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 that you can plan your next endeavor.
1. Banff National Park (Alberta)
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 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 excellent for backpacking adventures, weddings, and even relaxing in hot springs.
2. Jasper National Park (Alberta)
Another one of the top national parks 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 more than 11,000 square kilometers. With so much space to explore, Jasper is an excellent park to immerse yourself in wildlife and better understand the world in which we live.
In Jasper National Park, there are several notable attractions, such as the Maligne Canyon, a gorge that plummets more than 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.
3. Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park (Québec)
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. The marine park is the perfect place to explore if you’re learning to discover more about living off the land. In this national park, you can participate in interpretive programs and visit exhibitions highlighting the extraordinary underwater life features that call this national park home.
4. Pacific Rim National Park Reserve (British Columbia)
On the west coast of Vancouver Island in Western Canada, you’ll find Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, another one of Canada’s most popular national parks. Pacific Rim National Park Reserve 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.
5. Mount Revelstoke National Park
Mount Revelstoke National Park is one of Canada’s most visited national parks, 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 spectacular views of Balsam Lake.
Mount Revelstoke National Park is also an excellent area for wildlife viewing. You can see unique wildlife in the park, 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.
6. Prince Edward Island National Park
You’ll find Prince Edward Island National Park in the Province of Prince Edward Island. 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.
7. Yoho National Park (British Columbia)
One of the most beautiful national parks in Canada is Yoho National Park, located in British Columbia. Established in 1886, Yoho National Park is Canada’s second national park, and it contains one of the world’s most significant fossil sites. In Yoho National Park, you can learn about geologists R.G. McConnell and Otto Klotz, who claim to be the founders of the rich fossil beds buried in Mount Stephen, which towers 1,700 feet above the town of Field.
Regardless of who found the fossil beds first, Yoho National Park is now one of the top parks to visit in Canada due to its natural history and beauty. Here, visitors can marvel at the mountain faces that paint the western slope of the Great Divide, roaring waterfalls that flow off the peaks, and centuries-old glaciers that make this national park unforgettable.
One of the reasons Yoho National Park is one of the best national parks in Canada is its diverse landscape. Here, you can find alpine meadows, steep mountain peaks, river valleys, and glaciers. This diverse ecosystem is also home to rare and majestic wildlife, including grizzly bears, mountain lions, and an assortment of birds and marine life.
Some of the top attractions you can find in Yoho National Park include Emerald Lake, Wapta Falls, and Takakkaw Falls. As one of the most visited national parks in Canada, Yoho National Park’s beauty, with its turquoise-colored Emerald Lake and natural stone bridge, make for a perfect place to visit.
At Road Scholar, we have a wide range of experiential learning adventures, including a group tour to Yoho National Park, which is perfect for many travelers. With the ability to choose your own pace, you can enjoy the awe-inspiring beauty Yoho National Park offers, whether you’re a solo traveler, traveling with a family, or a senior.
Canada's National Parks by Visitor Numbers
Above, we explored the seven most visited national parks in Canada. So, how do these Canadian National Parks compare to one another regarding visitors? Take a look at the numbers below for park attendance between 2019 and 2022 to see who was the most visited national park in Canada:
- Banff National Park: 4,121,062
- Jasper National Park: 2,463,419
- Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park: 1,197,305
- Pacific Rim National Park Reserve: 1,113,780
- Mount Revelstoke National Park: 801,513
- Prince Edward Island National Park: 756,243
- Yoho National Park (British Columbia): 700,902
Canada is one of the top places to visit for those exploring 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 firsthand, it’s time to book your trip with Road Scholar. Local experts lead our experiential learning adventures, so you can better understand the destination you’re visiting.
In addition to Canadian National Park tours, we also have national park tours in the U.S. and 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 offers.
Explore the Best National Parks in Canada with Road Scholar
At Road Scholar, we have a vast collection of tours that visit the top national parks in Canada. With so many parks to visit in Canada, you might wonder which group tour is suitable for you. Regardless of the learning program you choose, you can rest assured knowing you’ll have an experience unlike any other.
Each group tour to the most beautiful national parks in Canada is led by a local expert who will teach you about the culture, history, wildlife, and geography of the national park you’re visiting. With the ability to ask questions in a small setting and mingle with your diverse cohort of fellow travelers, you can enjoy a unique learning experience you won’t forget. Find an adventure today that piques your interest by browsing our collection of one-of-a-kind travel tours to the best national parks in Canada.