Brunswick's top attractions. They are located on the Bay of Fundy which is the site of the world's tallest tides is is in Fundy National Park.

If you’ve got more time, cross over to Prince Edward Island, known for its picturesque landscapes, charming seaside villages, and red sand beaches. Discover it’s tranquility of pristine coastline stretches as far as the eye can see. You can enjoy a leisurely stroll, scenic picnics, or a refreshing dips in the Atlantic Ocean. Explore the island’s cultural heritage at Green Gables, the inspiration for Lucy Maud Montgomery’s beloved novel, or indulge in fresh seafood delicacies at quaint coastal eateries.

Canada’s national parks offer a vast tapestry of natural wonders, from rugged mountains and pristine lakes to lush forests and coastal landscapes, showcasing the country’s unparalleled beauty and biodiversity. Whether seeking adventure, tranquility, or a deeper connection with nature, visiting Canada’s national parks promises unforgettable experiences, outdoor adventures, and opportunities to explore some of the most breathtaking landscapes on Earth.

Ready to get your trip happening? Whether you’re flying across the country or driving, make sure you get yourself the best deal. Remember to book your discounted flight and hotel. The less you spend now, the more money you have to spend on the next trip, right?