You’ve dreamt about it for years. Now you’re finally doing it. That epic cross-Canada road trip. So here’s our question: which Parks Canada destinations are on your hit list and why? (Keeping in mind there are 42 national parks, 167 historic sites and four national marine conservation areas to choose from.) Best comment wins awesome Parks Canada swag bag. Go!
***Contest ends Sunday, Feb 12, midnight.
Not only is it in Banff National Park, but it’s also a world heritage site. I’d definitely stop off in Lake Louise. Drink in the views of Victoria Glacier as you sip high tea in the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Work it all off by hiking up to the tea house then plan a soak at the Banff Upper Hot Springs before hitting the road again.
timothy wilson hoey commented:
Well, there are the required stops at both ends of the Trans Canada Highway, and then if in Victoria, pop by the studio for a cup of Red Rose Tea, bag of Hawkins Cheezies and a Crispy Crunch and I’ll spin a few Don Mercer records on the old 78 player.
A definite stop on my trip would have to be Jasper National Park, for sentimental reasons as well as for the beauty. My mom and dad met there in the 1950’s while my mom was working as a chamber maid at Takara Lodge and my dad, a newly minted engineer, was in Jasper working on a pipeline. My mom was immediately enamoured with the tall, handsome engineer, and so started their 50+ year romance and marriage. 6 daughters later…..
They both passed away a few years ago and all of us and our families met at the lodge in Jasper National Park to get together and say goodbye where it all began. We could certainly imagine the fun and romance in that beautiful setting. A magical place at the confluence of two great rivers.
toque & canoe commented:
Wonderful story Trish. Thanks for this!
At first glance I thought to myself Bowron Lakes, water, mountains, canoes, you can’t get much more Canadian, then I read again and you are looking for National Parks, not Provincial. So, after some time on the Parks Canada website, I decided Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site, kayaks, ocean, history and heritage, that is pretty Canadian.
While the hordes head to Banff, get away from the crowds at Waterton Lakes National Park. If you’re starting in Calgary, skip the traffic on Highway 2 and take the Cowboy Trail Route through charming small towns like Black Diamond, Longview and Cowley. The views of the mountains rising abruptly out of the prairie is one of my all-time favourites. You even pass through a bison paddock before reaching the town of Waterton — how Canadian is that?
The town of Waterton sits on the tip of a lake crowned by the Rockies, offering a view rivalling Lake Louise. A sunset cruise takes you right across the American border, which is a fun novelty.
For the hikers among us, Waterton offers some superb routes — from moderate routes like Bertha Lake to the Crypt Lake route, once named Canada’s best hike, which begins with a ferry ride and involves a steel ladder, a 60-foot tunnel through the mountain and a bare rockface (with a cable). After completing this epic hike, treat yourself to a night at the Prince of Wales hotel, built in 1927 atop a bluff overlooking the park in all its glory. It’s a bit creaky and worn, but that’s part of the charm!
In a nutshell, I can’t believe how few people visit Waterton — put it on the top of your list.
My favorite national park that I’ve had the pleasure of visiting is Jasper National Park. In it is Maligne Lake, a place that I keep going to in my imagination when I want to get away from the hustle of bustle of everything that’s going on in Calgary. Being in the middle of that lake surrounded by the mountains is so spiritual, not to mention the little island. It’s my perfect solitude.
On the other hand, I would just LOVE to go on a cross country trip and hit a lot of our great country’s national parks. It’s on my bucket list to travel from one coast to the other hopefully sooner than later 🙂 Forillon National Park of Canada
looks very interesting. I also want to experience the tide phenomena at Bay of Fundy. I keep hearing great things about it like how it’s moved them inside just like the Stonehenge in Europe. Who needs to go across the pond when we’ve got something like that in our own beautiful and vast country?
