Canada is home to some of the world’s most breathtaking landscapes. From the Canadian Rockies to the coast of the Atlantic region, this North American country is full of rare wildlife, rich history, unique cultures, and stunning environments. One of the best ways to understand Canada’s heritage is by exploring its National Parks.
In this guide, we’ve rounded up the best National Parks in Canada for you to visit. Whether you’re looking for a mountainous adventure in Banff or to explore the waters surrounding Prince Edward Island, you’re sure to learn something new in any of these protected areas. Check out our list of the most visited National Parks in Canada, so you can plan your next endeavor.
The most-visited National Park in Canada is Banff National Park in Alberta. Also the oldest Canadian National Park, Banff is known for its crystal blue waters in Peyto Lake, Moraine Lake, and Lake Louise, along with world-class hikes to the summits of Sulphur Mountain, Big Beehive, and Temple Mountain. Other popular activities in this National Park located in the Rocky Mountains are kayaking, bird watching, and mountain climbing.
As Canada’s most-visited National Park, Banff offers explorers 1,600 kilometers of trails that allow them to discover new wildlife and document their adventures through photography. Banff National Park is also a great place for backpacking adventures, weddings, and even relaxing in hot springs.
Another famous National Park in Canada is Jasper National Park, also located in Alberta. Jasper is part of UNESCO's Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site and extends over 11,000 square kilometers. With so much space to explore, Jasper is an excellent park to immerse yourself in wildlife to get a better understanding of the world we live in.
In Jasper National Park, there are several notable attractions worth seeing, such as the Maligne Canyon, which is a gorge that plummets over 160 feet with a series of bridges and trails to get you there. Other notable attractions include the turquoise blue waters of Maligne Lake, Moose Lake, and Angel Glacier. While the best time to visit this famous park in Canada is during the summer and early fall, the winter offers visitors an excellent opportunity to explore quieter trails through snowshoeing or cross country skiing.
Eastern Canada is home to Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park, located in Québec. As one of the top Canadian National Parks, Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park offers visitors a glimpse into marine life, where whale watching, kayaking, and sailing are prevalent. If you’re learning to discover more about life off land, the marine park is the perfect place to explore. In this National Park, you can participate in interpretive programs and visit exhibitions that highlight the unique features of underwater life that call this National Park home.
On the west coast of Vancouver Island in Western Canada, you’ll find Pacific Rim National Park, another one of the most popular National Parks in Canada. Pacific Rim National Park is filled with adventure. Here, you can jump into your storm gear to observe the roaring waves crash upon the rocky shore, or pack your sunscreen for a relaxing summer day on the sandy beaches. Popular activities include kayaking along the shoreline, learning about the culture of the Nuu-chah-nulth people, and hiking along the West Coast Trail.
Mount Revelstoke National Park is one of the most visited National Parks in Canada, and for good reason. In this mountainous park, visitors can take the Meadows in the Sky Parkway from the Trans Canada Highway to Balsam Lake. Along the way, you’ll witness breathtaking subalpine meadows filled with wildflowers, lush forests of cedar, spruce, and hemlock trees, and the spectacular views of Balsam Lake.
Mount Revelstoke National Park is also an excellent area for wildlife viewing. Throughout the park, you can come across unique wildlife, including grizzly bears, wolverines, mountain caribou, moose, mountain goats, black bears, and endless bird watching opportunities. Other popular activities include learning experiences through guided tours, mountain biking along trails, and geocaching.
In the Province of Prince Edward Island, you’ll find Prince Edward Island National Park. Facing the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Prince Edward Island offers remarkable views and outdoor activities, such as canoeing, golfing, camping, and swimming.
Prince Edward Island National Park is home to fresh and saltwater marshes, sandy beaches, and unique wildlife, including the endangered piping plover. One of the reasons why Prince Edward Island is one of the best National Parks in Canada is because it allows visitors to relax and unwind, thanks to its extensive boardwalks and walking trails, picnic areas, and calming coastal terrain.
Above, we explored the six most visited National Parks in Canada. So, how do these Canadian National Parks compare to one another in terms of visitors? Take a look at the numbers below for park attendance between 2019 and 2022:
Canada is one of the top places to visit for those looking to explore the great outdoors. Our list of the most visited National Parks in Canada barely scratches the surface of all the unique areas found within this country that’s teeming with wildlife and awe-inspiring vistas.
If you’re looking to witness the beauty of the top Canadian National Parks first hand, it’s time to book your trip with Road Scholar. Our educational learning adventures are led by local experts, so you can gain a deeper understanding of the destination you’re visiting.
In addition to Canadian National Park tours, we also have National Park tours in the U.S., along with an abundance of resources for our scholars, such as our travel tips for seniors. Book your learning adventure with Road Scholar today to see what the world has to offer.
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