The 12 Most Beautiful National Parks in Canada

The 12 Most Beautiful National Parks in Canada
© Ketian Chen |

Canada is undoubtedly a country with breathtaking natural scenery. This is one reason why the country is so popular. Canada is home to many national parks that are unique and absolutely worth seeing. We have compiled the twelve most beautiful national parks that Canada has to offer in this overview. Let yourself be captivated by the Canadian natural landscape and revel in it.

12. Banff National Park

Banff National Park is a Unesco World Heritage Site and part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Park. Visitors can expect a breathtaking natural landscape with many highlights, such as turquoise glacial lakes, Rocky Mountain peaks or a picturesque mountain town. In addition, there is a rich variety of species to marvel at here.

Banff National Park is Canada’s first national park and is considered the so-called flagship of the nation’s park system. More than three million visitors make a pilgrimage to the park each year to experience a variety of activities. The park is great for hiking, camping, biking, and even skiing, and boasts spectacular mountain scenery.

11. Jasper National Park

Jasper National Park has an area of more than 11,000 square kilometers and holds the title of being the largest national park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Jasper National Park is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks. The place is undoubtedly special. With five incredibly fascinating regions, it invites visitors to experience indescribable natural moments. Jasper’s geology, elevation, geography and, not least, climate create diverse habitats for a truly astonishing biodiversity.

While wildlife has declined dramatically in most of North America over the past 200 years, Jasper National Park has maintained healthy plant and animal populations. The Canadian Rockies are known for diverse flora and fauna. Nearly 300 species of birds, about 1300 species of plants, about 40 species of fish, and numerous other mammal species are native to the area, including bears and even cougars.

10. Gaspesie National Park

Gaspesie is one of the exceptional destinations to discover. There are no less than four national parks here that are worth visiting. Admire more than twenty peaks over a thousand meters high in the Parc National de la Gaspésie and the only caribou herd south of the Saint Lawrence River.

Also absolutely worth visiting are Forillon and “Land’s End,” considered the easternmost point of the Gaspé Peninsula, and Bonaventure Island off Percé, home to a colony of 116,000 gannets. Not to be forgotten is Miguasha, a fossil-rich site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Here you can discover real natural wonders.

9. Nahanni National Park

The granite peaks of the Cirque of the Unclimbables rise from the lush alpine meadow. At Náįlįcho (Virginia Falls), the South Nahanni River plunges over a precipice twice as high as Niagara Falls. The Nahanni National Park Reserve covers 30,000 square kilometers and is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Dehcho First Nations welcome adventurers to the land of peaks, wild rivers and high plains. In the headwaters of the South Nahanni River is the Nááts’įhch’oh National Park Reserve. It is a place where culture and nature are intertwined. Nááts’įhch’oh offers experienced adventurers whitewater paddling and off-the-grid hiking in the Northwest Territories. Nature lovers and adventure seekers will definitely get their money’s worth here.

8. Pacific Rim National Park

Sun, sea and beach attract many visitors to the Pacific Rim National Park every year. But the park has much more to offer. Besides beautiful beaches, there are also mountainous landscapes with coniferous forests all the way to the coast. The large Canadian island with this unique park is called Vancouver Island.

The National Park is divided into three main areas, with the majority of people visiting the Long Beach Unit, which is the northern part of the park, located between Tofino and Ucluelet.

To the south of Tofino, seemingly endless small islands make up the middle section of the park, the Broken Group Islands, which have their own character and charm and can only be explored via boat. The third and southern section of the Pacific Rim wraps around the long stretch of coastline of the West Coast Trail. It is primarily reserved for experienced multi-day hikers.

7. Waterton Lakes National Park

Between the mountain ranges Waterton Lakes National Park has many lakes, which characterizes this national park and makes it unique. The lakes were mostly formed by the forces of the Ice Age and have survived to the present day, combined with a network of hiking trails.
The “Bears Hump” is a climb that offers an impressive view of the small town of Waterton, as well as the valley with the Waterton Lakes.
Maskimonge Lake is especially worth seeing.

Here you can observe a variety of birds – a dream come true for nature lovers and bird watchers. In Waterton Lakes National Park, canoeing or boat trips are possible on several lakes. The land of the national park is also described as the land of enchanting waters, which is quite true.

