Can above banff national park aerial lake Minnewanka Summer paul zizka incms
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Jasper NP canada
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Discover Canada's Wilderness

National parks

With 48 national parks and each with their own unique characteristics, Canada is a paradise for nature lovers and activity seekers alike. You’ll find countless options for hiking, biking, boating or more adventurous activities. Scope out different plant species and be amazed by the wildlife you’ll encounter, from endless birds to moose, grey seals, mountain goats, and grizzly bears. Something new will be waiting for you around every turn!

5 National parks worth visiting

Get up close and personal with a red fox!
© Northern BC Tourism/Ryan Dickie
Chances are you'll spot a strolling moose near Fort Nelson
© Northern BC Tourism/Ryan Dickie

1. Banff National Park

Admire the emerald waters of Lake Louise, stroll among the flowers in Sunshine Meadows, or take a scenic drive along the Icefields Parkway. Banff National Park is certainly a sight to behold!

An hour and a half drive west of Calgary, this park is 6,641 square kilometres of majestic mountains in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. With over 2,500 kilometres of well-maintained and easily accessible trails, you’ll find an adventure in every step.

Take your pick from a wide array of activities, from hiking, bird watching, rock climbing, canoeing, fishing and even skiing. Or, visit historic sites such as the hot springs of the Cave and Basin National Historic Site. Who knows, you might even spot some of North America's wildest creatures, like grizzly bears, caribou and wolves!

Take a scenic bike ride on the Bow Valley Parkway
The emerald waters of Lake Louise could come straight out of a painting

"If you want nature and solitude, look no further than Canada's national parks. They are so massive that 30 of them are larger than many countries!"

Courtney, Content creator
With a bit of luck you'll meet the wildlife in Banff National Park
© Jason Hill @jasoncharleshill

2. Jasper National Park

Picture rugged mountains, glaciers, forests, rivers, and alpine meadows teeming with the greatest population of grizzly bears and moose in all of North America. Jasper National Park is on the World Heritage List for a reason!

As the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies, Jasper is home to fragile ecosystems and the world-famous Columbia Icefield. Travel through the park however you like - by car, by bicycle, or by foot.

In the wilderness of the park you will find more than 990 kilometres of hiking trails, originally created by wildlife, early travellers, explorers, and fur traders.

Spot wolves at Jasper National Park
Enjoy beautiful views at Patricia Lake in Banff National Park
© patricia lake
Imagine waking up to this view in Jasper National Park

3. Wood Buffalo National Park

Immense wilderness, parched salt flats, and a landscape dotted with lakes and swamps, Wood Buffalo National Park is the largest wildlife park in Canada. With an area of 44,807 square kilometres, this park is more than double the size of Wales! You can explore its nature on foot, but also by kayak or mountain bike.

The park gets its name from the Wood Buffalo, or forest bison, whose declining population was protected by the park's creation in 1922. In addition to buffalo, you’ll also find wildlife like moose, black bears, caribou, beavers and the rare whooping crane.

Go on an adventurous hike in Wood Buffalo National Park
Come face to face with wild buffalo
© Darren Roberts

4. Waterton Lakes National Park

Where the Alberta prairies meet the peaks of the Rocky Mountains, Waterton Lakes National Park is a smaller park known, as the name suggests, for its incredible lakes.

Offering a wide variety of outdoor activities and adventures, you can hike countless trails ranging in difficulty, or join the popular boat tour through the remote wilderness.

In the centre of the park you’ll find the charming village of Waterton Park. One of the cutest towns you’ll ever see, take a break from nature here to enjoy the restaurants and shops.

The beautiful lakes of Waterton Lakes National Park
There are so many opportunities to meet Canada's wildlife at Waterton Lakes National Park

5. Wells Gray National Park

Awe-inspiring waterfalls, vast lakes, and colourful alpine meadows, Wells Gray Provincial Park is home to black bears, grizzly bears, pumas, lynx, wolves and more than two hundred bird species. It is truly a place where the outdoor enthusiast in you can indulge!

Located in British Columbia, this park is a vast wilderness of 5415 square kilometres. You can go kayaking, canoeing, horseback riding, or hiking on trails for every level. If you aren’t up for a brisk walk or canoe ride through the remote wilderness, you can also explore the park via the Wells Gray Corridor. This route runs from the south entrance of the park to Clearwater Lake and allows for easy access to many of the park’s highlights.

Murtle River in Wells Gray National Park
Discover rugged waterfalls in Wells Gray National Park

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You probably already have ideas for your holiday to America and Canada. Nature tours through the Rocky Mountains, spotting orcas near the San Juan Islands, or exploring the streets of San Francisco on the iconic cable car?

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