Ever since a bunch of ‘High On Life‘ Canadians took an illegal stroll across the Grand Prismatic Spring @Yellowstone, we figure its high time we give the iconic park a break and instead focus on what our northern neighbors have to offer.
Canadian national parks give the US National Parks a run for their money and in some cases, can be way better especially considering their visitation numbers in the summer months are well below those of Great Smoky Mountains, Sequoia, and Yellowstone national parks just to name a few with congestion issues.
*USA’s busiest park, Great Smoky National Park sees almost 10 million visitors every year compared to Canada’s busiest park, Banff which sees only 3 million/year.
6 Canadian National Parks Worth The Trip North
Jasper National Park
The largest national park in the Canadian Rockies, Jasper is an alpine paradise made for hiking, climbing, skiing, backpacking, and fishing. With incredibly diverse wildlife and a plethora of hot springs, Jasper is perfect for just about anyone.
Go-To Hike: Sulphur Skyline
Tallest Peak: North Twin Peak — 12,241′
Banff National Park
Located just south of Jasper sits Banff National Park. With its towering peaks and glacial cirques, the landscape of Banff attracts photographers from around the world. Along with the quintessential summer activities of hiking, fishing and backpacking– Banff also includes a expansive backcountry hut system managed by the Alpine Club of Canada.
Go-To Hike: Bow Glacier Falls
Tallest Peak: Mt Forbes — 11,850′
Prominent Waterway: Bow River
Glacier National Park
No, this national park isn’t located in northern Montana. Instead, the Canadian version encompasses a large chunk of Rogers Pass and the Columbia Mountains. The park is a go-to for backcountry skiers and snowboarders and even includes the one of the largest cave systems in all of Canada.
Go-To Hike: Abbot Ridge
Tallest Peak: Mount Sir Donald — 10,774′
Prominent Waterway: Columbia River
Gros Morne National Park
Located off the east coast of Canada, Gros Morne National Park looks like it belongs more in Norway than it does on the east coast island of Newfoundland. Fjords, igneous rocks, and beautiful peaks are just a few things that make Canada’s second biggest national park special.
Go-To Hike: Gros Morne Mountain
Tallest Peak: Gros Morne Mountain — 2,644′
Prominent Waterway: Western Brook Pond – Fjord
Kootenay National Park
The Kootenay mountains are some of the most beautiful in the Canadian Rockies and its namesake national park is definitely worth the visit. The big attraction here are the park’s signature hot springs– Radium, Olive Lake, Marble Canyon, Sinclair Canyon and the Paint Pots. Other highlights include a day hike to Floe Lake.
Go-To Hike: Floe Lake
Tallest Peak: Stanley Peak — 10,351′
Prominent Waterway: Kootenay River
Yoho National Park
Situated atop the Continental Divide, Yoho National Park is home to some of the most stunning mountains in all of Canada. It’s also home to icefields, massive waterfalls, and beautiful alpine lakes.
Go-To Hike: Emerald Basin
Tallest Peak: Mount Goodsir — 11,703′
Prominent Waterway: Kicking Horse River