6. Thousand Islands

The Thousand Islands are located at the outflow of Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River, in the border region between Canada and the USA. Thousand Islands should not be missed on a trip to Canada. Here you can expect picturesque granite islands, as well as windswept pine trees. Exploring remote bays by motorboat or kayak becomes a paradisiacal highlight.

The wildlife here is also unique. Rare species of birds can be seen along hilly trails. Thousand Islands is a piece of nature at its best. Enjoy the magic of this historic and captivating wilderness that will quickly captivate you. Thousand Islands is located just a few hours from Montreal or Toronto.

5. Riding Mountain National Park

Here you can enjoy fantastic autumn adventures. The park is located in the northwest of the capital Winnipeg, in Manitoba. Here, lakes and forests stand in stark contrast to the prairie of the surrounding countryside. Wildlife viewing and many recreational opportunities make this park, in addition to its indescribably beautiful scenery, the highlight of any trip to Canada.

Horseback riding, fishing, hiking, biking and camping are among the popular recreational activities this park offers. Even scuba diving and kiting are possible. In the cold season, the landscape can be enjoyed while skiing, snowshoeing, or on a snowmobile tour.

An absolute highlight here are also auroras, which seem to dance in the night sky. Another popular destination is the village of Wasagaming south of the park. At the sandy beach of Clear Lake, the water is fascinatingly sparkling and becomes a swimming event. Every year there is also a great concert on the beach here.

4. Gros Morne National Park

Gros Morne National Park is located west of the island of Newfoundland and is divided into the coastal lowlands on the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the alpine highlands of the Long Range Mountains. Here, bays, fjords, swamps, mountain valleys, sandy beaches and glacial lakes characterize the landscape, which is thus quite varied.

The park gained international reputation for its unique combination of geological features. Therefore, the park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Particularly worth seeing here are the Tablelands – a desert-like lunar landscape of red rock. You can actually marvel at exposed earth crust here. The history of the earth is so vivid in this park that a hike is well worth it. Close to the Tablelands is the Green Gardens region, which is in stark contrast and thus extremely interesting.

Carnivorous plants are native to this region. Boat trips on Western Brook Pond are especially popular. This lake contains fresh water in its purest form amid towering cliffs. On a hike, if you’re lucky, you may even spot whales offshore.

3. Auyuittuq National Park

This park on Baffin Island is exceptional. In arctic wilderness many an adventure is to be expected here. The park has a unique landscape that is quite rugged. Glistening glaciers and rugged cliffs tower over vast plains of tundra here, which are even briefly clothed with carpets of wildflowers in the late summer months. The rugged beauty and seeming impregnability of this nature park work their own magic on travelers. An experience that is difficult to put into words.

2. Prince Edward Island National Park

The attraction in this national park are the red rocks on the white beach. Beautiful to look at. You can walk along the beach on the rocks and then take a dip in the blue sea. This beautiful national park has beautiful sandy beaches, dunes and forest regions to offer. You can also see wonderful animals here, especially birds, but also foxes. The park is the second smallest national park in the country, but due to its special charm it is a magnet for visitors.

1. Yoho National Park

Yoho National Park is one of Canada’s smaller national parks and is considered a paradise of water and stone in the province of British Columbia. Besides beautiful hiking trails, there are many mountain trails in Yoho National Park. These are a special nature highlight especially for mountaineers and hikers eager to explore. If you take a guided hike, you will get an unforgettable impression of the natural secrets and natural treasures of this region.

The small but nevertheless fine paradise of water and rocks is a popular magnet for visitors. Imposing waterfalls, smaller and larger lakes in a picturesque landscape and eroded rock faces characterize Yoho National Park. Not to be missed is Emerald Lake as a particularly picturesque spot surrounded by dense spruce forest and perched on mountains that tower 3000 meters above the beautiful landscape.

The lake contains ice-cold glacial water and is particularly popular during the warmer months of the year. The abundance of plant and animal species here is also immense. Grizzly bears, moose, black bears, rare cougars and coyotes are native to the area. It is definitely worth making a detour to Yoho National Park.