Happy Canada Day! To celebrate this country’s unparalleled beauty, head to one (or more) of its stunning mountainous national parks. Here, we’ve highlighted just a handful of what could be considered the best national parks in Canada. Currently, the summer of 2023 in Canada, the prime season for hiking, is marred by wildfires spreading throughout the country and affecting air quality, even in the major cities, so exercise caution when out on the trails.
Yoho National Park
This small, beautiful national park in southeastern British Columbia features steeply sloped alpine peaks, majestic waterfalls and emerald lakes. Some of the popular attractions include Emerald Lake, Takakkaw Falls and one of our favourite hikes (amongst the many on offer): Lake O’Hara. Field, BC is the town at the entrance of Yoho National Park and contains the park’s visitor centre.
Kluane National Park and Reserve
Located in the Yukon (one of the three territories of Canada), Kluane National Park and Reserve is home to some of the highest peaks in the country, including the highest, Mount Logan. There are numerous spectacular hikes to choose from, including one of our favourites: the King’s Throne. Haines Junction is the main town to access this park.
Waterton Lakes National Park
The smallest national park in Canada lies in the southwestern corner of Alberta, blending seamlessly with Glacier National Park in Montana. The Rocky Mountains, clear lakes, and thrilling hikes are all found in this gem of a national park. Don’t miss hiking the Crypt Lake Trail, named one of the best in Canada. Waterton Lakes National Park is about three hours south of Calgary.
Gros Morne National Park
This UNESCO World Heritage Site can be found in the easternmost island province of Newfoundland. Featuring beautiful fjords and striking mountains, Gros Morne National Park, there are hikes for everyone here, including the hike to the summit of Gros Morne and the challenging Long Range Traverse. Rocky Harbour is a good town to base yourself in to explore this national park.
Banff National Park
A list of best national parks in Canada is not complete without mention of the country’s first (and most well known), Banff National Park. Containing the world famous sites of Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, this national park has alpine peaks, turquoise lakes, and hiking trails throughout the stunning landscapes. Base yourself in the town of Banff, less than two hours from Calgary.
These are just a handful of the best montainous national parks in Canada. There are many others (Kootenay National Park, Torngat Mountains National Park, Jasper National Park, just to name a few). As well as the hundreds of beautiful provincial parks in the country. Get out and explore the vast, wild nation of Canada!