Yoho National Park is a true wonder. “Yoho” is the Cree word for “awe,” an apt description for a park that features 28 peaks at more than 3,000m/9,843ft. In addition to incredible mountain peaks, Yoho National Park is also home to: Takakkaw Falls, one of Canada’s highest waterfalls, with a free fall of 254m/833ft; hoodoos, a geological formation of glacial debris exposed by erosion; Spiral Tunnels that were cut through the park’s mountains during railroad development; and the Natural Bridge carved out by the force of Kicking Horse River. High above Yoho’s Emerald Lake is the 505-million-year-old Burgess Shale fossil deposit. Burgess Shale is one of the most significant deposits of Cambrian-age, soft body marine organisms in the world. In summer, Yoho National Park offers a variety of great outdoor activities, including hiking, backpacking, camping, mountain biking, rafting, and fishing. In winter, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice climbing are available. Wilderness and wildlife viewing is amazing year-round.
Neil Bousquet commented:
Hmmmm – no contest really – it’s Waterton Lakes National Park…It’s one of Alberta’s – dare I say Canada’s crown jewels – pristine – virtually unspoiled – World Heritage Site – union with nature – spectacular views 360 – Waterton Wildflower Festival – Waterton Wildlife Festival – mountain biking – camping – hiking to Montana & back – photographers/painters paradise – kayaking – canoeing – lake cruise to USA & back – fantabulous food & lodging in Waterton – You can do a lot or you can do nothing but fill your lungs with the crisp, clean air of a real Rocky Mountain paradise. My fav is still walking in Waterton among the deer who keep one eye on the grass and one eye on you – a friendly reminder that you are the visitor.
Shelly S commented:
I have been there many times and plan on going back many more – Haida Gwaii is absolutely magical and amazing. Should be on every Canadians bucket list
J.R. McConvey commented:
As someone who’s seen my fair share of awesome national parks, I’m dying to see Auyuittuq in Nunavut. Any park that boasts peaks named Mount Thor, Mount Asgard and Mount Overlord — not to mention the opportunity to skip back and forth across the Arctic Circle — is a definite winner.
Philippe H commented:
Personally I’ve always wanted to do a huge tour of the maritime provinces, including Quebec and Newfoundland/Labrador. The way I have it planned out in my head is like this:
Go from the Niagara region up into Quebec, possibly hitting up parks like Thousand Islands and Bon Echo along the way. Once we’re in Quebec, take a few days to explore the interior and visit places like “Parc Nationale de la Mauricie”, “Haute-Gorge de la Riviere Malbaie” and “Parc de la Jacques Cartier”. Once I reach Havre Saint Pierre, I’ll take a ferry onto Anticosti island and stay on the island for a few days to explore. Once that’s over, I’ll head towards Newfoundland and Labrador.
I don’t itend on spending too much time in Labrador, but I do intend to spend a WHOLE lot of time in Newfoundland. I’ve been to all of the east coast provinces of Canada with the exception of Newfoundland/Labrador, so I want to take in as much as possible. There I’ll be visiting Gros Morne as the main attraction, as well as stopping by L’anse aux meadows. I’ll continue on down towards the Avalon peninsula and most likely stop by Terra Nova, as well as any provincial parks I see along the way.
When I reach St. Johns I’ll take a ferry into Cape Breton island and revisit the Cape Breton Highlands once again. Can’t get enough of that Cabot trail! From there I start my trip back home, stopping to see Fundy national park and Forillion along the way.
I really want to do this trip someday. In fact, there are many trips across Canada that I’d love to do, but the Maritime provinces in my opinion are amongst the most beautiful places in Canada, in both scenery and culture.
Philippe H commented:
aaaah, how could I forget this!
When I’m in Havre Saint Pierre, if my finances allow me, I’d visit The Mingan Archipelagos, for sure. Such a bizarre landscape, I can’t afford to miss it.
toque & canoe commented:
Congrats to Philippe! We loved your comment. A package from Parks Canada will be in the mail shortly. Thanks to everyone else for participating and for all of your great suggestions. It was a tough call. Keep those comments coming.